Thursday, October 27, 2011


After all the lovely comments and well wishes I have received, I really wish I could say for your sake that I am completely better and fine as wine.   Well I really am a LOT better (thank you ever so much for your caring) but that wine comparison is a bit in the  future yet I fear. 

It will be two weeks this evening since Shingles came to visit and I must say, it has been an Interesting, sometimes Amusing,  sometimes Moral Fiber Testing,  often Heartwarming, and generally a long drawn out adventure.

INTERESTING--in that I now know a lot about Shingles and I do love to learn. This disease has no set expiration date and affects everyone differently. That sneaky little virus can hide, in my case about 60 years, before jumping out and saying  "Gotcha." It really loves old folks but will strike children or anyone in between with equal glee. 

It can attack the trunk, the face or even shoot down a leg.  The face has the most serious consequences as it can cause blindness or deafness. Fortunately  for me, it liked my trunk. As far as I know, no one has ever died of  Shingles. It is most often something miserable some of us have to go through to teach us humility.

SOMETIMES AMUSING  in that there were two instances that gave me the giggles.  With one, I  discovered that my dog can laugh and he has no couth.  

I found to ease the pain around my middle, that if I tuck my shirt under my bra, roll my waist band down and let my belly wave in the breeze, life is a lot better. 

The first time I experimented with that look, I heard snuffling noises out of Mighty.  I turned to see him with one paw over his face making
realistic laughing or perhaps  exaggerated
gagging noises. Hard to tell with a dog.   I informed him he was really on thin ice making fun of the  person who totally controls his food and bladder release.
Sadly not my creation
The other event involved Walmart. I do fear I may have become a "Walmart Person" and might make the next email series if there was someone with a cell phone handy. 

Now I did untuck my blouse from my bra for the trip to Walmart searching for topical relief for the pain.  However I kept my jeans waist rolled down low enough to make me want to bust some hip hop moves.

 The lack of anything around my waist made me realize why some of the "gangsta" look fellows wear their pants so low. It really is freeing if precarious.  However for me, it was hard to keep the jeans at a decent level with the waist rolled down. I don't know how those guys do it.

Fortunately it was a cool day so  I was confident my jacket would cover any accidental plumber's crack I might be sporting. So I hurried through Walmart and it wasn't till I was back at my vehicle and I reached back to adjust my jacket for sitting and discovered that it had hiked up, possibly when I got out of the car to go into the store.  I had been exposed. Yuck.

If  the next batch of Walmart photos that appears in your email inbox shows a white haired lady in a white jacket with a plumber's crack showing--yep, it is me.  That might make me consider agoraphobia.

MORAL FIBER TESTING--yes this stuff hurts. It is relentless and I have been known to groan and moan in the privacy of my own home.  Also in my car as I hit the 86 road imperfections from my house to Walmart that made me squeal. And here I thought Arkansas had really nice roads.

I am the type of person who can take anything, pain or misery,  as long as I know  it has a time limit. It is the whole "iffy" nature of this disease that has worn  on my nerves. It can last a week or it can last for months. I really need a little tighter window of pain but I am not getting it. I have had some really bleak moments. 

What I am getting however, is better. I have longer periods now when the  Tylenol actually works. I could have gotten some stronger pain relief but those drugs just put me to sleep or make me woozy. Tylenol didn't kill the pain but took the edge off for a while.   The doctor has me on another round of antivirals and I feel like I am making progress.  Life is slowly getting better.

Finally last but not least is the HEARTWARMING aspect.  Your amazing  well wishing comments have really lifted my spirits.  They have picked me up when I was the most down and discouraged. You all have a great power and I am so happy you shared it with me.  Thank you, thank you, thank you. This adventure would have been so ugly with out you.

It has taken me a few days to write this as sitting is still uncomfortable and my pain tolerable periods must be spent doing necessary chores that have patiently waited. Sometimes I  squander  these longer pain quiet times by just enjoying the relief and doing nothing but repeating AAAAHHHHH. 

