The health care system gets a lot of bad publicity these days, including some on this blog. Most of it is deservered, but I have a short story to tell about the system actually working the way it's supposed to.
Over the weekend while I was in Fall River, I started waking up at night with an itch on my right buttock. As far as I could feel, there was a fairly large area with itchy bumps.
On Monday morning, there was an area of rash on my foot, (Picture above. All these places where I have this rash are difficult to photograph.) including one on the sole that was uncomfortable to walk on. Monday evening, I noticed a similar patch on my right calf.
I woke up in the middle of the night that night sure I had Shingles.
So yesterday morning, I called the clinic where I get my health care and asked to talk to a nurse. She said she thought I should be seen and made an appointment for yesterday afternoon.
The doctor listened to the story and looked at the rash. He said he had no idea what it was, but he didn't believe it was shingles. He says shingles usually happens all the way down the nerve path, so that there would be some rash in between the buttock and the calf. And he also says that people have usually felt some pain in the area before the rash appears. So he said if it gets worse, I should come back, and he gave me some cortisone cream to put on it for the itching.
So although I didn't get much treatment (I'd already been using cortisone cream), I feel much better. I slept much better last night. I've heard lots of stories of people suffering for months with shingles. Of course, there are also apparently stories of people itching for a few weeks and then being fine, but those aren't the ones anyone tells you. So I'll probably itch for a couple of weeks and be fine. If I'm not, I'll go back and see the doctor.