Writing Wednesday will resume next week. 

We all go through pain. Some physical, some emotional, some relational. This week I am sharing about a recent experience I had with pain and what I learned through it. Please know that whatever pain may be experiencing, I’m sorry. I probably don’t understand, and I am in no way trying to level pain to the same playing field- it’s all different, requiring different responses and courses of action. I simply want to share my story so that you will be encouraged and so that you will find hope in our Healer, Jesus Christ.

You can read:
Part 1
Part 2

I got up soon after Filipe left for Dallas; I couldn’t sleep through the pain. I noticed the allergy medicine didn’t do much. Great. Why do they make medicine that doesn’t do what it says it will do? I took some Aleve. Maybe taking something new was the trick.

I tried to do some of my Bible study while the kids continued to sleep, but I couldn’t focus. So I began getting myself ready for the day- it took me longer anyway. The water from the shower felt like needles on my back.

The doctor’s office didn’t open until 8am, and I was counting down the minutes. By 8am, the kids and I were dressed and ready. I loaded the kids into the car to take Lily to school. I called the doctor en route and the receptionist got me an appointment for 10:30am. Apparently the words “pain” and “allergic reaction” get you in pretty fast.

After dropping Lily off, I took Cailyn to her doctor for a TB test check, and then dropped her and Efraim off at my sister-in-law’s house. She happened to be free that day and said she could keep them with her for the morning. Thank you, Lord!

I drove across town to the doctor. I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited to see the doctor. All I wanted was some pain medicine that would do the job. At this point, the pain had been non-stop for days, and it had started to wear me down. If it hadn’t been for continuous prayers and repetition of the phrase “patiently endure”, I don’t know how I would have gotten through it.

Once at the doctor’s office, the nurse called my name and took me back to a room. She looked at my back that now had deep purple-looking blisters on it (responding with an “oh my gosh!”) and left. If I didn’t feel like a freak before, I really felt like one now.

The doc came in, greeted me, and began asking questions. I told him the whole story, ending with an “I’m just weird” statement. After getting all the info he needed, he finally came over to check it out. After mumbling a few things like, “Okay it doesn’t cross over the spine, etc.”, he exclaimed, “I know what this is.”

There’s a name for this! Maybe I’m not a freak after all. Or if I am, having a name for it makes me a little less freakish. That’s what I think anyway.

“You have shingles”, he said. “It is a VERY painful rash.”
Well, if that’s how you define it, then yes, I can affirm, I have shingles, because I am in a lot of pain and I have a horrible rash. 

He kept emphasizing how painful it is.
I kept looking at him with an “I KNOW!” expression.

He told me that people who get it on their stomach will mistake it for a broken rib because of it’s intensity. (Later, reading online, I learned that some have mistaken it for a heart attack, and others, appendicitis. After hearing that, I was thankful for where I got it. It could have been a lot worse. I can’t imagine.)

But isn’t that for older people?, I thought. Maybe I am consider older now, my birthday was only days away. Happy 32nd birthday to me!

I think the doc read my mind because he answered me before I could ask.

He explained that it’s part of the chickenpox strand and that after you’ve had it, it lies dormant in your body. At any time, for no apparent reason, it can manifest, and when it does, it causes shingles. He then said that while it’s more common in older people, they are seeing it increasingly in younger people due to things like…stress.

Oh, well I can’t think of anything I would have to stress about. 

The doc gave me three prescriptions, told me it should clear up in about ten days, and sent me off. At least I had pain medicine and answers. Knowing it would clear up soon helped me in my pursuit of “patiently enduring”.

After leaving the doctor, I called the chiropractor, told her the diagnosis, and thanked her for her adjustments. Then I called Filipe and told him the news. He exclaimed, “What is that?!”

I went by the pharmacy to pick up the meds (paid $197 for it!) and got some Chipotle to-go. I went home for a few minutes and just sat in amazement of my week so far. Thank you Lord for getting me through it all until this point. Please help me to continue to endure.  

An hour later I picked up Lily from school, and we headed over to my mother-in-law’s house. My sister-in-law had already taken my other two there for lunch and naps. My mother-in-law took care of all of us that afternoon/evening while I took the pain medicine and slept. I didn’t know how the narcotic would affect me, and was scared to be alone with the kids. It didn’t completely take away the pain nor did it make me fall asleep, but it did take the edge off. Better than before.

Continue reading tomorrow for Part 4 of my recovery and what God taught me about pain in the process. 

Q4U: How soon do you call your MD? Immediately or do you wait it out first? Have you ever had chicken pox?