We spent the day quietly relaxing in
the RV and taking a couple strolls around the campground.After 53 years of marriage, we’re a bit too
old to get real crazy.We spent the
evening with our daughter and son-in-law and the grandkids.Then we talked about the issue that was going
to end our trip for sure.
Since just before leaving home, Jean
had been suffering with an agonizing, blistering rash on her right side that
both itched and burned.Laura’s husband,
Carl, is a nurse that specializes in nursing home care.As soon as Jean brought the issue up, he
looked at her and told her she had shingles.He suggested that we go as soon as possible to the area clinic, ABC
As soon as we finished breakfast the
next morning, we went to the clinic where they confirmed her shingles.They sent her to the pharmacy, and since it
is contagious by contact, they also recommended that I get the vaccine.The shot is not cheap at $120, but with our
insurance, the co-pay was $28, so I was inoculated.That is not a guarantee of immunity, but is
expected to minimize the chances of contracting the shingles, as well as
minimizing the severity of the outbreak if I do get them.
I usually discount anything that some
personality comes on TV promoting, but in retrospect, everything Terry Bradshaw
said about shingles is true about the rash, the discomfort, and the
advisability of getting the shot if you had chickenpox and are over age
60.They said that shingles is an
autoimmune problem, so illness, stress, or anything that compromises the immune
system can be the catalyst that starts the shingles outbreak.Besides the prescription she got, Jean seemed
to get the greatest relief from “Anti-Monkey Butt Powder.”It is a skin moisture and friction
preventer.So, in retrospect, I was glad
that I had not taken off on the trip and left her to deal with this on her own,
and certainly wasn’t going to leave her now in such discomfort.Once started, shingles can take from a couple
months to a year to clear up.
I thought of maybe getting some time
on the lake, but the afternoon brought intense, severe thunderstorms, so even
little Lake Opossum was not going to be a possibility this day.