Saturday, October 16, 2010

Weekend Update

Note: Right side of head and eye stick out farther than left. MUCH better than yesterday.

So things on the Shingles front are going okay. I'm tired and not very purty looking, but a lot of people have much more severe problems with this illness.

The worst part is the itching. I want to crawl out of my skin. Even just typing this, I have the sensation of hundreds of bugs crawling on my scalp. You're welcome.

I've decided to go ahead and scratch my head, where the worst of it is, hoping an abundance of hair will cover any scars. For those of you who have had shingles, did you put anything topical on it to help the itch? Calamine lotion? My physician's assistant said "nothing topical," but other people have said it's okay. Please advise.

My interesting forehead protrusion has gone down from its 1/2 inch state of yesterday. Tom said, "That looks Elephant Man-esque." Alrighty then.

I have great sympathy for those who must go around every day with severe acne, because that's what my Shingles look like. And I'm a semi-confident 41 year old woman, not some poor kid in the miserable throes of adolescence.

I have much guilt for wanting to reach over and pop my 11th grade lab partner's whiteheads during Science class. I wondered, "Does she even SEE those?" The answer, surely, was yes. Perhaps, like me, she had a reason for keeping hands off. By the way, I watched an hour-long infomercial on Proactiv on my sick day yesterday out of facial-lesion solidarity. I'm super impressed by that stuff!

More on the Vanity Front: I don't think I'll be joining my college friends at a charity golf tournament next weekend. It is for a great cause, in honor of a dear fallen hero from our class, but I can't wrap my oozing head around seeing people I haven't seen since 1991 when I'm in this state.

More than the face is the hair. Let's just say the title of this blog is changing to "Four Inches of Gray" until the distant day when the doc gives me the go ahead to color again.

It's not my close circle of friends, but the wider circle I'm worried about.

I'd like to show them I found life on the other side of my pleated pants and MC Hammer glasses, but at what cost? On the plus side: I weigh 10 lbs less than I did when I graduated (thanks to no more shoulder pads, unlimited Dining Hall food or kegs). Minuses: Well, there are many.

Thus, my vanity has helped me decide that I'm staying home. Waaah!

I hope you are having a great weekend.


Chrisy said...

OHMYGOSH! I can't believe you shared pictures. You're so brave... and pretty. Your teeth are gorgeous!

Glad you're feeling better. Oh, and I'm taking Zyrtec. It's OTC, was expensive and I still itch.

Marg said...

Sorry to hear you have shingles, it is not a nice thing.
My dad has just had shingles he was told to put Calamine lotion on it.
Another lotion is capsaicin/Zostrix, that's in Australia so not sure what the equivalent would be in the States.
Another suggestion is L-lysine, I think that is a capsule. That was recommended by someone who had shingles on her face. Maybe you could google these to see what is available in the States.
There is a specific anti viral drug you can take within 36 hours of the onset of symptoms, this reduces the severity of the attack.
Hope these are helpful, and I sympathise with your 4 inches of gray, I bit the bullet and cut my hair as having it long made the re growth look much much worse, and I was sick of having to touch up the roots every 3 weeks.

Jill said...

Oh you poor thing - the itching would drive me out of this world!

And Proactiv ... I've been using the cleanser for years - LOVE it! I don't use the 3 step program... but you can get it for a mighty nice price if you wanted to try. :)

Feel better soon!

Ashley Antkowiak said...

When I was pregnant with my daughter I got a rash that sounds like it has similar symptoms of shingles, so I feel your pain. The whole skin-crawling-all-the-time thing is terrible. Hoping you feel better soon!

I forget how I found your blog, but I love it. Just wanted to let you know.

anymommy said...

Not being able to dye your hair and having a crazy itchy scalp are very viable reasons for staying home. Feel better soon!!

Anonymous said...

I dont remember being your 11 grade lab partner. :)

I am so sorry that you are suffering this. At the age of 41, I am STILL suffering from acne and rashes and meeting with my dermatologist every 3 months. I absolutely would not wish skin problems on my worst enemy!

The PLUS side: I'm pretty sure this is the major reason that people tend to assume I'm much younger than I am. Isnt acne supposed to be an affliction of youth?!

