Three weeks ago I was standing in the kitchen washing dishes and noticed that I kept scratching the right side of my back. It was an annoying itch so I went into the bathroom to look in the mirror, I could not see any reason at all for the itchiness and after a while it subsided. On Sunday evening my back ached on the right side above my waistline, I had worked hard all day cooking Easter dinner for the family, cleaning up afterwards, and playing corn hole for the first time in 2015. I assumed my back ached because I was tired from a busy day, I did not sleep well that night. Monday night was the same, a sore back, no position was comfortable and another restless night. On Tuesday evening I left with my son, daughter-in-law and grand daughters to drive to Florida to see my parents, a fifteen plus hour drive. We drove all night, my back bothered me quite a bit. The next morning my back was super bothering me, we still had five hours of driving to do, and the pain was now radiating through my ribs and around my right side and across my stomach. I felt quiet unwell and began imagining all kinds of things must be wrong with me. Suddenly I thought about shingles, and thanks to the wonders of the cell phones and internet, within a minute I was reading articles about shingles and understanding that my symptoms seemed to be the onset of this nasty illness. A day later my self diagnoses was confirmed when I noticed a nasty rash developing on the right side of my stomach and back.
The rash grew for around five days and then looked yucky and has since slowly dried up and scabbed over. The shingles pain is very odd, sometimes just itchiness and burning, other times such annoying irritation, and often deep pain that feels like extreme bruising or a very pulled muscle. I have had very few good nights of sleep, and have felt very tired, tonight is the first night in a week that I have stayed up past 8:30 pm. Tylenol and Advil have helped immensely. Initially calamine lotion and cortisone cream helped the rash when it was at a very itchy, annoying stage.
It seems this virus lasts for three to five weeks, I am hoping that I am now cruising into the final weeks of battling shingles, I sure hope so. The good thing, the younger you are when you get shingles the less likely you are to have long lasting after effects from it, and once you have shingles it is unlikely that it will reoccur.
Walking helps a lot to relieve the pain of shingles, but I have not walked as much as usual because some days I have simply been too tired, but I am doing the best I can. Today I decided to sign up for a 5K run, a first for me, and I am excited as it gives me something to work towards and I should be well over the shingles by May 23, whether I will be quite ready to run the full 5K who knows, but I will give it my best shot. It made me feel a lot better this afternoon to have something to focus on in the near future that will be a new experience and it is a motivator to get back out to daily exercise and not let these stupid shingles slow me down.