Saturday, July 31, 2010

A cautionary tale

Anyone who knows me well will tell you that I'm a worrier, always have been and probably always will be. I sweat the details on everything, that's why I'm so good at theatrical costume making I suppose. It does have certain repercussions though. Sometimes I make myself ill, literally. I shouldn't have been too surprised then when my new doctor pronounced that the tingling blisters in my scalp about 10 days ago were Shingles. They're Herpes Zoster virus, just like cold sores, and you can only get them if you've previously had Chicken Pox but it seems that an overloaded immune system can trigger an attack. Chronic pain (such as I have in my neck area) and not coping well with stress (enough said!!)are probably to blame. Luckily I got treatment quickly and was able to take some medication to stop the symptoms being too severe.

I was NOT impressed though when lumpy blisters began forming on my forehead and over my right eye, very tender and throbbing for the first 3 days. I'm using Calendula cream on my lumps during the day and Calomine lotion to prevent scratching during the night. My scalp is still tender and I'm avoiding combing my hair. Hair washing is a gentle affair, gently washing and then wrapping my hair rather than rubbing it dry or using a dryer. The most alarming stage was on the Sunday evening when my eyes were swelling closed. An after-hours doctor was very reassuring, and suggested Nurofen for it's anti-inflamatory effects. I lost the bridge of my nose somewhere under there, I could easily have auditioned for a part in a Star Wars movie, as an alien in the tavern or street scenes?? Even my little granddaughter Amelie looked at me a bit strangely on the Monday but by Tuesday evening the swelling had subsided.

Amelie loves watching DVD's of In the Night Garden

Thankfully I'm slowly on the mend, but still sleeping 9 or 10 hours every night, most unusual for me. Husband has shared his cold with me, but with all the medication in my system I've avoided getting too sick. I've cancelled all outside committments for 2 weeks though to give myself time to recuperate, and I'm spending time stitching and "researching" on the PC.

So the moral of this tale is: Listen to your friends who tell you to make your own health and well-being a priority and eveything else will follow. Superwoman is a cartoon character, not a real woman, so stop trying to imitate her !


Doreen G said...

Yikes Christine you sure have had a time of it-I hope all is well again now.

Magpie's Mumblings said...

Take care of you Christine! I hope you're on the mend.