I feel a little itch and a tiny, not-at-all-red bump. Microscopic. Hmmm must have gotten a bug bite. Whatever. Time for karate.
This bug bite is growing. Well, must be a bad one. This has to be a spider bite. No ant bite can hurt like this. Is it in my bed? There are like 9 "bites". Shoot it must be in my bed. Oh my gosh. I am changing all the sheets right now. Immediately. Is it a black widow? In my bed? I CAN'T BE SLEEPING WITH A BLACK WIDOW!
Oh dear. This is not looking good. This is really red. And holy cow it hurts. There has to be nerve venom in there. This is extremely painful. Here, let me show my pharmacist friend and ask for steroid creams. Wow, this thing is hyper sensitive to touch. Why is there fire in my skin?
WHAT FRESH HELL IS THIS? What have I done to deserve this? Is there any way I can walk the kids to school in a bra so not a single thread can even gently whisp across the surface of this molten lava releasing monster. There's a chance this might not be a spider bite. I should probably see a doctor. But really, it's obviously nothing serious or I'd already be dead. I don't want to be a whiner. I'm supposed to go to nurse school. I can't be that idiot that shows up at the doctor because of a pesky spider bite that is not affecting respiration, heart rate or blood pressure. It'll be fine. I'll be fine.
Uncontrollable screaming into the pillow. Invisible devil fairies heating long and large needles in fire and then sticking them into my side where the muscles are obviously necrotizing because nothing less serious could ever possibly hurt this much. Probably should see a doctor. Maybe this is not spider bites. Eh, it's after closing time Friday. I'll call Monday.
Day Six and Seven
Well, this is how I go out. This is how it ends. I die of a weird rash/spider bite. Fitting.
Mom suggests shingles. Can't be shingles, it's not big enough. No. definitely not shingles. I'm not 70. Mom really thinks it's shingles. Three minutes on WebMD in the middle of the night: son of a nutcracker. Definitely shingles.
Hi, I need an appointment this morning? Nothing til the afternoon. Boo. I have to go help with pumpkin day at school. Spends two hours lifting a pumpkin in and out of a bucket of water and repeating, "No, just circle sink or float. No, right here. Right. Here. F-f-f-float. No that's sink. Actually, it's fine. It's fine. Good job." When. Is. this. Over????? I NEED TO SCRATCH! Finally. Considers catheter to prevent moving as it disturbs the devil in my side. Time to go trick or treating!
"Well Dr Gupta, I have this rash..." Lifts shirt for 1/14 of a second. That's shingles. Yep that's shingles. How long have you had it? 9 days? Why didn't you come before? A spider bite? You thought it was a spider bite? I burst into tears whining that it hurts and I haven't slept in three days and also I might be going crazy. Feeling a little yellow wallpaper-y. Promises of codeine. Home. Sits for 11 hours on the couch while demanding my children bring me fresh ice packs and make themselves sandwiches for dinner. Codeine good. Codeine friend.
Kinder Farm Field Trip Day... hooray? I should cancel. I cannot cancel. This is the only one I will be able to go on this year. Must go. CodeineCodeineCodeine. 1,456,238 screaming children somehow crammed into one bus. I swear I can feel the reverb of every scream in that rash. Sometimes I miss teaching. This reminds me of all the times I do NOT miss teaching. At the farm. Why am I here? Idiot, idiot, idiot. Smile big! We are having so much farm fun!! Good, it's hot. They won't know why you're really sweating. Done. No kids, you can't come home early. See you after school. Back to couch nest. Couch nest good. Codeine good. Ice pack good. Westworld actually not very good...
Is that? Could it be? Hope? A scab has appeared. One small ray of light in a dark and pitiful world. The end is nigh! Every gospel song I overheard sung at Walker Memorial Baptist Church comes rushing back to me.
Days Twelve On
On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me a slow but steady decrease in random stabbing, burning, muscle crippling pain. The gift that keeps on giving.
And that's how I died of shingles. The end.