I hope to be back to regular posting and daily visiting  very soon. I do miss visiting with you all a lot.  Thank you for your support and for bearing with me.  Love ya bunches.


  1. Shingles is the pits. I got my shot so hopefully if I do get it the event won't be so bad. My sister is only 66 and she has already had them twice, once when she was only twelve. Horrible disease!

    I am so glad to hear you are on the right side of the disease though. Now I need to go find and download the latest Walmart shopper pictures! :-)

  2. I know what you mean - not having a timeline makes it harder. Well, I hope you'll continue to have a little improvement every day till its gone. Our dog can smile but I've never heard him laugh. Guess he hasn't had the right provocation.

  3. Even in pain you can bring forth funny posts, Patti! Since you are on the mend, I will mention I had a very light case of shingles once, a area about the size of a dime, just below my waistline on my back. What was odd... is my mother was experiencing a worse bout at the same time or I may have ignored it. Maybe that's why with the medication it only lasted a few days.

    Will be watching for those photos!

  4. Patti, I have total compassion. I've never had them but my Mother had them (and painfully bad) for the last 25 years of her life. She couldn't wear a bra. I sent for silk underwear because the silk was softer to her skin.
    My son had just sent me that Walmart vid so I did laugh at your discovery. Only I know your plumbers crack looked a lot better. :)
    I think of you, my dear and I do so much appreciate your comments when I know how much it pains you to sit.

  5. After I saw my best friend and also her husband suffer shingles, and knowing I had a light case of chicken pox when young, I had no qualms about paying $200 and enduring the stupid procedure for obtaining the vaccine,.

    I did it, and prayed the powers than determine obtaining the vaccine will see the light of their ways. The vaccine has been out several years.

    Medicare did not pay for it, which is a tad stupid, too. The medications can exceed $200; even if it did not, more than one attack will cost more than the vaccine.

    So am glad to hear you are progressing as fast as you are, and pray you do not get the "ghost pains" my best friend gets along the nerves that have been affected. And I pray harder you don't get the internal kind.

    So continue with the Tylenol, because best friend has to have much stronger stuff, a lot of which she is allergic to. She is about as much a basket case as I am.

  6. I'll be watching for you in the WalMart lineup....!!
    Feel better soon..

  7. Patti: glad you were able to give us a report. I just feel bad for you having to go through this. The excellent post just indicates that you are a real trooper. I hope it goes soon and never returns to haunt you.
    I hate the Walmart photos.....but I bet you would be a excluded from the bunch, plumber's malady or not. Oma Linda

  8. My mom had the shingles...not fun! I have missed your posts, and have thought of you often. Your humor simply brightens my day. I know I've been a candidate for those Walmart pics...I know the feelin girl.

  9. Patti, I'm so sorry you're having to go through this. I've been praying and still praying that you'll soon be back to feeling great again and that the shingles will go bye-bye for good! One thing is for sure, you haven't lost your sense of humor! The story of your jacket hiking up in back and picturing you wearing your jeans way down to there like some of the guys do is too funny!
    I'm so glad you're feeling a bit better. Hang in there and take care! And thanks for the Echinacea tip.

  10. Thank you for this long and, believe it or not, amusing post! You know how to write about a painful situation in a pleasant lighthearted way.

  11. Hi Patti, I am so happy to hear that you are on the mend. I sure do wish that you were completely well, though I know that you will be soon. Unproductive pain is the worse kind of all. I remember having a bladder infection and thinking that I would rather go through labor than suffer that nonsense. Shingles sounds 100 times worse than that though!

    I'm glad that you are able to go shopping and writing. We sure have missed you, you know.

    Sending prayers and hugs!

    Kathy M.

  12. Glad to read that you are starting to feel better, patti. I hope this bout runs its course quickly and you are back to feeling like your old self soon. If good healing vibes sent from afar help, you've got tons of it coming from all directions!

