Sunday, July 11, 2010

Return of the Pox

Lurking in the dark cellular recesses of some obtuse nerve cluster in my spine, it has waited these many years.

Dormant, unknown, unseen, and unsuspected.

Chicken pox is pretty much as normal to Canadian children as, well, chicken soup served by your mother when you were sick. The one thing we all consoled ourselves with is that once you've had chicken pox, you can't get it again.

Well, yes and no. Chicken pox never really leaves your system, it just coalesces into one nerve bundle in your body and patiently bides it nefarious time.

Then suddenly, out of seemingly nowhere, the surly mutant one day decides it wants to stretch it's gnarly wings and wreak havoc once more upon the unsuspecting. And so for the past week, I have unwillingly and unwittingly joined the ranks of those who endure what is commonly known as "shingles".

On a scale of one to ten, with ten indicating a severe case, I'd have to say I've been very fortunate. The rash that many report has been very, very small. In fact, I initially thought I had been bitten by a few spiders -- not an uncommon thing when you live in the desert. And frankly, I think I'd rather have shingles than know that there was spider venom creeping through my innards.

So, I've been lucky on the rash end of the stick. But as numerous friends have commented to the effect of "dude, shingles is really painful", I can readily confirm their medically-sound-but-otherwise-unhelpful opinions.

Which, being translated, means "OUCH".

But at least it's not poisonous spider bites! :)