It intimates that a person should avoid the disease, like one should avoid climbing their roof because both might be risky.
Years ago (before children), Cowboy Fan and I dashed to Mexico for an adventure, visiting villages, hiking through the jungle, downing margaritas and dancing in the village plaza.
Two weeks later, a red band developed around half of my waist. Shingles.
Insert a “shrug” here. I was young. Strong. Blissfully unaware of the disease. How bad could it be?
I was unable to take the then-approved medicine. The doctors decided the safest plan of action was to let the herpes zoster run its course. Those guys must have been comedians…or sadists.
I only remember 3 parts of the disease. The rest has been blanked out while screaming into a pillow.
Stage 1: SATAN’S ICEPICKS. Health books calmly describe this phase with: A red rash may develop. These non-alarmist don’t want to tell you that ice-picks are being heated in the furnaces of hell until white-hot, then thousands of them stabbed into the affected area. Over and over. And again.
These are the affected nerves endings firing away. Why they don’t pop with a sensation like coolness, the touch of silk, or even a vanilla scent, I’m not sure. Probably because they’re too busy writhing and screaming obscenities. (Good times.)
Stage 2: COOL DESIGNS. Blisters pattern the skin. This is the foul curses and crazed fury, emitted by the nerves, bubbling to the surface. Blisters on top of one another create designs that an alien life form or Hollywood make-up artist would covet. Of course, the icepick pain continues. (More good times)
Stage 3: SKIN CRAWL: More damnable atrocities occur, but I only remember this last phase. A year later, when all was healed, a bit of stress could jerk those damaged nerves into action. This post therpetic neuralgia was like a slug reacting to salt, the nerve buds twitched and shivered. I’d pat and examine my skin, sure there were worms wriggling underneath. The last phase came and went for about three years. Just nature’s little reminder that the virus never truly clears the body.
I hate sticking vaccines in my body, but because I’ve been there and done that, odds of reducing another outbreak by 50% sounds wonderful. Better than a lottery ticket. Too bad I have to wait until I’m 60. Even with a $200 immunization price tag, I consider it well worth it.
But only 10% of the senior population has chosen vaccination, according to the Center for Disease Control.
Perhaps the pharmacies would consider letting me help them step up their lackluster advertising efforts?