What’s that? Despite the nauseating feeling you experience upon breathing you’re interested in swallowing a pill the size of a deck of cards five times a day for seven days? Accompanied by a strange rash and general feeling of total body malaise? WELL HOLD THE EVERLOVING PHONE. Shingles it is!
I would be remiss if I did not tell you – I have shingles. That’s right. All you discerning readers who thought that my casual mention of “shingles” in my last post was just another one of my whimsical, hyperbolic, and melodramatic cries for attention? Well, you were right. But on Friday I confirmed what I feared
all along! since
approximately 48 hours ago. The red, vesicular rash on the right side of my
abdomen that alternately feels itchy and ultra-sensitive has been with us – all of us! we are the world!
etc. – since Monday. But it wasn’t until rapid-fire consultation with five
different physicians that I had
the pleasure of a confirmed diagnosis and VERY AGGRESSIVE treatment plan –
pills, deck of cards, take by mouth basically every 15 minutes, etc. – to
So here I am,
REALLY, REALLY needing to get back to like,
being a competent and together lawyer, because I can only be excused for so
many doctors appointments in one 72 hour period unsure whether the
intermittent waves of nausea and sudden predilection for bland carbohydrates –
and distaste for, no, ABSOLUTE DISGUST FOR, chocolate and sweets
– have more to do with the toxic horse pills or the gaggle of cells
hopefully-developing-normally in my uterus.
Also, let’s be honest – the absurdity of having shingles during my first trimester,
after trying desperately to get and stay
pregnant for 14 months is really, truly HILARIOUS. <end scene>
 Doctor #1 (primary care doctor): <takes one look> It looks like zoster. I’m giving you a prescription for Acyclovir, one pill, five times a day, for seven days. The OBs say it won’t affect the pregnancy.
Doctor #2 (OB who primary care doctor has consulted regarding treatment because, hellopregnantohmygodFETUS! and who has kindly run up five flights of stairs to inspect me herself): <panting – you know, from running – takes one look> I agree with [Doctor #1]. It looks like zoster. Cue: many reassuring words about how zoster has no effect on a developing fetus despite what you may have read on webmd/the treatment is completely safe in pregnancy.
[Intermission, i.e. Thursday evening, in which C, on call at the hospital, where I have just been for two hours, is basically having an aneurysm and freaking the fuck out. Unsatisfied with merely two opinions, he pulls strings so that I can see an infectious disease doctor first thing Friday morning.]
Doctor #3 (infectious disease fellow): <takes one, slightly longer look> It looks like zoster to me. But I want to bring in the attending to see what she thinks.
Doctor #4 (infectious disease attending): <deep in concentration, even breaks out a little flashlight for some serious inspection, which naturally makes me feel like I’m in a spy thriller because obviously> Hmmmmm. I’m not sure it’s zoster. I would stop taking the medication. If it is zoster, it’s mild and it should resolve on its own. There’s no evidence that Acyclovir harms a pregnancy but you’re so early on and there just isn’t a lot of evidence on the effect of Acyclovir in pregnancy. Call your OB and see what she thinks.
<Sarah, *face palm*, panicked, having already taken 3 doses of what now appears to be fetus poison, etc.>
Doctor #5 (my “high risk” obstetrician who I haven’t actually been properly referred to yet because I haven’t actually had my first ultrasound with the fertility clinic but whose nurse suffers through my calls regardless): YOU ABSOLUTELY MUST FINISH THE ENTIRE CYCLE OF MEDICATION. THERE IS NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT.
 The horror! But seriously, folks. Let us take a moment to mourn the loss of this very important food interest. And please check back for my absolutely captivating forthcoming post detailing the CATASTOPHIC changes in my quibbling, disgusting, only-eats-starch diet which I continue to resist (unsuccessfully). You know, between the waves of nausea and fear of scurvy.
 I know, I know. Nausea plus strong food aversions plus boobs-so-sore-no-touching! is, potentially, good news. But like my dear friend Tina Fey says, “My ability to turn good news into anxiety is rivaled only by my ability to turn anxiety into chin acne.” <it’s like she knows me!>
 I am nearly certain that this baby is ripping up my medical bills. Good baby.