Yes, I know its been far too long between posts. Trust me, I would have written if I could have. But I’ve spent the better part of the last three weeks dealing with the shingles. And I tell you those ads with Terry Bradshaw about getting the shingles vaccine don’t do this menace justice. 🙂
I have spent the last few weeks doing nothing much more than lying on my back. I have been eating, sleeping, and taking meds. I have only been checking my email once a day. Yes, who knew I could do that? 🙂
It seems like lately I have had one health adventure after another. There was a lack of energy. There was arthritis in my shoulder. There was the need for a root canal. And now there has been shingles.
I don’t like being one of those people. I usually avoid those people at the doctor’s office who can only talk about their illnesses and their symptoms. I generally discuss my health in a positive manner as a way of encouraging others to take better care of themselves.
But I thought i’d share about the shingles. I know some people don’t believe in vaccines. I know others may be legitimately allergic to a vaccine. And there can be other real medical reasons not to get one. I only say talk to your doctor, discuss it with your family, and then decide which is best for you.
Now that I have had the shingles, I don’t have the option of a vaccine. And there is the real possibility that i could get them again. Me and my doctors are discussing the options for keeping me healthy going forward.
My Month Of Hell
So, lets talk about the last few weeks. I’ll try to keep it as brief as possible, but for those familiar with my usual posts; I’m not making any promises. 😉
On Tuesday April 5th I woke up with large nasty whelps on the left side of my body. They didn’t itch, but they were very sore. They were only on my left side.
My brother Patrick looked at them and googled them or tried to. He came back with either bed bugs or spider bites.
So, they removed all my linens and cleaned my room. They bought me some antibiotic ointment to rub on the sores. And I took a lot of showers. This was partly to stay clean but more because the water just made the stuff feel better.
Luckily for me I had a home health visit scheduled for Thursday April 7th. This is an annual thing required by my insurance provider. They send a medical doctor to your house to go over your records and make sure there aren’t any holes. They address things like blood sugar level, verify current prescription and nonprescription medicines, and make sure you have your flu pneumonia and tetanus shots.
I showed the sores to the lady. She looked at them and asked one important question. She wanted to see if they crossed the midline of my neck and back. Once she determined that they didn’t, she diagnosed them as shingles. She then told me I only had three days to start treatment or the treatment wouldn’t be effective.
Again luck was on my side. The home health doc couldn’t prescribe the meds. I was able to get an appointment with my primary care physician the next day.
She looked at the sores and verified that they were in deed shingles. She put me on Valtrex along with something to help with the pain. Apparently pain with shingles is worse because its nerve pain.
After a week there was progress. There weren’t any new sores, and the existing ones were getting smaller and drying up. But we wanted to make sure to get it all and avoid a relapse. So, she put me on a second week of Valtrex. I also continued with the pain meds.
I should mention that I’m not big on pain medicine in general. My dad preached against drugs and alcohol. His example was not to take pain meds and to cut back or stop taking them as soon as possible.
And I would have done that, but I’ve never had anything like this before. Some experiences that were minor in comparison are being mauled by a german shepherd, cutting my wrist open on a glass window, having arthroscopic knee surgery, my gastric surgery almost four years ago, and having two wisdom teeth pulled. Compared to those shingles is the worst.
Here it is almost a month later, and I’m finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Most all of the sores are gone. What scaring i will have should be on my neck, shoulder, back, and chest in places that won’t usually be visible. I’ve cut my dose of pain meds in half. I’m hoping to be able to go without soon. I’m starting to feel a little more energy, but I’m not going to push myself to get back to full speed right away.
I’m only writing this post because for some reason I’m awake now and I felt like people would want to know. I know that you all do miss me and even worry about me when I’m not posting on here.
Things Not Done Because Of Shingles
So now, I want to mention a few side effects to all this time off.
First, I didn’t get to have my online 50th birthday party/book launch. This was mostly because I just didn’t feel up to it. There were also some technical problems on Alex Okoroji’s end. But I choose to think this was God and the universe telling me I didn’t need to do that event at that time.
