Voodoo, VZV and me


voodoo-doll_163I beg whoever is out there sticking pins in a voodoo doll with a big nose, a gizzard neck and other features that mimic mine to please stop. Whatever I did to warrant your wrath these past two years, I apologize. Indeed, tell me where to wire what’s left of our savings account, and you shall have it all. Just stop sticking those pins in the doll.

Yesterday, after taking one look my right side, Mike, my family doc, told me I have VZV. That’s the varicella zoster virus. I contracted it when I had childhood chicken pox. It is now active again.

In short, and despite the fact that I have had the booster shot, I am sporting the ever so attractive SHINGLES. The blisters are on my pretty face, in my gorgeous hair, on my manly chest and extending to one of my massive shoulders.*


By the way, it hurts like hell and no one has much of an idea for how long that is likely to last. I have been prescribed Lyrica for pain and Valacyclovir to slow down the virus. At least for a while, I can’t take the normal dose of the pain medication because of my recent kidney problems. That is, I am to suck it up insofar as the pain is concerned at least until we see how I tolerate the medication.

Can I work? Sure. But, the poor lawyers for next week’s jury trial may find me a bit more caustic than normal. That said, I promise not to yell profanities at them–at least not in front of the jury.**


* Sadly, it is the nature of the disease that I can’t spread it to other people–damn it!

** One good thing has resulted from this unpleasant experience. I found the “Shingles Song.”  So bad it’s good. Enjoy.

12 responses

  1. You must have failed to get the shot. When I saw my mother-in-law suffering, I couldn’t run fast enough to my Doc for the shot.

  2. No, Art, I got the shot when I turned 65.

    About 50% of folks who get the shot will develop Shingles anyway. However, it is speculated that the outbreak is often less severe.

    All the best.


  3. Until all of the symptoms are gone, eliminate foods high in arginine (nuts, chocolate, seeds) and take lysine supplements. I had the vaccine 4 years ago, and I got shingles this past May, on my face, just like you. Vinegar compresses helped with the pain/itching. Get better soon, Judge.

  4. Unreal !

    Unfair !

    Get well soon !

    We need a counter voodoo insurgency !

    Ok everyone, stick some pins in some anti-voodoo dolls in support of RGK !

    You voodoo outlaws are doomed !

  5. So sorry to hear you are suffering with shingles. My father just got over having shingles on his chest and elsewhere. He actually went to the ER with chest pain thinking he may have been having a heart attack and they discovered he had shingles. My father did not get the shot as he had gotten shingles years before so he thought he was covered but evidently unlike chicken pox you can get shingles multiple times. He plans on getting the shot now but based upon what I’ve read here it may not matter if its that ineffective.

    Good luck and don’t worry about those trial lawyers – we’re used to judges ripping us a new one. 🙂

  6. Poor buddy! You just can’t get a break. As I recall, the worst of it goes on for a week or so. Had it back in the early 1980s, the blisters ran from my neck down to my index finger and thumb. Calamine lotion helped some and so did Tylenol no.4s. If it gets real bad, you might consider asking your MDs about a small dose of amitriptyline. An old drug that will make you very drowsy (so good at bedtime) and also effective for nerve pain. I hope the Lyrica works, but keep it in mind if it doesn’t.

  7. Sorry to hear this my wife and sister both have had to deal with it and I hope your recovery is rapid.

  8. Gosh, Judge!

    It may just be a S.W.A.G. (i.e., “Scientific Wild-Ass Guess”) here, and I am certainly no doctor.

    But the way you have described your sick pine trees and — now — your current medical condition, it sounds to me like it could be that you and the trees are both suffering from the same disease.

    Hope YOUR needles (or whatever) don’t fall off!


  9. Judge,

    My prescription for your shingles problem is the same as for your tooth problem: gin.


%d bloggers like this: