A LOT! But it would turn the air blue. It's not good. On a positive note, after being diagnosed and given the early treatment (Valtrax), my 2 spots of shingles
dried up and began healing. THEN a different rash started --- one that was an allergic reaction to something which to date remains unknown. This rash spread everywhere except my palms, feet and, thankfully, my face. And it's extremely itchy. THEN the shingles nerve pain started. Anyone who's had shingles knows what I'm talking about when I say this is the worse pain I've ever experienced! A constant has been the burning sensation -- like I've been skinned and put out in the wind. A constant from about 2-3 pm onwards is the feeling that my body is being poked with a scrub brush full of needles; and the later, harsher pain comes unexpectedly in the form of feeling like I'm being repeatedly stabbed and/or electrical shocks running down my arms and legs -- so much so that they'd occasionally twitch. Clothing hurts and I need a makeshift tent under my bed covers at night so the weight and heat from the blankets don't make me feel like I'm burning. From a medical standpoint, not much can be done other than over-the-counter calamine lotion and such; and that doesn't work with the bad pain. There were some evenings I was kneeling on the floor crying and praying. And there were a couple of evenings when I called my sister (who is on a lot of meds) begging her for something to knock me out for the weekend so I could get some rest which is one of the key things to healing from shingles. I took several different meds from several different people -- dangerous, I know. But effective. And I've had blissful moments of relief with almost no pain. Almost!
I hate to speak too soon, but I think I may be beginning to heal. I'm still pretty itchy, but some of the rash now has a fine, rough, sandpaper feel to it. I have patches of the usual red, angry rash; and my poor legs are peppered from the knees down with scabs. As Monty Python would say, I am currently "not attractive to men, sir!".
I've been diligent in going to work and our wonderful staff have put less demands on me.
But because by the time I finish work I'm headed into the most painful parts of my day, I've not been able to visit my Mom in hospital very much. She has been failing and is now in palliative care. The family has been preparing themselves for this, of course, but it is still heart breaking. We are all looking to God now for comfort and for a peaceful transition for my lovely mother.
The other big news which is more positive for me is that I'm moving at the end of this month to a slightly smaller but much cheaper apartment: internet and cable are included, there's a washer/dryer, electricity is less, it's in a lovely location which overlooks the bay and is close to a major route to work. I'm a little overwhelmed with packing again but trying to overlook what's immediately in front of me and focus on being settled in a place that I believe will be better for me. And this is what I'm focusing on for my Mom as well.
So, I've a crazy stressful, busy, painful life right now. But it is my belief that God is right at hand and that He'll come through as He has ALWAYS come through.
I thank any of you out there for prayers and/or compassionate thoughts towards me at this moment.