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marc got the shingles

I've been bad at writing about what's happening in life lately!

Poor Marc got shingles, and I'm afraid I wasn't very supportive, because I suck at being supportive. I swear someday he'll get some medical diagnosis and need a caretaker and I'll be like "GET OFF YOUR ASS OR I'M HIRING THIS OUT." It is not my strength.

To be fair, sometimes I think he's a bit of a hypochondriac. We've all heard of the "man cold", right ladies? That happens in my house. Sorry babe, if you're reading this.

But this week I should have felt sorry for him, he was hobbling around the house with all this pain on his side kinda by his appendix but he deosn't have an appendix, so that was ruled out. He was breathing heavily, sitting with his eyes closed, this started Sunday night so Monday I was like "DO I NEED TO STAY HOME FROM WORK?" and he's like "I don't know..." that's the other thing, I'll ask him if he needs help and he'll weakly say "no, I can get it..." and then almost pass out. I'm like okay, either ask for help or DO it, don't be all martyr-style about it, if you can't do it say so.

Once when we were dealing with newborn josie I kicked him because he was nodding off on the couch, I accused him of flaunting his sleepyiness.

Yeah, I know that's really bitchy and wrong.

Anyway Monday I did stay home a few hours, took the kids to school, so he could go to immediate care. They said it was a pulled muscle, gave him some ibuprofen and muscle relaxers and said he'd be better in a couple days.

He wasn't better. Wednesday I was like "you could go to the doctor" but he didn't, and that made me even madder, I told him he'd better call his doctor Thursday morning.

He went Thursday morning and guess what? After four days of horrible pain and muscle relaxer side effects from hell, it wasn't a pulled muscle, it was shingles!

poor guy! I have heard that shingles SUCKS. I have also heard that it only happens to old people... but marc is in his late 30s, so I guess he's old.

The doctor switched him to a different pain medication and an anti-viral... actually, it's herpes medicine. He was thrilled to pick that up from the pharmacy. But that's what they give you for shingles. And now he's doing much better. Thursday I snuggled with him and we watched a relaxing movie and I tried to be nicer.

Apparently if you've had chicken pox in your life, you can get shingles. It lives in you forever and waits to attack and hurts you along your nerves. And apparently it can be misdiagnosed by immediate care doctors, and that ruins your week. And your wife's week. Let's talk about what's important here.


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( 27 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 14th, 2016 04:45 pm (UTC)
I got shingles when I was 18 (first year at college! good times!) and yeah, they suck really bad. But either ask for help or DO it, don't be all martyr-style about it, if you can't do it say so? FUCKING PREACH says the woman with a sick man (legitimately sick, with a fever and everything but still a Sick Man) on the couch three feet away from her. *sigh*
Feb. 14th, 2016 05:38 pm (UTC)
THANK YOU it's not just me!
Feb. 14th, 2016 04:59 pm (UTC)
Oh, my mother had shingles. It is HORRIBLE. I understand there is a vaccine against it now? Yes, it can happen to anyone. I never had chicken pox, so I guess I am not at risk. I hope he feels better soon.
Feb. 14th, 2016 05:05 pm (UTC)
If you've never had chicken pox, you can get a primary infection for chicken pox, which as an adult is a lot more dangerous than getting it as a child. I'd recommend getting vaccinated if that's the case, although it's possible you had it and don't remember or had a very mild case that passed unnoticed.
Feb. 14th, 2016 05:10 pm (UTC)
No. I know I never had it. My mother would have told me. I have been vaccinated for things as an adult so I should be good, thanks.
Feb. 14th, 2016 05:14 pm (UTC)
It would be very unlikely you received a vaccination for it as an adult, as they only vaccinate children and the elderly in the US. In the UK they vaccinate the elderly only.

Edited at 2016-02-14 05:14 pm (UTC)
Feb. 14th, 2016 05:16 pm (UTC)
I got whatever shots and boosters needed for college and I know I had all the right vaccinations when I was a child. I don't really remember now. I have a PCP and he stays on top of all the things, so I should be good.
Feb. 14th, 2016 05:41 pm (UTC)
When you were a child the chickenpox vaccination wasn't available (likely, although I don't know how old you are), and most GPs assume that their patients had chickenpox as a child, providing a "natural" vaccination from getting the chickenpox as an adult. I wouldn't assume anything, personally.
Feb. 14th, 2016 06:17 pm (UTC)
This is true. You should go and get then vaccine ASAP -- Walgreens usually has it, or other pharmacies. It's not a required vaccine at all for adults in the US, so unless you're a health care worker or someone else on the front-lines where you get extra vaccines (Army, Diplomat, Aid worker, etc.) you very likely have not had it... and should!
Feb. 14th, 2016 07:06 pm (UTC)
There is a vaccine for chicken pox, which gets given to children, and likely an adult who never had it could get the vaccine.
Annoyingly, the pharmacies around here won't even let you pay full price for shingles vaccine if you're under 50
Feb. 14th, 2016 07:07 pm (UTC)
An adult who has not had chickenpox is likely to have a far far harder time of it if sie does get it than a kid would. So it's worth discussing with your doc.
Feb. 14th, 2016 05:03 pm (UTC)
Yup, my mom was on that medication (Famciclovir) for 5 years to prevent shingles because she had leukemia. She was negative for herpes (go mom) but because she'd had chickenpox before she was on the herpes med. Chicken pox is a kind of herpes virus and it's related enough that the same meds work, which is great.

