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Monday, 19 March 2012

Postherpetic Neuralgia

I have the dreaded fear. I'm 6 weeks post the start of my shingles. I am still itching. I'm also still not sleeping. This is called Postherpetic Neuralgia. The nerves where my shingles were have been frazzled and are having spasms. They like to spam out at night time when I'm trying to sleep. This is what over 60s and immuno suppressed people get apparently with shingles. 95% of us will get over it within a year. The remaining 5% keep on squirming and scratching till kingdom come. Please, dear lord, let mine subside soon.

I'm currently writing this with cling film wrapped around my belly to stop my clothes setting off the itch. I, of course, married a particularly hairy man, and so cuddles are proving a little hard at night too. I will create myself a body sized condom so I can give him a night time hug. Maybe on alternate nights, or full moons, he'll let himself be wrapped up instead of me, or both side by side, like two chrysalis ready to hatch out when it's feeding time.

Met a renal consultant at a wedding over the weekend who shook my hand and bet with me that my next kidney would last forever. He said I looked ridiculously healthy to not be doing well on the current kidney and said he wouldn't be surprised if I defied cautions and lasted on my current transplant with pregnancy and the lot for a good few years yet.

He went on to explain that renal consultants treat their patients like china dolls because everything is a complication waiting to happen. In no other walk of medical life do you get patients treated with such kid gloves. He is a renal consultant hoping to take this approach through to cardiac treatment. I am a renal patient wishing I wasn't practised on in bars and weddings and parties. I get so excited to meet renal doctors, but it's unfair really for them to talk to me as they can't tell me anything I don't already know and what I do know I don't want to be told again when I'm trying to ignore it all. On the other hand, how they're meant to know any of that when I'm always so excited at the possibility of learning something new is beyond me.

I'm a medical addict. I know I want more, but I know it's probably bad for me. I get so excited when I hear that there might be some of it/them floating around at a party, but it would be better for all of us if the two of us never hooked up. Reminds me of when I first got sick and didn't know any better. I was told kidneys lasted only a few years by someone (no comment). I was told that my heartburn (from not having enough iron) might give me a heart attack if I didn't stop moving (yup. that stopped me in my tracks for a good few weeks!). All these naughty bits of information I got from people on their down time and then wished I'd never heard once I'd digested them. Especially when they turned out not to be correct anyway.

There is but one God and one mediator between God and men and that's my consultant. Let's hope my Lord and Father will prescribe me some itchy-scratchy tonic when I visit my chapel in the morning. Amen

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