I had planned to post Part 3 of New York, New York today. But, when this particular incident came up today, I decided it must be blogged and Part 3 of NY, NY will have to wait.
I have not been feeling super great the past few days. I figured I was still a little off-schedule from the trip, and maybe even a little bit jet-lagged. Plus, I have these nasty bug bites all up and down my arm. The bites are annoying to say the least. They don't really itch so much as they tingle and hurt. I'd given it more than a week, and the pain just keeps increasing, so today I sucked it up, loaded the Goombas into the van, and headed to my doctor's office.
I love my doctor. He is a chubby guy from Australia that likes to talk about the "old days" of medicine. He also believes that a good night sleep is the best medicine, so he is not shy about prescribing stuff to help me rest. (Like cough syrup with codeine when I get my yearly cough/sinus infection. He is awesome.) The downside to him (and the entire office) is that they are not very punctual with their appointments. I usually wait for at least 30 minutes in the waiting room. But, when you find a doctor you like, you gotta go with it, right?
Anyways, back to the story. The Goombas and I waited in the waiting room for 45 minutes. Not kidding. All this for a stupid spider bite, I kept thinking to myself. I was about to leave when they called me in. The nurse checked it out, made a few notes and said he would be in in a minute. 30 minutes later, he came into the room.
I explained to him that I somehow got these horrible bites and they didn't seem to be getting better. Actually, I screamed it to him over the sound of the Goombas "playing" on the exam table. He took one look at my arm, gently tried to touch it and said, "Oh. Well, that's not spider bites. That's Shingles!" He almost seemed delighted to make that announcement. My mouth dropped open and I just stared at him and said, "Wha???"
"Well," he asked, "Did your skin hurt, almost like a burning sensation a few days before?" I thought for a minute and said, "Yes, actually it did. It hurt really badly." "Yup!" he smiled. "Shingles!"
"But...but, isn't shingles for OLD PEOPLE????" In my mind all I could picture was when I lived in West Virginia and my great-grandmother came to stay with us and had shingles. It was not a pretty memory.
He assured me it is not for old people. Anyone who has had Chicken Pox can get Shingles. It is just particularly BAD for those over 65. He actually said I should consider myself lucky to have it now, in my 30s, than when I am older. Oh sure, I thought to myself. Lucky. R-i-i-i-i-i-ight.
He explained to me what it is and said that usually a great amount of stress will cause it. Just then the Goombas started actually jumping OFF the exam table. I just looked at Dr. with a blank stare and he said, "I think I know where that stress might have come from."
I don't know how much any of you know about shingles, but I gotta tell you. This is painful. It feels like someone is stabbing me with a million needles from the inside of my arm. It hurts like a really, really, really, really bad word. Just having my shirt brush against it sends pain shooting through my arm. My fingers are constantly tingling with that feeling like when your limb falls asleep and you try to use it before it "wakes up" all the way. It is not fun.
My darling Dr. said he knows how painful it is and gave me an anti-virus drug along with some Vicodin. (I told you he was a good doctor!) He told me to get some rest and sent me on my merry way. I called Bowser to tell him what was up and that my arm was not actually going to rot off, although it felt like it. Here was his response...
"Shingles??? Did you remember to put your Depends on and take your gout pills today, too?"
Nice, Honey. Thanks for the sympathy.
My dad, the Pop, said, "Hmmm...Shingles sounds kind of bad. Maybe you should find out the technical name for it. It will sound more official and get you more sympathy." To which I replied, "I don't think that is going to help. I would rather tell people I have Shingles than Herpes Zoster." He then laughed so hard that I'm pretty sure he might have fallen out of his chair.
The Goombas have been so sweet this evening, though. They want to take care of me. They told me to put my feet up on the couch and rest. Mario covered me with a blanket. Peach gave me her blanket to snuggle with. And Luigi gave me a pillow so I could close my eyes and feel better. Gotta admit, I am kinda liking this. I might have to milk this for a few days and see if I can get some good behavior out of them. **wink, wink!**
And now it is time for some pain relief and rest... Stay tuned tomorrow for your regularly scheduled programming...