Inner Peace and Invisible Pain

I have survived over a week with shingles and I have to say it was not easy. After having four kids, and RA, I should have a high tolerance for pain, I would think. Apparently, I do not.

But then again, the above mentioned wasn’t nerve pain. That falls into a category all by its unique self. I call it the invisible pain.

The rash has subsided, gone to pink again, but the swelling persists. I have a lopsided belly and my hip area is exquisitely tender, yet hard to the touch. I had no idea there was so much swelling involved with shingles. And since it’s the right side of my belly that’s inflamed, I feared for my liver. After nine years of methotrexate, I should fear for my liver!

But, my doctor palpated and said it was fine, just inflammation. A word I’m all too familiar with. And because of its immunosuppression side effects, he took me off the mtx until further notice. Today, I should contact my rheumatologist and tell him about it. Maybe he wants to start something else.

I’ve hesitated to call him because I’m afraid he’ll want to see me and a visit to him is a three-hour sitting around marathon. I can’t sit right now, not for three freaking hours! But, perhaps we can speak on the phone.

I never thought something could make RA take a back seat, medically speaking, but hats off to shingles. The pain is akin to having a flaming torch applied to your side, while a thousand knives hack away at you by turns.

After twelve days, the temperature on that torch is somewhat diminished and the number of knives has decreased to the hundreds. The area they now concentrate on is thankfully smaller. Maybe that’s why the effect feels lessened.

Yet strangely, amidst all this, I feel inner peace. I am being tenderly cared for, dare I say even pampered and catered to. I’m receiving the type of medicine one can’t buy, and has no price. One whose value can never be quantified, and best of all, comes with no side effects.

Unless, you count love.

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6 Responses to Inner Peace and Invisible Pain

  1. Nan Hart says:

    Irma I hope relief continues to come your way…you have sure had a tough road lately! take care. Nan

  2. Ariesgrl says:

    Oh you poor thing. I am sending you lots of well wishes. Shingles, is definitely not fun and I hope you can heal quickly. Glad that you are getting the care you need. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers!

  3. Wren says:

    Sweet Irma. What a scourge you’ve been through! I hope this attack (for it IS an attack and a long battle) will continue to subside, and your pain levels continue to drop. Funny how we with RA feel like we KNOW pain and how to deal with it–until something like shingles comes along. Sending lots of comfort and peace your way.

    • Irma says:

      Scourge is right, Wren. And I agree, I get attacked about three to four times a day. Makes me see stars. It’s even hard to breathe through the pain. Thank goodness for pain killers! And thank you so much for your kind thoughts. – Irma

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