Even they don't vaccinate where we live, I am getting my youngest vaccinated for chickenpox, and I'm getting my older boosted, at a private clinic. Maybe I should get boosted while I'm there! I remember having chickenpox, it sucked, plus I lived in a cohousing community with a bunch of old people who constantly had shingles. I'd rather my kids not have to go through that, why not!
Feb. 14th, 2016 05:11 pm (UTC)
We're only biased to think Shingles is an old person's pathology. Obviously not so! And the reason for the herpes meds? Because Shingles are another strand of herpes! Yea fun!

Dear Marc, sorry for your troubles. Get well soon.
Feb. 14th, 2016 05:48 pm (UTC)
My partner Tod had shingles last year at 47. But once it was properly diagnosed the medicines helped a lot. I hope for the same outcome for your Marc.
Feb. 14th, 2016 06:12 pm (UTC)
Shingles is _horrible_ and while it's more common in elderly it's pretty common in younger people. It can have fairly devastating long-term results, as well: permanent neuropathy, blindness, all sorts of stuff. Systemic acyclovir or the like is a reeeeaallllly good idea.
Feb. 14th, 2016 06:15 pm (UTC)
This scares the ever living crap out of me. We just got a letter home from Roo's school that one of his classmates has Chicken Pox. Roo is immunized, and so is E, but Patrick is NOT, and Nathan had a really light case of Chicken Pox, which I hear makes you more likely to get Shingles, although I suppose we're both of the age where we could get it. I'm just praying that after Mono and ChickV and Nathan's weird head growth we've sacrificed enough to the Gods of unhealthyness and can take a bye on this illness for once. *frets*
Feb. 14th, 2016 06:23 pm (UTC)
I live in Canada. My husband and I had the shingles vaccine a few years ago, as soon as it became available. We paid for our shots, but because we both had chicken pox as children the vaccine is worth while, even if is just to ameliorate the pain of a shingles attack.
Feb. 14th, 2016 06:43 pm (UTC)
I just got my shingles vaccine a week ago. My grandmother had it and it was awful. I hope to avoid it, and the vaccine is now recommended for everyone over 50 (even though it isn't covered by our health care system, it's worth it). I have friends who got it too (sometimes triggered by stress). My youngest just turned 18 and chicken pox vaccine came available when she was about 4 - too late for her as she got chicken pox as a toddler.

My sympathies to Mark, and you. You are not wrong to hate the pathetic man illnesses. They can be really annoying and when a man is legitimately ill there is a tendency to write it off as man pain. My dad ran into that when he had nerve damage after a hip replacement. Hospital staff refused to believe he really couldn't lift his leg. It took months of physiotherapy and he still has some difficulty walking (because his knee won't work - his hip is just fine).
Feb. 14th, 2016 07:05 pm (UTC)
I'm fascinated, because I thought shingles included a rash and would be quite obviously not a pulled muscle.

That sounds awful. I hope the antivirals help quickly.
Feb. 15th, 2016 11:06 pm (UTC)
The pain starts before the rash, so there can be a lot of pain with no visible blisters. It's pretty awful. I've had it twice now so I can at least recognize it, but the first time it made no sense to me at all.
Feb. 14th, 2016 07:06 pm (UTC)
Ouch that sucks! I hope he has a speedy recovery.

And I'm totally the one who gets man-colds in the house. I have one right now and ughhhhhhhh I am dyyyying of these sniffles.
Feb. 14th, 2016 07:58 pm (UTC)
I, too, suck at being sympathetic. Especially because I rarely get sick, and only get knocked out for a day or two when I do, whereas he gets sick EVERY WINTER for like 4-6 weeks. (He finally went in to the dr. a week ago, and got a course of antibiotics. He was SO PERKY when I got home that evening, after having had a mere one dose. He confessed that he'd forgotten what it was like to feel well, and I may have retorted that I'd remind him of that next year when he gets sick again and refuses to make a dr.'s appointment).

One of his business partners got shingles last year, and I guess it was pretty awful. Hope Marc's doing better soon!
Feb. 14th, 2016 09:36 pm (UTC)
"man cold" huh... that explains a lot.

I had a friend who had shingles in college; it seemed pretty rough
Feb. 14th, 2016 10:05 pm (UTC)

Omigod, so happy to hear of another unsympathetic female. I am notorious in my family, but that gene was left out of my DNA. Kudos to you for snuggling on the couch! I don't have the snuggling gene, either.

You can tell Mark my sister had shingles in her late 30s, so it does happen.

I had chicken pox as a kid, but so far no shingles even though I'm 78.  That clearly demonstrates my moral superiority. FanSee

Feb. 15th, 2016 02:52 am (UTC)
i had shingles when i was a kid. it suuuuucked
Feb. 15th, 2016 04:04 am (UTC)
Acyclovir, right? I think the pharmacy knows it's for shingles, too.

Tristan had shingles, just a small patch of it, in high school. I was mildly in favor of avoiding vaccinations, so both kids were the last of their kind to have the actual chicken pox and not the vaccine.

He was relieved because he thought he had MRSA!
Feb. 15th, 2016 04:27 am (UTC)
Oh suck. My officemate has shingles and it's really bad. See if you can get him the vaccine when things are better; it won't make them go away, but it will decrease the flareups, I'm told. :( For her, it causes certain muscles to lock up and she did a bunch of PT and it got her only so far but acupuncture has been helping (it's like a physical disruption of the nerve system). Anyway, really sympathy to Marc, that's awful. And as things go on you may consider counseling for couples where one has chronic pain, just to know how to deal with it better. Lessons learned from my officemate. Good luck.
( 27 comments — Leave a comment )

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