I had the Shingles virus. Yes, that awful virus you thought only old people could get (or at least, I did). This was me for a week
At the end of February, I started getting sharp rib pain on my right side. Now, Marin loves my ribs so she can play that famous drum part in the Phil Collin's song "In the air tonight", so I figured it was just her resting on them. The next day, I had a SEVERE pain shooting on my entire right side. Truly, it was severe. I figured maybe it had to do with my milk coming in early or my lovely heartburn, so since I had a Doctor's appointment that week, I figured just suck it up, it must be pregnancy related! Then, the morning of my baby shower, I noticed a few red bumps on my right side. I thought it was a heat rash since I tend to become a furnace in the later stages of pregnancy. It was still painful, it was hard to really enjoy the shower when all I wanted to do was cry. But I put my big girl pants on and sucked it up.
Fast forward to Wednesday, I couldn't handle the pain. I knew something was wrong since the rash started to spread and I was whimpering even washing the dishes or putting clothes on. It felt like someone lit my right side on fire then hit me with a spiked bat. The sad thing is, I am not exaggerating. So I went to my appointment and the Doctor told me the not-so-fun news. This was my face
I had the Shingles Virus. How you ask? Well, since I have been sick since day one of my pregnancy and never have been able to truly rest, my immune system is 100% gone. Any healthy part of my immune system has gone to Marin, so since I had Chicken Pox as a baby, the dormant Shingles decided right now was the perfect time to attack since I am weak. My first question was "is my baby okay?" and he reassured me that since Marin is done growing and just packing on pounds, she should NOT be affected by my Virus. Also, the RX I am on is category B, so that helped with the stress of "will this hurt my baby?"
Shingles knows whats up too. It had me listening to its every command like a darn Pirate. You will also complain and rightfully so. This shizzle hurt.
I am only writing this because while I was googling "pain relief for pregnant women with shingles" Google essentially laughed at me and called me a whale. Pregnant women can't take a lot of medications while we are wild with child. So dealing with this while 34 weeks pregnant was very hard emotionally and physically. But I do count my lucky stars that it happened "at the best time" for Marin.
So, for any Pregnant Mommies out there who are also dealing with this, here are my tips:
- Tylenol EVERY 4 hours. At 3 1/2 hours, the tears will start. Don't be stubborn and try and suck it up like I did. TAKE THE TYLENOL. The RX doesn't help with the pain, it just speeds up the healing process.
- Wear loose clothing. This is not the time for beauty. I wore Jon's big pj shirts and my bathrobe the entire time. The second the shirt would touch me, I would flinch. No tight clothing!
- Oatmeal baths. Aveeno makes a great Oatmeal bath packet and they are glorious. It helps with the pain and itching and helps dry out the rash.
- Calamine lotion. The first few days of the Virus is obviously the worst and putting the lotion on will hurt a bit, but ultimately, it helped greatly. I applied it a few times a day.
- Frozen vegetables. I named my bag of frozen peas "Peter Peasley" and he was my husband while Jon was gone. The only way I could sleep was if I numbed my whole right side. Ice packs hurt to lay on, so I broke up the peas and they were comfortable to rest on.
- Frozen entrees. Honestly, who cares. I could not prepare food. I needed easy to eat meals and bought a few relatively healthy entree items. Washing dishes was too painful, so this really helped.
-Vitamin C. My Doctor told me Vitamin C will help, so I ate a lot of fruit packed with Vitamin C.
-REST. I thought this would be a good time to get work done or just nice time to relax before we have a newborn in the casa.
LOL ROFL. Sit your butt down and do nothing. You physically won't be able to much other than go to the bathroom and sleep.
So...has anyone else ever had Shingles? Any tips at all? Unfortunately I do have nerve damage and it flairs up with stress or when I am tired. I am hoping it will only last a few months like my Doctor thinks it will. The Doc also suggested I get the epidural or labor will be even worse. I am down for that!