Saturday, January 15, 2005
I have come down with the shingles. If you don't know what shingles are, look here. It is fucking horrible. I feel like tearing off my skin with a cheese grater. And I feel really, really sick. It don't look as bad as you might think, but the pain that goes along with it, is INTENSE. I wouldn't wish this on anyone. It's weird, I had been waking up with a really sore pain between my shoulder blades. I put this down to giving up smoking and generally detoxing. But on Friday the pain was so sore, I started feeling a bit run down and really tired. I called in sick. I got up and had a shower and noticed a small patch of redness on my chest. I dismissed it and ended up going back to bed, feeling really tired all of a sudden. I woke up at 6.30pm that night. Later on that night i felt an itch. I inspected it and.....fuck, I think I have the shingles. Please god, no, I don't need the frigging shingles. I took a hefty dose of codiene and went back to bed. Now today I woke up at 1.00pm and had a shower. Great, I have a band of blisters stretching from my chest, right round to the source of pain between my shoulder blades. Yay! Not. I rang the doctor. Answerphone. Great! Rang another after hours number. They said a doctor would call me. No one called. I'm quite stubborn when it comes to seeking medical help, so I started looking on the net to find out more about shingles. I came across this picture.This scared the shit out of me, so I rang the NHS hotline. A nurse called me back in 5 minutes. She said I better to the hospital in six hours. I hopped on the bus which immediatly got stuck in a traffic jam on Seven Sisters Road for the next 45 minutes. Why me? The bus somehow decided to stop at Holloway Road, which with my limited knowledge of London, may as well been Istanbul. I managed to get directions and found my way to the hospital. Next hurdle. A huge queue. As soon as I had told them my details, and mentioned that I might have shingles, the guy must have hit the panic button, because I was whisked away into isolation and seen to right away. Because of my pain in the back, they needed to take a ECG. Now this got a little weird. The receptors that they stick to you and attach little bulldog clips, wouldn't stick to me. This really irked the South American nurse, who was Tatu from Fantasy Island's twin sister, I kid you not. She kept asking me if I had oiled my body today? What? I have NEVER oiled my body in my whole life! My skin, by the way was dry, and not oily in the slightest. But as soon as one receptor was on, one was coming off. She then got out the sellotape and stated putting large strips of tape all over my chest. The receptors were finally holding. Now to do the ECG. The fucking machine wouldn't take a reading, and packed up on the spot. She went to get another machine, and I had to RIP OFF the sellotape of my chest. This took a good chunk of my chest hair with it. She came back, and we repeated the whole scenario again, with a new machine. Finally got a reading. My ticker was fine. Thank (insert various god here). She then took my blood pressure. Fine also. This whole process took 1 hour. Go the NHS! Then another person came to the next booth, also with suspected shingles. The nurses found this hilarious and started singing "Shingle Bells, Shingle Bells, Shingles all the way....." I didn't really find it so funny. Then they all fucked off. No one came for the next 45 minutes. Finally a doctor came, told the lady in the next booth she didn't have shingles, came into my booth and told me I did. He told me that, I just have to let it run it's course, gave me a big packet of heavy duty codiene and told me to take it easy for the next week, and to see my GP on Monday and get some steriod cream to relieve the itching. I left the hospital, got the bus, went home and took the codiene. I don't know if there is any point to this post, except, that nothing ever seems to be easy? I don't ever want to go to the hospital again, ever. Imagine if I was really sick? I'm sure I'd wind up more fucked coming out than going in. On that note, I'm going to go, that codiene is starting to kick in, and I really can't be bothered typing anymore.