Happy weekend, and happy FALL! I have had a rollercoaster start to the new season, getting diagnosed with SHINGLES yesterday after a few days of burning, tingling pain and then waking up yesterday with the telltale rash. I’ve never had shingles before and didn’t know much about it, but when the pain started last Sunday, I immediately thought it might be shingles, because this is one of those things where the physical sensation truly feels like the word sounds. Shingles! I mean, doesn’t that just make you think of tingly, burning, pins-and-needles pain? So, when I got the rash yesterday — which is on my butt, you guys, though the pain is more extensive — I made an appointment with a doctor to confirm and get on meds right away because I knew enough to know you want to attack it quickly before it spreads and gets worse.
My own doctor was booked so I got a new-to-me doctor, and as soon as she walked into the room, she was like, “Oh, you’re a mom from school!” And then I was like, “Oh! That’s why you look familiar! Wanna see a rash on my butt?” And then I pulled down my pants and she confirmed it was Shingles and said she was impressed I’d diagnosed myself so quickly and should pay myself the co-pay (which, actually, sounds like a great idea, right? Like, if patients can correctly self-diagnose their ailments, their co-pays should be waived. It could get people to the doctor who may otherwise suffer without necessary medications, and it would save doctors from wasting time looking up various symptoms on Google). I’d suggest the idea to Congress — since they’re so proactive with healthcare — but it seems they have other things on their plate at the moment.
Anyway, after I got my diagnosis confirmed, I rushed home to quickly freshen up, give the kids some shingles hugs (don’t worry – they’ve had chicken pox vaccinations!), and head out with Drew to see Paul Simon, whose finale tour wraps up tonight. I’ve seen him twice before and both shows were fantastic, and last night was maybe even more so. He and his band played and played and played — for about three hours with no break — and it all sounded so great and nostalgic and perfect. In our taxi ride home, NYC was twinkly and magical and showing off, and it was the best night, despite the shingles.
This morning, just at the break of dawn, my mother called. I saw the name on my caller Id and immediately knew why she was calling. My dear, sweet, beloved grandmother — the last of my living grandparents — has passed away, several weeks after being moved to nursing home hospice care. I have more to say about her, but for now I am thinking of the birthday card she sent me a couple weeks ago, her very last correspondence to me. She was so weak at that point, she could only write one word herself: “Love.” My aunt finished the message: “Love Grandma Always.”
I always have and I always will. Rest in Peace, Grandma Betty. I’m going to miss you so much.