Monday, May 29, 2006

Shingles belong on a roof

…HA must stop acting out these diseases. Note to self! But she suffered a bout of shingles a couple of years go.

…Not fun.

…Apparently, the herpes zoster, or chicken pox, virus sneaks into your nerves after you get the pox as a tot and waits to pounce decades later.

…Each year, it pounces on a million people, usually the elderly (er, mature) or immune-compromised.

…The red, blistery rash is not only itchy-scratchy but can set off nerve firings of unbelievable pain for weeks pr even years! (HA didn’t get the “big pain,” but she did have to sleep with her miserable left arm propped with a pillow for a few weeks.)

…The creepy zoster zips along the nerves on one side—HA unearthed weird folk rhymes like “On one side, you’re still alive, all around, you’re in the ground.” Gotta love those “folk.”

….ANYhow…There is now an FDA-approved vaccine for this stuff called Zostavax..

…Merck has shown it works for four years, at least.

…The company also promises (oh, here it comes) to study the side effects. In the trials, there were more for vaccine takers than for those who got the placebo.

…Don’t ask for it unless you are over 60. The docs says half the people who make it to 85 will get shingles.

…HA’s advice: You don’t want to.

…Since HA has set out to keep retching to a minimum, if you want to see this stuff go to: http://ihaveshingles.com/shingles_picture.html. Viewer discretion is advised.

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