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Bright, Author

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Shingles Strike Like David Bowie's Lightning Bolt

When I awoke one June morning to an odd red patch of blisters that hung over my right eye and running down my right temple, I was freaked out and confused. I was unable to pinpoint the area of rash. Aside from being an expert on facts, my fear led me to become an expert on the bedbug's methods. I called my partner to come in and look it over.


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 "Good Lord," He said with a touch of sympathy.


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 "I look like David Bowie," I said, referring to the red lightning bolt that graces Bowie's face on the album's cover. Aladdin Sane.


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 While the rash seemed unusual, I'd also felt strangely in the days prior. Since I was experiencing nausea and headaches I figured I was experiencing my first migraine. I could not do anything except lie on my back and consider which pressure system was in the process of pounding my maxillofacial area in the upper part of my face. Sinus infection? Migraine? Will I throw up?


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 Then, I learned that doctors refer to this component of shingles "prodrome" -it's a term used to describe specific sets of symptoms that can precede the onset of any serious illness. The high-pitched assonance of the word was a reflection of exactly how naive and confused I felt.


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 The morning the rash showed up I happened to be not working for a couple of weeks, and I could get dressed right away and walk a few blocks to a brand new urgent care facility run by an important New York City hospital. I need to stress my gratitude to A) have the time to deal with this situation immediately, B) have a top-quality non-ER (emergency room) healthcare facility I could walk into and be treated as if it were Starbucks, and C) have the health insurance to cover the cost.


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