Monday, November 30, 2009

27 with Shingles

And not the kind you put on your roof.

This post may contain graphic content and probably just TMI. If you are sensitive to TMI, then do not read any further.

I am only 27 years old and I uncommonly have shingles. Go figure I would get something known more commonly in 70 year old men. Geez!

You're probably asking yourself, "What the heck are shingles?" That's what I started wondering on Friday afternoon. According to WebMD, and WebMD is the best internet doctor and source for self-diagnosis, shingles (herpes zoster) is a viral infection of the nerve root. It causes pain and often causes a rash on one side of the body, the left or right. The rash appears in a band, a strip, or a small area. Shingles is most common in older adults and people who have weak immune systems because of stress, injury, certain medicines, or other reasons. Most people who get shingles will get better and will not get it again.

What I have learned is that shingles may be more common in people over the age of 60 who have had chickenpox in the past but you can still get it at the wee age of 27. Apparently, when you get chicken pox (I had it as a kid) the virus that causes chicken pox lies dormant in your nerve roots.

My Shingles Timeline

Last Monday

I thought I might have pulled or stretched my groin muscle on the right side from the dang-o P90X leg workout the day before. My right groin started to feel sore when I would sit down and get up and start walking. I was confident it was from the workout. By the evening time, I was incredibly "sore" and could barely lift my leg to take a step or get into bed without feeling sharp pain and worn out.

In the morning, while sitting at work, I noticed my lower back feeling irritated. When I reached back to scratch it, I noticed a small area that was bright red with a little spot that resembled a small pimple. So, I first thought it was a pimple. After it seemed what I can only describe as somewhat itchy, but more irritating, I asked a co-worker to look at it to see if there was anything weird. She said it just looked like a small rash probably from the tag of the pants I was wearing rubbing that area too much. This totally made sense to me. By Tuesday evening, the rash was sore and irritating. My groin hurt when I walked or sat. I felt very tired as if I was just worn out. I just wanted to lay down...which is fairly uncommon for me.

My groin still really hurt. It just seemed to be getting worse rather then better. The rash on my lower back was getting slightly bigger and more "pimply". By Wednesday evening, I was aching on my right side. Small sharp pains started shooting down the inner part of my right thigh. Sparky agreed that the rash seemed to be getting worse. I was finally starting to think that the rash may not be from my pant tag rubbing my skin too much. I started thinking I might be allergic to something and I started to run through everything I had done in the last week and anything new I might have encountered. I was still sure that I pulled my groin.

Thursday (Thanksgiving Day)

The rash looked a little blistery and getting dressed took a bit longer because of the pain in my right groin. My hip and buttock area start to get a bit achy and sensitive when anything as simple as clothing brushed up against them. Sitting in the car and at Thanksgiving lunch and dinner were incredibly uncomfortable. I kept telling everyone that I thought I pulled my groin; because I was sure I had. It was the only thing that made sense to me. I couldn't wait to get home and put on my pj's (as I am sure everyone was on this day), but I really couldn't wait. While sitting in the car, I had to slouch in the seat to feel like I was kind of laying down. Every bump and turn in the car hurt some part of my right side of the body.

I tried to sleep in because I was uncomfortable all night. I tossed and turned and kept waking up with shooting pains in my groin and lower back area. At this point I was starting to worry. Could pulling my groin really affect the rest of my body like it was? That is the question I kept wondering. I was surprised when Sparky and I awoke, that he wanted to go shopping! I mean really! A man wanted to go shopping on Black Friday. So, I was of course gung-ho despite my pain and tiredness. I normally am up and ready to start the day around 7am. I slept in and had difficulty moving so getting out of bed was difficult. Sparky said he had to do some shopping for me (awwww) and for me to get ready while he was gone. So, I did. Sparky even made my coffee for me before he left to his Babalou Christmas shopping extravaganza, knowing I just needed him to do it on this day.

I struggled to get ready for the day. That's all I will say. I started to google different rashes to see if my rash was allergy related or possibly something else. I found shingles but wasn't convinced I had shingles because of my age. I didn't really know anything about shingles and the only person I could think of that had it was a 70 year old man at work and a friend in his early 30's that uncommonly had it in October.

Sparky got back home and we didn't leave the house until 11am. We got lunch and I was already exhausted. I had been out of the house for half an hour and I was miserable. We shopped at two places and I was done. I didn't even buy anything. We went home and I laid in bed for the rest of the day and night. My pain was worse. I had shooting pains in my right thigh, my right hip, my right buttock, my right groin, and my lower back on the right side. My rash was bigger and starting to spread in spots around my right side and hip.

We had our friend who had shingles in October come by and look at my rash to see if it seemed similar to what he had. He said it was very similar and also all my symptoms. All I could think to myself was how the heck can I have shingles? I went back to lay in bed.

I barely slept the night before. I woke up Saturday morning with pain and a spreading rash. I could barely walk. I couldn't lay on my right side because the rash was spreading on my right side and it hurt too much. I couldn't lay on my back either because that was where the bugger of rash started and was still growing.