  13. Patti all three of my siblings have had shingles and I live in dread of it, despite the fact that I had the shot. I'm sure that better is relative. :) But anything helps! This too shall pass, and I'll continue to pray it passes quickly. blessings, marlene

  14. So happy to hear you are on the mend ...even though there is a way to go. This is the problem with anything that affects the nerves time limit for pain....even the intensity is a different story for everyone.I am so glad the friendship of us cyber friends has helped a little.
    You really do right amazing posts matter the subject ...or how difficult the task.
    Thanks for dropping by mine appreciated ...concidering everything you do must be painful.
    Take care of your self ...gentle hugs and love, from over the pond xx

  15. Bless you, Patti, for turning a painful situation into such a funny post! FEEL BETTER SOON!!

  16. I talked to my doctor about the vaccine last year and she was kind of "wait" about it. I'm bringing it up again at my next physical. It sounds like a trial. I'm not sure I would be able to see the upsides and turn the experience into funny and heartwarming...but I am glad you have that talent. Sincere wishes for a speedy and full recovery.

  17. Girl, I feel for ya. My last batch lasted for seven months. Nothin' seemed to tough 'em.

    Know my heart and prayers are with ya sweetie. They are just horrendously painful and gnaw at you deepest nerves!!!

    Take care and know I'm sendin' ya some great big old get well hugs!!! :o)

  18. Humor in the midst of pain! Way to go Patti. My aunt had shingles near her eye. Months passed with her (male) doctor misdiagnosing and in effect telling her it was all in her head. He was partly right because it was her face which is part of the head. A young woman physician new to their small town immediately diagnosed shingles on first visit! Glad you have competent medical care. Keeping prayers coming your way.

  19. Oh Patti. I knew a fellow (an ex-boss) who had a tumor in his spine between his shoulder blades. He underwent chemo to kill the tumor. The tumor gone, his spine was weakened (it had been supporting his back). The docs then inserted a metal rod in his back to support the spine while it healed (grew new bone). Then they encased him in a body cast to support his back. THEN he got Shingles. Life isn't fair. He was 33. Dianne

  20. I thought of you often and was just about to go to your blog to leave a message when I saw that you had posted on my blog today. I said to myself, "Great, she must be feeling better."

    I hope I don't get that lousy virus any time soon. My father suffered with them so terribly the last year of his life. They won't kill you, but he said they made him wish he was dead. My mother had them in her 30s and then again a few years back in her 90s. Unlike my father's case, her case was light and didn't cause much discomfort.

    You make me laugh even in your state of not feeling the best. I will be on the lookout for that photo of you at WalMart. If I see it, I will try to delete it. That is what good blogger friends do for each other.

    Get better!

  21. I've heard that shingles is just the worst -- so painful and so unpredictable. But, even in pain, Patti, you do have a wonderful sense of humor! I loved your Wal Mart story! My thoughts are with you -- and hope that nasty virus goes into hiding again soon.

  22. Djan,
    Oh dear, hate hearing you can get them more than once.
    Let me know if I show up on the Shoppers list:))

    Ha, Joey may be holding out on you or you haven't set him off. I do believe.

    Lucky you that you got treatment early. So sorry your Mom didn't.

    Holy crap, these can last 25 years. Pretty sure I won't be laughing then. Your poor Mom.

    So glad you are protected. I have heard about those ghost pains and hope I caught it in time so I don't get them.

    Blue Ridge Boomer,
    Let me know if you see me-- better yet, don't tell me.

    linda in NM
    I can only hope I don't. They are always accompanied with the phrase "what was she thinking?" Now we know.

    Aw thanks. By the way, I haven't been able to comment on your post. It just goes blank. Hopefully that got fixed when I was out.

    Thanks, laughing has alway helped with pain. I do hope the Echinacea works for you. It has been wonderful for me.

