I know ya’ll are used to reading more of my comedic writing but I’ve got some real talk about some physical and mental health issues.
I’ve been getting recurring shingles since I was a young teen. They call it the “Chick Pox Virus” or Herpes Zoster. Apparently when you get chicken pox as a child the virus stays dormant in your body. The virus can then can be reactivated at any moment (usually people over 50) if your immune system gives it an opportunity. They say it’s very rare that people get recurring shingles but it’s very common for me. I get the shingles between 2-4 times a year. It makes it hard to have a regular job, not that I would want one now anyways, but it used to make it really hard. I’ve seen so many types of doctors and healers and found little relief. I’ve logged seasons, food, mental health, habits, etc and just can’t seem to get a head of it.
I’ve noticed that I always get them around the same times of year. Every year, either the week before or the week of Thanksgiving is the most specific I’ve been able to notice with the Fall outbreaks. It makes me wonder what type of deep body memory triggered these in the first place and I’m working on exploring this through more meditation and body work.
This current stent has had me in bed for 2 weeks and it’s just getting started. I guess you could say I’m feeling sorry for myself today, so I decided to write about it. I rarely do but I’m fucking tired of this shit.
I’m tired of telling people I can’t make it, I can’t eat that, I can’t drink that, I can’t smoke that. I’m tired of spending so much of my life in bed. What I really want is to drink some tequila, smoke some tobacco, write and eat some fucking pizza. Is that too much for a 33 year old woman healing from trauma to ask? I mean jesus, I see drug addicts bodies withstanding longer! I guess maybe if you never give your body a chance to catch up like I did, your benders can last almost a lifetime. Almost.
No, I know every body is different and it’s not fair to compare myself to others. I’m just having a moment. I know that the body is intelligent and trying to send me messages of self-healing and I’m trying to listen. I’ve changed many unhealthy habits already and there’s obviously more, I just have to stay open.
My hopes from this post is that maybe by putting this out in writing, there will be some type of shift in my body or spirit. Maybe those who read this can energetically heal me or send me strength. Maybe someone who’s reading this is going through the same thing and we can help each other.
Next I will write the phases that I experience in my body before during and in between these outbreaks.
Phase 1: Swollen lymph glands, sore throat, headache, fatigue, fever, itching/tingling on my nose (this is the nerve line where they usually show up, although I have had them in different spots).
Phase 2: Redness on my nose with intense burning/tingling sensation, fatigue, headache and sore throat worsens, stiff and painful neck/spine, fever, body aches, numbing in legs (similar to when I get my period, it feels like a lack of blood circulation, that’s the only way I know how to explain it).
Phase 3: Painful blistering, burning sores appear along the nerve line (I can’t do anything that causes my body to heat up because they spread so quickly with stress and heat, so I lay still in bed on my back. The area of my nose where they appear sometimes gets so close to my eye that I’m afraid one day I’ll lose my vision), severe fatigue, headache and neck pain, swollen throat flares randomly but sore throat and body aches lessen. This phase is definitely the hardest because I’ve already been in bed for many days, so I’m extremely restless and uncomfortable but can’t do much.
Phase 4: Sores begin to dry out and become less painful as do the other symptoms. Energy returns.
Phase In between Breakouts: Little to no scarring thankfully! Tingling and sensitivity on face, especially in areas where my shingles appeared. Random swelling of lymph nodes and sore throat. Random fatigue. Random spirts of depression I call dips because sometimes they disappear as quickly as they appear, can last between 30 seconds to a week). Fears and anxieties of the next break out but overall psyched to be the fuck out of bed.
The outbreak can take between 5-14 days, sometimes even longer depending on the severity and how much rest I’m able to get. I’m lucky to be living in Mexico and working remotely so that I can rest without feeling tons of pressure financially.
I’ve never met or heard of anyone with recurring shingles like mine. It’s obvious that it’s an underlying condition of some sort whether it be emotional or physical. Not that the two are much different anyway.
Here’s a picture of me a month ago, traveling in Oaxaca, feeling good, next to some graffiti that says “Puta.”
These moments can be seem few and far between, especially right now, so this photo’s a good reminder.