Holy Spot Batman

As I start this month’s blog entry our great land (the good ol’ USA) has just enjoyed a day of giving thanks and being grateful, Thanksgiving. Then, as many acerbic critics are wont to say,  we head out to start Christmas shopping and accumulating more things. Apparently we aren’t quite as satisfied as we thought.

This morning, the infamous Black Friday, as I let the dogs out for their early morning wees, snow graced the landscaping (and their paws) rather like a plush carpet. You know that inexpensive mauve colored carpet you really didn’t want but the price was right, so you bought it. Now that it is laid you might just as well step on it, enjoy it and know that someday it will be gone (which, in the case of snow, will be whenever spring arrives in Mini- Snow-duh!).

Ouch! That stings

A few weeks ago I had an unusual experience and I just have to share it with you, both to help should it happen to you, and to just say I thought it was my greatest trial and error and later success. What was this cataclysmic event? In one powerful word, shingles.

One morning I had what felt like a small pimple on the left side of my forehead. I reached up to touch it and it tingled. Then I touched my left eyebrow, for no apparent reason, and it tingled but I admit I ignored the tingle thinking perhaps I had some kind of neuralgia. The second day, they still tingled.

The third day, I looked in the mirror. Aachh! I had red spots on my forehead and now the left side of my throat was sore and I had a headache on the left side of my head and those damned spots persisted in tingling when touched.

Now I was getting suspicious and I posted this photo, and my symptoms, with this question to my Facebook group, “Do you think this is shingles?”

Group consensus: “Yes it looks and sounds like shingles”.

Alternative or traditional medicine, that is the question.

Faced with the reality that this was most likely a shingles outbreak I needed to decide what course of action to take. I was seeing a homeopathic doctor the following week, so I decided to call her on the off-chance she could see me that afternoon.

Fortune was on my side, her computer had gone in for a refurbish and she had cancelled patients knowing her computer was not working. It was healed and furbished more quickly than she thought and she was willing to see me in a couple of hours.

Dr. Kim Lane spent 4 hours with me that afternoon and I went home with a remedy, sulphur 200. Actually she popped two pellets in my mouth before I left her office and I made my merry way home with the warning that should the shingles head for my eye I needed to see a opthalmologist immediately.

Murphy’s Law Implemented

It must be a Murphy’s Law that nothing will happen when it is convenient, or if that isn’t one of Murphy’s Laws, it should be because nothing could be truer. Sunday morning, when no respectable doctor is in the office, I suddenly felt something in my left eye. It was an abrasive scratchy feeling and it scared me but I was confident that my sight was okay and that the remedy was working. My biggest mistake was mentioning my eye symptoms to my family and their frightened response scared me in to doing something which, ultimately, was useless. I went in to our local urgent care.

Anyone who has read my blog for a nanosecond knows my opinion of traditional medical care. Suffice it to say, there is a time and a place for  conventional medical treatment, of that there can be no denying, but it did nothing for my shingles. My body, helped by the remedy from Dr. Lane was fighting this off and my trip to Urgent Care was a total waste of time any way you look at it. To appease everyone I took Acyclovir for 24 hours and then stopped and let my body do its work which it did very well.

Treating the pox

A week later, I had no pain and, in fact, I had had no pain but I did have some rather ugly and slightly itchy pox on my forehead and one really ugly carbuncle on my left eyebrow. They were no longer spreading and they were slightly crusty.

As pox go they weren’t too bad but they were bothersome. Because I was still using a “wet” homeopathic Sulphur remedy I had to be very careful not to use essential oils on my unsightly spots but I found something even better than essential oils, raw honey.

I discovered the idea while surfing the internet looking for ideas on how best to treat shingles and came across Mercola’s idea for treating shingles once you get them. He suggested trying raw honey because it has enzymes and certain healing properties, so I started dabbing raw honey on the pox.

The only other treatment I used was taking the occasional Boswellia capsule and I have found the best Boswellia to be Boswell Relief by Life Enhancement. I found it at iHerb.com and if you have an interest in trying it for pain relief you can save money on first time orders by using my coupon code: YAN884. I use it for the occasional headache and it worked very well on the shingles’ headache, a one sided headache that many but not all sufferers have.

Back to work

As I am a health care provider I stayed out of the office for a week (actually they told me to stay home). Having a pox marked face hanging over yours just didn’t seem very appealing to me. If I was repulsed by the idea I could only imagine how my dental patients would feel and my office manager finally agreed once she saw my face (texting capabilities are a real convenience sometimes).

I did go back to work looking like the photo to the left. I applied a dab of makeup and wore my hair down. To that you add a mask and goggles and no one even asked what was wrong. Applying makeup to my eyebrow still stimulates the nerve endings but now three weeks later there really isn’t any sign of my pox just that slight very occasional itchy sensation in my scalp and on my eyebrow.

Kris Insight

My insight, that I feel would have helped me had someone told me, is to see a homeopathic doctor at the first sign of the pox. If you haven’t seen a homeopathic doctor before be warned the first appointment is really long and the questions are very soul-searching and sometimes difficult to answer. Just know that the questions are asked to help the homeopathic doctor pick the right remedy.

I highly recommend the use of raw, unpasteurized honey on the pox. You could warm it slightly to make it more spreadable but otherwise just dip your clean fingertip in a small bowl of raw honey and dab it on lightly. Be warned that if you use too much honey it will drip down your face making an ugly situation even more attractive (I was using raw buckwheat honey, so the dark streaks made me look a bit of a freak).

Essential oils like Tea Tree oil and eucalyptus are comforting but not useful if you are treating with a homeopathic remedy as anything of that ilk will negate the remedy (even drinking coffee is a no-no while using a remedy).

Do not believe people when they tell you that shingles only occur in the same spot. I can tell you that isn’t true. I now know I have had two shingles outbreaks before and they were both on my right side in the region of my lower back.

Those outbreaks were much uglier (more widespread and dark) and I didn’t know they were shingles at the time but they acted the same way, tingling at first and then itchy later,  and took about the same amount of time to clear up. They weren’t on my face which made it easier to cope and continue to work but they were on a different side and place than this outbreak. I believe that shingles don’t cross the mid-line during an outbreak but they do occur on different sides and places.

One last thing that there seems to be a lot of debate about. You are only contagious when the pox are moist and if you can cover them protecting others from the exudate you will not spread it to anyone, even those who haven’t had chickenpox. One Facebook friend has recurrent shingles and her husband has never had the chickenpox, so when she has an outbreak she keeps them covered and he has never gotten chickenpox. People are in far more danger from the unknowing public than from you the informed victim of recurrent shingles.

Holidays and Celebrations

I hope you and your family have a wonderful and healthy holiday season. At my house it will be Christmas we celebrate and I am looking forward to having my grandson around, so I can experience the wonder of  Christmas through the eyes of a child again. As hard as I try sometimes I really do forget my inner child.

See you here just before the new year with my third annual list of favorite things. I am seriously thinking about going back to weekly entries with more recipes and ideas for good health, so comments would be appreciated!

Santé,

Kris

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