Friday, February 24, 2017

Shingles

You may have wondered what happened to the travel blog. There was no end to the Kauai trip. No home again post. We are actually still here with about half of the crew leaving at 3:30 this morning. We decided to extend for a couple of days. The explanation follows.

The short version of the study is I got shingles and have been pretty much condo bound for the last week. I did consider adding a selfie and the picture of my face would certainly have generated some attention but I decided not to scare the little kids (other than those who were here). I probably could have left this morning, but this would be the first day I would have wanted to take on the day-long process of getting back to Minnesota. The problem began last Friday. I have a bad dental issue I am to have addressed on Mar. 6 and so I assumed this is what it was. The problem continued to get more serious on Saturday and now it seemed more an ear problem. Probably an ear or maybe a sinus infection. I considered going to urgent care but thought I could make it to Monday.

Monday turned out to be Presidents' Day, but we were able to find a clinic that was open. Amazingly, I was able to see a doc within an hour or so. The Doc went with the ear infection. Cleaned our the ear and gave me a prescription for antibiotic ear drops. He also wanted me to get a blood test to rule out some "vein following" infection that was a low probability, but would be a threat to the vision in my right eye. The temple and eye socket were sore and so he wanted to rule out this possibility. The lab was not open so I would have to come back the next day.

The ear did feel a little better, but everything else was getting much worse. There was a band of pain running up the side of my face, past my eye, and ending on top of my head. The band was puffy and very sore, but that was it. It was very difficult to sleep and I started to run a fever. I was able to diagnose my own problem. I knew it was shingles. Thank you Terry Bradshaw (actually Cindy had the shingles on another of our trips years ago so she might have also figured it out). The key was the docs mention of the disease threatening the eye and following a vein I was to be tested to rule out. It was a disease following a nerve.

The second visit to the doc did not go as easily as the first. I think it was four hours before I could get in to see a nurse practitioner. I told the nurse I had the shingles and said she thought so as well. A few of the bumps symptomatic of shingles were just starting to show. I was given two drugs - one to attack the disease and the second to deaden the nerves. Cindy also bought some homeopathic salve that was to make me feel better. They are big on healthy additions to medical care here and Cindy was trying to make me feel better. Two days of misery and finally relief.

Listen to Terry. If you are an old person, get the shot.

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