Childhood disease revisted

We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey.

~ Kenji Miyazawa

I am feeling weary.  And in pain.  The illness I barely mentioned yesterday is one that brings a great deal of pain with it.  This is what I have, or what currently has me in its grips.

It’s difficult to find the bright side.

Diseases can be our spiritual flat tires — disruptions in our lives that seem to be disasters at the time but end by redirecting our lives in a meaningful way.

~ Bernie S. Siegel

I could sit here and whine about it.  I started to do just that.  But I’ve been thinking about how I got to this point.  After you’ve had the chickenpox, the virus which causes the disease remains dormant in certain nerve fibers in the body.  If the virus becomes active again, you have shingles, a painful skin infection.  There are a number of theories as to what will cause the virus to reactivate, most related to a weak immune system.

Today I’ve been reflecting on the choices I’ve made in regards to my health.  I’m not judging those choices.  It was hard to withhold judgment at first because pain often comes with a desire to blame.  Instead of blaming, I’d rather take a look at where things might have gone wrong, and where things might have gone right, and then focus on what I’m going to do now.  Now is all I can really work with, although it helps to have a good look at my starting point and what got me here.

Having shingles is not a good thing, but I expect good things to come from it because I have decided to be optimistic about the outcome even if that’s difficult to do here in the moment.

Speaking of good things, it is day 92 of my year-long yoga challenge.  The past few days of coping with pain seem to me to be a yoga practice in their own right.  There are certain things I cannot do right now, but there are other postures that have helped.  Forward bends and some gentle backbends  relieve the pain temporarily.  A guided relaxation meditation has also been beneficial.

We are not responsible for our illness, we responsible to them, to what they offer and require of all of us, sick and well alike.

~ Kat Duff

That’s about it from the Bogs for today.  Thank you for coming along as I start on another leg of the journey through life.  We had snow overnight and this morning.  Just a light dusting.  I went out on the deck for a little while to take in some fresh air and admire the sparkle of the snow whenever there was a break in the clouds that allowed the sun to shine through.  You’ll need to bundle up for a walk around the pond.  It’s very cold and the strong winds make it seem even colder, but quite invigorating.  You’ll have to pardon me for not coming along.  I’m just not up to it today.  Instead, I’ll just sit here and enjoy the blue sky photos from the walk I took on Monday.

50 Comments on “Childhood disease revisted”

  1. ehpem says:

    Great photos (I especially like the first and last), they reflect your attitude very well.

    I love that waterfall in your header right now too, exposure is just right.

  2. Poor Robin, you just stay at home, rugged up and caring for yourself today. We can take the walk around the pond with our eyes closed by now, you have taken us by the hand and guided us every step of the way, throughout all of the changing seasons. We’ll give you a wave when we get there. 🙂

    Sending healing thought your way. xxxxx

  3. Dear Robin, Hope you feel better soon. Love and prayers, Ellen

  4. Thanks for the beautiful images and positive attitude, even when you are feeling miserable! Here are some more healing thoughts heading your way! Be well


  5. anhinga says:

    That first photo is my favorite of all you have taken, I do believe. I’m so sorry you are not feeling well. I know you work actively at your health and that has to come into play when you are sick. Hope your efforts were preparation for a quick recovery.

  6. judithhb says:

    Hi Robin. I had shingles shortly before my husband died. My doctor said it was a result of stress and I think in my case she was right. I hadn’t realised the stress of looking after a sick husband – it was just something I did.
    I sympathise with you and know that there really is nothing I can say to help except send you very best wishes from the other side of the world and maybe a little of our summer weather.

  7. you are so on the right track with this. Go from here – listen to your pain – what is it telling you? There is a story behind the obvious of “shingles”. Your body is getting your attention for sure. It has a reason for doing so. Don’t mean to sound “preachy”. Take care of you during this time, be gentle with yourself.

  8. dragonfae says:

    Oh Robin … I’ve not had shingles but have a couple of friends who do. It’s miserable. 😦

    I don’t know if it will help, but L-Lysine is sometimes effective against this sort of virus (I use it to keep cold sores at bay … a very similar virus).

