I have f-ing shingles.


I shouldn’t be surprised by this diagnosis because, 20-25 years ago, I had chickenpox. TWICE. Yep, I’m special. Once you’ve had chickenpox, the virus stays dormant in your body until stress, injury, certain medicines, or other issues cause you to break out in a rash. A person with a weak immune system (including Yours Truly) is prone to shingles too.

To explain how (I think) this all happened, let me back up a bit:

The weeks leading up to Spring Break were stressful at school, plus I was getting ready for Mom’s visit. My allergies also got worse, eventually sending me to the Doctor. After several days of steroids and antihistamines, I felt much better. Except a painful bump appeared in my hairline, behind my right ear. It was sore to the touch, but I thought it was an ingrown hair. No big deal, right? Wrong. The next day it got a little bigger. A few days later, it was the size of a dime, bright red, and very painful to touch. By Friday, my entire body ached. I had no energy and the right side of my head and neck were extremely sore. I left school an hour early (thanks to an amazing co-teacher) to visit the doctor. My throat was swabbed for Strep and nostrils for Influenza, but both of those tests were negative.

The Doctor examined the bumps on my neck and along my hairline and confirmed my fear: shingles. She wrote a prescription for an anti-viral and pain meds, then told me to stay home and rest. Considering my energy level is nonexistent, and just breathing is tiresome, I’m following her orders. It hurts to turn my head from side to side and, since yesterday, three additional rash spots have appeared on my neck and under my chin. They do not itch, but the pain is intense. I can only explain it as a constant, throbbing neck ache on my right side.

Oh, and did I mention that I’m freaking out about the possibility of missing a day at school because we’re beginning small group tutorials next week, in preparation for state testing? Yeah, I’m stressed. I want to practice reading strategies with them. I don’t want a stranger in my classroom, I want to be there! They’ve worked so hard, I don’t want their efforts to be futile.

Shingles, you are so not cool. This royally sucks.


By |2013-03-23T11:45:28+00:00March 23rd, 2013|Blog|14 Comments

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  1. Raquel engle March 23, 2013 at 1:25 pm - Reply

    Oh no!!! I’m sorry! Hope it goes away quickly!

    • Nicole March 23, 2013 at 1:36 pm - Reply

      Thanks, Doll. This is for sure NOT FUN AT ALL.

  2. Lisa March 23, 2013 at 2:54 pm - Reply

    We should seriously start a shingles link-up. Since it’s about to become a widespread epidemic, I bet it would be pretty popular.

    But in all seriousness, I hope you start to feel better soon!! Shingles blows.

    • Nicole March 23, 2013 at 3:38 pm - Reply

      Lisa, you’re wise beyond your years and absolutely right. After reading the article you sent me plus others, I’m glad I did NOT get the shingles vaccine. Sure sounds like it causes more pain + frustration than it relieves. In fact, after talking to Nana, her Doc advised her not to get the vaccine after her shingles outbreak. She thought she’d protect herself from future outbreaks, but the Doctor said no. Let your body take care of itself. Naturally.

      Woo-freakin-Hoo, I’m officially a member of S.A. Shingles Anonymous

      For the record, I’ve never gotten a flu shot because I’m afraid of contracting the flu. I don’t like vaccines much. Well, at least for the kinds of things that seem to be changing and evolving.

      Also for the record, I’m on pain meds and cannot be held responsible for what I say or post online. It’s taken me 40-minutes too reply to this comment because I fell asleep. Yikes! Oops. =)

  3. Carole Ramke March 23, 2013 at 10:48 pm - Reply

    I have read that high-dose vitamin C can be effective. Good luck.

    • Nicole March 23, 2013 at 10:51 pm - Reply

      Carole, I ate a quart (no joke!) of sliced fresh peaches for lunch Friday. Peaches have vitamin C, right?! I also learned that applying raw honey directly to the shingles rash or bumps helps them heal faster. Honey is manna from heaven!!!

  4. aimeeberrett March 25, 2013 at 3:55 pm - Reply

    oh Nicole! Im so sorry! I have now had shingles twice in my life, but the first time I was a young girl and don’t remember it that much, I just remember it looking like bug bites. And the second time wasn’t bad either cause it was just a little spot on my neck and the big bump on my hair line like you. Hope you heal quickly! PS. be careful around littles, the first time I gave 2 of my younger cousins the chicken pox.

    • Nicole March 25, 2013 at 4:03 pm - Reply

      Oh Aimee, the shingles royally suck!!!! The pain and the aches, ughhh. I’m staying home again tomorrow, which upsets me because I hate missing school and being away from my students —- but I don’t want to risk getting somebody sick either. UGH!!!! I know there’s never a good time to be sick, but why the week before state testing? Why do I have to miss school when I’m supposed to be doing small-group tutorials with my students? Eeeeek!!! Blessings + Hugs to you, Friend. =)

  5. Jill Schrader March 25, 2013 at 8:31 pm - Reply

    Oh no. That sucks! I have a funny rash/bump on my forehead that I went to the Dr. for today. Shingles was one of the things she was kind of worried it might be. But I don’t have any other symptoms like you mentioned, so maybe it’s something else.
    Hope you get to feeling better soon!

    • Nicole March 25, 2013 at 8:38 pm - Reply

      Well, let me tell you …. shingles royally SUCK!!!!!! Stay on top of that rash or bump, don’t let it progress without medical attention. In other news, clear your social calendar for Saturday, April 27. I hope you can join us for the bloggers’ spring meet up. Big hugs, Friend. =)

  6. Alicia Audrey March 26, 2013 at 3:59 pm - Reply

    Get well soon, Nicole!
    I’m one of the freaks that never had chicken pox. I hope I don’t get it. Apparently it REALLY sucks as an adult.
    My great-grandmother got shingle when she was around 90. It was uncomfortable, but she got through it.

    I know how you feel, not being able to be in your classroom. Maybe you can type up some notes for your kiddos that you can send in for the sub to go over with them?

    • Nicole March 26, 2013 at 4:11 pm - Reply

      Alicia, the shingles royally SUCK and the aches + pains are ridiculous. Despite the discomfort, I’m returning to school so I can get my students properly prepared for their tests next week. =)

  7. […] done. Geesh. Besides an attack of seasonal allergies, I also had a not-so-pleasant experience with shingles. I couldn’t figure out if my head and neck legitimately ached, or the pain was that intense. […]

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