02/24 Life / Real Talk

Real Talk: Take Care of Yourself

You know when something unfortunate strikes and you look back and can kinda see that it was maybe inevitable or only a matter of time before it happened and wish you had taken precautions but then really you can only say that in hindsight because you never would have guessed it would be you who would suffer such specific consequences?  This is maybe an overshare/TMI post for some so if you’re not into that, don’t keep reading.  

Anyways, I was diagnosed with shingles earlier this week, UGH.  I’m very lucky that it seems to be a relatively mild case and my rashes are located in places that are covered by clothing, but man they are so painful.  I’d describe it as a burning, getting jabbed with needles feeling and the blistery rashes look awful.  Other than that I’ve been feeling really tired.  From my research, there’s no known cause for this reactivation of the chicken pox virus, but occurrences tend to coincide with high stress or lowered immunity.

I’ve always considered myself a stressful person.  I stress out and worry about everything, and the positive spin I’d put on it is that this is what motivates me to do whatever it takes to get shit done.  It is irrefutable however that this is not a healthy way to be.  For me this has manifested itself in late nights, forgetting to eat, and lack of sleep.  Lately I think with the stresses of trying to get ahead on deadlines while keeping up with work goals, wedding planning (I’m not so sure about this one because it hasn’t been completely terrible but I’m throwing it into the mix because it has been time consuming and sometimes terrible), and generally not keeping up with healthy habits, this could have been the breeding grounds for shingles to pop its ugly head into my life.

And maybe none of this has anything to do with it at all.

The point is, it has me thinking about and reevaluating my lifestyle, the one I resolved over and over again to be healthier and better about and my body is telling me to slow down, so I’m going to do that.  I very much understand consequences could be way worse and am so grateful that they’re not, and I certainly don’t want to test that before making positive changes.

Today was supposed to be a Friday links post but I felt much more like sharing this tiny reminder to take care of yourself.  Work can wait, your health cannot.

Work can wait, your health cannot, OK??

And talk to your doctor to see if you’re a good candidate to get the shingles vaccine.  Shingles suuuuuuuckssssss and you for sure don’t want it, I promise.

Other than watching the Oscars, I’m doing absolutely nothing this weekend, and it’s going to be GOOD.  Hope it’s a good one for you, too!  Thanks for coming through <3

26 comments on “Real Talk: Take Care of Yourself”

  1. My husband got shingles too about 2 years ago. Hopefully you found out early and were able to get the antiviral medicine. He was out of work for a week. We’re in our mid thirties, so we got chicken pox instead of the chicken pox vaccine. And we’re too young for the shingles vaccine. There’s a going theory that because the generation following us did get the vaccine, our immune systems were never re-exposed to the chicken pox virus and our immunity wasn’t ever reactivated.

    Hope you get better soon.

    1. I think I found out early enough and got on a very aggressive antiviral prescription, but the rashes still needed to peak and that has been painful to go through, ack. Praying I never have to go through it again and I wish the same for your husband, sorry to hear it affected him so terribly!

  2. My mother had shingles and was warned she could end up with permanent nerve damage with no treatment options for the pain. This was avoided by her taking the full cycle of the antibiotic ciprofloxacin even though it made her extremely nauseous. You may want to talk to your doctor about it because many are not aware how effective this drug can be against shingles if taken for the full course.
    For more information I checked out http://everydayhealth.com/drugs/ciprofloxacin for things like drug interactions. I believe it also interfered with that month’s birth control pills.
    Good luck and I hope you have a full recovery quickly!

    1. I’ll have to ask my doc but so far I’m on a high dose antiviral that has left me without an option for pain management, right. Doc said other pain meds would be too taxing on my liver in addition to the antiviral but I should be ok because I’m “young” ha. Thanks for the info and well wishes, Dani!

  3. Thank you for sharing this with all of us. Sending good wishes for healing your way. Your grappling with how to create a life you love that includes balance and self care contributes to all of us in a big and human way. Please take good care!

      1. Thank you, Amy, and ditto! Not only have you showed us that it is possible to bring beauty into our environments and our lives, you are an example of courage and generosity! Hope you are getting some well deserved rest!

  4. Great reminder – and hope you’re better soon!!! My mom was quite ill a few years ago (she’s better now) but shingles was running around in the family so we made sure she got the shingles shot. Worth every penny. Take care!!!

  5. Totally understand what you’re going through. I had shingles around my eye a few years ago even though I’d had the shingles shot. My case was much milder than it would have been due to having had the shot and fortunately, I was started on medicine very quickly. I still get swelling around the area at times. I’m a huge proponent of getting the shot if one is eligible. Take care and rest; I was under stress when mine showed up as well.

    1. Oo the eye is brutal, but good to hear the vaccine helped prevent it from being worse!! Right, I learned it’s not completely preventative but can at least make occurrences milder. Thanks for sharing, Jen, and you take care as well.

  6. Bless you!! I’m glad you shared – we all need reminders to sloooow down. Now, you put on whatever is comfortable, eat comfort food (that someone else prepares!), and zone out in front of that TV!
    Hugs and a kiss to your forehead!

  7. Thank you so much for this reminder.
    I feel like many times, I or people I know, will go to the doctor with this pain. Maybe it’s a persistent headache or a weird feeling in your belly. And the doctor says, “It’s caused by stress.” And what we hear is “there’s nothing they can do about it.”
    Nope… that’s not what they’re saying at all. There’s something that *I* can do about it! If only I take a minute to step back and truly relax.

    1. Stress is absolutely a major factor in a lot of the ailments we suffer, and if not the cause, definitely a complicator. It plays a bigger role than we are usually aware of, you’re right!

  8. I just went through something remarkably similar. (Kidney stones with a kidney infection.) I was looking at a small promotion at work, with more responsibilities. I was considering taking it in spite of the health issues. This was just the reminder I needed to slow down. Thanks.

    1. Ah, that’s rough, and really hard to take a step back from our ambitions but truly –> NOTHING is worth the expense of our health. Take care of yourself, Sarahbeth!

  9. Amy, thank you so much for sharing this. I’m 24 and I was just diagnosed with shingles last week. I was feeling so alone and guilty because I think it really is my fault for not taking the best care of my immune system. I exercise a lot but I don’t manage my stress levels well at all. The doctor told me she’s seeing more and more millennials getting it–ugh! Anyway, just wanted to let you know that your post made me feel much less alone. Feel better soon!

    1. I’ve been hearing more about younger generations getting shingles whereas before this was much more of a concern for later age. I totally understand the guilt you feel. I feel it too, and I also feel better knowing we’re not alone. I relate on the exercising a lot effort, and in addition to that I think I do a good job of eating healthy, but I’ve learned it’s stress management and a regular sleep cycle that contribute most to our immunity. We haven’t failed, we just need to continue figuring out what works best of our lifestyles! Hope you’re feeling better, Em.

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