Last week I had a follow up with my gastric surgeon. He asked me about my weight gain. I was up from previous months. I told him come on man. I’ve had shingles. I haven’t felt like working much less exercising.
So, I am hoping soon to at least get back to doing 15 minutes a day on my bike or treadmill. My goal is 30 or more every day, but as I said; I’m not going to push.
And I haven’t felt like doing my part in finishing the book. Lorraine has had to prod me to contribute to the book blurb and discussions on the cover art. I have also only just started reaching out to friends about reading and reviewing my book for Amazon, their blogs, and their social media networks.
Why No Shingles Vaccine
Now, I mentioned not being able to get the shingles vaccine. After they started treating my shingles, I wanted to know why no one told me to get the shot for them. I mean they know I had the chicken pox, so they should have asked.
It wasn’t until I saw my oncologist that this question was answered. I have a form of leukemia called cll. Its under control, and its something that lots of people live their whole lives with and never know they have it. Most people only find out if they are being monitored for some other reason. My oncologist likes to say if you are going to have cancer its the one to have. 😀
Well, I had my follow up with him about ten days ago. I asked him about why no shingles vaccine for me. He said that because of the cll the vaccine could have done more harm than good. He said it could have compromised my immune system, made the shingles even worse, and possibly even caused the cll to accelerate. After hearing that my thought was there are worse things than shingles.
I asked him if the shingles could come back. He said yes. I told him shoot I didn’t want to hear that. I asked him if there was anything we could do. He said lets run some more tests and then I’ll have a better idea. He did say there is the real possibility that I will have to take a preventative dose of Valtrex say 500 milligrams a day to ward off future attacks.
Lesson To Learn
So, if you haven’t listened to me before; be sure to take care of your health. See your doctor and have a frank honest discussion with them. Let them know about all your health concerns and ask about all your existing medications prescriptions and otherwise. If your doctor doesn’t appear to listen seriously, then do what you can to get a different doctor.
You need to be on top of your health physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Healthy people have the ability to be more successful at whatever they do.
So Now You Know
So now you know why I haven’t been more active. You know why I haven’t been visiting your blogs, commenting on your posts, sharing your work on social media, etc. I did manage to do some tweeting but that was only because of a cool app on my phone that allowed me to keep up without opening my laptop. I do miss you and I don’t like letting you all down.
In addition to the blind blogger, the midway marketplace has been neglected too. I really need to get some new rides posted over there. I also need to continue promoting my new online publicity service. I need to get back to booking podcasts and radio shows for me and my three clients Alex Okoroji, Tim Olson, and David Steele. So much to catch up on. But I meant it. I’m only going to do as much as I feel like doing. And I’ve learned I can refuse the pull of my email account.
Hoping This Time Off Was Preparing Me
I am hopeful that this bout of the shingles was God’s way of making me rest and preparing me for the next chapters in my story. I hope he was preparing me for doing a better job promoting my upcoming book Its Not the Cookie Its the Bag. I hope he was preparing me for opportunities I can’t even imagine yet. I have been so blessed by meeting and becoming friends with so many amazing people. I have been given opportunities to share my story and to inspire and motivate so many. I have helped people see possibilities and get past their excuses. So, I can’t wait for what comes next.
My New Health Affirmation
Well, I hope you aren’t too tired of hearing about this. I know I’m tired of living with it. And I have a new daily affirmation.
I am healthy. My body, mind, and spirit are strong. I have all the energy I need to accomplish my goals. I wish I knew the bible verse that goes I will run and not be weary. 🙂
Please Comment And Share
I do hope you will share your experiences in the comment. Please tell me of something you are doing to get or stay healthy. Do you meditate, pray, read inspiring books, exercise, eat only vegetables, etc? Please share. And be sure to mention how it makes you feel.
Well, that’s it for now. I will do my best to be here for you. So, if you have a question; just ask.
I’m always happy to meet new people and make new friends. I’ve never run across a question I won’t answer. So, don’t feel like you have to have a reason or have to want to be a client to write.
Thanks so much for your continued love and support. Take care out there, Max