Thankful Thursday: Shingles

Thankful Thursday bannerIf it is true (and it certainly is) that God is sovereign, then every event of our lives, from the most minute to the most profound, has been forethought and planned by God.

If it is true (and it certainly is) that God has planned all things to work together for good for those who love Him and who are called according to His purposes, and if it is true that I am called according to His purposes, then every event of my life is designed to accomplish good.

If God has specially designed, lovingly thought through, every detail of my life in order to accomplish my good in His ineffable purposes, does it not follow that I should worship and thank Him for every detail?

“So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and struck Job with loathsome sores from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. And he took a piece of broken pottery with which to scrape himself while he sat in the ashes.

Then his wife said to him, ‘Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die.’ But he said to her, ‘You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?‘”

~Job 2:7-10 ESV (emphasis my own)

This week I’m thankful…

…for hot flashes at work on Monday
It’s been ages since I had that over-the-top-can’t-breathe-I’m-so-hot feeling. But I had it, briefly, on Monday. It was, I realize now, a harbinger of what was to come.

…for an excruciating headache accompanied by nausea on Tuesday
I usually feel a bit icky in the mornings, which resolves as my allergy medicine kicks in. By the time I realized that it wasn’t just that, I was already in Grand Island–too great a distance to turn around and go home just because I feel awful (and because I’m not sure another hour of driving, this time into the sun, would have done my headache any good.) So I waited it out and finally left work a bit early, bringing home enough work to keep me busy for a while to come.

…for an unexpected rash
I was stunned when I undressed for my bath and discovered a frond of bubbling rash to the left side of my back. I quickly inspected my dress to see if there had been something on the fabric; inspected where my hair had fallen to see if I was having some sort of allergic reaction to my hair tie. Neither panned out.

…for sisters who don’t mind
Strangely enough (considering that I’m not exactly the classic demographic for shingles), my first thought was shingles. I had each of my sisters inspect the spot in turn, to make sure I wasn’t inventing a medical condition for a cluster of pimples. They confirmed, this was not pimples.

…for itching and burning and finally for sleep
It was like the whole left side of me was itching, the rash was burning. If I placed any pressure on my left side, it fell asleep. I did not fall asleep. I read impatiently, wishing for sleep but finding it elusive.

…for a speedy doctor’s visit
My own doctor wasn’t in the office on Wednesday, but I got in with one of his partners fairly early in the day. After a whiz-bang visit, I was on my way with a diagnosis of shingles and a prescription for an antiviral. If I hadn’t identified the rash as early as I had, it might have been too late for the antiviral and I’d have just had to wait it out. As it is, I’m taking antivirals three times a day, but I’m getting some help in fighting the stuff.

…for plenty of work
My shingles has been apparently fairly mild (judging from the stories I’ve heard of others’ cases)–but one of the things it has done is made my left arm sore. Which makes typing (a large part of my job) less than fun. Nevertheless, I had at least ten hours worth of work to do today–and I got through it.

…for Anna’s proposal
When we were discussing how I’m not exactly the target demographic for shingles (shingles is most common in the elderly, the immunocompromised, and those who had chicken pox before age 1), I mentioned that stress probably pushed my Herpes Zoster (chickenpox virus) out of latency. Anna said that she would like to propose a prospective randomized double blind clinical trial…of children who have had chicken pox over their birthdays.

Of course, that’d be what did it. Naturally someone who had chicken pox on her ninth birthday would also have shingles when she was 27. It’s the perfect explanation.

And it made me laugh.

…for Job days that aren’t Job days at all
Job was covered with sores from head to foot. I have a mere couple square inches of sores with pain/burning/soreness radiating outward along just half of my body. Job lost his family and possessions. I still have my family to sympathize with me and my Kindle to read to me. My Job days are nothing compared to his, except for one thing.

The same God lovingly ordained each of our days and each of us to our own days. And should our loving God dream me into one of Job’s own days, I pray that I should respond in the same way as he.

“Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped.”
~Job 1:20 ESV (Emphasis mine)

God is worthy of all praise, in my best days and in my worst. Furthermore, even my worst days are a testament to His faithful, loving, sovereignty. I will praise, I will thank, I will adore my King.

3 thoughts on “Thankful Thursday: Shingles”

  1. I saw this note yesterday (in that other place) and was stunned.

    NO FUN! But yes, as you say, God is sovereign. I hope you find some relief and healing very quickly!

    (I’ve never had chicken pox and now that i have kids, I’ve been vaccinated out the wazoo!)

  2. Ouch! I’ve never had them but I’ve heard they’re very painful, But I thought just the rash hurt: I didn’t know pain radiated from that area. I’m glad you were able to be seen by a doctor and get on meds so soon and that you could see God’s loving hand throughout. Hope it heals quickly!


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