I mentioned the other day that the pain from the shingles was getting worse and that we’d been trying to get the family doctor to do something about it, but couldn’t get through. Well, last night, the pain started feeling like my shoulder was a minefield and that someone was running across it triggering multiple mines every few seconds. In case you don’t understand how bad that feels, well, I’m not sure how to explain it any better. Just imagine a burning pain in your nerves that is almost constant and makes you sort of want to die, and any sort of death seems like it would less painful than the sensations you’re getting.
Anyway, we got through to them today, and they couldn’t do anything until they determined for themselves that it was shingles. They seemed skeptical, either about the oncologist’s ability to diagnose it or that it got diagnosed in the first place. What I needed was steroids and an antiviral medication, which aren’t exactly things you have to go have a doctor check you out to get. Well, they didn’t feel that way, so they had me come in at 1:45 this afternoon, even though I told them that I was really too sick to be there. The nurse who called me back asked how I was doing, and I told her that I was doing horribly. She was shocked, though she shouldn’t have been. She asked what was wrong and I told her that I had shingles. Of course, her response was this was, “Really? But you’re too young to get those.” And I said, “Yeah.” She asked who diagnosed me, and I told her the doctor’s name and where he worked. She acted very skeptical. Then she fibbed on some of the vital stat information (she said she took my temperature and that it was 98°F, and she definitely didn’t; I think she messed up on some of the other info) and got me back into the room.
The doctor came in and asked what was wrong. I told him. He was also a bit skeptical at first. After having to listen to my infernal whining about what had happened, he looked at the rash. His reaction? “Yeah, that’s shingles.” I wanted to say, “No shit Sherlock.” I’m pretty sure that would have been considered ill-mannered and I try not to be ill-mannered in public, even if I don’t manage to do that in private or, you know, online. He prescribed Valtrex and steroids, which my parents worried wouldn’t be covered by Humana. I pointed out that I happen to have an old people issue and that the Humana plan that we have is basically for old people issues. And they do. So, right now, my dad is out getting the drugs because they didn’t get them called in to the pharmacy until pretty late this afternoon.
The progress of the rash: