Thursday, March 08, 2007

Shingles, or No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

I have three posts, including a cow post specifically prompted by my new blogpal, Paul, waiting in my desktop. Moreover, I always thought any post with "shingles" in the title would be a comment on Caithness architecture and the unique blue stone that made a flagstone industry in the area, but all those good intentions have been hijacked by a virus.

Friday I spoke to a preschool group where I work. I love their wide-eyed, snotty nosed enthusiasm. I spoke to them about life in America and we had popcorn and hamburgers and some good laughs. Later I heard that chicken pox was "on the go", but Sunday when I had a sore throat I did not think much of it. Monday, when blotches started appearing on my face, I wondered. By Tuesday something was definitely not right and one of the good things about the NHS is that you can usually get in to see a doctor quickly. So by high noon on Wednesday, I was told I had shingles and sent off with a prescription to the chemist's (pharmacist). The telltale marker was the pattern of the rash, stretching along the nerve pathways of the face, which I had recently been able to study in a display of art and anatomy. As I was visualizing the display in my mind's eye, the doctor commented that it was lucky that it was in the lower part of my face, and, hence, not likely to affect my eye.

Piecing together folklore and science in my own quirky way of looking at things, here's what I think is going on. The chicken pox virus, lying dormant in my tissue from some previous, long forgotten assault on my bodily integrity, heard the rallying call of its freer cousins and rose to the occasion. Not nearly as glamorous as Sigourney Weaver and her alien, my face, or more properly, the left side of my face, is the battleground for my immune system, now joined with the mercenary forces of an antiviral of long proven ability, and the chicken pox virus.

It may not seem like an epic struggle worthy of a blockbuster movie, but as I lie nearly inert because breathing, talking, or even sitting still make my face hurt, my world is shrunk to that battlefield. And so I apologize to Paul and others who want to hear more about Wee Calfie and the truth about cattle as tranquil animals and the other kind of shingles in Caithness.

PS: Wee Calfie is enough of a big girl now that she may go out the bull for the first time this year. Also, David told my husband to tell me that the first calves of this season are ready to be born any day now. One more reason for me to defeat the alien invader and get back to work.


At 3:55 PM, Blogger Hayden said...

oww, sorry to hear you've got shingles. painful stuff.

At 5:09 PM, Blogger landgirl said...

Thanks, Hayden, I think I am officially over it now. Now comes the picking up hte pieces of all the enforced leisure. I was knitting and crocheting like a woman possessed.


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