Shingles are not sexy.

Don’t Google Flesh-Eating Bacteria

I was drying off after a long hot shower when I discovered a small red welt on my calf.

Must’ve come from Colt whacking me with his baseball bat, I thought.

But an hour later, the welt was three times its original size. It was tingly and hot. I made Todd examine it.

(Gone are the days when I would’ve hidden it from him out of fear he’d be grossed out and turned off. Six years of marriage and anything goes.)

We watched the wound fester before our eyes. I grabbed my laptop and Googled flesh-eating bacteria.

I have a bad habit of regularly Googling symptoms like stomach aches, toothaches, headaches, hemorrhoids…

I know what I’m going to find is an exaggerated version of the truth, but I can’t help it.

Shingles are not sexy.

Shingles are not sexy.

I indulge myself in explicit photos of protruding guts, brain tumors, abscessed molars.

Flesh-eating bacteria. Necrotizing Fasciitis. Furiously, I read through articles on zip lining, amputations. Death. I became more and more certain of my affliction.

The next morning the wound was larger and blistering over.

The girls at work thought it was Poison Ivy, but I didn’t recall any recent walks in the wilderness. We live in an apartment complex. There’s barely any trees. Maybe when I parked near that bush the other day, there was some wild ivy growing around it that I didn’t notice?

Since I work close to a supermarket, I decided to hobble over and ask the pharmacist about my leg. I hoisted it up on to the counter. “Is this Poison Ivy or Necrotizing Fasciitis?” I asked.

She said she’d never seen anything like it.

Convinced my undiagnosable sickness was contagious, my coworker nervously drove me to the doctor.

I had Shingles.

I had heard of Shingles, but thought it only happened to old people. Turns out a head cold and a new job is also a recipe for leg herpes.

But I was so relieved to know I wasn’t going to need a double amputation, I called my parents.

“I have Shingles!” I said. “I don’t have flesh-eating bacteria!”

My dad was dumbfounded.

It’s not that Shingles don’t suck. They do. They burn and itch and make wearing a skirt impossible.

But I was going to get to keep all my parts. Hooray!

Word to the wise…don’t google anything but restaurants and road maps. Ignorance is bliss.

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  • Reply Erin Taylor June 21, 2012 at 2:15 am

    lol i love how you turned something so painful into something so funny….i got shingles around my eye when i first moved here, i guess it was stress, and i thought a spider bit me during the night and then it started to spread and we realized this was NOT the case. i hope it gets better soon, i know how painful that is..

  • Reply fromcouchtofinishline November 25, 2012 at 3:54 am

    Did they give you Valtrex for it. I had stress induced shingles a little over three years ago and that’s what they perscribed me. Thanks doc…the shingles are gone but the pharmacist now things I have genital herpes. Great……

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