I know this is going to get me some weird blog searches, but here goes…


The day after we returned from our recent trip, I noticed a weird little something on my side. I showed it to Donn. Together, we discussed what it could possibly be. It was red, and looked rather as if a mosquito had gotten trapped between the folds of my shirt and had bitten frantically about 25 times in a small area. But that’s not logical. Any mosquito worth her salt, er, blood, would have grimly hung on until she exploded, and I would have had one huge welt instead of many.

It was gross, it was itchy, but it hurt. It burned, actually. It was painful to touch, and my whole side hurt, too. It grew to be a sort of welt, about the size of Donn’s two middle fingers, with about 35-40 individual sores.

Being me, I thought about going to the dr, but what with one thing and another (twins’ birthday, house guests, etc) I didn’t. Didn’t want to do anything rash. It was probably some weird sand flea bite or something, I reasoned, from sleeping in the sand, or maybe some weird plant I rubbed against while dune-sliding on our trip. Days passed. The little spots turned into blisters, and began to pop. My side still really hurt.

Last Saturday (12 days into it), I showed it to a friend who’s a nurse, who was here dropping off her son to get a ride to the beach. “That looks like shingles!” she exclaimed! So, that night, I showed it to our house guest, who is also a nurse. “That looks like shingles!” he said.

We looked up shingles on the net. It turns out that it’s an old person’s disease. The article just kept rubbing it in; “high rates among the elderly,” “advancing age,” “age-related.” I had all the symptoms, and the picture looked like what I had.

Ok I get the message. I’m old now. I didn’t think I was that old though. Aren’t you as young as you feel? More than a little depressed, I went to bed.

Next day, Sunday, I decided to talk to the doctor about it. There’s a Canadian dr here who works for the same NGO we do, and operates a clinic in a poor area of town. He came over to the house in the afternoon, had a cup of coffee, and gave his verdict. Yes, it did look like a mild case of shingles. But, I was too young to be the classic case. (I nearly kissed him in gratitude) Although I had chicken pox as a child, my immune system should be normal now. It was probably a worm, he said, and called it Creeping Eruption, which is a cool name you have to admit. Much better than shingles. We would treat for worms, and if that didn’t help, then we would do blood work to see why my immune system was compromised. Scary words like diabetes and HIV tripped off his tongue.

So I found myself in the unlikely situation of hoping I had worms.

I took a course of Vermox, and it’s much better this week, although still itchy. Presumably that is from the dead worms decomposing? Hope so! I meant to show it to him again today but I forgot. I suppose I could go to the clinic, but what with traffic the way it is, and it always takes so long, etc. Besides, it’s almost gone.

Still itchy though.