Posted on | October 18, 2011 | 24 Comments

The last six months are catching up to me in a very real way. 

For six months, I have kept my head up, shouldered the grief, and pushed forward with creating a life for myself and my son.  For six months, I have kept it reasonably together, kept it moving, and kept on keeping on.  I painted and built patios and planted flowers and trees and bushes.  I kept myself always on the go, always busy, always moving on to the next project for fear that if I sat still for too long, that first week in April would catch up with me.  I was scared that sitting still would make it all come rushing at me like a tidal wave of despair… so I kept moving.

This weekend, I started to come down with a cold.  I kept on.  I mulched and weeded and planted until the area in front of my house started to look a bit more decorative.  I coughed and sneezed my way through Lowes, picking out the perfect plants with the $75 gift card my parents sent me to commemorate what would have been my anniversary.

By Sunday night, I had a fever.  I kept on.  I read stories and built forts.  I snuggled with my child and went to bed early.  By Monday morning, I had no voice and I started to register that what I thought were fire ant bites on my right arm had been there a little too long to just be fire ant bites. 

I worked all day on Monday, straining to talk and get my point across to clients and opposing counsels, and making jokes about my Kathleen Turner voice and my future as the next Janis Joplin.  I made a quick appointment with my primary care physician just to check on a few things and make sure it was safe to host the baby shower I’ve been planning at my house on Saturday.


Stress-induced, painful, itchy, shingles.  From wrist to shoulder on the inside of my right arm.  I should have known something wasn’t right about these fire ant bites when they seemed to spread, grew in clumps, and stung worse than any fire ant bite had a right to sting.  I mean, it hurts to sit my arm down on my desk.  It hurts to pull on my cardigan in the morning.  It hurts to lie down to sleep.


Little patches of pain stretching from April to October, from wrist to shoulder, a reminder that you can not always run from your pain.


24 Responses to “Shingles”

  1. Good Day, Reg People
    October 18th, 2011 @ 8:25 am

    I wish I were there, to help you.

    You are so right: your body takes inventory of all you go through.

    Amazing to me how that works.

    Like I said: I wish I were there to make you laugh, go for a walk with you.

  2. Anonymous
    October 18th, 2011 @ 1:36 pm

    I would love that! Assuming I didn’t get you sick and by “going for a walk” you mean pouring wine and walking to chairs… 😉

  3. Jana Anthoine
    October 18th, 2011 @ 8:33 am

    I’m glad you got it confirmed but dang, girl. That’s no good. I sure wish I lived closer to help you. 🙁

  4. Anonymous
    October 18th, 2011 @ 8:35 am

    I’m mostly pissed that I’ve been working so hard on getting my house ready for the baby shower this weekend and now I can’t have it!!! (I mean, along with the pain, of course. ha!)

  5. Mom-nom
    October 18th, 2011 @ 8:43 am

    Man, that’s rough. REST. Did you hear me? rest rest rest rest rest. Force yourself to REST.

  6. Anonymous
    October 18th, 2011 @ 8:45 am

    LOL! That’s a pipe dream between work and a two year old. 🙂

  7. Jennifer Williams
    October 18th, 2011 @ 9:14 am

    Also a reminder to slow down. Keeping busy is good. Making yourself sick is not.

  8. Voelkeee
    October 18th, 2011 @ 9:20 am

    I would take a sick day from work and send J to daycare. It’s worth the potential mommy guilt that may result if you can get some rest!

  9. Anonymous
    October 18th, 2011 @ 1:37 pm

    Don’t I wish! He’ll be with his father all weekend, so I just have to make it through three more days.

  10. Mrs MidAtlantic
    October 18th, 2011 @ 9:58 am

    Ouch. My mom had that after my grandmother died (and the huge legal battle over the estate that followed). Please sleep as much as you can. J will have fun at day care. You SLEEP while he does.

  11. Anonymous
    October 18th, 2011 @ 10:09 am

    Psh. Momma is WORKING.

  12. Heather Griffitts Clark
    October 18th, 2011 @ 10:26 am

    I’m about to sound like your mother…. (or at least a mother, perhaps not yours). Missy Ann, it’s only going to get worse if you don’t get some rest. I know there are bills to pay and jobs to keep – but seriously. You.Need.Rest. J is counting on you to take care of your health, first and foremost. Yes, I just played the guilt card.

  13. Anonymous
    October 18th, 2011 @ 10:30 am

    Hey, if my boss would okay me going home, I’d go home. But for now, she hasn’t okayed me working from home and so… I have to be here.

  14. MaconMom
    October 18th, 2011 @ 10:56 am

    Seriously? Has she noticed the shingles?! That is crazy.

    Do they give you sick leave or any leave?

    So sorry you have shingles – no fun.

    Please take care of yourself.

    You must not work in employment law… (haha… sorry no jokes when you’re sick)

  15. MaconMom
    October 18th, 2011 @ 11:36 am

    Yeah, having thought about it… I rarely take off when sick. I need that leave for when monkey is sick.
    Wishing you well!

  16. Heather Griffitts Clark
    October 19th, 2011 @ 3:22 am

    I’m a total hypocrit, I probably wouldn’t take time off either. We all just worry for you 🙂

  17. Taming Insanity
    October 18th, 2011 @ 11:29 am

    I wish I could give you a big old hug and make you some soup.

    In the office, of course, because I know how that working mom schtick goes.

  18. Anonymous
    October 18th, 2011 @ 1:37 pm

    mmmm soup. 🙂

  19. Allysha Woods
    October 18th, 2011 @ 11:32 am

    oh my gosh. i am sorry you have shingles (altho, i am surprised i don’t have shingles with all the stress in my life too, great, one more thing for me to fret about hahaha) well, i will spare you the lecture of resting, everyone else already covered that 🙂 feel better soon!

  20. Anonymous
    October 18th, 2011 @ 1:37 pm

    Don’t jinx yourself! No shingles for you! 🙂

  21. Kristinayellow
    October 18th, 2011 @ 2:28 pm

    Oh my–I had shingles in college and it’s miserable. I wish I could help you–make sure you take your medicine and take aveeno/oatmeal baths. It’ll help with the itching at least. You can also use cool packs to help on the affected area too. At least it’s not something you can pass on to J–not a huge thing but something good at least. Rest as much as you can–this is one of those times where having mommy and J movie nights is a good thing, eating takeout or simple suppers of soup or mac n cheese. Whatever is easiest and quickest for you–use paper plates/cups so less mess. I hope you feel better soon–HUGS

  22. Megan (Best of Fates)
    October 18th, 2011 @ 6:38 pm

    That sucks. Really, really bad. Sending happy, healing thoughts your way.

  23. beachmum
    October 18th, 2011 @ 7:54 pm

    take care of yourself. This is your body’s way of telling you “enough”. feel better soon. 🙂

  24. Merrill Boykin
    October 18th, 2011 @ 8:44 pm

    Agh! As soon as I saw the title of your post, I immediately thought “it’s all the stress.” So sorry! Wish we were neighbors and I could help. Single mommas gotta’ keep together!

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