3.08.2007

I have HERPES!!! (sorta)

No...not THAT kind of herpes...I'm a good girl. Git yer heads outta the gutter, already!

A few days ago I started getting this intense tingling on one side of my stomach. By the following day the tingling was joined by itching and weird, painful twinges. Not long after this the area (only a couple of square inches and a much smaller area over further to the side) became covered with small pink bumps. At first I simply thought it was bug bites or hives or something, as I tend to get pretty severe reactions to both. But hives and bug bites improve or disappear after a few days--this thing is getting worse...like OMFG this is the itchiest thing EVER! Extra strength Cortaid and Benadryl spray don't touch it.

So I started to do some online research and most of what my symptoms kept leading me to was a diagnosis of shingles--basically chicken pox in people who have already had chicken pox. I had the pox, but a very mild case. And shingles tend to strike people with suppressed immune systems...I have endometriosis (auto-immune disorder) and in the past week have been recovering from a cold AND an intestinal bug. Bingo.

I had read that getting on anti-viral meds ASAP can help a bit, so at 4:30 I decided to run down to the nearest med-center and have it looked at, rather than wait until tomorrow and suffer through another night of not sleeping well from the itching.

The doctor was really nice...had me lift my shirt, looked at it for only a second and verified my self-diagnosis. She also said that my recent viral illnesses almost certainly opened me up for this. Right away gave me a couple of samples of Valtrex and a script for a week's course of the anti-viral.

Funny thing...for years my hubby and I have joked about the Valtrex ads and how attractive and fit the actors in them look...yeah, right, like people with herpes are all so pretty and athletic.

And now I am one of them!

k

4 comments:

  1. Aww...I hope you get better soon!!!

    I love being a computer desk dr!! I had a terrible rash a couple of years ago which I correctly diagnosed as scarlet fever. Many me feel a bit like Mary Ingalls!

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  2. It's funny, scarlet fever always seemed like such an "old fashioned" affliction, but in recent years I have known several people to come down with that. Scary stuff, though. How'd you end up diagnosing yourself? What sort of symptoms did you have initially?

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  3. Well, I'd had what I thought was a bad cold for about a month. Turns out it was an untreated step infection which had morphed into scarlet fever. The rash combined with my month long sore throat fit in pretty neatly with the online description of scarlett fever.

    It does indeed seem like an old-fashioned ailment. My friends kept teasing mefor having such a 19th century illness, asking me if scurvy was next! But, sadly I suspect as more and more people are uninsured or under-insured we'll see a resurgence of stuff like scarlet fever. The whole reason I came down with it was I had crappy insurance and didn't want to go to the dr. If I'd treated the strep with antibotics it would never have turned into scarlet fever.

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  4. YIKES! I don't think I've ever had strep...I hope I never do. I know once a person has had it they tend to be much more prone to developing it repeatedly. At leats you know what to look for, now.

    My first sinus infection got really bad and I ended up with pneumonia and bronchitis, too. Now when I have the first signs of a sinus infection I get to the doctor ASAP. I am pretty prone to them, so I've gotten good at identifying the early symptoms.

    k

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