So I'm pretty sure I now have physical proof of the amount of stress I felt over the past several weeks. For about a week now I've had an itch all along the skin of my left torso. I kept wondering if maybe I was dying because along with the skin itching, the area under my skin felt tight and ached dully...back behind my lung and in the front of my chest as well. So yesterday I noticed a few small red bumps forming around this general area, which I chalked up to the fact that I'd been scratching the area and irritated it. But then today I woke up with two much larger red patches and half a dozen more smaller bumps like hives all throughout this area...and all of them are sore to the touch.
Somehow it dawned on me to check if I had the shingles and the more I've researched, the more convinced I am that I do. I knew a friend of mine had them a few years ago so I told her about my symptoms and she agrees. When I first brought it up to my husband, he laughed and then got mad at me for being such a hypochondriac, but after reading him more about the symptoms of shingles and showing him my bumps, he believes that's what I have too.
I'm really kind of relieved. Not only am I not dying of lung cancer, but I now have a real battle scar resulting from this move to Colorado. I can now say that even though I am only 32 years old, I was so stressed from moving to Colorado essentially by myself, that it gave me the shingles!
Of course, if they spread up to my eye and I go blind, I might not be as excited about this. I'm not really excited about the fact that I have shingles...I'm just one of those weirdos who always thinks she's dying. Then, whenever I get a real scare (dull ache in my chest) and find out it's something much less life threatening (shingles will hurt pretty bad for a couple of weeks but that's usually as bad as it gets), I feel a mild sense of euphoria and a resurgence of an appreciation for life (I really am this crazy).
Drinking a whole lot of alcohol over the past few weeks probably didn't help my immune system much either, but I'm still going to blame the stress. If it weren't for the stress, I wouldn't have made it a nightly ritual to drink a bunch of wine before bed.
I'm still able to exercise, which is good. We got a treadmill about a week ago and almost died trying to carry it into the house and down the steps to the basement. But other than a baseball sized black bruise on my leg, we survived and we've both been running on it pretty regularly. I also ran outside today for the 3rd time since moving here. I count it as the real first time though because when I ran with Ike a day or two after moving in, it was 19 degrees and windy so I felt like Ana trying to find Elsa in that crazy monsoon of snow at the very end of Frozen. So clearly I didn't get very far that day. The next run was just to test out how my legs would handle hills. They didn't like them much. Today, however, they handled them like a boss. I felt great on the run and feel great now (other than the sharp pinching pain in my back).
Today is the last day of this intermission in our lives though. Husband checks in for real at his new job tomorrow and I start working from home. Unfortunately we don't yet have our kids signed up for daycare. There was a short waiting list when we got here and they haven't called us to give us the thumbs up yet. I'm going to call them tomorrow though and hope for the best. I'll get as much work done with my girls home as I can until the daycare opens up.
Even though these past few weeks have been stressful enough to inflict a physical ailment meant for the elderly, I'm sad this time is coming to an end. We were finally getting to the good part. The part where we had time to just relax and breathe and look around at what we accomplished. And now real life has to start again, damn it.
Time to go research the shingles some more then email my boss to update her on my daycare/work situation.