If only this were about a roof

Perhaps this site needs a new category: misery.

My last life update included tales of snake attacks and broken air-conditioners. On top of that, I will be losing my job in the coming months, though that is a story for another time. Apparently my body felt that it needed to have a more serious response to all of this stress, and so last week I developed shingles.

I didn’t think life could get better, hurtling toward the swelter of a Texas summer while seven months pregnant. But it did.

I’m annoyed by the cheery-sounding name when this virus really should be called tarantulitis or something similarly horrible. Shingles is essentially a flare-up of the chicken pox virus. A nerve in your back goes haywire, causing a hideous rash (Do not Google it!) around your midsection. While the rash itself itches, the deranged nerve causes the whole area to burn. What a party!

The one interesting part of shingles is that, for me at least, it caused an intense physical response to stress and worry. I walked over to the park with Greg and Eleanor one night, and on the way back, Eleanor tripped. Seeing her stumble made the rash burn. And hearing Abe bark made the rash burn.

Have you read the Harry Potter books? Because this might be starting to sound familiar — a source of danger causing the skin to burn. Do you see? Harry Potter didn’t have some mysterious scar. He had shingles! That boy wizard has nothing on me.