Friday, October 28, 2011

Viral Adventures!

Time enough for a comment on this strange malady. No, not that one! This viral syndrome or whatever it is.

It began quite suddenly Sunday morning. I was absolutely fine on Saturday. Pitched in my son's little league game and mountain biked in the afternoon.

But Sunday morning I began feeling generalized aching in my joints -- ankles, wrists, back, everywhere -- plus a headache. I thought maybe it was just because I hadn't biked in awhile, and maybe strained some muscles or jostled some joints and triggered an inflammatory response.

But then, Sunday night, my back was on fire. No, not inside. Rather, the skin. No redness or rash. Nor did I feel at all feverish. But Mrs. G could feel the heat coming off of me. Felt like I could fry an egg on my back. So we did, which was nice.

I was puzzled by the whole thing. I'm thinking, "either this is a kundalini awakening, or something weird is going on."

Monday I was wiped out. The fire was gone, but the skin was real sensitive to the touch. Plus mentally not there. Incapable of work. But I did finish Gilson's book on the spirit of medieval philosophy, so I was still capable of comprehension. Just no will.

Monday night I sweated like crazy, Tuesday night even more, even though I still didn't feel at all feverish. This always happens to me after a cold or flu, so I thought it was a good sign.

By Wednesday afternoon, I felt pretty good, but still kept an appointment with my nurse practitioner. Said it was probably viral, possibly even shingles. We could runs lots of expensive tests to investigate further, but since I was getting better anyway, why bother? Let her know if it gets worse.

I haven't developed any rash, but apparently shingles can occur without one. But I do have a distinct dermatome running below the rib cage toward the navel, where the skin is still sensitive, but that's going away.

Apparently, the shingles virus attacks one of the nerve roots that comes out of the spine, affecting the skin it connects to, hence the fire.

Anyway, it seems to have almost resolved. Today I feel ready for game seven. Weird, though, to have had something one has never had before....

And I shudder at the thought that I am now an official geezer -- Topic A being one's health -- like our troll who loves to obsessively share too much information about his bodily functions.

Anyone else have any close encounters of the viral kind to report? It seems that if nothing else, these viral adventures make for a good yarn, each type of virus with its own tale to tell. I can imagine it yelling tell my story to the worllllllld, as it is being destroyed by the fascists of immune system.


Van said...

""either this is a kundalini awakening, or something weird is going on."

I think that captures things rather well.

Weird Science!


mushroom said...

Old Geezer Test

1) Have you ever wondered if you are regular enough?

2) Have you ever discussed the state of your prostate with a stranger who was not a medical professional?

3) Have you ever hit the urinal just because you were in the vicinity at a Big Box store?

4)Have you thought about buying a pair of those sunglasses that are also reading glasses because you think they are cool?

5)Do you still wear the same size waist you did in high school -- but with a four-inch shorter inseam?

6) Have you ever actually worn suspenders with a belt?

7) Are you starting to think that the guy who thought of putting Velcro straps on shoes deserves a Nobel Prize?

mushroom said...

Seriously, I'm glad to hear that you are better.

My dad had an episode of shingles sans rash, and it sounds similar.

Did I mention that he died?

julie said...

Yikes! I guess, if you're going to have shingles, that's the best way to have it. I had figured it had to do with pushups.

Of course, who's to say a rashless case of shingles doesn't have anything to do with a kundalini awakening?

Anyway, I'm glad you're feeling better.

Thanks to the boy, I had a much more disgusting viral experience earlier this summer, but I'll spare everyone the details except to note that I haven't been sick like that since I was a kid.

On a slightly unrelated note but speaking of shingles, has anyone heard from Ben lately?

Van said...

I was wondering that the other day too Julie, he hasn't updated OCatSea in a while.


Jeannette said...

It is a common med practice to give retro-virus meds for shingles as statistically it reduces the severity of post herpatic neuralgia. And even if you have had shingles, it may help to get the vaccine once you are totally well. Read up on it... it is worth protecting yourself. Also if it was shingles it means that your immune system which has held it off all these years ( since chicken pox) was do yourself any immune system favors you can think of. Feel better soon.

julie said...

