Remember when I thought I could go two months without seeing any doctors?
Shouldn't be too difficult, I thought: arthritis is on a reasonably even keel lately; new defibrillator and leads are in and shouldn't be falling apart anytime soon; new meds are started.
I didn't consider the many little things, all the lovely partners-in-crime of autoimmune diseases, that can surface unexpected. Like shingles, which I began to notice on the palm of my hand on Saturday and which are now covering my hand and arm, swollen, bright red, and painful. I've had shingles before, during a time of intense stress, and I've been feeling increasingly overwhelmed these past few weeks. So here come the shingles.
And thus I found myself at the doctor's office this morning, and then at the pharmacy, shelling out for a week-long course of antivirals.
At first I was angry, and quite averse to a trip to the doctor. There goes my goal, I thought. All I wanted was two months without a medical appointment! Two months of feeling like someone whose body works just fine without expert advice. So I stomped around a bit with furrowed brow, etc.
But then I thought, Ok. Maybe I don't get to be the person who doesn't go to a doctor. Maybe I'll be the person who goes to the doctor and takes care of things right away, and doesn't let them get out of control. That's a pretty good thing to be, right?
And really, if you're going to nip something in the bud, shingles is a good thing to nip. It's gross - both in its symptoms and in its genesis (the chicken pox virus hibernates in the spinal column and then wakes up years later, like an alien), and itchy and sore and unpleasant - for some, it's excruciating, although luckily not for me - and it's a good thing to get rid of if you can.
So I'm taking my horrendously expensive antivirals and attempting to de-stress a little (although I have just agreed to co-chair my city's Walk to Fight Arthritis and have also accepted a research assistant position with a legal history society). And I'm ok with going to the doctor when I need to. I guess.