Monday, May 2, 2011

And Then There Were Shingles

My project has had me working long hours, including overtime.

The volunteering I've been doing for Wynken's Boy Scout troop had me burning the candle at both ends. As my stress level goes up, my muscles get tighter and tighter and my exercise quotient drops near zero making the problem ten times worse.

Now I have knots in my neck, shoulders, hamstrings, and lower back. Even my knots have little knot buddies that multiply. Now my neck is pulled and I can't turn my head to the left or hold the baby in my left arm.

In the midst of my pity party, Mrs. Nod came down with a case of Shingles. Because when I'm not available, the full weight of running the household falls on her, stress rises, sickness ensues.

[WebMD] What is shingles?

Shingles (herpes zoster) is a viral infection of the nerve roots. It causes pain and often causes a rash on one side of the body, the left or right. The rash appears in a band, a strip, or a small area. Shingles is most common in older adults and people who have weak immune systems because of stress, injury, certain medicines, or other reasons. Most people who get shingles will get better and will not get it again.

What causes shingles?

Shingles occurs when the virus that causes chickenpox starts up again in your body. After you get better from chickenpox, the virus "sleeps" (is dormant) in your nerve roots. In some people, it stays dormant forever. In others, the virus "wakes up" when disease, stress, or aging weakens the immune system. It is not clear why this happens. But after the virus becomes active again, it can only cause shingles, not chickenpox.
You can't catch shingles from someone else who has shingles. But a person with a shingles rash can spread chickenpox to another person who hasn't had chickenpox and who hasn't gotten the chickenpox vaccine.

So, yeah, she's got that bad movie sequel: The Return of Chickenpox.  Her eye is swollen half-shut with blisters and itching and general oozing nastiness. (But only on the left side -- shingles is like that.) So if it doesn't get into her actual eye/optic nerve, then she won't go blind. (How's that for the sunny side?)

For complicated reasons, the girl Nodlings only lack the vaccine against ... Chickenpox. Worse yet, baby Dab spends 95% of his time glued to Mrs. Nod's side. If he gets it, he could get very, very sick.

We'll know how bad it's going to be after the incubation period in about 2 weeks (just in time for Nod-girl's First Communion).

Oy! Ora pro nobis.

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