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Not Your Average Roof Job

I’ve been scarce here this past week, and for a reason: I’ve felt lousy since Tuesday or so, with headaches, mild queasies, and a weird prickly surface pain on the skin of my back, just under my left shoulder blade. The headaches may be due to my trick neck, which throws all kinds of tantrums (including headaches) whenever I look up too high. The back pain was a puzzle; I thought it might have been a pulled muscle from a rough weight training session a week ago Thursday, but it’s not as deep a pain as with other muscles I’ve molested over the years.

Carol scratched her head as I downed another couple of Tylenol yesterday noonish, and said, “I sure hope it isn’t shingles.” I didn’t think so. No spots. So about 3:30, when I found myself scratching an itch on my back, I went into the bathroom and looked in the mirror.


We called a dermatologist I saw some years back, but Friday being Friday, his office was already closed. With that not an option, Carol sent me packing to our HMO’s Urgent Care facility so fast my head spun. Sure ’nuff, the little bastards that gave me chicken pox in 1960 have been hanging out in my nerve fibers for half a century, and just happened to choose this week to come out and party.

So I’m on antivirals and Prednisone for awhile. Physician said I did very well by coming in an hour and a half after pegging the symptoms–which is all due to my brilliant wife’s intuition and expertise–since most people don’t look for help until the outbreak is much further along and the antivirals don’t work as well. That’s good, because if it gets a whole lot worse than this I’ll be a very unhappy guy.

More as it happens. Or doesn’t. Oremus.


  1. Tom R. says:

    Jeff, I hope that Shingles outbreak is quickly controlled. My dad had it back in the ’60’s and there just wasn’t any treatment then. I got the vaccine last year and hope it works. I had NO idea that there even was a vaccine until my doctor asked me if I wanted the shot. I don’t know if it is too late for that after you have had a case of them or not, but if not, you might want to consider that for future reference.

    1. Still spreading, and worse this morning. I hope to see a specialist later today, but it looks like our upcoming vacation may be toast.

  2. Larry N says:

    Sorry about the discomfort.

    Viruses are amazing in capacity for dormancy. I had a wart in my left pinky when I was ten years old. Gold old Compound W removed it. But there was an ever-so-slight change in the fingerprint whorl pattern. Forty years later it came back in exactly the same place.

    It’s gone again and I think for good, there is no further disruption in the whorl.

  3. Paul says:

    Jeff – hoping you have a speedy recovery. My Dad had shingles, he was affected on his head. A slight breeze through his hair and he was near tears. Wearing a hat was completely out of the question.

    It’s too bad the vaccine is hard to get if you’re under 60.

  4. Carrington Dixon says:

    Ouch! I haven’t has them myself, but my wife did. They are no fun at all.

    Hope you have a quick recovery!

  5. Lee Hart says:

    So sorry to hear about the shingles. I had them once when I lived in Rochester, and they drove me crazy! The good news is that they will go away.

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