The ER Returns

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A lot can happen in a week. In my last blog, I took you on a trip to the ER with me, where I was diagnosed with a pinched nerve. It’s a week later now, and I only wish they’d been right a week ago.

They weren’t … and the saga continues.

YA Author Tom Hoover's Saga of a Pinched Nerve ContinuesFast forward to that Friday. Somewhere around 3 a.m. sleep eludes me because, after five days, the pain is no better—if anything, it’s worse. I’m starting to think that maybe I don’t have a pinched nerve at all and I have just thrown a bunch of money down a hole, when I notice a rash on my upper arm. Looks kinda like poison ivy, and some of the blisters are broken.

So I go to wipe off my arm and a chunk of skin comes off.

Now I’m in a horror movie.

I call the hospital—I’m experiencing one of the interactions on the drug sheet that they tell you to seek medical attention immediately. Hives and peeling skin. They say,

“Are you sure there’s nothing you’ve done to bring this on?”

“What, you mean like rolling in poison ivy or making a poison cocktail? I think I’d have remembered that.”

“That isn’t helping, sir.”

“But accusing me of manufacturing my own drug interaction is?”

“One moment.”

The line goes dead and I’m on hold—my petty punishment for winning that exchange. Then, after what seems like hours of incessant jazz hold music, she returns.

“Would you like to come in?”

Translation: Come throw more money down this hole.

“Actually, I’d prefer, since your drug caused this, for you to get someone to tell me what to do to fix it.”

“Well I guess you could stop taking the drug,” said the advanced degree in medicine.

Like the old joke:

Doc, it hurts when I do this.

Then don’t do that.

“Thanks. I’ll stop taking the drug.”

“Okay. Maybe that’ll help. Stay on the line for a brief survey?”

“Trust me. You don’t want that.”

As the weekend progressed, so did the pain, and the rash-hives-horror show slime monster grew, with more random patches spreading all down my right arm. From the base of my neck to my wrist. Full of deep needles of electric ouch.

I’m reminded of a quote from the movie, Hellraiser—very apropos for Halloween, “Your suffering will be legendary, even in Hell.”

And sadly, at this point, I know exactly what that means.

It means I have shingles.

The true definition of pain.

The adventure continues

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