If you have followed the Pinto to Ferrari Series at all, you'll know that last week I announced that my pinto exploded. Let me elaborate on that for a bit, even with the healthy changes, I was exhausted and my neck shoulders and back hurt like a beast. I was miserable. I honestly thought that I was just meant to be miserable forever. If eating healthy and taking care of yourself doesn't make you feel better, then what will?
After I wrote that post, I started feeling even worse I had shooting pains across my shoulders and back, my skin was weirdly sensitive and even though I had no symptoms, I was afraid I had the Rona. On Tuesday, I spent time outside with the kids and that night, I had a small rash show up on my right side. No biggie, I just thought it was a spider bite...
I woke up the next morning in probably the worst pain of my life. The rash was worse, I was soar and it hurt to breathe. Off to the doctor I went, again just thinking it was a spider bite. The nurse who first saw me blew my mind. She mentioned shingles but was going to wait and let the doctor officially diagnose. Shingles? What the hell? I'm only 34!
Sure enough after a consultation with the doctor, I left with steroids, herpes meds and a shingles diagnosis. Apparently, all the last few weeks of fatigue, shoulder and back pain were just an awesome prelude leading up to a fabulous and painful rash.
How in the hell did I, as a 34-year-old, get shingles? No offense, but I didn't think I would have to deal with this until I was at least 50! It's for older people for God's sakes! I'm not the spitting image of health but other than being considered obese, I'm healthy-ish.
Apparently stress is a big factor. So yeah... I'm screwed. I've got a precocious 7-year-old with an attitude that is doing virtual learning with me daily. I run a blog, I'm trying to get my bar open. I have a 7-month-old who will not sleep at night and a 3-year-old who is going through a terrorist phase. How in the actual hell am I going to get around the stress?
Let's not even talk about the stress of trying to keep my 3-year-old and 7-month-old from getting the chicken pox. Shingles themselves aren't contagious, but my younger kids can get the chickenpox from me. While my 3-year-old has had his first shot, he hasn't had his booster yet and obviously the baby hasn't gotten any of the vaccine. So even more stress!
You may think that the rash is the worst part. For me, it felt like a sunburn with bruising. My issue was the fatigue, shoulder, neck pain and the headaches. These felt like they could put me out of commission. It was horrible but apparently pretty normal.
Luckily, the antiviral meds help speed up the process, especially if you take them within 3 days of the rash appearing. I started within 16 hours. Over the last week, the pain has subsided and the rash has faded. At this point, the rash just looks like an extremely dry patch of skin but it is still extremely sensitive and itchy. I still have moderate neck pain but comparatively, it's not bad.
If I learned anything from this, it's that self-care is even more important than I originally thought. I don't ever want to deal with this again. Shingles in your 30s is becoming a thing. If you have had the chickenpox be aware that it can happen to you. As a whole, we need to figure out ways to limit our stress so that maybe this and other medical issues, can be avoided in the future.