September 24, 2013

Shingles: Day 4

My day started off strangely.

My sister Lynn's alarm clock woke me up, blasting in my left ear. The teeny sound was so amplified that I had to go and wake her up myself, so she can turn off the clock. It felt like my left ear had super hearing. Why is it weird, you may wonder? We sleep in separate rooms. I'm hardly a light sleeper, so for me to get woken up by her alarm clock IS weird, plus the fact that it sounded so darn loud.

Since I was awake already, I decided to make my usual fruits breakfast of freshly squeezed orange juice (now with added calamansi for good measure), bananas and grapes, plus a hard-boiled egg. Took my scheduled medicines. Then our mom arrived with a box of chocolate mousse. She seemed so cheery that she brought me my favorite. But last night, I found out that sugar feeds the virus, so I should eat plenty of fruits and vegetables instead. I had to do the unpleasant thing of telling her, which I felt so bad about afterwards. After all, she was just trying to make me feel better.

Before she and Daddy left for an appointment, she came in to my room, patted me on the right side of my head and said, "alam ko mahirap ang pinagdadaanan mo" and left. Then I burst into tears. (Our family's really not the touchy-feely-huggy sort, so you have to understand that was already an expression of concern.)

This shingles episode has made a crybaby out of me. Before I sleep and after I wake up, I cry. While chatting with my husband via Google Hangout or Viber, I cry. I got a bouquet of yellow roses from him yesterday, I cried. Symptom-wise, it can be all due to the excruciating pain I feel, but mostly, I think it's so unknown. Around afternoon, I try to listen to happy music until I fall asleep. I stay in my room (officially the guest room) most of the time.

It's such a strange illness. As my sister Lani said, "Nerves are affected so you'll have all sorts of weird symptoms." I can't sleep on my left side because that side hurts, but I can't sleep on the right side because my neck/shoulder issue hasn't fully resolved itself yet. So I lie on my back hoping my head doesn't tilt to the left or to the right while I sleep. 

I've been searching online about shingles, but I've decided to stop and let things unfold as it should. I'm getting paranoid about the vesicle on my eyelid. Shingles can cause temporary or permanent eye damage (i.e., blindness). I find myself talking to the virus, asking it to tell me what I should know, what's going on, and why it's happening.

Strangely enough, I've been having very vivid dreams about people who bug me one way or another, good or bad. Maybe they're getting on my nerves without me realizing it? Maybe shingles is my body's way of reminding me who's getting on my nerves. One dream had me saying, "if I lose my eyesight, how can I take pictures?" Some days, I attribute the vivid dreams to the medicines I'm taking. Other times, who knows? Maybe the virus IS talking to me already.