Sunday, January 15, 2017

A ramble through the last 24 hours

On my penultimate day in Boulder I woke up with three insect bites in a row on the edge of my jawbone. It looked as though a spider had landed on one side of my chin and then crawled up, biting me as it went. I paid these bites minimal attention but by the time I got back to Blighty I had three more, and the ones on my ear were shooting out little jolts of pain, so I went on the NHS website to check for some easily diagnosed spotty disease: there was nothing that looked like my large itchy lumps. The GP, however, took one look and said "Shingles. You have it on the trigeminal nerve - on the beard line." Hmm.

He gave me an antiviral drug to stop it spreading and getting worse. It's not been too bad since then - Tuesday - except that it wears me out. I am easily tired, under par, and a little fed up. Apparently I can give people chicken pox but not shingles. The family member who declines to be named wanted to come and visit yesterday and I wanted to see him. He cheers me up. But I couldn't recall if he had had chicken pox as a child, though I do recall his measles.  And this made me think of my mother. I was always incredibly frustrated when she couldn't remember which diseases I'd had as a child, and yet there were FIVE of us. Now I forgive her. I hope she forgives me. Dave did remember: the offspring in question had definitely not had chicken pox.

So I felt grumpy at not seeing him, and decided that a spot of writing would cheer me up. I've had a novel idea bubbling away for some months which I know it would be foolhardy to pursue, but I might do it anyway.

Then I went for a short walk and felt even better. The fresh air was one thing, but the afternoon winter sky was streaked with pearly grey and pastel yellow behind a row of tall trees and was heavenly. I love living here. 

Unfortunately I didn't take my camera with me, so here is Friday's sunset instead, taken from a bedroom window:

We played Scrabble last night and unusually I won. Dave said that when I am winning, I always tot up the scores out loud, something I never do when he is winning. Now that's the kind of trivial yet interesting habit that would be good to put in a novel. 

This morning I had a messaging chat with Karen, the aging hippie in California, who is going on three demos in the coming week (all pro-equality and anti-Trump): this is the banner she's made to hold -

and then a phone chat with my brother which involved a good-natured spat about Mr Vole (see last post). Having a jolly argument with a much-loved sibling about a children's book, where voices are raised but no feelings are hurt, is both invigorating and cheering.

Downstairs Dave was reading Alan Bennet's latest. He told me that his wellies are very warm and he is currently wearing them as slippers. Hmm. I checked them for muddy soles. (All clear.) Also, he might buy a pair specifically to wear inside. Hmm.

Then I went to Quaker meeting where only 18 people were present, but 7 got up to speak. It was very helpful.

Driving back in the rain I spotted the drains on the lane overflowing, so when I got home I excitedly donned my wellies and grabbed a spade and went back to clear them. As you know, I LOVE clearing drains.

Now I'm in bed at 2.05 pm exhausted, but the last 24 hours has been fun, even if I didn't see the family member who declines to be named.



ana said...

Shingles can be nasty, so it's good to read that you have fine medical advice and seem to be almost as busy and active as ever, if this post is an indication. My GP was really pushing the anti vax last year and I know w of so many who have battled shingles that I jumped at the chance to be protected even though I had earlier been advised against by a younger more conservative medical relative. At my age, I've chosen to take a few more risks!

Do hope you continue to be able to be kep up the Scrabble and the other aspects of your very full life, relatively undaunted. ;):)

Sue Hepworth said...

Thank you, Ana. I think I must have had a mild case, or maybe the anti viral medication was super effective, Whatever, my few spots have dried up and my energy levels are almost back to normal - which is not saying much!
Today I am working on placards for the BRIDGES NOT WALLS event on Friday,
(The NHS offers anti shingles vaccination for the over 70s. I am not a vaccination fan, and am not 70 yet, so it is not something I have to think about yet.)