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post #272
bio: stu
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8/19/2009
00:53

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Hanging Up My Shingle
I went to another doctor today.

It wasn't really planned; they called me up for a follow-up appointment, and I said, yeah, sure. But it turns out that it was totally necessary.

Apparently, over this weekend, I developed shingles. "Shingles" thus continues my streak of having really stupidly named diseases. I'm looking forward to getting a more romantic disease, like consumption, or syphilis. None of this weak-ass shit like lupus and shingles, that people here and immediately associate with dropsy and shit like that.

Shingles is, essentially, chicken pox all grown up. You get chicken pox at a reasonable age, and then the virus sits in your body the rest of your life, just waiting for you to grown old or your immune system to go south. And then, once it does, it sits on the nerve endings of your spinal column, and starts to radiate out. This is the side effect of having the immune system of a Thai hooker.

You get a shitty rash in a band across your body; it sticks to one half of your torso, a radiating band of blisters going around from the center of your chest to the small of your back. If you're unlucky, it itches like a motherfuck. If you're like me, it just looks fucking hideous.

If you're lucky, you get a doctor that will see you within 24 hours, and prescribe you massive doses of antivirals (when I say massive doses, well, here's a comparison. When I was really sick with lupus, I was getting 30mgs of prednisone twice a day. 60 mgs a day. Now that I'm on antivirals, I'm getting 1 gram of Valtrex three times a day. 3000mgs of Valtrex. 100 times the amount of prednisone I got, when I was seriously ill). Then the illness is only supposed to last a week or two, and the pus filled blisters will apparently crust over, and eventually fall off. That's the best case scenario.

The worst case scenario...well, for any disease the sky's the limit, but common side effects are things like, loss of cognitive ability, severe scarring, the possibility that the rash may go away but the pain persist, and, my personal favorite, loss of a sense of taste in half the side of the tongue. WTF?

I'm more or less safe to be around. If you haven't had chicken pox, you shouldn't hang around with me for the next couple of days. If you have a severe immune deficiency disease (like, say, AIDS), you shouldn't hang out with me. If you're 3 years old, you shouldn't hang out with me (this is true no matter what).

Apparently, a break is the only thing I can't catch, these days.






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