Not having a terrific week.

Weird blisters started appearing on the left side of my forehead in a lateral pattern on Sat morning. Katie jumped onto Google and made what turned out to be an accurate diagnosis -- shingles, a recurrence of childhood chicken pox, thought to be caused by stress. The virus is dormant in anyone who has had chicken pox -- it waits in the spine. The blisters follow the nerves, and because of this it is quite painful. It’s like a constant helmet of discomfort with occasional waves of sharp pain dragged over the head like a blanket. It’s basically incapacitated me for the whole week. Some say that it’s possible to get nerve damage from it that can cause pain for months. I started early on anti-viral medication and anti-convusants for the pain. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

I’ve come to the conclusion that this is a kind of writing -- it starts in the central nervous system and is published on the forehead or chest.

I’ve been trying not to go into public for fear of scaring children and pets, but today I had to walk to 14th and 2nd to see an ophthalmologist and make sure it’s not harming my eye. I tied a red bandana around my head, something I haven’t done since seeing Husker Du play at a Rutgers gym in 1986. It kind of brought that feeling back.

It turns out the eye is fine. The ophthalmologist put dilating drops in to check for retinopathy, and this makes it hard to see when you get outside, esp. because of the insanely beautuful 79 degree sunny day blaring in the East Village. Since I’ve had an unrelated problem in one of my ears, I really can't hear properly ether. Squinting and weaving through pedestrians on 1st. Ave, I realized, I have become Helen Keller….

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