    Reader Wil,
    Thanks Wil, laughing always makes my pain a bit easier to take.

    Oregon Gifts,
    Oh yes, I had one of those once when I had bladder surgery and that really is uncomfortable.

    Aw thanks robin and I swear the comments did help a lot.

    Ouch, all three?? I do hope the shot keeps you safe. Thank you.

    Thanks so much for the gentle hugs. Not sure I could take an enthusiastic one.

    Thanks so much. I am sure all the good wishes are just as helpful as those antivirals.

    Hum, wonder why she wants to wait? They recommend it for anyone 50 and over though any age can get them.
    Sometimes, you just have to laugh.

    Aw gee Nezzy. Really seven months?? You poor baby. How absolutely awful. Sure hope you are completely healed now.

    Shingles in of the eye is the scariest. Bless her heart, sure glad she finally got the right treatment. You know better than most that laughter is the best medicine.

    Good grief Dianne, that poor fellow must have had Job as a nickname. How absolutely awful. Not sure I could handle that situation.

    Aw, thanks and I am really trying.

    Retired English Teacher,
    More than one has said they can return. That sure busts my bubble. Ha ha, I really would appreciate your deleting it for me. Thanks for having my back.

    Dr. Kathy McCoy,
    Thanks Kathy, I've found laughter is a great pain killer.
    I hope it stays hidden.

  23. I must admit to laughing at your Walmart visit. I'm glad you are improving. Shingles is a terrible thing to endure.

  24. As long as you were smiling in the Walmart photo, you'll look good.
    We were in Arkansas last week, and now I know why you live there. It is gorgeous. I hope you have been able to enjoy some of the fall from your window, anyway. Take care of yourself, hon.

  25. Sorry to hear of the shingles -- my step son had them a few years ago and they are quite painful...I had my 2 week check up from surgery yesterday and now have my life back and can use my arm again so will check in patient...

  26. Just pull down the blinds and let it all hang out, Patti! Wouldn't want to give the mailman a fright...Glad you feel that you're improving. I'll be sure to check out the next Walmart flier just in case...

    Get Well!

  27. I've had you on my mind almost daily since you posted about the shingles getting you. Well, I ha you on my mind off and on before, but more after that post.

    Thanks for the heads up about becoming the newest WalMartian. I'll look for you when the next round comes by. Should be soonish.

    I'm for sure marking my calendar to get the shot as soon as I see my primary again.

    Sending healing thoughts and long distance hugs your way.

  28. Oh heck! I was just reading about the vaccine and if you are allergic to neomycin you can't have it. I'm allergic to neosporin and it is the same thing.
    I'll just have to hope it doesn't get me.

    I never had measles and they are saying there is an epidemic of that disease again.

    Get better...we all miss ya.

  29. I've been wondering about you, but too busy to visit. I really hated having shingles, and I had to let my torso wave in the wind also. I remember when my aunt had shingles, and it ran under her breast and around her back. She had big ones, so she had to lie on the sofa and haul her boob up over her shoulder so that the area under it would be free of pressure. It was a sight, that's for sure. Luckily she was home at the time.....LOL

  30. Darn it Patti I hate that I missed the photo of you in Wal Mart. I could of had a really funny post for everyone.
    Honey you have every reason to moan and groan. Every one that I have know with this horrible crap is miserable.
    I felt so sorry for my grandmother it broke my heart.
    In todays times you would think they would be able to find a way to make this less of a hardship on someone
    Especially when they end up having to show it all in Wal Mart
    Love ya

  31. When I saw Marilyn the other day, the first words out of her mouth…how is Patti? A big hug and well wishes from her and me!

  32. NCmountainwoman,
    Thank you so much. Just hope I don't go viral.

    Ha, at least if they see my smile, my plumber's crack won't show and if it show,then my face is hidden. Win/win.

    I am so glad you are recuperating from you surgery and have the use of your arm back. Keep up the good work healing.