Sparky urged me to go to one of the urgent care doctors to see if they could confirm I had shingles and to give me medication to get rid of it and/or to help the pain. So we went to an urgent care doctor and she confirmed it. Definitely shingles. Great.

She prescribes an anti-viral medication and a neuro pain medication to prevent the pain from continuing for a long period of months or years. Apparently, even when the rash disappears after about 2-3 weeks, the pain associated with it can stay for months or years. Scary.

I'm kind of a stubborn dumb dumb Even after all this and getting my meds, I was determined to meet my family at the mall to do some minor shopping. Sparky is such a trooper and accompanied his gimp girlfriend to the mall. Luckily we got a great deal on two doggie beds (a future blog). It didn't take long for me to get tired of the walking. It hurt. You know the pain in my groin I was convinced was caused from working out? It was not a pulled was the shingles. Everywhere I had felt pain, I had developed my blistering rash. The walking was almost unbearable with the rash in my groin. What was I thinking?

I went home.

I hate laying around feeling helpless. The day before was a day and night of laying in bed. My stubbornness kept telling me to not lay around again. So, what do I do? I vacuum. Because it relaxes me. Go figure. Then I convinced Sparky I wanted to go to Target to get a blanket. I. am. weird.

It's all too much. I overdid it all week and the day before. On Sunday, I finally conceded and agreed that I couldn't move. I laid on the couch ALL day. ew. I watched a lot of The Hills re-runs. My brain is slightly dumber now too.

I thought I would be able to make it to work today since I laid around ALL day yesterday. But alas, last night while sitting up to eat, I realized there was no way. Just sitting up hurts. It's quite pathetic. So, I'm laying around on the couch again today. I still have shooting pains in my lower back and my groin area. It's a struggle to get up and walking across the house is a chore in itself.

Shingles in the groin is awful. The lower back is awful too. Any pants or underwear are uncomfortable. Even the slightest brush of fabric is annoying.

Luckily, the rashes are starting to blister...which is a good thing. I've read that the timeline from beginning to end of shingles is 2-3 weeks. Great.

But, I am lucky. This will go away. I keep telling myself it could be worse. At least it's not terminal and it will go away. I should be back to normal in a couple of weeks if not sooner.

Keep on Keepin on.

Friday, November 20, 2009

I'm Crushing On...

The Waterfall Ruffle Curtain from Urban Outfitters!

I heart the white ruffle curtain and seriously heart the cool grey ruffle curtains too! Sparky and I are starting the transformation of our "dog room" into Babalou's very own "Writing Room"! Woot Woot! You know I'm ecstatic. I guess it's my gift for handling all the months of Sparky's studying so well. At least that's what I tell myself.

We already picked out and picked up the paint. I picked somewhat of a cool grey color of paint. I think and I am crossing my stubby Islander fingers that the paint will be the right amount of light and not too overly dark.

So, currently we have sheer white curtains up in the room. I am thinking about keeping them and just adding the white Waterfall Ruffle curtains on two windows!

Now for the grey. I just heart them. I think the grey on grey would just be too much. In our guest bedroom, I'm planning on re-furbishing all the furniture from their current dark stain to a rustic white. The walls will stay white. I think the grey Waterfall Ruffle curtains would just be gorgeous in the guest bedroom with some dark purple or turquoise accents (still deciding on this).

So, what do you think?

Keep on Keepin on.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Snuggie...For Dogs


I am my mother's daughter. Remember when I told you about my mom and her obsession with random purchases on QVC, infomercials, and especially "As Seen on TV" products? Well, the finger has turned around to point itself at me.

I bought the Snuggie...

for dogs.

I know. Sad.

But our little chihuahua, Harley, was beginning to show the signs of cold weather. Her shivering and hiding under blankets was just too much to handle. So...

tee hee. It was just too cute. I couldn't say no.

Keep on Keepin on.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

P90X...Week One

I woke up this morning in good spirits and little to no soreness. This relief was a far cry from the torture of last night’s P90X video and the agonizing pain I endured all day Sunday and Monday due to Saturday morning’s battle with Tony. Relief today is an understatement.

Yesterday, I was Miss Waddles-A-Lot. I could barely walk or sit down to use the restroom without cursing my workout from two days ago. Dang you, workout! I will defeat you, I promise!

Last Tuesday was the beginning of P90X. Carnie and I committed to each other for the next 13 weeks to prove we too could have lean chiseled bodies in which Tony promises. I actually just wanted to see what the workout was like. I had heard so many people, many of them athletes, claim that P90X is/was one of the hardest workouts they ever did. I, of course, had to see for myself.

Day numero uno. We should have started Monday, but something came up. So Tuesday was our first day; but we started with the second video in the Lean program so that we would not get off the P90X schedule. This video was Cardio. It was actually fun! I like the cardio. It left me hopeful and thinking, “I can do this.”

