Shingles are like David Bowie's Lightning Bolt

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Richard G. Traylor

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Nov 13, 2021, 12:32:57 PM11/13/21
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But when I woke up one June morning to a strange red patch of blisters hovering over my right eyebrow , and then trailing down my right temple I was freaked out and flummoxed. I couldn't place the area of rash. Alongside being a fact-checker I was (and am) an anxious person who after one embarrassing accident became an expert in the techniques of the bedbug. I knew that it wasn't it wasn't. It was so bad that I was forced to call my partner.

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 He was empathetic and said, "Good Lord!"

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 I told you that "I look like David Bowie," referring to the red lightning bolt that Bowie's cover shows for Aladdin Sane.

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 The rash was quite bizarre and I'd felt oddly strange before, too. Because I had been experiencing nausea and headaches I figured I was suffering from the first time I had a migraine. I could not do anything except lie on my back and consider what pressure system was beating my upper maxillofacial zone. Sinus infection? Migraine? Will I vomit?


 Then I discovered that doctors refer to this aspect of the shingles "prodrome". It is the term used to describe specific symptoms that occur before any serious disease. The sound of the word appeared to be a perfect reflection of my state of mind and how numb and confused I was feeling.

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 The next day, when the rash popped up, I happened to be out of work for a few weeks, which meant I could dress quickly and walk to a brand-new urgent care office operated by an important New York City hospital. I need to stress how lucky I felt to A) have the time to address the situation right away, B) have a top-quality non-ER (emergency room) healthcare facility I could go to and receive treatment as if it were Starbucks and C) have insurance that would cover it.


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