Thursday, December 1, 2011

Up On The Housetop...

...this is not going where you think it is. Yeah, I know, this time of year those words will automatically cause you to start humming, and trying to remember the words to the song you learned  back on the playground. But, as lovely as that memory is, and you may well thank me abut the 2000th time it runs through your head today, this is about an entirely different subject.

Up on the housetop, your dwelling is covered by a variety of building materials. There are several different types of roofing materials available. This story will use the name of one of the most prevalent types, but it's not about your roof either. (it's my blog, poetic license, and I am in a mood).Not that I am not qualified to discuss roofing materials, I am the daughter of a roofer. A man that worked for the same Roofing and Building Materials company for over 50 years. A man who fell from our roof on October 31, broke his hip, had surgery, and returned to work on January 2nd, at the age of 82. I grew up schlepping buckets, rolls, bundles, believe me I am qualified to talk about roofing materials.

But, I digress. I do that more often these days.

Today I do indeed want to talk about shingles. But, not the shingles that go up on the housetop...I was just attempting a bit of humor, jocularity as it were. Take my word for it, I can use all of the levity I can find these days. No, today I am writing about the disease commonly referred to as  shingles. Herpes zoster, from the varicella zoster virus that gave me a lovely case of chickenpox when I was in the first grade. By the way, my little sister and I had may have been considered overachievers, as it turned out we had the measles and the chickenpox at the very same time. But, as children do, we recovered, which was no easy feat as those illnesses require different types of treatment!

So, this virus gives you a mild childhood illness-or you acquire it through vaccination- then it hunkers down in your body and hibernates for, oh, let's say 50-60 years and attacks you with a vengeance. What the heck is up with that? One more question for my list!! Now I am no stranger to adversity, no stranger to medical problems, I am a cancer survivor-3 times, 28 years cancer free now- I broke my back in a car wreck, I have a neurological disease that is the most painful disease known to man, but I am not ashamed to admit that shingles has whooped by butt! I have never been as sick as I have been over the last couple of weeks. I will not bore you with the details, suffice it to say that since my head and face are home to the problem there are photos and I think those who make Zombie movies will be interested in buying them.

I will share that I have learned that there is a shingles vaccine. I honestly did not know that. It is recommended for those 60 and older, which may be why no one had mentioned it to me!! Honestly, I am not a proponent of vaccines. I am just a mature old growth hippie, I kept my son unvaccinated-and he has never had an illness that a vaccine would have prevented. BUT, I admit that the prospect of another bout with these shingles has me looking into the vaccine. Since this evil little virus NEVER leaves your body (how rude is that?) the vaccine can be useful even after you have had an outbreak. It is a fairly new vaccine, and I recommend you discuss it with your doctor. One can never have too much information.

Turns out,  that I won't be having the vaccine, I am allergic to one of the components. So, I will just be hoping that my body will not need new roofing materials anytime soon. Believe me, I will never look Up On The Housetop again without thinking about the shingles!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

hope you are feeling better... it is an incredibly painful disease... and can be triggered by stress... ugh.

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