One morning, toward the end of November, I woke up with a peculiar feeling of pain on my back. It felt like a pulled muscle. I ignored it, went about with my day, thinking it would just go away or resolve itself. But three days later, the pain was still there, and I was also developing rashes with blisters on my upper abdomen at the same side. I went to the doctor and he gave me a diagnosis: shingles or herpes zoster. My doctor prescribed a course of antivirals and painkillers. It was honestly so much, I feared for my kidneys. I followed my doctor’s instructions, nonetheless.
Two and half weeks since my diagnosis, my blisters have since then expanded and filled with fluid, collapsed, and finally turned into scabs which subsequently fell off after a few days. I thought the worst was over, but now I am itching like crazy and hoping this isn’t permanent nerve damage. I wake up every morning at 3:00-4:00am with an overwhelming urge to scratch the skin on the site where blisters used to be. I hate it.
This round of illness has also left me at my weakest.. or maybe not at my weakest ever, but weak enough for me to notice. I’ve gone back to zero on my pull-up progressions. A far cry from weeks ago when I could do negatives. Getting sick is a b*tch.
Right now, I am most paranoid about a recurrence, and I do not want another round of this virus. So I’ve established a new – healthier – routine. It sounds pretty sad, but I’ve minimized my intake of arginine-rich foods such as seeds, chocolate, and pork loin. I’ve also cut down on processed foods. I’ve started taking green smoothies as well, to boost my immune system. I want to be able to go back to training hard again and a good diet and strong immune system is essential for it.
I’m going to beat shingles. I just know it.