Projects & Shingles

“Jerrie!” you might exclaim, “where in the heck have you been?” Then again, you might not even know I’ve been missing from this mortal plane and are now wondering why I postulated that you may be concerned about my absence.

Well, let me tell ya, even if you aren’t overly concerned …

Over the past seven days I’ve actually been very busy doing “stuff” around the house. Of most interest, to those of you who follow the saga of my life, though you may not realize that’s what you’re doing, the bathroom renovation my ring a bell. That’s the most recent project I’ve been working on and it’s been going on for about three months. I know that’s true because Diane points it out once in a while. The overall plan is to progress through the house one room at a time and do what’s necessary to ‘fix’ what may be wrong and replace what may be missing.

With regard to the bathroom, my bathroom, that’s where my attention has been focused the past seven days. Actually, my attention has been focused there for the past three months but, like normal, ‘things’ kept interfering with my concentration and ability to sustain continuity in the completion of one, single project. Such is the way of my life, as well you know. Or, maybe you don’t. Perhaps you are one of the random 2 or 3 people a month who stumble onto this site thinking you will learn something. At this point I must admit that my intent here isn’t to impart knowledge. Instead, this is where I unload my brain in an attempt to see what’s in there. Using this venue allows me to see, for myself, the results. As my fingers flitter across the keyboard of my trusty little laptop, I never know what’s going to appear on the screen. Most of the time it’s a huge surprise because I didn’t know that what I just read was floating around in there. So, I guess you could say this is one of the ways I entertain myself. That, and take naps after breakfast.

Back to the bathroom …

Over the past seven days I painted it twice. The first time I used grey but after a couple of days I decided it was the wrong color so I painted it blue. It’s the same shade of blue as the blue painter’s tape. Festive, and it covers nicely. But, I didn’t paint all the walls blue, only three of them. Now I must do the white. Today is the day, I believe.

I would have had it all done over the weekend if Diane hadn’t decided to contract Shingles. I’m sad that she did that, not only because I didn’t get the bathroom finished, but mainly because she’s in so much pain that I can hardly stand it. Shingles are brutal, and that’s a dumb name for something this bad. It’s truly the reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus which gave the recipient chicken pox in their youth. Some scientist, probably on steroids, decided to call the adult version shingles for some odd reason, and wouldn’t budge when his co-workers tried to talk him out of it. He became violent to the point where the other scientists backed down and let him have his way. Secretly, however, they call it ‘herpes zoster’ when they think he isn’t listening.

Anyway, Diane’s got them bad. She had a bad cold for the past two weeks, coughing and coughing to the point where she though she had dislocated a rib. Turns out this pain, which we had for about a week, was shingles trying to reach the surface. The first spots appeared Friday but she blamed them on the cat, thinking an errant flea escaped. Saturday she wandered around town with her Mom, Jean, going to the store for grocery’s, while I painted the bathroom blue. By Sunday morning it was more of a rash and starting to get painful, but we went to church anyway.

On the way home from church we stopped at KFC to cook lunch and brought it to our house where the three of us ate it all up. After eating, the conversation turned toward the odd rash on Diane’s stomach and she had her Mom look at it. Being older and wiser, Mom immediately said, “Shingles,” and told Diane she needed to go to urgent care. Now!

They bundled up and headed for the door, leaving me home alone to manage the dogs. It was deemed an unnecessary risk for me to tag along since I wasn’t sick and going to urgent care opened up a lot of possibilities for catching a variety of ailments. So, I stayed.

Being Sunday, I didn’t work while I waited. I just waited and waited, and waited some more. Presently, however, Diane returned with a bag of pills and news that Shingles was the correct diagnosis. She actually returned much sooner than I expected. A normal trip to urgent care is 4 hours. She was back in about 1.5 hours with the news that when she arrived around 2pm, there was absolutely no one in the waiting room. That’s totally unheard of. She didn’t have to wait at all. The doctor, Dr. Anderson, told her it was good she came in because had she waited until Monday she would have been in dire straits because of the pain. Going Sunday allowed her to get started on pain killers right away to help minimize the discomfort. Since the varicella-zoster virus rears it’s ugly head when one’s immune system is compromised, it probably struck as Diane struggled with the cold.

So, here I sit. Watching her writhe in pain every 30 minutes or so, even with the pain killers. Me, who as a child suffered only through the 3-day measles. I’ve not had chicken pox, mumps, or any of the other common childhood diseases. I’m blessed. But, not I’m on high alert because it’s reported that I can easily contract shingles through a simple, careless act, like touching Diane. So I don’t. I keep my distance. I do, however, wait on her hand and foot, and actually pray to God to let me bear the pain. So far that hasn’t happened because He knows she can handle it much better than I ever could. I’m a whiner. It would never work.

We have another week of her being contagious, but she has at least another two weeks of dealing with the pain.

Now I’m going to go paint the bathroom again.

2 thoughts on “Projects & Shingles

  1. Oh Diane I feel so bad for you…I know many who have suffered and the worse was Toms mom and my Uncle..They had them on the head and one eye…was horrilbe. Ive also had them on the waist and couldnt wear anything around the waist, and yes Jerrie that included undies…The pain will eventually subside someday soon… Did you ever get the vacine? You 2 take care and Jerrie keep painting…. Linda

    • Thanks, Linda. She’s doing better. All of the pain is on her belly, as are the lesions. But, they haven’t erupted, yet. I cannot imagine what it must be like to have them in your eye. How horrible that must be.

      Diane talked with the pharmacist when she got her meds and asked about the vaccine for shingles. He said it’s about 50% effective. And, it’s not cheap and insurance won’t spring for the bill.

      I think underwear are a waste of good cotton.

      My painting is done. The blue is the finished product, and I painted the white today. It’s all cleaned up, but I think I’ll let it dry for a few days so it won’t start running when I take a shower. That, of course, is just an excuse to not take a shower.

      Now, about you guys

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