And just when I thought it couldn’t get any weirder

…I have come down with shingles! And my doctor said I was the third case of shingles today!

Shingles is, to put it unscientifically, chicken pox gotten old and grumpy. 🙂 Seriously, it turns out that when you have chicken pox as a kid, the virus never leaves. It goes to the fluid in your spinal cord and hides. In about 20% of cases, at some point in your adult life, it comes back as shingles. It’s also called “St. Anthony’s Fire”, and that’s appropriate, because my face is on fire right now. My case of shingles attacked my jaw first, then started migrating up the right side of my face. What’s scary is that it has gotten to my ear, leaving me at some small risk of partial hearing loss if we don’t beat it back.

The good news is, my doctor has given me a pile of pills to beat it back. I had to take six (SIX!) steroid pills in one dose today (I have to take one less of those each day for the next 5 days)… Vicodin so the pain I’m feeling because my nerves are being assaulted goes down… and horse pills called Valtrex to actually beat down the virus. I had never seen a 1 gram pill before… damn thing’s HUGE.

So two notes for my loyal readers: (1) if you have never had chicken pox, and have never been immunized for it, let me know so that I don’t visit you for a few days — while the virus isn’t easily transmitted, why take a chance — and (2) the right side of my face is going to be a mess of rashes, blisters, and scabs for a few weeks, so please do me a favor and don’t comment on it… 🙂

What a wonderful way to spend a holiday weekend… taking a medicine cabinet full of pills. Bleah.

Hey, look, I know this is nothing compared to Katrina, but it’s my life. 🙂 I’m not asking for money — send that to the Red Cross — but I’ll gladly accept sympathy. 🙂


Author: Rob Hoffmann

Occasional blogger, slightly less occasional improv player/ref/tech, full-time computer techie, radio producer (basketball, mostly), generally nice person (if you ask me).

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