Oct 21

Hi Everyone,

I want to preface this update by saying that I am not closing the website. This is simply me taking some time off.

Some of you are aware of my recent situation, some are not. I thought I would update everyone so that you would know what was going on and would know why I’m backing off of being online for a while.

A few weeks ago, I was at work- probably a Thursday afternoon. I suddenly had an itch in the top part of my left leg like never before. It was..odd.  I figured that maybe I had switched soap, lotion – whatever – and that it didn’t agree with my skin. I mean, you’ve seen me.. and my pale, weird skin, right?  I spent a better part of the day clawing at my leg and being genuinely annoying and pissed off about it.

I woke up Saturday morning in excruciating pain in the same part of my leg. The pain woke me up. This is new territory for me. I’m at a loss. I look at my leg and I see two red bumps on the side of my leg where I had the itch. I’m immediately convinced that I was bit overnight. Maybe a spider – I don’t know. I get up and I try to ‘shake it off’ and as that is not happening, I call my sister who works in medicine and pharmaceuticals and tell her my story.  “Something’s just not right. I know myself and this is not right.”  She tells me to hang up and immediately go to the Emergency Room. Don’t think a second thing..just go.  Luckily I live in downtown Dallas and Baylor Hospital ER is just a hop, skip, and a jump away. I’m in the ER and the pain is getting worse and worse. By the time I get in the room to give the nurse the run down on my situation, I’m in tears – I’m scared, and I’m convinced that my leg is going to fall off of my body in a mere second.  Just cut the leg off. I’ve decided I don’t need it.

Once I’m in my own room with the doctor, and I’m telling him what’s going on, he tells me to roll on to my right side so that my entire left side is visible. There are more bumps on the back part of my leg that I missed. “I think I got bit by a spider …or something.”  The pain is out of control..I’m still crying like a newborn.  “No, these are not bites. Not at all. Hold tight.. I’m going to get another doctor to confirm, but I think you have Shingles.”

You have to be kidding me right? Who the hell am I? My grandmother?  This is an old-person’s thing. I’m not old.  I’m 41.. that’s young, right? My grandmother had shingles all the time when I was a kid and I just saw the commercial on TV about it… I even cracked a joke to my mom about it on the phone.

In a nutshell – shingles comes from the Chicken Pox virus. If you had chicken pox when you were younger (I did, a mild case) then the virus still lives inside you – it’s dormant – and it can awake at any time…usually when you’re much older – and when that fucking bastard wakes up – let me tell you – it is ruthless.

I leave the ER with 3 prescriptions in hand. Something for the itch, something for the pain, and something for the virus.  To be honest, chicken pox, shingles – it’s all herpes. So let me tell you what a winner you feel like when you’re prescribed the same medication that you *heard* was prescribed to Paris Hilton – but on a completely different level.

In a completely ironic coincidence, before taking on my current job, I worked as a registered Pharmacy Technician until I got my new job. The minute they told me I had shingles, I knew exactly what they would prescribe me and I knew I would have to pick that particular medicine up. But you know what? Fuck it. If it helps – then ok. I’ve filled countless prescriptions for people with shingles and so now I was one of them as well. When you need medicine, you need it.

I text messaged my new boss – who I am so completely thankful for – and told her my situation. She told me do not come to work on Monday, rather, if I was up to it, just work from home.  We couldn’t be sure who at work had or hadn’t had the chicken pox in the past, and it would just be best for me to stay at home. Shingles is not contagious, but if you have not had the chicken pox, you could get it from me.  I ended up working from home all week.  I could hardly walk because of the pain.  I cried a lot. I medicated (which didn’t seem to help at all). I counted the hours until I could take the next pain pill. I was a mess.  My mom – you would have thought it was her that was sick… she was a mess too. It’s rare that I’m sick.

Since moving back to Dallas, I have done everything that I could do to get my life in order, but I had not established a Primary Doctor. I didn’t do it during that week either because honestly, I was just trying to survive.  Working from my bed in the worst pain I’ve ever experienced, unable to walk very far without crying…sleeping every second that I could.

That Sunday, I found myself, once again in the ER. I drove myself there which is just stupid. I couldn’t wait for friends. I just had to go. My best friend and her husband live about 25 miles from me, north of Dallas.

This time in the ER, I was given the pain shot to end all pain shots and it felt good. I will avoid a shot if ever given the option. I don’t like needles. I could opt to stay sick for 10 days worth of pills vs a shot that would heal me in a day or two. Don’t like ’em.  This time, I couldn’t pull the side of my pants down quick enough. That’s how painful this shit was. Of course now, I’m forbidden to drive myself home which makes me angry… furious even because I have to call someone for help, and I never, ever want to do this. I have a hard time asking people for anything.  I’m not good at it. Only in serious times of desperation will I ask for help and the minute I do, I feel guilt like never before. Keep in mind, I just need to call my best friend of 30 yrs.  And guess what? It’s Sunday morning and she’s still asleep.  So, I had to call her husband which makes me even more furious. I’m mad at the situation, not them.  As soon as Kevin answered, I’m a bawling, blubbering mess.  Something I know for a fact he had never witnessed.  They made it to Baylor in record time to get me discharged and the first thing my best friend told me was, “I told Kevin, Oh my God I bet she was ANGRY because she had to call someone.”  She’s my bff for a reason.

