Friday, November 7, 2008

Not just for your roof

Because my life is never interesting enough without some sort of drama, it turns out that I have shingles.

And now, a lesson on why vaccines are important, and why I get so angry when someone says, “Well, if your child is vaccinated, then my unvaccinated child doesn’t pose a risk.” That, boys and girls, is complete and utter nonsense!

I had the first hint of a rash on my back on Saturday. It itched, I scratched; I had TM look at, he said it looked like a bug bite. No worries. I stuck a Scooby Doo bandaid on it and went on my merry way. It was still pretty itchy on Sunday and Monday, but I just tried to ignore it. Bug bites itch, right?

By Monday afternoon, I had a bit of a tender spot on my left side under my arm. I went to the bathroom and checked it out. Lo and behold, the mother of all rashes. I also discovered multiple splotches on my back. Because it was so itchy, I figured it must be poison ivy again.

I finally went to the doctor on Thursday, since it seemed to be getting worse. Voila! Shingles!

In that time frame I managed to expose a pregnant woman and an infant too young to be vaccinated*. I also went to two different grocery stores, worked in the lab, sat in a couple of seminars, etc.

So take a moment to imagine the possibilities. What if my shingles were something more highly contagious? What if it was more dangerous? How much damage could I have done?

*Hopefully they’re both safe since the exposure was when the rash was in its earliest stages.

1 comment:

post-doc said...

Oh, ick. I've heard shingles can be quite painful so I hope you're coping as well as possible.