Over the weekend I’ve been feeling like I’ve been run over by a bus or, never having been run over by a bus, how I imagine having been run over by a bus might feel.
It all started last Tuesday when I thought I’d been bitten on my chest by an insect. By Wednesday I had two little spots on the left of my chest which looked just like small pimples. On Thursday and Friday I felt a little unwell but by Friday night I’d developed a rash on my chest.
Saturday I felt pretty ill with bad pains in the front and back of my chest. I spent most of the day in bed sleeping. On Sunday I felt even worse and during the day the pain in the front of my chest had become sensitive to touch. Even my clothes brushing against it made me wince. I phoned my doctor who said I should go in for an emergency appointment today.
The diagnosis was that I probably have shingles which was what I’d more or less worked out for myself in between thinking I’d developed lung cancer or had some sort of heart attack. The pain killers I’ve been given help a bit and with any luck the anti-virals I have might help tell the virus to sod off.
The virus, Herpes zoster, is the same one which causes chicken pox. It’s been sitting around in my nerves for the past 40-odd years1 and has now decided to bother me all over again. I just hope I’m not one of the small proportion of people who shingles leaves with permanently damaged nerves and hence pain. I’m not at all hopeful about this because according to the anti-viral’s information leaflet I should have started using it during the first three days after symptoms appeared.
Still, at least I don’t feel anything like as bad now as I did over the weekend. I even managed to go out for a walk along the Parkland Walk earlier which was quite pleasant.
1 I wonder what it’s been doing all this time? Sleeping and dreaming of the day when it would wake up and inflict itself on the world (via me) once again? Perhaps it dreamed of world domination.
I also wonder why it behaves this way. My theory is that when it infects us as children it finds a pretty active immune system and goes to hide away until we get older and our immune system is a bit less effective. Whatever it is, it’s a bastard.
Posted 13 December 2004, 22:46 GMT