Planned fascination


According to my husband, I plan to be fascinated at 9:30 a.m. this morning. I’m going to be vaccinated, but since he heard “fascinated,” I’m sticking with that. So, in a few hours, a shiny, sharp needle will be sticking in my arm transferring some of the varicella zoster virus (VZV) into my system.



It won’t be the first time I’ve had VZV in my body, although I have no recollection of that first encounter. Sometime before age eight, the crazy chicken that carries the virus got inside my house, pecked me all over my body, made me itch like crazy, and forced my mother to cover me in pink dots. It also left a small scar on my forehead as a memento. That’s what my mother told me. (Not exactly the part about the crazy chicken, but the part about the itchy sores, dotting me with pink Calamine lotion, and the scar.)



Almost everyone my age (calculate 114.71 Fijian dollars into U.S.) had the chicken pox as a child, due to the fact that we all breathed. Those that didn’t never got the disease. The rest of us inhaled and exhaled everywhere we went and then hung out with friends who not only snorted milk through their noses but also coughed and sneezed at will without covering their mouths or noses.



Now all of us (yes, we put the “us” in “virus”) are at risk of reactivating the VZV that has been lurking in our bodies all these years. The virus is like a tiny egg that the crazy chicken laid in our bodies all those years ago, just waiting to hatch and peck us again, only this new crazy chicken can cause extreme pain and nerve damage.



The CDC reports that the vaccine can cause redness, itchiness, soreness, and headache – much like watching reality TV.  But I will not chicken out or scratch my plans. (Forgive the puns; I’ve been cooped up all week due to the 50-degree weather in Wisconsin.)



Once I’m fascinated, I have a 50-50 chance of avoiding shingles and/or reducing nerve pain and damage. I think it’s worth a shot.


Needle & Chicken

41 thoughts on “Planned fascination

  1. I have seen shingles close up on a friend, who’d lived into his nineties only to be
    made miserable by them. Pain, disfiguration, horrible. So I hope your shot protects you
    100%. We took the injection as well, a mysterious process involving ordering the serum
    from a pharmacy, picking it up, on ice, and then carrying it to the administering angel at
    the doctors’ office. Yes, one doctor for him, one for me. We hope we needn’t worry about
    this any more, but, if we do, let’s hope we’re over 90!!

  2. The Mister turned 60 yesterday, and part of his “celebration” including going by for his now-insurance-covered shingles vaccination. He then shared some of the shingles horror stories he had been reading or hearing about. I was un-fascinated because, of course, he has left me behind, out here, vulnerable, unvaccinated and unqualified to get one of my own until mid-August.

  3. I hope your vaccination works 100 percent. I had shingles on my 50th birthday many years ago and STILL have pain not everyday, thank goodness. The horror stories you hear aren’t scare tactics, thaey are very real. Fascinating stuff…

  4. According to one site, 1 out of 5 people get shingles, but it goes up to 1 out of 3 as you get older. So you have two choices: (1) get the vaccine (2) don’t get older.

  5. I have been starting to think about this very thing recently–since I too am part of the “us” in virus. I will talk to my doctor at my next visit, given this new take on things. I might even WANT a fascination! Thanks.

    • Please see Laura’s comment with the actual numbers of people who get shingles. 🙂 At any rate, it’s worth getting the vaccination because you might prevent an occurrence.

  6. I suppose that most willies are better than shingles, but I always find myself disconcerted by having to choose between the disease and the cure… usually if I deliberate long enough, it all becomes part of the past, and forgotten. But now that you’ve made your choice, I have no doubt that the pox will pick on someone else. Best wishes.

  7. Delightful post!!! I am a big fan of vaccines. Glad you got yours. I should be getting mine, too.

    But I won’t be so clever when I do it.

  8. I save your posts for special moments, so that I can roll around in the puns and be completely covered in chicken doo, which is probably not nearly as bad as the pox. Thanks for the giggles, and baby kisses on your boo-boo. I would go for boo-boo over doo-doo any day of the week, well, except today. Today is a doo-doo day. Made a little less sh*tty by your pointed post. Well done, you. 🙂

  9. Margie

    That is one wicked looking needle!
    I had a relatively mild case of shingles a number of years ago. I’ll have to talk to my Dr. about whether I should get the shot or not.

  10. “Worth a shot”? grooooaaaan. You got some good puns in there! You bring back so many un-fond memories of the pink calamine…I remember standing there starkers as a little toddler, with my mom dabbing that stuff all over me. I don’t remember the itching or scratching so much. But I do reaaally remember that pink stuff. I also remember using that self-same pink stuff on my own son when he got the pox as a toddler himself.

    So just cuz we’ve had chicken pox doesn’t necessarily mean we’re going to have shingles as we get older, does it? I’ve only recently started hearing about all this, and I’m wondering if it’s just another manufactured scare by the health industry to rake in more scratch.

    • Calamine lotion was good for any kind of itch.

      Having chicken pox as a child just means the virus is still in you, so you may or may not ever get shingles.

      One of the main reasons I got it was because it’s covered by my insurance. I’ve heard a number of horror stories about shingles and since I’m easily persuaded I got it. I purposely avoid stories about the zombie apocalypse because I’m afraid I would start building a bunker. 🙂

  11. I, too, had the chicken pox as a child. I’ve had several relatives get shingles, and it is horribly painful. I plan to be “fascinated” for shingles as soon as I stop breastfeeding my youngest. Now, thankfully there is a vaccination for chicken pox which all my children have received. So, hopefully, they will never have to worry about the pox or the shingles, except the ones on their roof.

    • I looked up some info on the chicken pox vaccine and it still seems possible to get either the pox or shingles later on. I guess there are booster shots for chicken pox though, so that may protect them. Seems there’s always some virus looking for a host or two.

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