15 March 2008

Shingled And Swindled

About 10 years ago, I was infected with chicken pox. If I remember correctly what my late mum had told me before, I already had a bout of chicken pox when I was a child. If that was true, then according to my doctor, I belonged to a very rare group of patients who got afflicted by chicken pox a second time. (Most people would have had acquired immunity to chicken pox after they have had it for the first time.) Either that or I was particularly jinxed.

And boy, was I jinxed! Early this week, I had herpes. No, not genital herpes but herpes zoster or commonly known as shingles.

I understand that after a person recovers from chickenpox, the virus goes "undercover" and manifests itself years or even decades later as shingles. This usually happens during a period when a person's immune resistance is low.

Fortunately with the abundance of medical information on the Internet, I managed to diagnose myself even before my doctor did. I told my Section Head that I might have shingles and was consulting a doctor. Then I found out from a colleague who had shingles recently that I should consult a GP and that the medicine and consultation would cost from anywhere between $100 to $200.

So I was quite pleasantly surprised that my GP only charged me $85 for consultation and a one-week supply of acyclovir (800mg).

Hmm... my colleague could have been both shingled and swindled. Haha.

Perhaps the best thing that came out of this painful and itchy episode is that I got one week's medical leave. :p No wonder, the Chinese call shingles sheng she "生蛇" (growing a snake) and malingering chi she "吃蛇". Haha.

Wee Kiat, on hearing that I was on MC said, "Your shingles and 1 week's MC is scheduled very well - when your MC leave expires, the long Good Friday weekend inspires. Ha! Ha!"

He continued relentlessly with this story of his wife who is a retired teacher:

"This reminds me of the time when my son was born, back in 1967. He was born in mid-November and at that time mothers were entitled to 6 weeks' maternity leave. Well, being mid-November the maternity leave coincided with the school vacation period. So, when the maternity leave expired so did the school vacation leave. My wife went back to teach on Jan 3. Ha! ha!

So, what's the moral of the story?"
My reply to him was: "Never try to conceive in mid-February when your wife is a teacher."

Hmm... looks like my colleague wasn't the only one who got swindled.


JollyGreenP said...

oooh get well soon Victor.

John H., the JollyGreenP.

Anonymous said...

Aiyo kohlian kohlian (so kesian) how kam lidat?? You stress kah? I heard that shingles oso attak when u are stress. Painful oso ya??

Lam Chun See said...

The moral of your story is ... don't eat too much snake; or you will attract the other type of snake.

Doesn't apply to the self-employed of course!

Anonymous said...

GD, get well soon ok! take care!

I think GD eat too much snake liao.. like what Uncle Lam mentioned!


Anonymous said...

was it true that the chinese believed to use a joss-stick to burn the "head" of the snake?

Anonymous said...

Hi Victor, I hope you will get well soon. The chinese believe that the shingles or snake will grow and grow until it encircles its victim.If that happens the victim will not survive so they believe. Are you game to try and use the joss-stick to burn the "head" of the snake to ensure a speedier recovery. Hahaha.

Anonymous said...

Ouch. That looks uncomfortable!

Hope you feel better after the medication. :)

In the meantime, can enjoy the rainy weather sleeping at home. :P

Victor said...

Thank you for all your well-wishes. It is really heartwarming to know that all of you care so much about me.

John H - Thank you. I will, I will.

FH - Yes, stress may cause an outbreak of shingles too. But for me, I think it's the lack of sleep. Ya, it's painful and itchy at the same time.

LCS - No one is immune, not even the self-employed. :p

GNE - No lar, no ular (Malay for snake) for me, hee.

Peter - If you believe that, you will believe that I will die when the snake coils round me, like what Stanley said. No lar, I don't believe in old grandmother's cure.

Stanley - Really ah? Don't frightened me leh.

Buggy - But just when I thought the rainy weather would last forever, it turned bright and sunny again.

Anonymous said...

Oh I thought I'm the only one falling sick...
Pls get well soon.

Anonymous said...

Victor- Haha, just a grandmother's tale. Sorry to have frightened you.Ony time will cure you eventually no matter what.

Tom said...

Tom said...
Victor just been reading through your site, sorry to hear that you have shingles, it must be very painful, hope you get better soon

TINTIN said...

oppss..get well soon ..!!

tigerfish said...

Hope you are better by now.
Is herpes similar to cold sore or is herpes just...cold sore? I tend to have cold sore too and my lips will be the first to be attacked (crack and bleed!!). Yes, they say factors such as stress or low resistance might be causes of it. I get cream to apply too and the active ingredient is acyclovir....

Get well soon.

Victor said...

Thanks everyone for your get-well wishes. I am feeling much better now.

Timesofmylife - These are the times of my life which I could do without. Guess it happens to everyone now and then and we'll just have to take it in our stride.

Stanley - Haha, knew you were joking.

Tom - I have recovered well enough to go back to work.

Tintin - Thanks for visiting. You have a very nice blog.

Tigerfish - I don't know much about cold sores but understand that they are caused by the herpes simplex virus.

ling said...
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