We are not amused.
There is a huge birthday party going on outside at my house, and I am no longer allowed to come. It’s not that the attendees do not like me. Before I tell you why, I have to tell you the setup first.
When I was in my 20s, I worked as a medical assistant at my stepmom’s rheumatology practice. We both had short red hair at the time, and as the MA, it was my job to go into the room first and ask the patient about their drug lists, chief complaint, etc.
So one day I go into a patient room and the patient, assuming that I’m the doctor (because at that point, we did look similar), drops her pants immediately. I am frozen in place, but I notice that she has a rash that follows the nerves from her abdomen to her back. I seem to remember the doctor saying something about this in a previous conversation, and because of that memory, I am also not worried that I’m going to catch it. I am young and have already had chicken pox. Shingles, in the majority of cases, affect older people.
Cut to last Wednesday…………..
I am a cook in a busy restaurant, and only had one day off last week. I get cuts, scrapes, and burns all the time that I can’t explain. So I did not notice the pattern of bumps until I realized that firstly, it didn’t hurt like a cut, and didn’t even hurt at all until those bumps became blisters.
By today, it was immediately apparent to me that I had shingles, but because I am 40, I called my dad, who passed me off to my stepmom and she had me send her pictures so she could confirm it for me. She called back within a minute and said it was shingles all right, and that antibiotics are only effective in the first 72 hours, which I’d missed…. common because most people don’t notice the pattern until it’s full-blown, just like me.
I went around and asked a couple of the people who live here if they’ve had chicken pox. One of them said “no.” So now I’m upstairs hidden until work.
The nerve pain is not excruciating. I can handle it well with an anti-inflammatory and swabbing the blisters with witch hazel. It must not be that bad a case, but it’s early yet. If things get worse, I have the option of seeing a doctor and getting some Neurontin, but the doc said it would take two weeks to kick in, anyway.
Also, as long as I keep a dressing on it I’m fine to work, because it’s not airborne.
To say I am having a good day, though, is stretching things by a large margin. I’m not out of pain enough to feel like working, and I’m not in pain enough to stay home. Tonight I’m working the line, which will divert my attention greatly, and that’s a good thing. Tomorrow, I’m in the dish pit, which may or may not be a good thing because Sundays are a tossup in terms of how busy I’ll actually be. I don’t want to think about my health if I don’t have to.
The good news is that I put in a lot of extra hours this week, and next week, I have three days off instead of two.
I can just Netflix and ill.