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Opinion

If you ask me: Shots, shingles and a sissy


  • By The Newnan Times-Herald
  • |
  • Sep. 27, 2022 - 10:27 PM

If you ask me: Shots, shingles and a sissy

The Newnan Times-Herald

I mentioned in an earlier column my monumental dislike for needles.

I don't even sew. I have to look away and bite down on a tongue depressor when I get a shot. I cannot stand to see a person get a shot; I hate to see the many shots given on TV. I cannot look when my dogs must get their shots.

I was told to get a shingles shot a few years back, and I did because I had heard how bad shingles were. It was expensive but worth it not to get shingles.

I was told that I must get the COVID-19 shots or I might die. They were complimentary via the U.S. government so I got them. Then I was told that the COVID-19 shots were not 100 percent protection, and I must get a booster. Make that two boosters.

While I was contemplating what to do about the boosters, my primary care physician contacted me and said that I needed to get a Shingrix shot because the first shingles shots were not 100 percent effective.

Well, fiddle-dee-dee, I have had enough of these #%&* shots that don't work, so why get some more that probably won't work either? I am tired of subsidizing Big Pharma, and I abhor shots. So I didn't get any of the shots.

It started with a tingling sensation on the left side of my head, then progressed to sharp pain. I immediately checked with Dr. Google, and we came up with the diagnosis of trigeminal neuralgia. When I told my PCP, she told me to take Tylenol and use hot compresses on that side of my head. I did. It didn't help.

The pain became worse. It felt like a swarm of bees were having a stinging party on the left side of my scalp. Holy moly, the pain grew even worse. After a couple of days of my moaning and groaning, Mr. Wanderlust dragged me out to the car and away we went to Summit Emergency. The PA took one look at my scalp and said, "You have shingles."

I was put on two kinds of medication and sent home to get better. Thankfully, after a couple of weeks, I got better, much better, but I thought at times I was going to die.

It is said that hindsight is 20/20, so now I see that I coulda, woulda, shoulda listened to my doctor and gotten the Shingrix vaccine no matter the odds of it working or not. Shingrix is given in two doses, by a shot of course.

That would have been two shots that I should have gotten. By not getting the two shots it often felt like I was getting hundreds of shots in my head as shingles continued its mayhem of mimicking bee stings.

Looking back many years, I remember my dad having shingles. He complained continuously about the pain around his waist. One day while visiting him I said, "Daddy, lift up your shirt and let me see what it is you are complaining about."

When he did, I saw a mild-looking rash on his waist. I said, "Well, for goodness sake, is that little patch of rash what you keep hollering about?"

Whoo hoo! That was not the right thing to say. He proceeded to preach to me the loudest sermon that I have ever heard. I didn't know at that time that the shingles pain is associated with nerve inflammation under the skin and actually feels a lot worse than it looks.

What goes around comes around, so listening closely to the heavens above, I believed I could hear my dad laughing at my agony, and saying, “I told you so.”

Now, I learn that some people have post-herpetic neuralgia after the shingles fade away. This is a burning, itching, aching or intermittent sharp pain like an electric shock in the area that was affected by shingles. I don't want that, and neither do you.

If you haven't gotten the latest shingles shot, I would highly recommend that you get it even if you have to bite down really hard on a tongue depressor while looking away. It will not be as bad as the shingles.

Margaret Hudson Kilgore lives in Sharpsburg with her husband Gordon Kilgore (aka Mr. Wanderlust) and two furbabies, Miss Lulu Bichon and Miss Mia Maltese. Margaret can be reached at margaretkilgore160@gmail.com .