The firefight continued and the wind was with us. We had sunk one mercenary ship earlier in the evening, now her majesty’s sailing ship Lesion had caught up. Pass after pass we let the cannons loose until driftwood, debris and life rafts scattered on the surface where her majesty’s navy ship stood. The only light was from the burning oil and grease that floated on top of the water.
I woke up this morning a groggy pirate, with a stink in my breath and an itch under my eyepatch. I was tired and hoping that the two lesions on my eyelid had started crusting over which meant that they were no longer contagious and I would be on the downhill side of these damn shingles. I walked up to the mirror and lifted my eyepatch to see two scarred over spots on my eyelid. Yes! My immune system had won the battle last night.
As the dawn began to rise over the horizon, we saw clearly the devastation that we had caused. Floating bodies, lines, sails and shattered wooden planks around our ship. The wind had died down and we did not move. T’was for none the better since my men and I were tired from our long night of fighting. “Ahoy Cap’n!!!!” Walsh points over the gunwale toward the rising sun and I see the silhouette of not one ship, but her majesty’s armada.
I took the gauze off completely to wash my face in the shower, happy that this ordeal is almost over. I got my clothes ready and turned to the mirror for another look. My forehead was covered in red blotches, there were three small red spots forming at the upper left corner of my hairline, and under my left eyebrow was a rosebush with no leaves, just clusters of red. The lesions hadn’t blistered yet but I definitely felt defeated.
Today was the first day I had the kids all to myself after getting shingles and as the day went on, the rash got bigger, and so did my swollen glands. I took all the necessary precautions not to spread the virus to my children. I did more research and got more tips from friends. I scheduled a dermatologist appointment for tomorrow morning for myself and a pediatric appointment for Zoey to possibly get the chickenpox vaccine and to check on her cough.
These are the things I found out. If anyone out there ever gets shingles and you have kids, remember these pointers. This is my body and if this virus wants to take over, well it’s going to have a hell of a time because I’m going to put up a fight.
- Keep an alkaline PH level in your body. Apparently viruses don’t survive well in alkaline environments. CLICK HERE FOR A LIST of alkaline forming foods. My beautiful wife went to the grocery store and bought a bunch of veggies and teas from this list and I ordered a water ionizer from Amazon.com.
- The lesions are contagious only while it’s blistering. Therefore, it’s NOT contagious before the blisters form and after they have crusted over.
- Tylenol is your best friend. If it is really bad, then see your doctor to get stronger pain killers. Or switch off between acetaminophen and ibuprofen. One has an 8 hour cycle, the other has a 6 hour cycle. One hits the liver and the other hits the kidneys. With that said, drink TONS of water to flush out your liver and kidneys and the rest of your system.
- Cold packs can ease the itch. Heat increases itch.
- Oatmeal bath soothes the itching and is also supposed to suck the toxins out of your skin. I don’t know if the second part is only a wives tale, or if it is true, but the payoff from soothing the itch is reason enough for me. Except since mine is on my face, then I’ll probably not take a bath in the tub (not enough time), I’ll just do a mask type treatment.
- Wash the affected area with soap and water often to prevent bacteria and infection.
Regarding handling children who have not had chickenpox (If you have no choice like me):
- Keep the lesions covered. Phantom of the Opera half-face patch, check.
- Wash your hands after touching the affected area before touching your kids. I basically have been washing my hands after adjusting my eyepatch and before I touch them or anything of theirs.
- If you have lesions in your mouth, throat or lungs, the virus can be airborne for a 2 foot distance. Note that lesions in wet parts of the body may not experience pain (and lesions under the shower don’t either). I’m pretty sure I don’t have any in these areas but still, I avoid talking directly to Trystan and Zoey’s faces, especially if I’m within 2 feet (putting them down to sleep or in comforting a crying Zoey).
- Feed your children healthy foods that will boost their immune system. This should be the same stuff you’re eating to boost your own immune system anyways. No sugars, no dairy.
- Since touch is limited, exercise the other love languages: words of affirmation, acts of service, quality time, gift giving. Today, I made sure to give extra words of affirmation and really spend quality time with the kids. It was short lived as I got tired pretty fast but hey, you can only give what you’ve got.
With all that said, I am thankful that we have really easy children. Trystan and Zoey interact so well together and can keep themselves entertained, that I didn’t really have to do much. Trystan can finally dress himself and is completely potty trained, and he helps take care of his little sister by throwing her dirty diapers away after I change her, putting away her toys and consoling her when she cries. This afternoon, Trystan, Zoey and I had races in the back yard. And we kicked crocodiles. Kicking Crocodiles is a game he likes to play with an assortment of little blow up animals. He stands them on all fours and yells “Let’s get the crocodiles!!!” and we run around the yard kicking them as hard as we can. Today was the first time Zoey joined us in that game. Zoey fell asleep within 10 minutes of going to bed. Trystan had a more difficult time, but after I got too tired I left his room and he fell asleep on his own.
I am also thankful for our friends who called to offer their help this week, whether for advice or for picking up Trystan from daycare or for watching them during the day so I can take a break. I am most specially thankful for my wife, Shelly, who took care of me with a foot rub and a nice cup of ginger lemon tea, and made sure that I didn’t stay up too late writing this blog.
Finally, here is a video that a friend sent me to cheer me up. Thanks Brenda, it made me and Shelly laugh, what a nice end to the day.