What a bu–er

Can anything else go wrong?  I have just been diagnosed with shingles – on my bottom, or “fesses” as the French say.  Not only is this an extremely undignified place to suffer complaints, the extreme pain which I am beginning to realise is part of a bad shingles attack makes lying or sitting equally uncomfortable, not aided by needing to avoid putting wait on my problematic shoulder and arm.

It all started last weekend, when I came out of the centre de rééducation.  Sunday night was when I ate the readymade meal past its best by date – followed by diarrhea the next day, which for the rest of the week I have been linking, erroneously, with my growing feeling of malaise. So when I started to feel discomfort in the nether regions I falsely thought this was my punishment for Sunday night folly.

The pain got worse on Friday – why do health problems always develop as the weekend approaches? – and I noticed that one buttock was covered in blisters.  All very mysterious.  I already have a doctor’s appointment for next Thursday, but I decided that I would not wait and would try to see her on Monday.  But then a pretty miserable day yesterday plus two even more miserable nights and I decided this morning to go to Urgences (A&E) in Ganges. In order not to endlessly depend on Margaret, I rang Thiebaut Taxis to get me there.

What  a revelation: I have for the first time experienced how one should deal with emergencies (in the past I have simply got into the car and driven to Ganges).  M Thiébaut told me that they were the taxi/VSL company on call this weekend, but first I would need to phone the emergency number 15 for assessment of my problem.  Quickly and efficiently the guy at 15 cotancted the GP on call this weekend, described my symptoms, and when I said I could not drive to the doctor, arranged that she would come to me.

Dr. Martinez comes from Bez not le Vigan, so I had never heard of her, but she was extremely nice, sympathetic and efficient.  I tried to give her a précis of the events of the past week in case any were relevant (although I forgot to tell her I had no abdominal lymph glands), but she did not need that background.  After one look at my bum she said I had shingles (vous avez un zona). She said it was likely to become extremely painful, partly because of my age and partly its location at the base of the central spinal nerve system and treatment needed to start immediately (what I have read on the internet since makes me wonder if I did not leave contacting a doctor till too late). She wrote a prescription for Valaciclovir, one of the standard treatments for shingles, some Tramadol in case the pain got too bad, and some homeopathic remedies.  Margaret and I then made a dash for le Vigan and the pharmacie on call and got all except one of the homeopathic medicines.

No magic change yet and I fear I have some unpleasant days ahead.  And tomorrow I have to phone to cancel my daily physio and pool sessions until the shingles have gone. Now I’m looking at websites which talk about diet and shingles.  There seems to be a consensus that one should eat foods with Lysine and avoid those Arginine until the shingles attack is over.  If that is the case then here is my diet for the immediate future:

Foods with Lysine
Foods with Arginine
All meats
Green beans
Wheat Germ
Brussels sprouts
Pumpkin Seeds

I know already that sugar is bad for one and that tomatoes are not good if you have arthritis, but all those lovely nuts and berries as well … … …

Wouldn’t it be nice if I posted fewer blogs with the keyword ‘Health’?

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