25 April 2010

In Which This Blog Returns to A Sole Focus on Illness

Shingles. Really? Shingles? Really. Not only did I have lice for the second time when I was 21, I now get chickenpox for the second time at age 26. (I know lice doesn't work like a dormant virus. I do know that. But it's the spirit of the thing, and the bizarre fact that I apparently got lice from riding the bus in Champaign, with my super long hair at the time.)

Anyway. The shingles has decided to take over the right side of my upper body, especially the neck, shoulder, upper chest, and right arm. Which is also where the damage from my repetitive stress injury is greatest, which is making for some weird perceptions of pain and numbness. Really weird. I had soreness in my neck and shoulder a week ago but didn't think anything of it--I am often sore there. I am getting intermittent stabbing, burning pain in my right arm--which is also not that new, just now has a new cause. And today, I woke up after 12 hours of sleep (plus a three-hour nap and 12 hours of sleep yesterday) feeling ... weak. And numb. Weak and numb enough that I asked Noah to bring me food to eat before I left the bed (yay oatmeal and blueberries!). I felt a little better then, and got out of bed, and have made it to the couch with the lappy, where I expect to hang out until I nap again and go to bed again, while taking 400 mg of an antiviral drug at four-hour intervals, five times a day.

So, knitting! Right? Not the lace knitting I've been doing, not the sock knitting either, but knitting with some bulky CashSoft I dyed for my uncle with the goal of making him mitts to wear while he does his woodworking business.

Knitting with hand-dyed bulky yarn in an easy pattern is definitely the thing for sick people to do. I mean, 3 stitches in stockinette to an inch. Really. I made one mitt over like three hours of knitting. Yay, size 10 bamboo double-pointed needles, and a nearby man-sized hand model to try them on (Noah).

Complications of shingles: inability to do anything except sit upright, sleep, and maybe knit with bulky yarn. And maybe read online. Also: contagious to pregnant women, young children, and people who haven't had chicken pox. So, now, before people come to our apartment, I ask them if they've had chicken pox. What an ice breaker. Also: Noah's company is hosting a cocktail party with jazz on Saturday, which I am/was excited to attend with him--fancy and dancing! Whee! Problem: crusted-over or weeping sores on neck, upper body, and arms, which is, you know, the realm of the cocktail dress. I'm working on that. I am hoping to feel better enough then to go. But that may not happen either.

Um, I'm going to put my head back down now.

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