I have shingles.
You can see what I look like here.
Shingles (tagline: This Time It’s War) is the sequel to the popular virus Chicken Pox. It turns out that after you thought you’d defeated the Chicken Pox in childhood, your body failed to blow it out the airlock. It crept into the ganglion of your spine, where it stayed, hiding, waiting, until (woken by an unknown force) it bursts back out of your skin and clamps down on your head and bleeds acid all over your face, eyes and nerves.
It looks bad, feels a lot worse, and can cause blindness. RA. (It hurts too much to RA louder than that). I’ve had two eye check-ups (including one from an eye doctor who feigned horror when he saw me and jumped back going “AAAHHH!”), and I think I’m clear on that front – but even without the cornea damage, the pain is bad enough.
The strangest effect has been on my brain. It’s attacking the nerves on the right side of my face and eye – which is controlled by the left side of my brain – and that’s how I feel: like my rational brain is in lock-down.
At its height, at the end of last week, I could answer basic Yes and No questions, but anything more taxing sent me into a panic. I couldn’t process simple tasks, or retain any information – even before they gave me drugs.
Anyway, the real reason for my post is not to whine about my bad luck. I’m now half Canadian, so my British whining is starting to be tempered by irritatingly cheery optimism.