Day dos. (I don’t know why I am counting in just feels right.) Arms, shoulders and ab ripper X. Don’t forget the “x”, ya’ll. Arms and shoulders were not so bad. I did have spaghetti arms when it was all said and done, but it was definitely do-able. Now, as for the super duper Ab Ripper X...don’t forget the “x”...

I hate you.

I hate Ab Ripper X. The “x” can go “x” off somewhere. Worst 15 minutes of my life. I was definitely defeated and all hope was lost.

Day tres. Yoga. Oh, how I love thee. Yoga, you are the best. With the exception of my sweaty hands slipping all over my yoga mat causing my downward dog to constantly force me into a pseudo plank position; and my sweaty feet slipping causing me to grip the mat with super uber toe strength, in turn ripping the mat...I heart yoga. I’ll wear socks next time and lay a towel down where my hands go...compromise is my specialty.

Plus, Carnie had work stuff on this night, so Sparky stepped in and did the yoga with me. Yoga is totally worth it on its own, but add a non-flexible male who has never done a second of yoga in his life and it is worth all the aches and pains soon to come...

Friday. Break. I suck. Pizza was far more appealing.

Day quatro. Saturday morning. 8:30 am. Little did I know when I woke up at 7:00am that at 8:30am I would be meeting my doom. Good thing I got some coffee and vacuuming in before impending death occurred. (yes, vacuuming relaxes me...don’t judge)

Legs, back, and my biggest foe, ab ripper X. screw off, “x”. An hour of legs and back didn’t sound so bad in the beginning. My tree trunk thighs are pretty I thought. I swear that in one of the sets of one legged lunges I felt my muscle rip in my thigh...I swear. Too bad there wasn’t any immediate or short-after pain to back up my claim. Dang it. This hour of torture and pain caused one of the few times I’ve ever had spaghetti legs. Even 20 plus miles on a bike didn’t cause this pain. As for the ab ripper X, I brought it (better than before) this time. I will not let you defeat me.

So, what did Carnie and I do after our 1 hour and 15 minutes of legs, back, and abs? We did what any normal girls would do to make them feel better about themselves...we got a carb-filled breakfast, expensive coffee, and went garage selling. Woo hoo! As soon as I found the original Trivial Pursuit in perfect condition with all the pieces for just $ morning was all better. Now I can work on memorizing all the answers!

Sunday. Can’t move. Calf muscles feel like they are trying to rip away from the bone in revenge from the 90 calf raises the day before. My glutes (that’s muscle talk for “butt”) have shooting pain every time they jiggle (which is a lot). I woke up feeling like I could get through the day’s workout, Kenpo.

I still don’t know what the Kenpo video looks like. I’ll find out later this week.

So, obviously, Sunday was another break day. Carnie and I rock.

Last night, Monday, was Core Synergistics. Remember, all day I was Miss Waddles-A-Lot. I still tried to tough through the Core Synergistics as much as out-of-shape humanly possible. 50 minutes...we skipped the bonus round. Are you surprised? I had never felt so beat up in my entire life. During the entire work out, my body parts were competing for which part hurt the most. People say the key to P90X is the “muscle confusion”...I think the body’s muscles are just confused at which one hurts the most.

This morning...relief. Most of my pain seems to have subsided.

Carnie and I are back to the second beginning with Cardio tonight and I’m actually EXCITED. Can you believe that?

Perhaps all the hard work might actually pay off...eventually.

More to come.

Keep on. Keepin on.

Monday, November 09, 2009

A Tune for a Monday Afternoon

I'm crushing on Pete Yorn and Scarlett Johanssen today. You should too.

Keep on Keepin on.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

P90x - Day One

You've seen the infomercial for P90x. You've wanted to try it. Well, at least I did. I wanted to see for myself what all the hub-bub was all about. I heard it really works and it is supposed to be one of the most difficult work outs ever because of it's "muscle confusion" blah blah

A friend of mine and I started it today.

Day numero UNO. All I have to say is I'm ready to go to more details on my midget leg kicking, confused boxing, uber super yoga, sweaty slipping hands during downward dog, and name calling and hating on the only female who was perfect at everything in the video...will have to come later this week.

Good times. Bring it, Day two!

Keep on Keepin on.

Monday, November 02, 2009

I Heart Ellen

I heart Ellen. She knows how to have good ole fashioned clean fun and she never fails to make me laugh HYSTERICALLY!

I saw this video today which is from Ellen's show and I laughed out loud for a good few minutes; and then I made Sparky watch it and he laughed hysterically for a good few minutes...I could hear him from the other room.

I hope this at least brings a smile to your face if not make you laugh out loud.

Taylor Swift is such a good sport. You can't help but like someone who can laugh at themselves.

Keep on Keepin on.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

I hope you had a Happy Halloween!

So does John and Kate and their 8...

So does Octo-Mom

So does Olive Oyl

So does Prince

and even the Paparazzi

You missed out on some goodies!

And the s'mores were uber dee-lish!

Dress up is always a good time with friends!

Keep on Keepin on.