Woke up this morning in a Benadryl coma of sorts, but also in excruciating pain. I had no idea what was going on. I have this bug bite on my back, but it’s like it circled around to the front. I couldn’t figure out what the deal was. But it was to the point that this morning I could hardly move or breathe without crying. I’d like to say that I’m pretty tolerant to pain, but this was a lot of it.
I decided I didn’t need to be up just yet, so I decided that more sleep might help me and that I might just be over thinking everything.
20 minutes of aggravated and painful attempts of sleep later, I woke up in tears and decided that I should at least probably call home. Maybe it sounds extreme, but I’m sorry, I just don’t want to die or be stuck in Iowa with health complications. Not cool. So I talked with dad for awhile before realizing that I should try calling Nanch&Co’s to talk with John, because, he’s, well, a doctor, and should know about these things. I felt slightly ridiculous while I was on the phone, because I just don’t have health issues – ever. And the fact that I was kinda sobbing on the phone was awkward, but it hurt a lot and I couldn’t stop it. He asked if I could drive over to their house to have him look at my apparent bug bite and evaluate me in person. After getting off the phone I wasn’t quite sure if it was the best idea to, you know, drive in my current state, but I figured that I was able to drive last night, what is stopping me from driving 3 miles to Nancy&Co’s? Granted, by this point, I had figured out what makes it hurt more and less, and worked through it all. Pretty much doing whatever I could to get my mind off the whole thing.
Once there, John took a quick look at my side and said he pretty much had me completely diagnosed over the phone but wanted to see me in person just to confirm things. He said I have shingles. Which is related to the chicken pox, but only contagious by the rash. It’s like the chicken pox virus kinda just hangs out and chills in your nervous system until something triggers it to come out of hibernation such as low immune system, emotional stress, among other things. It then follows the nerve around from the spinal cord and to the surface of this skin, most often around the waste. With this in mind, it’s kinda awesome. I can totally tell that it’s messing with my nerve (hence the pain), but also: it’s following my nerve! It’s kinda cool. Yes, I’m a total nerd. But it’s cool that it totally traces my nerve from my back around to my stomach. I mean, it’s not a good thing, but it’s really fascinating.
Painful, yes, very. But cool to think about. Annoying, even more so. And now… at this point in time: not awesome. But I’ll deal. Because John’s a doctor, he set me up with some prescriptions right there, which was awesome. One for an anti-viral which won’t “cure” it as shingles has no cure, but it will help by slowing down the reproduction cycle of the virus allowing my body to eliminate it sooner. He also gave me some pain prescriptions which won’t stop the pain, but help it not be quite so miserable. I’m just glad, if nothing else, to know what the heck is wrong with me. I tend to over-think things sometimes, and at first I had no idea if I might have a hernia, or even a kidney stone? Good gravy, it could be anything, but thankfully, it’s just shingles (and as annoying as that is, at least it’s a fairly standard thing with a basic solution). But also: this whole thing is yet another way that makes me feel like this is Peace Corps: Midwest Edition
So after filling my prescriptions at Walmart that John gave me (which, btw: the fact that he is family and a doctor and was willing to help me was seriously a blessing. It’s awesome to know that God is watching out for me that way… still not completely sure why I have shingles… and now, but I’m sure it will all work out soon enough) I hurried home to get ready for work. Now, I wasn’t sure if I should even go to work because of having shingles, but I felt bad for having called in late and missing work before (as much as I say it doesn’t bother me, I like being responsible and a good worker, and yes, it kinda bothers me when I’m late for work). But after being at work for less than 5 minutes, they sent me home. Understandable, I suppose. I’m not upset in the slightest, really. It’s more of just something to occupy my time than anything else.
So instead of work, I just came home, took a pain pill and took a nap as it’s kind of the only way to not be aware of the pain at the moment. The meds don’t do a whole lot for the pain. They just slightly take off an edge.
Around 6, I headed over to the church because the youth group was going bowling up in Red Oak. We all piled into one of the church vans and headed off. It was only about a half hour drive, but some kids pulled out their ipods, others sang, others played road trip games or just generally talked about everything. Once in Red Oak we hit up the Taco Bell/KFC (same building) before going over to the bowling ally for cosmic bowling. Oh yeah.
I never used to be a huge aficionado for bowling, but anymore it’s something fun to do. I’m still pretty miserable at it, but regardless, it’s not as boring as it used to be for me when I was younger (the games used to talk foooor evvver when I was little).
Maggie was so much fun to talk with, and she brought her friend, Sarina, who is a foreign exchange student here in the sates for a year – she’s 15, and incredibly sweet and gorgeous.
I loved hanging out with the kids at bowling. It reminded me of being a counselor at YMA. Maybe I never went bowling with the kids (did with the counselors though), but I could generally be goofy, and they thought I was awesome, which made me laugh. They loved my stupid dance moves to the fun music that was blasting around the room, and I fell at one point because well, the combination of the floors and the bowling shoes were just no bueno for a gravity challenged person like me.
Danny was being hilariously ridiculous the entire evening. I could tell there was more than just a friendship interest in me. He’s only 18, and pretty sweet, but downright girl-crazy.
Ashley, Erica, and I had a good time laughing with each other and at the kids. It was fun, but tiring. It wasn’t so bad for me because I guess I’ve learned how to bounce around my energy and pull at it when I’m even really tired.
After playing two games, we headed back to Shenandoah. Luke kindly serenaded us the entire journey back to various worship and TobyMAC tunes (a capella of course as we took the van that had AC but now radio).
On my way back home I stopped by HyVee to pick up a snack of some ice cream. Saw Mandie. It was great to see her again. She has a new hamster called Everything-Nice. Sooo that makes it so she has Sugar, Spice, and Everything-Nice. Two bunnies and a hamster. She told me a few stories about her pets and their latest adventures in her house, which was adorable.
Wow, tomorrow is my last day at Shenandoah Assemblies of God. I can’t believe it. It’s going to be so weird to just… leave. I’ve gotten to know these people pretty well over the last few months