Shingles, the worst thing EVER!

Long time since my last post, sorry about that. I got other stuff to post about too, but I want to start with this.

So, New Years day I wake up, hung over beyond all belief. I hadn’t drank like that in over 2 years. Anyway, I head into the bathroom and notice a little cluster of what looks like pimples on my forehead on the left side. I was like, I must have passed out on my hand. Whatever.

Drive home from the mountains, day goes by, get up Friday morning (the 2nd). The spots are still there but larger and there are one or two new ones. My left eye is bugging me as well.

We think it is an allergy or something, get some benadryl, take it and it doesn’t do anything. The spots are kind of itchy and the left side of my head is all sensitive. By the time we realized something was wrong my Dr’s office was closed. We figured, sleep on it one more night then go to urgent care if no positive change. Of course during this time we thought it was like a staph infection.

Get up Saturday, go to urgent care, right away they say “That looks like the shingles.” I was like, WTF is that? they ask, have you had the chicken pox, and I replied yes. Then proceeded to explain that this is the same virus and it can be caused by emotional stress, immune issues, and some other things. Sometimes, it just happens.

Well anyway, they give me some antivirals, tell me to take Tylenol for the pain. Now, the pain. The pain is brutal. It’s not like a broken bone pain. But this affects the nervous system so those pimple looking things are going to soone become these nasty blisters and I am having this sharp pulsating nerve pain on the left side of my face that no amount of Tylenol seems to be helping.

I went to my doc on Monday, they took a look to make sure things were doing okay and prescribed me some painkillers. Thank god. I usually deal with pain very well but this was maddening.

As the days went by the spread of the virus stopped, it covered most of the left side of my forehead, keep in mind it does not cross the mid line of the body as it follows the nerves. I had them along my left scalp as well and around my left eye. Luckily not ON my left eye, however it did cause pain in the area.

By Thurs day you could see the blisters were starting to change, I think people that get cold sores could attest to what was happening as the chicken pox/shingle and cold sores are both herpes viruses, different ones, but they behave similarly.

Everything has progressed well, the pain is subsiding a bit, most everything turned into scabs and is healing up. Taking pain killers only occasionally now. Some people can have pain for years, but I should be part of the majority and just have to deal with it for amybe a few more weeks.

I have to tell you, I would not wish this on my worst enemy. It is miserable, this is one of the top two or three worst things I have ever had to deal with in my life. There is a vaccine, but the state of Colorado is all out, it is really new and currently has been gettign heavily prescribed for people over 60.

If you have had the chicken pox, you can get this, as you get older the risk increases quite a bit. I think you can get it more than once, there seems to be conflicting info.

Anyway. some of you have read on facebook about my pain and painkiller needs so I figured I would post. What a shitty way to start the new year huh?

Happy new year to you all, and be well.

I miss the Scout and other odds and ends

It’s been on vacation for about three months now. I guess I should probably find out how it’s doing. I’m sure it’s coming along fine. This has been a particularly brutal winter for more southern Colorado so I’m not surprised it is taking a little white longer.

Recently I volunteered to be on the Board of Directors for my neighborhoods civic association. I think I might also be the VP now, I’m not certain about that. I am also helping to direct the revamping of the website it still has a long way to go. You can check it out at http://www.highlands460.org

My health has held up okay, knock on wood, minor setback recently but things are still going well. I have been skiing 3 times already this season. We are heading up again this weekend. It feels really good to be back doing something I love so much.

The animals are well as well. Kona is about two now and is finally mellowing out a little. He is like a little dog trapped in a big dogs body, it’s almost funny. Elvis is getting older, he is about 13 now. He has slowed down a lot, but he’s holding up. Losing JJ last year impacted him and stressed him out. They weren’t really buddies, but change always jacks a cat up.

My parents recently sold the house I spent my teen and early adult years in. It went pretty fast and I was sad to see them sell it because I loved that house and the lot it was on. Still, the new place is nice, it is on a golf course and my Dad always wanted that.

Everything else is pretty much the same, getting pumped up about our trip in a couple weeks and even more excited about the BIG Vegas trip in June. If you want more details on that trip (everyone is invited) drop me a line and I will fill you in on the details.

Ok then, that’s it for now.

Beating this cold down with a fist!

