Okay, so I have shingles. At first I just thought I had some bad acne on my forehead. It did seem a little weird, but I didn't think too much of it. When I got my hair cut on Sunday, my friend asked if I'd been bitten by something. I commented that I was wondering the same thing-because by that time I was wondering what in the world this place really was. The day before, my head & face had been itching a lot and I didn't know what was going on.
Sunday night, I noticed my jaw was hurting and thought it was my TMJ acting up. I felt a rather prominent knot in front of my earlobe along my jawline. I also noticed a lump (although I didn't like referring it to as a "lump"-too scary sounding) behind my ear. The knot in front of my ear was painful to the touch.
Monday morning I woke up with stomach cramps and ended up actually getting sick. The knots were still bothering me because they kind of freaked me out to touch them. I didn't really feel well all day.
When Chris came home Monday night, he started trying to diagnose me. At first he thought of a spider bite and then started talking about shingles (the Internet can teach so much!). My grandmother had shingles awhile back so I called my mom. She said that's sure what it sounded like. Not only was I having problem with the original "place" on my forehead but my right eyebrow was itching & tingling now as well and had bumps.
I talked to another friend who had shingles a few years ago and she said it sounded like that too. When I woke up this morning, my right eye was very droopy. Chris stayed home this morning and called the doctor for me. The doctor confirmed that it looked like shingles and decided to treat me for it. The knots near my ear ended up being swollen lymph nodes. Since it was on my face and so near my eye, he immediately sent me to an opthalmologist to get a 2nd opinion. Apparently shingles is a nerve disorder (or something like that) and if it gets into the optic nerve, it can be very dangerous to my vision.
My eye doctor was not open (day before 4th of July, you know!) so I went to a different one as soon as I left my regular doctor. The eye doctor checked everything out and said the optic nerve looks good. Thank goodness! I have bad eyes anyway so I'm pretty paranoid about them. One of my big fears in life is losing my eyesight!
My regular doctor gave me a pain prescription and an anti-viral prescription which will shorten the duration and lessen the intensity. I'm supposed to stay away from old people, pregnant people and little babies. Apparently I can't give someone else shingles but I could give someone chicken pox b/c I guess the shingles is basically the same virus as chicken pox.
I just tried to take a nap, but alas sleep wasn't coming too quickly so I decided to get up. I don't want to force myself to sleep in the middle of the day b/c then I'll wake up feeling icky. The lump behind my ear is painful to the touch now and bothering me and my face just feels "weird"-kind of itchy, tingly, painful. I hear that this can be a very painful thing so I'm hoping when I sart on the meds I will stop the pain from getting worse. So far it's not horrible, but is uncomfortable.
The girls & I had fun things planned for yesterday, today, tomorrow and Thursday. Yesterday & today's fun plans were called off. I'm thinking I can get Chris to do the fun thing with them tomorrow and maybe part of Thursday's as well. I'm not sure when I'll get out & about. I'm still a little unclear about the whole contagion part of this, but I will stay in for awhile anyway.