Monday, November 17, 2008


At the end of my eighth week of enduring shingles on the left side of my face, I am once again able to use my left eye to write, read, and watch TV. Up until then (Saturday, Nov. 15, 2008), the eye was so light sensitive that I had to spend my time in darkness or with the eye closed.
Don't get me wrong, the torture of the shingles continues, but has abated somewhat. I started out with piercing pain in my eye and now have the discomfort of itching or the sense of a foreigh object is in the eye or a pressure on the eye. In reality, the sensations I mention come from the upper lid, the eyebrow, and the area between the eye and the nose. In addition, my forehead, side of the face, and scalp itch or feel pressure or are sensitive to touch (so I don't touch those areas.)
I learned a long time ago from experience kidney stone and then gall stones and in my childhood toothaches that the absence of pain is pleasure. For the past eight weeks, my life hasn't been pleasurable at all. In the grand scheme of pain, especially for the poor souls who suffer from burns, the shingles onslaught is a serious discomfort.
On Sunday, I watched a full movie for the first time in eight weeks and this entry to my blog is the beginning of my return to writing. I should mention that any physical exertion tires me enough to send me into sleep throughout the day. As a consequence, I lie awake through much of the night.
Since I was unable to read, I turned to Book on CD, which was a form of salvation along the NPR. Commercial radio generally is an emptiness unless you enjoy commercials.
At the outset, I asked my doctor how long this affliction would last. He sat silent and I pushed: "How long? Two days or a year?" The doctor responded: "Somewhere in between." Later he told me that I could expect this agony to last for at least several weeks or even six months. Well that is better than forever.

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