    Sending oodles of healing energy your way! *hugs*

  9. Dana says:

    Oh, Robin. I’m sorry to hear that you are in the grips of shingles right now, but I am optimistic that your outlook and daily yoga/diet/contemplation practices will guide you through it. I admire you for finding the brightness in all of this– I’m sure I would have published a pretty nasty, extended whine of a post without a second thought! 🙂 Be brave and stay well.

  10. Oh, Robin, I’m so sorry you have shingles. I’ve heard how miserably painful it can be. I know how hard you work to take good care of yourself. It’s got to be frustrating to be sick despite all of your best efforts. Hang in there, my friend!
    Hugs from Kentucky,

  11. CMSmith says:

    I’m sorry you’re feeling bad. I’ve always heard of shingles, but have never known anyone who had it. How long do you expect it will last?

  12. Things sometimes just happen. I love the quote about diseases being flat tires – so true. May you feel relief soon. (yoga good!)

  13. Oh, Robin! I’ve just had two very good friends who are going through this right now. So, yes, the meditation will help loads. Take care. Lovely photos.

  14. cfbookchick says:

    My brother went through a bout with shingles a few years back and I know what pain you are in from witnessing his experience. My prayers are with you for recovery, Robin.

  15. Take care of yourself, Robin. I hope the affliction doesn’t last long.

    And thank you for posting such beautiful photos even while suffering!

  16. Oh no! 😦 Hope whatever treatment you are on will work quickly and you feel your old self again really soon!

  17. boatacrosstheriver says:

    oh gosh…feel better soon!!

  18. carlaat says:

    When I saw “childhood disease revisited”, I thought, “Oh, no – shingles.” Can’t be fun. The ways you are addressing the pain all seem to make a lot of sense. Sending healing energy and wishes to you, Robin. Hugs!

  19. Ohhhh, Robin…I’m so sorry that you’re feeling poorly…every one seems to have a different recovery curve for shingles….it sounds like you have lots of positives with yoga, meditation, healthy foods…and now lots and lots of rest….I know you have tons of nurturing, healing energy being sent your way…mine included…please rest and let the body heal…kathy

  20. m5son says:

    Sorry to hear that you are dealing with shingles. Do what you have to, to get well. Positive energy for you Robin.

  21. Ellen says:

    I hope you get better, more comfortable. I know what you are talking about and I´ve been treating it for years. It appears and disappears, coincidentally, when it´s the chickenpox season for kids. But it´s a milder form, just localized in one particular area of my body and doesn´t cause me fever, fortunatelly!!!

    BTW awesome pictures!!!

    As I don´t know if I´ll be able to spend much time on the Internet in the coming days, I take the opportunity to wish you a very nice start of the year!!!

  22. bearyweather says:

    Sorry to hear you are suffering. My roommate in college had the same thing, so I have seen what a struggle it can be. 2011 has been a year of medical issues for me as well .. some how the months of struggles and pain have changed me in positive ways. Like you, looking back to see how I got to this point was important … not to blame, but to understand and to move forward … finding a way to live with the results. Take care of yourself.

    You may feel rather down, but your photos with this post were very bright and beautiful … I hope that you are feeling as great as your pictures look very soon. Happy New Year Robin.

  23. Tammy says:

    I am so sorry that you are dealing with this! I have had many friends and family members have this and I know it is so painful. I’ve read that tai chi practitioners are less likely to get it. Still, it appears to have caused some powerful reflections for you. Congratulations on 92 days of yoga – you’re an inspiration.

  24. Hi Robin, hope you feel brighter soon.
    My dad had shingles, and I caught chickenpox from him, I came out in spots on my 21st birthday!! We were both pretty poorly at the time although Dad’s condition was more painful than mine.
    A colleague has just been through this and the most useful advice she was given was to use the painkillers as prescribed, as in regularly, rather than using them when the pain got too much, for her, it was better to have ‘pain prevention’ as that worked, unlike ‘pain relief,’ which didn’t!!

