“There’s nothing good about the ****ing shingles. The ****suckers are so ***damn painful, every minute you pray some giant son-of-a-bitch will shove a red-hot poker up your ***. David Letterman, March 31, 2003, “Top Ten”.
Dave condensed his top ten to just one. He had ten years on me when his shingles blossomed so I am willing to concede that his case was far worse, the nerve pain being increasingly worse as one ages. Having said that, I concur with his assessment. Dave took a month off work (well, if it’s in your eye, you can see why – not pretty) but even I, the Expat Princess, cannot take a month off of being a mother and mover to overseas locations. Moving and shingles definitely don’t mix.
Since health care is such a hot topic these days, here is a break-down of my costs associated with shingles.
$100 massage for non-existent “muscle spasm” (does not include psychic reading)
$30 for urgent care co-pay (Cigna)
$45 Percocet prescription
[Repeat last three steps if it continues to spread and you run out of Percocet]
Oh, I forgot the copay for the Valtrex, the medicine prescribed by Dr. Skin which in fact, does make one discernably CRANKIER. Add $20.00
Cost of gun, silencer, and gun permit (TBD: still debating make and model):???
Cost of shingles vaccination: $210 (administered without prescription to those over 60)
Amount paid by Medicare (the current US government plan for those over 65): $0
Amount paid for by Group Health Plan B: 70% ($147.00)
According to Merck, the maker of the vaccine, 85% of the population will get this malady since almost everyone has had the chicken pox. Additionally, even those who had the chicken pox and just got the vaccine are susceptible to shingles (case in point: Thing 3, age 10). So even if you do not have health insurance, it pays to get thyself to a vaccine provider (harder to find than you’d think, unfortunately) and bend over. You might not save any money but at least you won’t have to pray for a giant and a red hot poker.
On an unrelated, but happy, note, Dr. Jenny in China sent us photos of our cats. Persian brothers from the same litter, they were acquired in Brazil during the fractured ankle phase of my life. They have auspicious birthdays: 02-02-2002. Their names, Washington and Jefferson, are both American and Brazilian; the kids’ bus driver was named Jefferson and my dishwasher repair man was named Washington, to name but a few examples. The Things routinely fail to groom the boys so I had their bodies shaved at the beginning of the summer, a look not unlike Mr. Bigglesworth of Austin Powers’ fame. In the above photo, they have achieved a semi-grown out state. We miss our snaggletoothed puss and brother. And can I just say how wonderful Dr. Jenny is for sending the photos???? Above and beyond the call of duty, my Chinese friend. Xie Xie Ni.