Shingles… and everything else

just a friendly reminder : san francisco (2012)
just a friendly reminder : san francisco (2012) (Photo credit: torbakhopper)

Distress and despair keep happening on the planet – bombs at wonderful marathons, Congress caving to the NRA, children starving in Greece and neighbors continuing to maim and kill one another in various terrible, nonsensical wars. But if you come down with shingles, the ultimate horror of geezerhood, it’s hard to focus on anybody but your pitiful self.

Being now near the end (we think) of the period in which they said “it’ll get worse before it gets better,” I feel qualified – enabled might be a better word – to comment on shingles.

First, it’s every bit as horrid as everyone said. Get the shots if you’re over whatever age they shoot you for. I actually think I had the shots, and still got it forheavenssakes.

Second, if you’re tempted to take the super-pain meds (Norco, in my case,) watch it. I downed a Norco pill after apparently not having eaten enough to cushion it, wound up in the ER until 2 AM trying to stop the nausea and get a little fluid back into the system. People take those opiate drugs for FUN?

Third, if it’s on your forehead, as is my lovely case, just be prepared to go around like Scarface in the Dick Tracy strip (you have to be a geezer to remember Dick Tracy) for the duration. People either look aghast and get out of your way or offer sympathy in excess. Which brings us to:

Four: Be grateful. People bring you pasta and tulips because you seem so pitiful, which you indeed are. But you can still run (or walk) in the sunshine and you never had to watch your children starve and you aren’t in the smack middle of a stupid and terrible war.

You live long enough, you get Stuff.