Speaking of geezeritis (the 7th one down), you're not really an old fogey until you threaten some young whippersnapper with a cane...

walt said...


The wrap-around, back-to-front nerve pain sounds like classic shingles symptom; or so I was told while being diagnosed many years back. Sometimes the rash comes after a few days. Tender and painful is an understatement.

As I recall, they offered me codeine for the pain -- this, of course, tends to produce constipation, but hey, no pain!

It is said that acupuncture is effective for shingles, since it involves the nerves. At UCLA Med School they teach Korean "hand" acupuncture (Koryo), i.e., no needles, just as affective.

Or, it could be the kundalini. Maybe you should stop holding your breath between posts?

John Lien said...

I'm rooting for the kundalini energy flare up. Much more exotic.

I also like julie's idea, might be some of each going on.

Heh, geezer.

(He said, looking behind him and seeing Geezer close behind and closing in. Geezer wields an AARP application instead of a scythe.)

robinstarfish said...

I'm going with some shingles variant, having gone a number of rounds myself (but nothing like Ben). My outlier guess would be Rocky Mountain Spotted Tick Fever, if one happened to wander far south and cross paths with your outdoor exploits. Pretty similar presentation - from watching my dad suffer through it. Paging Dr. House.

Welcome to geezerhood. It only gets more fun. :|=

mushroom said...

Did you ever see anybody after a shot of Thorazine? It definitely takes care of agitation.

They used it in the late '70's at a state mental hospital where I did some work in the youth ward. I was there a couple of times when a kid started fighting the guards or psych techs or whatever they called them. You'd see the syringe go down, then the kid would just turn into a rag doll.

julie said...

In other news, life imitates The Simpsons

Open Trench said...

Your somatic symptom stated emphatically "back off" or "get back" or even "remove this burden from my back."

It's related to feeling angry and misunderstood by your parents; only now are you ready to mourn your loss; when the symptoms abated you made a great stride forward.

In 2850, workers uncover a buried granite Stela on the site of the former city of Calabasas:

"On this site the great sage (this part of the inscription was damaged)... labored and gave to the world a new vision."

Magnus Itland said...

The Norwegian name for shingles translates literally as "hellfire". I'd say that's exaggerated, but I don't remember having experienced either, so I'll leave it to the experts.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Bob- In order to properly diagnose your strange malady I will need to know how your egg was cooked (sunnyside up, easy over, medium, etc.). :^)

Hi guys! This seems to be the season (sea-son?) of viral adventures.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...


Well, I'm not an expert in hellfire but I can say that shingles does feel like "hell! Fire!"

At least that's what I was sayin' at the times it nearly killed me.
Although I must say the damned itching truly was damnable.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...


My understanding is that once the chicken pox virus comes back, so to speak, as shingles the vaccine doesn't work.
At least that's what my doc told me.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Skully doesn't threaten annoying whippersnappers.

Needless to say I haven't seen any whippersnappers in quite some time so I guess Skully is earning his keep.
Good thing he works for grog. :^)

julie said...



It's good to hear from you :)

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Because this is a family friendly blog I can't say what Skully wrote on the AARP application they sent him.

I'm purty sure you guys can deduce the essence of it though.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Hi Julie!

It's good to be back! I got a lot of catchin' up to do.

It doesn't seem like I've been ingrognito so long but after checking my calender it has been too long.

I'll try to clear up that mystery soon since viral adventures deserve their own posts.

Van said...

Cardinals! Hy Ben!
I' m pretty sure that SkullY wrote what I was thinking!

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Congrats to the Cards Van!
Patti's a Cardinal fan too. I guess I am also since the Mariners or Padres ain't there. :^)

tater said... Microcurrent frequencies that work great for shingles

Cond0010 said...

"Anyone else have any close encounters of the viral kind to report?"

Nah... not unless we are talking computers.

...and remember kids, always practice safe surfing!

Gagdad Bob said...


Thanks for the sound advice.

