I can't believe we are twenty one days into 2021 already. Since the last time I was here, a few events have occurred at Clan Martin, so let's get going. (Joining up with Kelly and friends for Seven Quick Takes Friday)
I got shingles.
At 41 ripe old years of age.
It started two weeks ago, on a Thursday night, when my neck began aching as if I pulled a muscle. I had completed a difficult Insanity wourkout class that night, so I figured I just hurt my neck during that. The pain got worse and worse, and by Saturday night, I was in such agony that I didn't sleep a wink. On Sunday morning, I made an appointment at Urgent Care to see what was wrong. My appointment wasn't until the afternoon, and I basically laid in bed with a heating pad on my neck in pain. The NP at Urgent Care diagnosed me with a strained trapezius muscle and told me to take Ibuprofen. I was in such pain that my blood pressure was sky high and I couldn't move my head and felt like I might die from the pain. I went home and started taking Ibuprofen, which helped not one bit and cried to Phil that this had to be something worse than a strained muscle. I didn't sleep again on Sunday night, and by Monday morning I was a mess. I had a "pimple" behind my left ear that I had noticed on Saturday, and by Monday it looked like there were two tiny blisters next to it. I had Phil look at it and take a photo and he said it looked like a bite. I freaked out thinking some crazy spider bit me and was causing all of this neck pain, so I texted it to my sister (a dermatologist) and explained the pain.
She wrote back "I think you have shingles".
I freaked out even more and she called me to say it sounded like shingles and that I needed to go to the doctor right away to start the anti-viral medicine. I called the doctor's office, who said my doc was booked all day until 7pm but that they would send him a message. I told them to make sure they said that my sister had diagnosed me with shingles. The nurse called back right away and said my doctor had called in the anti-viral meds and would teleconference me at 7pm. Gotta love a good doctor! By the time I spoke with him that evening, the pain had morphed into a shooting pain to my ear, a throbbing pain in the back of my head, and a burning sensation from my ear down to my shoulder. It was shingles. He prescribed a painkiller to help, and I was on so many medications for the next seven days yet still in tons of pain. Shingles is no joke! I am lucky that I started the anti-virals so quicly because I only ended up with a few blistery type spots and the rest of the rash was flat and red. My ear was a disaster, red, swollen, infected, and painful. After two weeks, I am still not normal. The skin all over the left side of my scalp, neck, and ear is burning and painful and sleep is still hard to come by.
|Side Note: I actually babysat for Bob Villa's daughter a few times when I was a teen|
|That's the truth|
|This was when the spots started appearing - I'll spare you any grosser photos.|
While I was
dying recovering from shingles, I got a sweet care package from a friend in Texas that reminded me how important it is to show up for each other like this. I had received lots of well-intentioned "Let me know if you need any help!" messages from good-hearted people, but it's difficult to be sick and in pain, think about what you need, and then have to ask people to do things for you. A meal, a book, a card, a water bottle, lotion, a candle are always welcome. It was a good example of how to treat someone who is suffering, and I need to pass it on.
For years now, I have been making a big pot of soup on Sunday, and Phil and I divide it into our twelve glass bowls with lids, and we eat it for lunch the rest of the week. I honestly think it's what helps keep our weight in check. We just make a healthy soup filled with veggies and proteins and grab in the morning before work. No excuses. This week, I made a Coconut Chicken and Cauliflower Rice soup. No recipe to follow, but just take your favorite Chicken Noodle Soup recipe and substitute cauliflower rice for noodles, add a can of coconut milk, and season with some ginger, red curry powder, and chili powder. My soup recipes are always made very loosey-goosey with a wish and a prayer. But this one came out so delicious and it's Whole30 and Keto and low calorie and good for whatever ails ya!