Monday, November 5, 2007

Shingles - They're Not Just Something On Rooftops!

Poor Jim. On Saturday morning he sat bolt straight up in bed because his right leg hurt. Upon pulling up his pant leg, we saw big red welts up and down the inside of his leg. After checking that they were no where else on his body, we took him to Urgent Care and learned he has Shingles.

What are Shingles? After you have chickenpox (usually as a child), the virus that causes it stays in your body in certain nerve cells. Most of the time your immune system keeps the chickenpox virus in these cells. As you get older, or if your immune system gets weak, the chickenpox virus may escape from the nerve cells and cause shingles. Shingles causes a painful, blistering rash. Sometimes the pain starts a few days before the rash appears. The rash begins with reddish bumps. In a few days, these bumps turn into blisters. You might feel a stinging or burning pain.

The doctor immediately put him on antivirals for the virus and Vicodin for the pain. He has to take 5 of the antivirals per day until gone - which means setting the alarm for 2:45 am so he doesn't miss a dose. I'm exhausted. And he's on the couch at home trying to rest.


Margo Clift said...

Dang It Heck!
And, hope you both get some rest.

Megan Noel said...

aww. hope he feels better soon. i had them a couple years ago. the worst seemed to be over in a few days -- i hope it is for jim as well!!