Stories of life on our farm in Northwest Georgia where every day is an adventure in this beautiful spot that God has entrusted to our stewardship.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

If I Can't Be A Good Example . . .

One of my favorite sayings is:

"If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning."  Catherine Aird

Although I would rather be a good example, in this case I'll just have to be the horrible warning. So here goes . . .

If you're 50 years old or older, GET THAT SHINGLES VACCINE!

RUN!  Do not pass Go, do not collect $200!  RUN to your nearest pharmacy and get that vaccine!

I thought about it last year.  I thought, "I'm 60 now.  I should probably get the shingles vaccine."  But of course I was too busy, and I didn't.

So for my New Year's present, I got shingles on my head, on my face, and in my eye.

Everything you've heard about it is true--and then some.  It is excruciating.  It felt like someone was stabbing an ice pick through my right temple into my eye at the same time that someone was ironing the skin of my face at the same time that it itched like crazy and I felt like clawing my skin off.

Luckily my eye doctor, an ophthalmologist, got me in right away and diagnosed shingles even before I got the tell-tale rash.  He put me on an anti-viral agent and prednisone eye drops, as shingles in the eye can cause blindness.

I'm finished with all of that and have finally been assured that there is no permanent eye damage.  However, I still have the pain, which can last for months, as well as fatigue and exhaustion.  The pain is mostly controlled by a prescription I take at night, but unfortunately, it leaves me dizzy until noon the next day.  I continue to take L-lysine and Boswellia (frankincense) tablets.  The itching has been almost completely taken care of by essential oils.  (I use Young Living oils.)  Here's a lotion I made that really helped the itching:

Susan’s Shingles Lotion
Base: 1 T. coconut oil, melted (Or 1 T. melted shea butter plus 1/2 T. glycerin, whisked together)
4 drops of lavender essential oil
3 drops of eucalyptus essential oil
3 drops of geranium essential oil
5  drops ravintsara essential oil  

Melt the coconut oil or shea butter gently in the microwave.  Let this base cool, as heat compromises essential oils.  (If using shea butter, as it begins to cool, whisk in the glycerin; this keeps the shea butter softer for easier application.)  Once the base has cooled down but is still liquid, add the oils one at a time, whisking to blend.  While still liquid, pour into a small clean glass jar and let solidify.  Use a fingertip to apply to the rash as often as needed.

A month after this started, I look a whole lot better than that photo.  In fact, I look almost normal on the outside, but appearances can be deceiving.  I am more than ready to get my life back!  I'd love to wake up in the morning and have my usual energy back again.  I'd love to walk out to the barnyard and shovel a bit of manure without feeling winded or drive out to see the cattle in the Back Pasture without it wearing me out.

I'm not writing this to complain.  I'm writing it because if I can convince one person to go get their shingles vaccine, I will have been something more than a horrible warning--I'll have been a good example!
 

11 comments:

  1. oh man, this is so awful! I hope you are recovered soon!

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    1. Thanks, Petey! I've been thinking of you and the debilitation you live with on a daily basis. It gives me a new "appreciation" of what you go through--and your patience in dealing with it!

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  2. I'm so sorry Susan! I'm glad you're recovering well.
    Love Helen

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    1. Thanks, Helen! I wanted to bring you one of Siobhan's harnesses to repair and then BOOM! Not up to that yet, but I'll come see you some day!

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  3. My MIL was our horrible warning. We went out and got our vaccine ASAP after seeing what she went through. Glad you are doing better, and thank you for being such a kind and thoughtful person to post this.

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    1. You're so welcome! My internist told me that the most common reason for people getting the shingles vaccine is knowing someone who got shingles. If an ambassador someone knows is more convincing, I'm willing to be that!

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  4. Oh Susan... That is so horrible... But thank you for sharing your story. I think it will help people to take action to protect themselves. I've not had it myself, but my brother has...and was misdiagnosed for several weeks. Needless to say, he's been through terrible pain, itching, and the rash.... It's only now, 8 months after the fact, that he's feeling some relief. Hugs.

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    1. You're welcome, Sharon. Wow, your poor brother! It makes me feel doubly-blessed that I got a quick diagnosis and treatment and that I'm getting relief way before 8 months!

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  5. Thanks for posting this Susan, you have convinced me. I thought I would take my chances, but after reading what you went through I am going today and get vaccinated. Glad to see you are better now and hope you continue to recover.

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    1. Thanks for letting me know that, Gordon! It's really encouraging. Glad I could help!

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  6. You mentioned you had shingles last month, and I want you to know that I promptly got the shot - so THANK YOU!

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