Finally coming around from this nasty cold. Spent my weekend holed up until Sunday afternoon. Then I went out, finished changing out my plug wires on the Scout. Did some investigating on a flopping belt and found one of my crank pulley’s is bent.

I also noticed that with all this driving the Scout is almost leaking more oil than it did before I replaced most of the seals and gaskets. I guess fortunately it all appears to be valve cover and oil pan related so other than being a pain in the ass to clean everything back up, it should be easy to resolve. I probably overtightened the bolts on those aluminum parts and messed up the seal.

The Audi hits the shop finally tomorrow to get some replacement springs in the front after having one disintegrate and the other about to. Also getting the timing belt replaced. Just in time for our trip to New Mexico too.

It’s nice to be feeling better, today is infusion day so that will help too. Sadly it seems like I am always getting concerning news from doctors so off for more tests and the sort later this week. I’m trying to always look at the positive side of things, but sometimes it’s easier to just be down.

If all goes well with the Audi over the next few days it appears the Scout will be heading to get it’s makeover this weekend. Now I just need to find someone to make the trek with me so I can get back home.

Do something good and get some cash for doing it!

I have written in the past about donating plasma, it’s good for everyone if you are eligible to do it. Because of your generous donation of life saving plasma most donation centers will compensate you for your donation because of the time it takes.

A company called Talecris is the manufacturer of Gamunex, one of, if not the best, IVIG product on the market. It is the choice product of National Jewish which is a leading research hospital in immunological and respiratory illnesses. Talecris has some plasma donation centers set up around the country including two locations in Colorado. The reason I point this out is some people have asked how they could potentially donate to directly benefit me. Well since you can’t direct that your plasma go to me, donating to the source of the IVIG product I (and many others) receive is the next best thing I guess.

No matter what, if you can donate plasma please do. It makes a huge difference on many people’s lives.

Mortgages, TB Speaker and the Media

First off, I must commend Governor Bill Ritter and the Colorado Legislature for pushing through a change to prevent predatory lending in Colorado. If you pay attention to this stuff at all you will find that Colorado has the had the highest foreclosure rate in the nation for most of the last year or so. This is really sad because a lot of people were not educated on what they were really getting into. Sure some of that falls on the consumer, but when you are intentionally getting someone into something that is going to f them over in a few years, well you are a jerk.

The new law requires mortgage brokers to be licensed and the rules around it are nice. It seems on news articles posted today most Realtors and existing mortgage houses are pleased with the change. Legit businesses and brokers have nothing to worry about, it’s just those scum bags that roll in from out of state trying to pounce on people. So yay, something good. Now hopefully we can work our way off that foreclosure list.

Now onto other things in the news, Andrew Speaker, it’s all over the place. The TB patient who terrified a nation. Ha, the damn media loves to spin shit and create mass hysteria. Granted I was a little concerned at first, but as usual the news loves to report on only some of the details and not all. Now we seem to have the whole story and it’s really not that sensational after all. Sure there are very real concerns about passengers on those flights and anyone else he may have been in contact with, but everything is being followed up on.

I bring this up because I spend at least one day a month at National Jewish where he is currently in isolation being treated for his extreme drug resistant TB. I was there last week before he arrived and I asked a ultrasound tech what the feeling was in the hospital. This was down in radiology and he told me some of the folks were nervous and talking about donning multiple masks and all that. I was a little concerned because this institution deals with patients like this all the time. So if they are worried should I be?

I was back there yesterday and things were much different, the media presence is absurd. What a bunch of assholes, yeah I mean you media asstards. There is a guy from the media sitting in the patient waiting area using the phone for patients to call in his report while people wait for their appointments. Granted he technically wasn’t doing anything illegal and couldn’t be made to leave, but show some God damn respect for people. These news reporters are so concerned about themselves and their careers they don’t care about the impact it has on others. National Jewish is a leading research hospital, they have a lot of very sick people come in and out of those doors, people who may even have something far worse than TB. National Jewish deals with TB patients all the time, and has a history as a Sanitarium for TB patients in their past.

My point here is I understand the and respect (to an extent) freedom of the press, without that America would not be so great. However, sometimes we need to step back and think about someone other than ourselves. That reporter could have asked to use a private room to make the call instead of doing in front of patients. NJ is a great place, they are very compassionate and understand these types of things. I just wish the folks working for media outlets shared the same compassion for human life.