The MINUS side: I lie a lot. When asked "the mosquitoes really like you, huh?" or "you ran into some bad poison ivy, didnt you?" I try to smile and give them the false, yet polite response they were fishing for. I've tried honesty a few times... but they dont have time for the truth.

I know there are tons and tons of lotions and potions out there for skin. Many of them are very potent and so doctors do not prescribe them on a 'maybe' basis. Keep your doctor up to date on the degree of your discomfort and the number of hours of sleep you are losing. This will help them to determine if the benefits are worth the risks.

Ellen aka Ellie said...

Last fall I had what I now refer to as "The Rash of aught-nine." I missed five days of school (aka work), had two trips to the ER and many more to the doc, lots of shots...

Anyway, it was hard then to even imagine doing something as toxic as coloring my hair.

I did get over that, but it took a while. (And now I use the not as long last ammonia free stuff.)

Here's to four inches of roots! For as long as they need to may they wave!

dearheart said...

I think it's totally ok (and healthy!) to embrace your vanity. When I was in my early twenties, I had Bell's Palsy, which is a nerve irritation that caused the paralysis of the muscles on the left side of my face. Ironically, I also got shingles. Grrrrr.... I don't recall the treatment for itching.

Anyhoo, over a few months, the nerve gradually repaired on its own and my facial expression returned. The experience brought gratefulness and helped me to better appreciate my now fully functioning face. Except when I get tired, and my droopy left eyelid works like a wrinkle to reveal my past. But that's character, right?

Elisa @ What the Vita said...

I don't know if this will help you feel a tad better, but I didn't even notice the roots until you mentioned them!

You could don a cute sassy hat and wear big earrings and go to that thing this weekend and I bet nobody would notice!!

But yes I have not attended social events because of vanity reasons. Sometimes it's just me feeling like my stomach is too fat. Sheesh.

Christy said...

You always make me laugh. Even when your face is covered in shingles! Just kidding - it's not TOTALLY covered. You semi-confident woman, you. :) Hope you're feeling better and WAY less itchy. No advice, unfortunately. Google dr yourself!

Julia said...

If I were you, I would have tried every product on the internet to clear that up I like to doctor myself like that.

My college daughter got ringworm ...on her face...from a stray cat and all the "doctor prescribed" stuff wasn't working. We found some spray on the internet, had it shipped fast and it cleared the ringworm up in a flash.

I know it's been awful for you...but your teeth sure are pretty. That's the first thing I noticed when I looked at your picture. ;)

xoxo, Julia

Kate Coveny Hood said...

I have had a shingle before. It was huge and on my arm. And of course it was winter so I had long sleeves (well - since I was at work that week, I would have had to cover it anyway!). I could feel the fabric hitting every single nerve under that scab and it was torture. I let mine go for a week before I realized what it was (i.e. not just a rash that I could cure with coritzone) - so it was a little too late to prevent scarring (faded now but still visible). My only advice about topicals is that you don't want scabs to come off too early and scar - so I wouldn't mess this them too much. I feel for you!! Hope it all clears up soon!

Heidi said...

Okay, I just commented on your previous post (catching up here) and asked if you were feeling better. So, I guess the answer is sorta? But, not really. You poor thing! I hope you feel better SOON!

K A B L O O E Y said...

I feel for you! I would much rather feel straight pain than itching. I have a huge pain tolerance, but next to none, it seems, for itching, which drives me insane. Maybe go online and see if there are listserves for people with shingles. They'd know what to do, right? Good luck. said...

Bless your heart! My daughter has shingles right now too. She is 25....I always thought shingles were for old people. Guess not! She was also on meds and calamine lotion.

Hope all is better soon.

Anonymous said...

You are just so pretty! Even with the shingles. But I totally get not wanting to go to the Judgy Function.


Anonymous said...

You are very pretty I wouldnt worry about the small red patch or hair color. I just got the Shingrix vaccine and it hurts but hopefully will work.

Anonymous said...

Benadryl capsule. Really relieve the itching.I like you feel like bugs crawling on my scalp