Friday, June 25, 2010

What do shingles scars look like one month after they erupt?

So, a little health update on my shingles. The pain is gone, the itching is much better (which means I can sleep again), and my skin is less numb on my forehead. Got the bill from the hospital. In case you were wondering, the full price (pre-insurance) of a 24-hour stay in the isolation ward, where everyone has to wear a fresh face mask and a full paper gown EVERY SINGLE TIME they enter your room, is only $7100. What a deal! Of course, the infectious diseases doctor bills separately.

If you want to know what it looked like when I was in the hospital you can go ahead and Google "shingles on face". I don't recommend it, but knock yourself out. Granted, I didn't look nearly as bad as many of those poor people.

Doctors keep telling me that the scars generally fade entirely, but it could take up to one year. Frankly, the prospect of losing my eyesight in that eye worried me a hell of a lot more than my appearance, and I have confirmation that the shingles affected my tear duct's ability to work.

"Look at that sad lady, Mommy. Why is she crying out of one eye?" Actually, I have this gritty feeling in my eye, whether I'm wearing my contacts or not. It's annoying. I haven't cried lately, so I don't know if it's noticeably different from both eyes. I'll get back to you on that. Maybe I can get a sad movie soon.

Anyway, the ophthalmologist* says that other eye complications are "rare" this late in the game, so I'm starting to think about the scars a bit more. Especially that big divot-like one in the middle of my stupid forehead. Might be time for a new haircut.

Additionally, I seem to have lost much of my sense of smell. I hope that's temporary.

See? See how shingles doesn't cross the midline? It's like magic, except not really so fun.

*Some other words with the "phth" sequence include phthalein, phthisis, Phthirus, and phthisiology. In case you were wondering.


Arachne said...

I would love to know whether that indented scar has improved. I had opthalmic shingles during the first half of October and am now left with not just one but two appalling craters in a similar place on my forehead to your scar! Did you treat yours and what was the outcome?

With best wishes.

Bluestem said...

I used Mederma cream for a few months. I don't have any discoloration anymore, but the crater is still visible. It's not nearly as bad as it was, though.

Sorry it's not better news, for either of us, but I'm not bothered by it much. Good luck healing!