Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Yesterday on the eve of my second anniversary of the shingles affliction in and around my left eye, I walked up to my local drug store to discover a sign in the window offering the shingles vaccine. I was happy to see the vaccine, which was somewhat difficult to get only two years ago, now broadly available.
I said to the clerk at the counter where I was picking up a prescription, “I am a poster child for the shingles vaccine. I’ve have gone through two years of suffering with shingles.”
After two years with shingles, there is little to report other than to say that nothing much has changed: the itching, aching, unpleasant sensations including a feeling of swelling continue 24 hours a day at anywhere from a mild to a significantly-irritating level around my left eye including the eyelid, eyebrow, forehead and scalp.
When the feelings get really bad, I take Advil or Tylenol, which takes off the edge but doesn’t completely relieve the symptoms. I find that taking hot baths and applying hot compresses once or twice a day helps too.
For those with the continuing onslaught of shingles, I offer my sympathy. For anyone 60 or older who has thus far escaped this minor plague, I suggest getting the shingles vaccine, Zostavax. This is the only shingles vaccine available at the moment. The vaccine gives the recipient a 50-50 chance of escaping shingles. Based on my personal experience, I would say those are good odds.

A suggestion: My novel, THE PENCIL ARTIST is available as an e-book on Smashwords, Kindle, and Barnes and Noble; as a paperback on Amazon.

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