Tuesday, August 22, 2006

shingles

i am immuno-compromised. this is a wild guess after having what i had days before. shingles.

i had shingles, or herpes zoster, the same virus that causes chicken pox. and before i had it, i never thought chicken pox would not come back and attack me once again. but it did. as the website for diseases screamed words of truth to me, even before i confirmed it was shingles from the doctor i visited that day, shingles do happen to people, many of whom are either 50 years old and above or immuno-compromised. i am definitely not 50 years old.

i experienced a strong stabbing pain on my chest days before. i sprayed myself with an anti-pain mixture that was brought home to manila to a friend from her US-based girlfriend thinking it would relieve myself of such a weird intoxicating attack of what seemed to be big needle pricks on my chest.

a day after, i saw rashes building up on my upper left torso. i attributed the rashes to the spray and blamed my friend for it. she was not responding to my text messages so i thought she was feeling guilty about it. i did not know i had rashes building up on my back until the blind masseuse told me she was feeling some hot nodules on my back and decided against massaging that affected area.

i did not know it would be this painful - physicially and financially. physically, the virus was attacking a part of my dermatome, an area with a lot nerves making the fruition of the blisters into pus-filled tit-like nodules excruciatingly painful. financially, it killed off the remaining happy days of my life when i spent more than 1,000HKD for a week-long intake of valtrex. what a way to celebrate my vacation back home.

and then they all crusted and i got well a week after. true, what my doctor said, that valtrex was a miracle drug hastening the resolution of the virus from 4-5 weeks to just one. although i am having post-herpetic neuralgia, where one still feels a stabbing pain on the chest or around the affected area, i am okay now.

i don't mind being immuno-compromised but i do mind not taking it seriously.

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