    Ha, you bet the blinds are drawn. It is bad enough having my dog laugh at me.

    Amber Star,
    Oh no, I am so sorry you can't tolerate the shot. What a bummer. Hopefully you will be in the 50% who don't get it.

    I know it wasn't funny for your aunt but that image is a hoot. Now I really am feeling lucky though I could never get mine over my shoulder.

    Grandma Yellow Hair,
    Well if they can't cure a cold, what chance has shingles got? At least they have put a vaccine out there. I gambled by not getting it and lost. This pretty much lies at my feet.

    Aw, how sweet. I am sure she remembers her spell with this fun disease. Thank you for being there. That has made it possible to tough it out on this end.

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  34. Just so you know what you are up against at the Wal-Mart and the song to go with it. Hope this cheers you up some and that you are having a pretty good day.

    This is the cream of the crop, hon.

  35. Shingles did affect my face, right over my left eye. In fact the pain started in my eye and I was in such distress on a Sunday morning (why are painful memories crystal clear??) that I WANTED to go to the ER. My BP was 200/120 I HURT like I had never hurt before. My pain did not lessen for a long long LONG time. IN fact it was years before it was completely gone. But after the first year it only felt like I had a creepy crawler on my eyebrow.
    Strange thing nerve pain.

  36. Sweet Pattie it amazes me how your wonderful humor still shines through all the pain and misery of those awful shingles.

    I doubt seriously if you looked the part to make it in the Wal*mart videos but I will keep an eye out just in case. :)

    I laughed so hard when you told about Mighty are just so funny sweet funny. Tell Mighty Chancy and I says to be extra nice to you and not laugh at you but with you and to take good care of you.

    Glad to hear that you are getting some better and the Tylenol is helping to take the edge off.

    Hope the next time you post those shingles are all gone and you are feeling great...and I hope that will not be far off either.

    Still keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. Hugs

  37. I'm glad to read you are doing better Patti...

    I haven't been around because I have been quite ill myself with a Bronchial Infection---I'm still not "well"...But I am better than I was. This has been a very mean illness because of my already compromised lungs....

    I dearly hope you continue to improve and that it is faster than slower---But, in any case---that it will be getting less and less painful, my dear.

  38. Oh I hope you get back to your regular self real soon, what a bummer, have you tried aspirin it seems to help much better than tylenol and tylenol is toxic to the liver. Oh and topical cortizone cream or sometimes even baking soda mixed with water. So glad Mighty is there to keep you company.

  39. Amber Star,
    Ha, thanks, pretty sure I wouldn't make honorable mention in that group.

    Oh my gosh, how horrible. That is the nightmare story that scares everyone. A real reason for the rest to get that darned vaccine.

    Thanks to you and Chancy for the sweet thoughts. I gave Mighty the message. Getting a bit better thank you so much.

    I am so sorry you are suffering so. Please be better very soon. I hope you have some meds to help you cope. Mine is so minor compared to yours.

    Linda Starr,
    Wish I could take aspirin but my stomach won't allow it. I also try to avoid steriod creams but am leaning on Aspercreme which helps some. Thanks, Mighty is good company when he isn't making fun of me:))

  40. Oh my gosh, Patti! I'm so sorry! I've been out of blog visiting for a while and am only now really making an effort at catching up. My life has been awfully hectic.

    I know how painful shingles is. My mom had a terrible case of it. My husband and daughter also had it. I couldn't wait until I turned 60 so I could get the shingles vaccine.

    My husband got the vaccine also even though he'd already gotten shingles in college. His doctor told him he could still get it again.

  41. So sorry you are having such an uncomfortable time. Thank goodness, your sense of humor is still strong. Take care and hope you are well soon.

  42. Kay,
    So glad you got the shot and I have repeatedly heard you can get it again. Rats. Guess I'd best check into the shot.

    Sweet Virginia Breeze,
    Thank you so much. I am definitely on the mend--not perfect but so much better.