Frankly, I don't think this was shingles. For one thing, it was never painful enough. Maybe it was some more benign variant. Or maybe my immune system got on top of the situation quickly. Whatever the case may be, it's Saturday again, and I feel well enough to pitch in my son's game this morning and to go biking this afternoon. Unless this is Groundhog Day, I don't expect it to be here tomorrow.

julie said...

Weird! Well, whatever it was it's good to hear you're feeling better again.

chris m said...

I got knocked down with a virus in Feb 2005 that landed me in the hospital. Most of the people who also got it, ended up with heart problems. Fortunately I did not, but it fried what little there was of my reasoning abilities. In July 2008 I was knocked down again with a virus that lasted for eight days and caused unbelivable body pain and high fever. I was piggy-backing tylenol and ibuprofen. I could feel when the tylenol would withdraw. Ugh. My doc tested for tick-bourned disease and could only conclude it was some kind of virus. The fever then also fried what was left of my reasoning abilities. It's why I don't post here much and feel really stupid when I do. I'm reading through MOTT for the third time now and almost weep with relief at finally "getting" it. It's like the cheribum have finally stepped aside with their flaming swords.

mushroom said...

Chris, to me, you sound perfectly reasonable and quite wise.

John Lien said...

@chris. Ditto what mushroom said.

That's pretty cool what MOTTx3 is doing for you.

julie said...

Chris - what Mushroom & John said.

Also, I've found over time that actively participating in the discussion here has been crucial to my own growth on this journey, no matter how dumb I may be at any given moment. If I worried too much about that, I'd never speak up :)

Further, if I stayed silent then I would never have learned what I really think about some things. The challenge of speaking - and trying to speak truthfully and with clarity - serves to sharpen the mind over time, especially if one is willing to see one's own errors and grow from them. Dialog based in the pursuit of the true, the good and the beautiful cannot help but bear good fruit.

Magnus Itland said...

Some books are just made to be read again. I find it hard to read MOTT even the first time, because it is so strong. Not to lead anyone into temptation, but it's like going from beer to liquor here. You just CAN'T take it in the usual quantity. It's too strong.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

You can say that again, Magnus.

I could tell you stories about Skully's rum bong but none of them are pretty.

Don't try this at home kids...or anywhere else for that matter.

John Lien said...

Here's a MOTT insight which isn't very deep. Also, I'm not trying to start a Catholicism/Protestent flame war. The insight is the book attaches meaning to all the "religious junk" that I, as a protestant, thought was unnecessary, even an impediment to getting closer to God. It's putting some mystery and magic back in, which I kind of like, maybe crave. (My scientific, rational self is rolling his eyes and going back to his little room).

ge said...

So Jobs' sister reports his last words as "Oh wow, O wow, O wow!"
[presumably his expression slanted the spelling away from "Oh--Ow!"]

Van said...

Hmmm... perhaps he was discovering that 'there's an app for that'.

Open Trench said...

It's Hollow-Queen and I'm out to make trouble.

Who wants some?

chris m said...

Thanks mushroom, John and Julie.

JP said...

I used a chainsaw for the first time yesterday for several hours.

It was a small chainsaw, but I used it to fill the road in front of my house with a massive number of branches.

Now I ache all over and I have a headache, kind of like having the flu. Although it was only caused by physical exertion and vibrations.

I've probably lowered my defenses enough that I will get the week-long cold that my wife has.

I will attempt to solve this problem by absorbing sugar tonight.

chris m said...

Speaking of Job's "last words as "Oh wow, O wow, O wow!"
[presumably his expression slanted the spelling away from "Oh--Ow!"]," that reminds me:

What happened to "God is Nowhere"? I always thought that was pretty interesting. God is No-where. God is Now-here.

Van said...

JP said "It was a small chainsaw, but I used it to fill the road in front of my house with a massive number of branches."

Setting up defenses against the zombie apocalypse?

Wise. Very wise.

JP said...

Uh, Van, you use *large* chainsaws against zombies, not small ones.

But, yeah, the artificial thicket is a very good first line of defense.