Long time readers of this blog may recall that back in 2010, Little Miss Sunshine was diagnosed with molluscum contagiosum. It’s a kind of rash caused by a virus that looks like little white pimples – my mom said when she was a kid they would have called them boils. They’re tiny little things that swell into slightly larger little things with white pearlized tops. Eventually they get big enough to pop open and a bunch of ooze and a hard centre come out (highly contagious at this stage, by the way), then it bleeds like you’ve cut an artery for a day or two before finally drying up.
Most kids who get it get one spot; a “bad case” might be five or six spots. The Little Miss had, at one time, more than 50 spots, with new ones cropping up all the time. They spread from her armpit down her arm and side, then onto her stomach and neck, and eventually she had a few on her leg as well before the tide turned. I’m happy to say that the last spot finally, finally broke open and then healed a few weeks ago. We are CONTAGION FREE.
Or, we were.
A few days ago I woke up with a super, SUPER itchy rash on my lower left hand side. I figured, allergic reaction. Or maybe bug bites. But it got itchier and itchier, and eventually started to hurt in a stabbed-by-a-thousand-needles kind of way. Gal Smiley, who was always deeply concerned about catching the molluscum contagiosum (which no one else ever did, by the way), kept asking me if it was contagious, and I kept assuring her it wasn’t.
But it turns out it is shingles.
Which is a manifistation of the chicken pox virus.
Which is contagious to people who have never had chicken pox.
Which includes my entire immediate family, including Sir Monkeypants.
So now I’m walking around with my abdomen swathed in the World’s Biggest Bandage, alternately dying of itching and stabbing pain, and fretting about giving my whole family a horrible disease. Quarantine for Mommy!
A few years ago a friend of ours I’ll call “Glenn” (hi Glenn!) got The Gout. And we all mocked him, because that is an Old Man Disease, and clearly his days of fun in the sun were over, he may as well learn to play bridge and drink tea and move to a retirement home. And now, here I am with the shoe on the other foot (is that a saying? I feel like I messed that one up), as I have The Shingles, which is also an Old Lady Disease.
It’s really amazing how fast your body betrays you once you cross that 40 line. I have to say, now that I’m here I kind of wish it would get it over with and just commit to being actually old. Having to deal with PMS, pimples, 10% unruly grey hairs, and The Shingles all at once seems like Just Too Much. Really, body, we cannot be all ages at once. We CANNOT. Commit!