That's my tuna casserole for supper. It has green peas in it, and I discovered Sophie likes them. When I was breaking up frozen clumps, several spun away and landed in her water dish. She meticulously fished each one out and ate it!
Saturday, when I realized what was wrong and my doctor/brother confirmed that I had shingles, I was kind of cavalier about it. Sure, I remembered when my mom had it, at just about the age I am now. She suffered in agony for days, tried everything—osteopathic treatments, acupuncture, pain killers. Nothing worked until she discovered a physician, a family friend now gone, who injected the nerves and blocked them. She was blessedly free of pain and so relieved she didn’t seem to mind that the virus had knocked out some of her teeth. I was praying that wouldn’t happen to me, but John, my brother, assured me that since I was relatively pain-free, I would have a mild case. After all, I had the initial shot to prevent shingles; I just haven’t had the new, two-shot treatment for prevention. My doctor now says it’s in my future.
In the wee hours of Sunday morning, everything suddenly changed. I had fierce, excruciating pains in my teeth and ear. Every time a pain hit, I could imagine a minute army of men deciding where to strike next—which tooth? The ear? Just in front of the ear? I was brought to tears a couple of times—unusual for me.
Sunday morning as soon as it was reasonable, I called my doctor’s office answering service. The PA on call could do nothing for me: she wasn’t allowed to prescribe over the phone and, no, the doctor would definitely not take call. I was left to ride out the pain until Monday morning. Jordan has more—what? Boldness? Chutzpah? Nerve?—than I, and she announced that the situation was unacceptable. She called a wide network of friends, looking for pain meds. More importantly she bullied the PA into texting the doctor. He called almost immediately. We had a virtual appointment, and he prescribed meds. Jordan picked them up; I took my first dose and slept all afternoon.
Sleep is one of the signs of healing I’ve always thought. Hope so. Last night I lay down for a quick nap at 8:45 and woke up three hours later. That’s why Jordan could demand today, “What were you doing texting at one o’clock in the morning?” I was taking care of business I’d missed all day. Today I slept hard for three hours in the afternoon and I hadn’t even taken one of the meds with codeine in it.
The kids are afraid of contagion. Christian has had shingles and never wants it again. Jordan didn’t believe me that I can’t “give it” to Christian, because he already has the virus in his body. It’s the one that causes chicken pox in childhood, and if you have that disease as a kid, the virus stays hidden in your body, only to pop out, often in times of extreme stress. I clearly remember having the pox as a child and having socks put on my hands so I wouldn’t scratch my face. The one I worry about is Jordan, who is in the cottage frequently and who has never, as far as I can remember, had chicken pox. I would say none of my kids have had it, but Megan once was tested and found to have had it. It must have been a mild case because none of us remember it.
Since I’m pretty much ostracized out here, I’ve been eating things that I like. Had leftover cod and a baked potato last night; eggs scrambled with mayonnaise this morning, a delicious salad of avocado, cherry tomatoes, blue cheese dressed with straight lemon juice for lunch, and for dinner—a tuna casserole, made the way I used to make it for the kids. Jordan doesn’t remember that and doesn’t want tuna in anything but tuna salad. Christian won’t eat tuna at all, so you see I have to take these opportunities. Since I’m feeling so much better, we will have a family meal tomorrow. It will be good not to be Typhoid Mary.
I always end emails and sometimes this blog with a caution to stay safe. Tonight, it strikes me there is so much to stay safe from—covid, shingles, angry trump supporters, the world at large. Y’all stay safe and well, healthy and happy.