It started out as just innocuous itching, irritating but not worth a second thought. But then things changed over the next week. I noticed tenderness in my left breast and tried to recall if I’d been hit by the pickleball in that area. The tenderness gave way to a deep burning sensation. Now I was starting to get concerned.
My first fear was cancer, knowing too many people who have had this awful disease. I found myself unable to keep my eyes open about 4:00 each day and succumbing to naps, but still able to sleep throughout the night. Why was I so tired?
Then the itching progressed from irritating to maddening and seemed to follow a direct route along my left side. Not being able to see this area well on my own I had Left Brain do a check for me and confirmed I had some kind of rash forming. It was time to see a doctor. I will spare you the photos of the rash.
This is the inconvenient part of living on the road….wondering where to go for medical treatment. The internet in the RV park was down, so I went to my new phone for answers and found a mobile app for users of my insurance company to find preferred providers. Cool.
There was a walk in clinic not far from me; we’d driven past it several times without ever giving it a second glance. So I packed up my Kindle and prepared to settle in for what could be a long wait and drove over.
It was easy to register and get settled in, everybody was so friendly and helpful and soon I was at ease. After being seen by a competent young woman and ruling out any problems with lumps in the breasts she announced what I was suspecting all along: shingles.
I had the shingles vaccine as soon as I turned 60 and insurance covered it, because I never ever wanted to have this ailment. It didn’t prevent it, but she said it probably minimized the severity of it. Either way…it’s mine now.
So, for the next week I am to “baby myself” and lay low to allow my immune system to catch up and begin healing me. They called the prescriptions for a couple of meds over to Walmart for me to help knock out the virus and deal with the pain.
The worst part of the news was I should not play pickleball for the next week. When I asked about volleyball later in the day I got a resounding “NO” to that as well. Bummer.
I’d had chicken pox as a baby and don’t recall the agony that went with it, so I guess this is life giving me a second chance to savor that sensation. Life can be funny that way sometimes.
So, it looks like I'll be a woman of leisure as I rest and recover. There’s always more sewing to be done. Maybe now’s the time to finish up those projects I began earlier.
Long Live the Itchy Queen