Saturday, November 14, 2020

More on the shingles saga


What we wish shingles looked like

Sorry I haven’t posted for a couple of days. The medications which I am gratefully taking make me sleepy. This morning I did a thing unheard of for me. I let Sophie out about 7:30, didn’t do any of my regular morning routine except to make a cup of hot tea. I read some emails, fiddled a bit on Facebook, and when Sophie came back in, I went back to bed and slept until 9:45. And I’m sleepy as I write this.

I have decided I cannot write the great American novel, let alone a sequel to Saving Irene, until the shingles pass, and who knows when that will be. Research on the web leads me to conclude that the average case lasts two to six weeks. I figure I’ve had it a week and a half. I look awful. Last night we had friends for happy hour, and I wore a mask even though I have been strictly quarantining—it was to hide the ugly, red lesions on my face rather than to keep from spreading contagion. Once when I slipped it down for a sip, I could tell my friend was surprised to say the least.

Back again after a break for a nap.

To illustrate what I mean about these meds, it is now 5:00, and I haven’t finished this post which was my sole project. I have kept up with emails, including answering a long letter from a friend I haven’t seen since lockdown began. And I have had two long naps.

It’s hard for me to type—either the disease or the medication affect your muscles, and something has happened to my fine muscle control. Periodically I have great tremors in both hands (I always have a slight tremor in my left hand). When that happens, my hands bounce around on the keys, hitting ones I had no intention of hitting. Even when the tremors do not appear, I have a hard time typing accurately. A good paragraph takes me a long time. I will be so glad when these shingles have run their course.

Sophie doesn’t know quite what’s going on. She alternates between staring at me and jumping up on the bed. Much as both of us would like for her to be a cuddly pup, she simply isn’t. She can’t help squirming.

Obviously, there’s not much for me to tell. It has been an absolutely gorgeous day, and I have had the patio door open whenever I was upright. Sometimes a lovely, gentle breeze blew in. Last night when friends came for happy hour, we thought it was a bit cool but lovely on the patio. The temperature is supposed to dip again tomorrow, but only into the sixties. The mild weather is so out of step with what the weather should be in late November that it makes me nervous.

Like many Americans, we are saddened and befuddled by what to do for Thanksgiving. We were supposed to go to Austin to Megan’s new house, which I have not seen. A jolly mix-up of all the Alter clan, all sixteen of us. Obviously, that isn’t happening. But the Burtons and I still l planned on going—until the surge in corona cases made us uncertain. Jordan has done so much to keep me isolated that it seems folly to risk it now. Meantime, we waited too long to get a pet sitter, so Christian will be here. Thinking we would go ahead and go, he invited his sister and her family. It’s all a muddle, and I may end eating dinner alone in my cottage. Given this awful year and how much has gone wrong, I would be thankful.

This morning I was thinking that the tremors in my hands made me feel like an old woman. Then I laughed aloud. “Judith,” I told myself sternly, “You are an old woman.”


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