Monday, June 03, 2013


No, not the roof covering. I wish. I have the other kind of shingles, the revenge of chicken pox shingles.

I had the vaccine a couple of years ago. Still got shingles. I didn't get them in one of those annoying but otherwise mundane location like the chest or back. Of course not. My shingles appeared on the face. Specifically, the first rash is adjacent to my right eyebrow.

That location runs a risk of attacking my sight. Not to mention if the rash runs rampant I could end up with a face perfectly designed for the role of Erik in the Phantom of the Opera.

Fortunately, I did have the vaccine which should limit the severity of the rash. I caught it early (given it was staring me in the face when I looked in a mirror) and was able to start an anti-viral medicine quickly. That also should limit the severity. Also, years of practice at meditation is allowing me to quietly tolerate the irritation without picking at the lesions and causing scarring.

Chicken Pox
Back in the olden days there was great relief if the pox you caught was chicken and not Small Pox or Great Pox (syphillis). Few people lived long enough to suffer from shingles. All in all, chicken pox was a relative romp. The virus does its thing for a few days until the human immune system beats it back. Then it goes into hiding in nerve cells near the spine. There it waits for decades for the immune system to lose its vigilance. The virus then follows a bundle of nerve cells to reach the skin and take another shot at reproducing.

It's all very wondrous, this complex dance of species, unless it's happening to your skin.

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