Thursday, November 21, 2013


Early last week, I had what seemed like an insect bite, but it didn't start to disappear: it increased in size and discomfort.. By Friday evening it was a significant and itchy rash. I didn't feel that an emergency room visit was called for, but a call was made to Kaiser's Richmond dermatology department, and i was fitted in for a Monday appointment at 4::45 p.m.. My regular dermatologist was not available, but the young man who took her place was excellent. He was virtually certain that I was suffering from Shingles, a diagnosis later confirmed by a biopsy. If one has had chickenpox, as I had before WWll, one is liable to suffer later in life from Shingles. Some years ago, I had taken medical advice to have an anti-Shingles inoculation. This doesn't prevent one catching the ailment, but it lessens the effect. For my comfort, the rash was smeared with Vaseline, and then covered with gauze and loosely bandaged. I also began a course of anti-viral tablets--five a day for a week. Despite the itch, I have had my usual good night's sleep every night. I removed the dressing on Friday to take a shower. In other words, I have easily endured a mild case of Shingles, a condition which is often very painful and may last a long time. If you have had chickenpox, I strongly recommend you to be inoculated..

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