Friday, July 24, 2009

If Your Roof's Leaking, I've Got Shingles

I've had a skin rash for the last couple of days and since we're leaving on vacation tomorrow, I decided to try to see a doctor.

Fortunately, after calling the clinic from my work place at 8:00 this morning and leaving a message with the receptionist, I received a response in about five minutes. "Come over right away and we'll work you in." Phew! I'd nonchalantly mentioned to the receptionist that the dentist I work for has been seeing all of the dermatologist's children quite frequently over the past few weeks and, in fact, would be seeing Mike Segal this morning. I was willing to use any ammunition I had to get in today. Of course, I also told her we were leaving on vacation tomorrow.

My boss, Dr. Onderak, graciously allowed me to leave work at 8:15 so away I went.

Dr. Segal, the dermatologist, diagnosed shingles right away. I have five affected areas running in a line from the middle of my chest around to the middle of my back. The areas are red and contain several small blisters. Wednesday, I'd asked several pharmacists in town what they thought my problem was and was told eczema, poison oak, an allergic reaction and so on and so forth. Yesterday I bought some allergy capsules and Caladryl Clear lotion per the CVS pharmacist's recommendation. I noticed no improvement this morning which prompted me to try to get in with Dr. Segal today.

Dr. Segal mentioned he hadn't seen me since 1999. I replied that I only have major medical health insurance coverage, thus I don't see any doctors, other than my gynecologist, on a frequent basis. Yes! I said the right thing. He saved me $200 by giving me a grocery bag full of samples of Valtrex to take three times a day until I see him again on August 4th. He gave me a prescription for acetaminophen with codeine for pain which I filled at CVS before I returned to work. So far I've experienced minimal pain, so I may not need it.

I returned to work at 9:45 and popped two of the Valtrex pills right away.

When the rash first appeared, I thought perhaps during my Sunday bike ride with my camera, I'd gotten into some poison ivy or oak when I ventured off the road for a few close-up photos. I almost didn't go to a doctor thinking I could treat my problem with over-the-counter ointments. During my drive to the clinic, I was thinking I'd be paying big bucks to find out what I already knew. Thus, when I heard the word "shingles" I was relieved that I'd listened to my husband's and Dr. Onderak's suggestions to find out for sure what was going on.

As I mentioned in the title of this post, our roof is fine with shingles placed about five years ago. The shingles I've got are useless and hopefully I'll dispose of them ASAP.

A black eye, shingles, I wonder what's next...


Walk said...

It could be caused by all that spandex you wear? I know it's not a laughing matter, I'm still bearing the red rash of poison ivy. Relax at the cabin and enjoy recovering in such a beautiful location.

Gullible said...

Oh, dear. Shingles is not fun. Here's hoping yours doesn't last longer than your roof. I opted for the vaccine. I dhoulf have asked first, but didn't. $250 and it's no guarantee, but as my brother and my mother both had shingles, I kinda figured I'd be visited. It would be pay back for me exposing everyone in kindergarten to chicken pox.

Lia said...

Oh that's horrid for you. My mum got shingles and was really rather unwell with them, so I do hope you only have a mild case, as i know they can become rather nasty.
I hope you get plenty of rest at the cabin your going to and that this all passes very quickly for you.
Much love
Lia xx

Spiralstyle said...

So sorry. Hope it doesn't take away from your vacation. Hope the pain is no worse. Feel better.

Anonymous said...

Auntie hopes you caught it in the nick of time. Glad you had Lon encouraging you to see the Dr. I think that is the key to stopping its progression. Relax and take care. Love ya.

Beth W. said...

So sorry to hear this, Shaddy. Hope your excellent fitness (and the quick medicine) helps in getting over this quickly. Buck just got a vaccination recently, mainly because of the bad time an older friend of our had with Shingles.

Shaddy said...

Walk: I know you didn't get your poison ivy from spandex but perhaps it had something to do with my ailment. Too much of anything is bound to have a negative affect, right???

Gully: My dermatologist never even mentioned a vaccine. I think mine is a mild case. Any pain I have is slight.

Lia: Please don't feel bad for me. I barely know I've got the virus. I appreciate your concern though. I thought of you as the rain was pouring down on our way up here!!

Spiralstyle: I promise I won't let anything interfere with my vacation. I took a walk this morning and ran this afternoon while everyone else was fishing.

Auntie: I'm glad I went to see Dr. Segal too. I'd have had a much bigger problem I'm sure if I'd waited another day or two to find out the cause of my rash.

Beth: Thanks for your kind words. Only one of the affected areas causes me any discomfort at all. I'm very lucky.

Zelda P. said...

Poor you, Shaddy. Shingles can be painful, but it sounds like you're being a trooper about it (not that I would expect anything else). I hope it remains a mild case. Take care.