Jane's Blog

Conservatism is Stagnation and Regression

Jane Brogan

Jane Brogan
suburban Philly, Pennsylvania,
December 31
I am a wife, mother of 3, RN, and all for truth, not sound bites. I have Lupus, and several other autoimmune diseases and a stroke survivor. I am a very cheerful, optimistic and happy person, and always try to look for the best in the world! Also, I am an unapologetic liberal. Progressive ideas are what made this country and what continue to move it forward, without progress, we wither on the vine!


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SEPTEMBER 14, 2010 11:21AM


Rate: 6 Flag

     I have had a really bad couple of years health wise.  I am finally starting to feel better.  At least, better than before, which was downright awful.  Last year, I was taking immunosuppressants because of my Lupus. Immunosuppressants are given to people who have had organ transplants to reduce the risk of rejection and also given to people like me-with an autoimmune disorder.   My mother-in-law became gravely ill, and as a result was hospitalized several times and ended up in a nursing home.  Last August, my husband-the man who hasn't taken a sick day in 18 years-came down with shingles(Herpes Zoster).  Anyone who has had chicken pox can get shingles.  The virus lies along the nerve endings and in times of great stress-viola'-shingles appear.  As a nurse, I knew what they looked like and our family doctor agreed.  My husband had the rash for about three months.  He took the anti-viral prescribed and other than occasional pain from the area, he recovered fairly quickly.

     Even though I was feeling human again, I unfortunately developed a wicked sinus infection.  I saw my family doctor on the Friday before Labor day.  I was prescribed my antibiotics and just took it easy for the weekend.  By Sunday night, I noticed a rash on my left arm,  It was really itchy and uncomfortable.  It also burned.  On Labor Day, I also noticed a band of red dots in the area below my bra, on the left side.  You guessed it-I had shingles.  Funny I didn't get them while taking the immunosuppresants,  I get them when I finally feel human again.  My family doctor saw me once again and said that it was shingles.  He prescribed Valtrex(an anti-viral medication).  He also told me that the only people to avoid were those getting chemo and babies under the age of one. 

     I took the script to my local big-chain drug store.  They were very crowded.  I dropped the prescription off and waited since I needed to start the medication as soon as possible. When it was ready, they yelled my name. At the back of the store there were probably 15 people there waiting, also.    So I get the prescription bag and the clerk asks me if I had any questions.  I said no.  She proceeded to say very loudly that the Valtrex doesn't prevent me from passing herpes and to be careful.  At that moment, I swear those 15 people waiting dispersed so quickly.  So there are about 15 people out there who know my full name and now also think I have genital herpes.  I gave the clerk a withering look and grabbed my prescription and left.  I just cannot win! 

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I am so sorry..:(
Shingles.. so painful and well Lupus.. will not even get into that..:(
Rated with hugs
Thanks, Linda. I am grateful I have a name for my illness. Many people suffer and never get to the right diagnosis! My motto-'the devil you know is better than the devil you don't know'!
I remember when my late father-in-law had shingles, and my mother-in-law said he was so miserable and distraught she actually hid his guns!! My grandmother had it, too, and said it was one of the most miserable conditions of her sickly (although she lived to be 88!) life. And as if having shingles isn't bad enough, that pharmacy clerk.....! Geez!!!
Thanks, Amy. I could have made a scene about my privacy being violated, but I just wanted to get home to soak in oatmeal bath-I was so itchy and miserable!
as a renal transplantee ('98) i sure know the ups/downs re: immunos r.
Jon, I am with you there!
I hope you feel better there is so much that we do not know about autoimmune things. I live in dread of shingles since I heard that it can get in the eyes.
Snarky, thanks! I was worried about that, too. It is only on my arm and the left side where my ribs are. I just want it to go away, now!
I hesitate to laugh because I understand shingles can be so miserable. I don't know if shingles belong on a roof, but I know when my husband had shingles, I sure as hell wanted to put him on one. You know how they whine. :)
Hope you're all better.
Fay, thanks for your comments. I am laughing about it because my only alternative is self-pity and I don't go there!
Bless you. Someone dear to me had shingles this summer. I think they do belong on the roof! Hope things will be better for you and your very soon.
As a nurse, you know the power of the HIPAA. You should make a little call to the pharmacy...
AKA Denise, I was so uncomfortable from the shingles I just wanted to get home. I did call the pharmacy manager the next day to complain-and even called the regional pharmacy manager. I have a problem with them yelling names out when scripts are ready, also. The whole transaction should be private-these large chain pharmacies are not conducive to privacy. Thanks for your comments!
Having been "shingled," I am with you in solidarity.
Brad, thanks! I am now at the stage where I am just very uncomfortable-thankfully the itching is gone! This is almost as bad as when I got the mumps-at age 27!
Just a quick note: I did some digging into Lupus a while back because a friend has it. A word of caution: what appears to be Lupus, is, in many cases merely a reaction to artificial sweeteners. If you use them, stop. If you drink diet soda, stop. Check all foods that are not 'natural'. Be a label reader! It cannot hurt to stop using those sweeteners. If your "lupus" eases a lot, you'll be glad you did.