Ten days back I started feeling very peculiar pain at my back scapular region on one side. It was localized to one point and was constant. It didnt seem to be a routine muscular pain that I get after vigorous home chores. I took analgesic but it didnt go away. I was perplexed as what it was but the mystery solved after four days when at the same site papular rash appeared in a track and I made my diagnosis of Herpes zoster shingles. But I went to the dermatology OPD of Civil Hospital to confirm it. The doctors endorsed my diagnosis and put me on antiviral acyclovir tablets and ointment plus pain killers. Now I am confined at home since a week and not going to college neither hospital.
I am experiencing severe constant sharp pain with itching and burning but I restrain myself from scratching. I am happy that it gives me better comprehension of my patients suffering from aches and pains. Correct diagnosis is also a blessing as it enables us to treat appropriately. I remember an elderly female patient who came to me once with complaint of chest pain. She had consulted many doctors who advised ECG and x ray chest but she had no releif from any medication. When she came to me with piles of ECGs and prescriptions, I examined her in the couch and exposed the area of her pain and found a papular rash of Herpes zoster under her left breast. I have seen a patient with abdominal pain who was advised abdominal ultrasound without examining the site with full blown rash of Herpes zoster! I thank God that my diagnosis was made early! I was just wondering what a miraculous blessing I have that my old mother is with me to look after me when I am myself over 50 years of age! She applies ointment at my back with gloves as my hand does not reach there, without being scared that it is contagious! She reads Quran and do “dum” on my lesions! She suggested to get branches of Neem tree that I have kept in the bucket filled with water. I take one Neem twig daily and rub it gently on my lesions and I find it so soothing and comforting to relieve my pain temporarily!
I do all my household work like normal routine. I consider myself not sick as I have no fever or other systemic complaints. I am able to work at home. Many activities that I had no time to do, I can accomplish now as it is a golden chance to do so! So I made an album of Eid photos yesterday. I organized my drawers, documents, cupboards and cabinets. I am enjoying going through the beautiful books in my library. I enjoy listening to wonderful music of Beethovan and Mozart! Right now I am listening to Ghalib’s poetry while ammi is knitting sweater for Mustafa, my niece’s son.
The other blessing is that I have very loving brothers, bhabis and sisters who bring me cooked food every now and then! So I have a lot of food stuff in store. I had an urge to eat some sweet dish and two of my bhabis brought my favourite pudding and siwayyan! Normally ammi scolds me and does not let me eat but now she feels that I am suffering so she does not argue and let me eat everything! As soon as I am fine again, I have promised her to resume my diet and exercise! But right now I feel justified to enjoy eating! So its nice to be treated like that! Dr. Zeba Hisam
1st October, 2016