  25. Kathy says:

    Hi, Robin. I am sorry to hear about your pain. (Pausing for a few moments to truly sit with you in spirit…) For some reason my whole body has felt achy the last two or three days, unexplainably so. Pain can be such a challenge. When pain can be sensed directly, it does seem to be simply sensations arising. When the mind adds all it jazz–now that can be a real pain in the ***. My mantra lately is “Who feels the pain?” or “Who hears the woodstove?”


  26. Marianne says:

    So sorry to hear that you’re dealing with this issue, Robin. Take good care of yourself. I’ll send healing thoughts your way and pray that they help. 🙂

  27. Karma says:

    I’ve never had it myself, but have known people who’ve had it – seems like an awful thing to get stuck with. Hope you are over it as quickly as possible.

  28. Oh no! I’m so sorry to hear about this!! I have a co-worker (friend) who had shingles a few years ago, and she suffered for a while before finally going to the doctor. I know it’s not fun (I haven’t experienced it myself, but I saw her pain)…. and I hope you get over this quickly!! Rest up, and do whatever you need to so you can get through this! ♥

  29. Robin says:

    Thank you so much everyone for your well wishes, hugs, and suggestions. I appreciate each and every comment, thought, and prayer, as well as every single one of you. Thank you. 🙂

  30. I’m sorry for you, Robin. Chickenpox is bad enough, and now I find out it can come back with a vengeance. I’m trying to see the bright side of life, too, and the one that comes to mind in this case is: you’ll be healthy soon. This year I learnt that any disease that comes and goes isn’t as bad as we think. I wish you strength and patience!

  31. Sorry to hear that you are feeling badly – hang in there!!

  32. milkayphoto says:

    Ugh. So sorry about the shingles! Yikes!

    You are strong and you WILL get through this! This is the time to focus on YOU. Sending HUGS!

  33. Kel says:

    catching up on blog reading as I’ve been away for a week with limited online access

    sorry to hear you’ve been struck with shingles
    not a very festive way to spend this time of year

    may you be well

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, Kel. 🙂

      Not festive at all, but I think I’ll come out of this with a different perspective and that’s always a good thing.

  34. QuoinMonkey says:

    Robin, I am so sorry you are not feeling well. Sending good energy, a virtual hug. My brother had the same thing a few years ago and it was so painful. Wishing healing for you in the coming year.

  35. Hallysann says:

    I know you probably don’t feel like smiling, but try this to a well known Christmas tune …
    Shingle bells, Shingle bells, Shingles go away.
    What bad luck it is to start the new year in this way.

  36. hugmamma says:

    i’ve been suffering of late with recurring fibromyalgia, arthritis and lower back pain, so i understand your plight, perhaps not as severely.
    i’ll pray that you return to good health…sooner rather than later. meanwhile your serenity is inspirational…

    may 2012 bring you peace of mind, spirit, and body…and more blessings than you can count…

    sending hugs for a speedy recovery…hugmamma. 😉

  37. ceceliafutch says:

    I’m so sorry to hear that you are having to deal with shingles. I’ve heard how painful it is and so my heart goes out to you. I’m sending you good thoughts and well wishes for a speedy recovery. I’m amazed that you were able to publish such a beautiful post today. You do inspire me. Take care and may the pain be gone soon and the healing be quick and complete.


  38. Oh, Robin. Like a couple of others above, I had shingles about twenty years ago, definitely related to being under a lot of stress, so I know you’re hurting. Have you asked your doctor about an antiviral? Mine prescribed one – don’t remember what, and besides they probably have better medicines now – but it helped a lot.

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, Sharon. 🙂

      I did take an anti-viral (which made me rather sick — nausea, flu-like aches and pains, etc.), but it was worth it. It shortened the severity and duration. I’m almost back to normal now. Yay!!

      Thank you so much for your comment.

  39. eof737 says:

    Hope by now it has all cleared up. 😦

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