“Yup, that’s Herpes!”

I’ve been known to have a back problem or two in my day. I work very hard, I lift a lot of heavy stuff, not to mention, I hike and work out a lot. Because of all this, back pain is nothing new to me. Its usually my lower back; I have degenerative disks. This all started when I was very young, and for a long time I didn’t know what was wrong. My parents thought I had scoliosis and made me take a scoliosis quiz, but eventually doctors ruled that out anyway. As it turned out, I have degenerative disks as I said. Last year I started having back pain in my upper back. Great, I thought, new back pain. Awesome, what did I do now? The weird thing was I hadn’t done any heavy lifting or anything strenuous in days. It didn’t hurt that bad, so I kept going to work, just kind of ignoring it. Although I did start looking at some possible treatments in case the pain persisted. I learnt about treatments such as physiotherapy and medical marijuana (you can read more about this here!) I was so glad to know there were lots of options available if I needed them. Luckily, it didn’t get worse, just kind of the same. I had a cold at the same time, so that was really annoying too.
A few days went by and I noticed a rash all over my back. When I confided this to a friend, she freaked out.
“You live in the mountains! Black Widows! You must have been bit by a black widow! Go to the doctor now! Death!”
It did look like massive bug bites. Hell, I’m a mountain girl, I’ve had bug bites before they are nothing new to me. Then my neck started hurting and aw hell I’m just a huge mess. I gave in and made a doctors appointment. I hate going to the doctor. I only go if I may be infected with Black Widow venom, or something similar.
As per usual my doctor made me wait forty five minutes to see her; If I had been bitten by a black widow, I would be near death by the time they let me back to her exam room. I hate Beaver Medical. They are so incompetent. Years ago I was waiting for their office to call me and schedule a biopsy. It had been three weeks and they still hadn’t called so i called them. Turns out they filed it wrong. They wrote that I needed a gastrointestinal exam, not a biopsy. Pretty funny if you know me. I have so many gastrointestinal problems its pretty ridiculous.
Finally I made it back to my exam room to be seen. My doctor sat me down on the table, checked out my back, listened to my symptoms then said she had to get a second opinion. WTF? A second opinion? What is going on?
An older male doctor came in took one look at my back, started laughing and said
“Yup that’s herpes!”
So I started laughing too. Back herpes, hilarious! Wait, he’s serious? Why the fuck was he laughing?! If you can not laugh with out saying the word herpes, maybe you don’t belong in the medical community!
He leaves and I ask my doctor what the hell is wrong with me. That’s when she told me I had shingles; a form of herpes. Shingles comes from having the chicken pox prior in life, and it can be brought on by stress or when your immune system is compromised (Like when I had the cold) The warning signs include neck pain and head ache. I had both in the last few days. My doctor was seeking a second opinion because she had never seen Shingles in some one so young before. Its usually something you get when you are over fifty years old.
I went out to the waiting room where my ex was waiting for me.
“Whats wrong with you?” He asked. I started to giggle.
“I’ll tell you when we get outside”
In the elevator, full of people, he asked me again.
“Whats wrong with you? Why are you laughing?”
I don’t think any one has ever laughed so hard in their life while waiting to tell their loved one they have herpes. Okay once we got outside between fits of giggles I managed to spit out
“I have herpes! On my back!”
I than explained the situation as best as I could, then we drove over to Walgreens to pick up my first and only, I hope subscription for Valtrex. Maybe it was all the giggling, i really don’t know, but at this point my back pain was excruciating. The poor girl at Walgreens saw how much pain I was in and hurried my subscription along, at that point in my life that is the most ghetto I have ever felt; at Walgreen’s at 10 A.M. begging for my herpes medication.
The sad thing is, in our parking lot at work we now have a giant sign right in front of Von’s proclaiming
“Free Shingles shots in the pharmacy today!”
Oh believe me, that sign mocks me every day as I glare at it as I walk past.


  1. Kathryn

    I had shingles not to long ago.. Just minor though on my right shoulder blade.. though that small amount was SO uncomfortable! I cant imagine having it on your entire back! Ouch! Shingles suck!

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