Shingle Tales

Posted by on Jun 27, 2012 in Lounging Around, Musings | 5 comments

Many thanks to everyone who enquired after me and sent messages, texts, cake and DVDs. I’ve tried to reply to as many as I can, but I thought I’d give a little progress report here for all those who asked.

Just to recap, I’ve had shingles on the right side of my head for over a week now. This is not to be recommended. Last Monday the doctor gave me tablets to ease the symptoms and half a kilo of Cocodamol for the pain. She was also concerned about my right eye; it was very swollen and I couldn’t see too well from it. Arranged an appointment at the eye clinic at the Hallamshire last Tuesday. They dropped in various potions and shone assorted lights.

Apparently the shingles had gone onto the cornea. They said that if I slapped in half-an-inch of the rare unguent five times a day it would help with the symptoms. And apparently it’s something which is difficult to clear up so they booked me for a check-up a week later (yesterday).

I’d gone by bus as driving didn’t seem like a good idea, and it was interesting to watch passersby recoil and cover the eyes of small children and horses.

By that evening my right eye was completely closed and my face had the full horror-make-up appearance with an extensive network of inflamed red blotches covering the right side. (Both doctors, incidentally, commented on how symmetrical my appearance was. I pointed out that I was a tango dancer and such things as coordinated balance came naturally.)

Over the next few days I shall draw a veil, an item of attire which could have come in handy.

So to the hospital yesterday with my hat pulled down well over my right side, which I felt was both functional and gave me a pleasing, rakish look.

More eye-drops, eye tests and air blown onto my eye (I now understand why dogs get so annoyed when you do that to them). Then a wait for the drops to take effect before seeing poorly-eye-due-to-shingles specialist. Spent some time with my head clamped into a machine which shone bright lights of various colours and from various angles into each eye, producing an effect probably similar to drunkenness except that you get the throbbing headache at the same time instead of having to wait until the next morning.

Finally she pronounced the result as excellent and said that the eye had cleared up entirely surprising quickly. And that I could stop dropping in the ointment. This last statement was a relief too as I really hated doing that. And most of it tended to end up in a sticky mess around my luxuriant eyelashes instead of going into my eye.

My face now seems to have moved from X-rated to PG. None of this is life-threatening but somewhat uncomfortable and pretty well put paid to any serious work for a while. So apologies for those waiting for video editing jobs! But I’m definitely on the mend, and can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and the pc screen for brief periods. Which is good.


  1. I had no idea Russel and I’m glad it’s clearing up. Sounds hideous so all the best on your recovery.

  2. Ouch!
    I’ve just read that with my eyes watering. Don’t worry, I’m not crying for you. Just any talk of ‘eye’ stuff seems to get my tear ducts grimacing. Hope it all goes back to normal soon.

    I’m sure it was great comfort to hear the specialist tell you that it had all cleared up, while you were still scaring small children and their horses (what’s happened to Sheffield? There were never horses on buses in my day).

    Get well soon feller!

  3. I bet you’re loving Adam’s puns about shingles clubs. Get well soon, Russell.

  4. So pleased you are cheery enough to write with such witticism Russell. I know from a couple of friends just how terribly painful shingles is. And also dangerous when close to the eyes, so I’m really pleased to hear that the medics have managed to nip that in the bud. Stay cheerful and know that lots of us are thinking of you and wishing you well. Hope to see you at Tango before too long. Ann Froud (and Bill of course too!)

  5. Hi Russ, Sorry to hear about your shingles – bloody painful! Take care and get well soon. Best, Steve & Patty. x
    PS. I hear they’re casting for ‘Elephant Man 2’… just a thought? Sorry!

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