A pox on pox and their ilk!
When the blisters began to form, I thought I had a chemical burn from a cleaner I had used at work. I remembered dripping it on my hand.
I expected improvement in a day or two, but instead, the blisters got worse, More blisters appeared. Then the top of my hand was numb. When I woke up with severe pain shooting up my arm, it was very clear that I needed to see the doctor. By the time I got there, the numbness had gone up my arm to the elbow.
The diagnosis: I have shingles. The doctor said it's unusual to have shingles on a hand, but the outbreak on just the pinkie and ring finger is consistent with the virus following a nerve. The numbness and shooting pains are symptoms of the nervous system involvement.
Just to be sure, he took a fluid sample from one of the blisters, Then he wrote me a prescription for an anti-viral (Famciclover) and some painkillers (Darvocet).
I get through the day OK. The blisters are very tender, but it helps to bandaid them. The numbness doesn't bother me too much. Nights are the problem. When I'm asleep and my hand lies still, the shooting pains develop.
Last night was miserable. I woke up at least a dozen times. I couldn't find the heat pad (Dennis had put it somewhere), so I used the hot water bottle and found some relief in pressing my arm against it. If the Darvocet helped, I couldn't tell. Demerol would have been better. I'm hoping for better sleep tonight.
I've learned some things from this experience. I've learned that I was not sympathetic enough to my mother-in-law when she had shingles. I thought she might be a bit whiny. It's ironic that now I have shingles, and yes, I am whining about it. Shingles makes a person do that. I understand that now.