The bout of shingles which I’ve been suffering from has almost, but not quite, gone away now. I am left with a few small marks on my chest which occasionally itch and a area on my back which is a little painful to touch and sometimes itches like mad.
I reckon I’ve been pretty lucky. Many people who have shingles never completely recover and are left with severely painful areas of skin due to damaged nerves1. I may have a bit of that but with luck it’ll go away and even if it doesn’t I can live with it providing it gets no worse. I’m not entirely convinced that I’m completely out of the woods yet. I’ve had an itchy face and eyes on and off over the past week or so which may be nothing but may be the virus activating in a different nerve. I hope I’m wrong since having shingles anywhere near the eyes is not a good thing.
If I’ve learned one thing from this episode it’s that there really does exist pain which cannot be controlled short of rendering you unconscious or at least severely depleted in the sentience department. Makes me shudder.
1 The medical profession call it postherpetic neuralgia but my understanding of that is that it simply means ‘painful areas of skin due to damaged nerves following a herpes virus infection’ and so adds not a jot of understanding to the matter. Don’t the medical profession just love to hide behind their jargon?2
2 Of course it’s necessary for them to use the jargon amongst themselves, so that they all know exactly what they’re talking about, but why do they have to use it with we lesser mortals?
Posted 2 January 2005, 17:18 GMT