So some of you may already know because I was being so diligent about trying to catch up with my reading & commenting, hubby & I moved back to Winnipeg, MB, Canada last week.  This started with hubby getting laid off from his job 3 weeks before his 65th birthday.  Another Alberta bust due to the huge drop in oil prices in the boom & bust cycle!  His first reaction was to try to find another job with one of his contacts from his old job – my first reaction was I’m tired of this boom & bust cycle, I want to go back to Winnipeg where all our kids & families live.  Guess who won?

Hubby was very understanding about the limitations I face with COPD & arthritis so we hired movers to not only move our furniture but also to come in & do some of the packing.  But of course I insisted on helping some & pottered around with some of the boxes.  But I was trying very hard not to overtire myself because I tend to get sick when I get overtired.  For instance, once we made our decision to move back to Wpg. we made a very quick trip from Edmonton to Wpg. (15 hour drive each way) to look for a place to live.  We spent 3 days in town looking at as many apartments as we could manage, trying to find the one we wanted which of course was the last one we looked at!  The morning we were to drive back to Edmonton, I awoke with a very sore throat.  By the time we got home, I was sniffling, sneezing & coughing as well.   I fought the good fight on my own for 2 full weeks before I had to ask the doctor for help with antibiotics to get rid of the sinus & lung infection.

This time, even though I was really careful not to tire myself out, I awoke yesterday morning with a huge swelling on the left side of my neck including my lymph gland.  Behind my ear is swollen, under my ear is swollen & it continues down to my collar bone & around to my spine.  And it hurts something fierce!  I can barely turn my head to the right or left & Extra Strength Tylenol is not touching the pain.

Now, here’s a problem – I moved to a completely different province only 4 days ago!  I do not have a physician in this province or this city!  I do not have a health card for this province (although in Canada the provinces honor other province’s health cards for up to 3 months).  So I had to go to a walk-in clinic & sit & wait & wait & wait.  I was lucky enough to find a very nice doctor who does not accept private patients, he only accepts walk-in patients.  He was kind together we discovered the rash all over the top left side of my head that I was only just becoming aware of because I was more concerned with the pain in my ear & neck!  But now the rash has appeared it feels like someone is shooting the top of my head with electric shocks a lot!

If you didn’t guess from my title – I have Shingles!  For those of you who don’t know what Shingles is all about, here is some info. for you.  From the Mayo Clinic website:

Shingles is caused by the varicella-zoster virus — the same virus that causes chickenpox. After you’ve had chickenpox, the virus lies inactive in nerve tissue near your spinal cord and brain. Years later, the virus may reactivate as shingles.

The signs and symptoms of shingles usually affect only a small section of one side of your body. These signs and symptoms may include:

  • Pain, burning, numbness or tingling
  • Sensitivity to touch
  • A red rash that begins a few days after the pain
  • Fluid-filled blisters that break open and crust over
  • Itching

Some people also experience:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Fatigue

Pain is usually the first symptom of shingles. For some, it can be intense.  While it isn’t a life-threatening condition, shingles can be very painful.

Shingles pic

This picture is very similar to the rash I am currently sporting on my scalp & the edges of my forehead.

So, here I am, even more laid up than usual while hubby tries to put our new apartment together, mostly by himself.  And since it hurts a lot more to wear my glasses (which I need to write), I’m going to leave it here for now.  More later . . .