I was able to go to work the next day. My shot was working it seemed and I had 4 new prescriptions with much, much stronger pain meds. I made more appointments to see other doctors etc.

Long story short…the pain is due to the nerve endings in my leg.  That’s what shingles does – besides looking really gross and scarring your body and leaving blisters and itching – it fucks up your nerve endings.  Some people get a mild case; me?  I get the full blown nerve ending screw up.  I have nerve damage in my leg.  It could be permanent… it could last up to three months.. maybe four… maybe longer. After seeing my latest doctor, we’re shooting for three months with me and we’re hopeful that in time, the nerves will settle down and I can resume feeling normal. In the meantime, I’m on steroids, pain meds, and a medicine prescribed for diabetics that helps with pain and seizures but also helps with nerve problems in cases of shingles.  This particular medicine turns me into a zombie.  I can’t drive when I take it. I’ll end up killing myself and someone else.  I’m slow to react to things. I cry at stupid shit on TV.  Luckily I’m 3 blocks from work with a bus route right outside my apt. door and a drop off in front of my office.  If I do have to drive, I avoid the medicine and deal with the pain until I can get settled back at home.  Driving at night is not an option at all.  I don’t trust myself.

So here I am, all confidence shattered… still in considerable pain, but dealing with it.  I honestly believe that stress from the past year of my life brought this on.  I quit a really good job, moved half way across the country with the goal of moving to California. When that didn’t work out, more stress and disappointment. What do I do now? What have I done?  Working the stressful pharmacy life in my home town which is such a shit hole….deciding I should go back to school (I signed up, I’m still enrolled and still passing, but it’s kicking my ass) and finally getting the best job I’ve ever had in Dallas, moving back here, blah blah blah.  A year of just constant stress.  Stress will kill you.

So.  I need to remove myself from everything and step back and work on me and my health. I have to get through this semester of school because I invested a shit load of money into it and I refuse to let it go.  Next semester? I’ll only take one class. I’ve learned a big lesson.

I’m not ready to let this website go.  I’m just not, but I can’t think about it or much of anything else for a while.  A few months at least.  And sadly, this means that I just don’t think that I can get the whole Birthday Book thing together for January, and that breaks my heart too (there goes the first of a few tears) because I just love doing something special for Dave on his birthday.  I know that you will all understand. It’s not because I don’t want to, I am unable to.

So, I’ll be around here and there. If you want to talk, please send me an email. I will check, and if I’m up to it I promise to reply. You can always reach me at lisa@sweetparamania.com

And let me just add – if at all possible – get yourself the vaccine for Shingles.  It would do me no good now. That monster is awake and wreaking havoc on me.  I wouldn’t wish this bullshit on anyone. A friend recently told me “I had the shingles. If given the opportunity to give birth every day of my life vs. shingles, I’d take giving birth hands down.”

I don’t know about that, but it sort of goes to show how awful it can be.  I always just thought it was a rash that was annoying for a bit and went away. Boy was I wrong!

I’m looking for positive things though – and my best friend is driving the two of us to Austin next Friday for a quick trip. John Taylor of Duran Duran will be signing copies of his new book after a reading and by God, I wouldn’t miss it for the world.  If they have to wheel chair me in to the event, I’ll be there.  I’ve never formally met John, but he once pulled me up on stage at a Duran Duran concert in San Antonio.  I just finished reading his book – and guess what. Page 355 in the American version has a Dave Grohl mention. And it’s a nice one. It made me smile.  When I meet him on Friday, I’ll tell him it was my favorite line in the book.  🙂

I’ll see you all soon.

Much love,


© 2012, Leecy. All rights reserved.

  • Leecy, I am so sorry you are going through this.  Take care of yourself and know just like we will all patiently wait for the ‘Boys’ hiatus to be over we’ll miss you too but of course understand and hope you get better soon!  JT

  • Leecy, Take care and let us know if you need anything. I live with Dystonia a neuromuscular movement disorder and I know painful nerve endings quite well so if there is anything I can do or say I’m here!! I’ve also had to learn to let people help me, not something I’m very good at but I’m getting better. It sucks, but I try to be good on my good days and just let it go on my bad days. The hardest thing I’ve ever done is admit I just couldn’t get out of bed one day. It was ok the world didn’t end and people helped me and I when I felt better believe me I did everything by myself!! But sometimes you have to let your friends and family help you because it helps them too. It makes me feel better if I think “ok, I’ll let them do this because it will make THEM feel better, I don’t REALLY need help” Stupid, but it works! Hang in there, and again please reach out if you need anything!!! We got your back!! Mickey 

  • Take care of yourself!  We’ll miss you and your wonderful site, but your health is the most important thing.  I second the shingles vaccine recommendation – it’s a sneaky bastard.  Thankfully I haven’t had it myself, but my brother did… in his 20’s!  xoxo Tracy

  • Carolyn Melillo

    God Leecy, I had shingles too. But it wasn’t as bad as you have it. I had it on my rib cage and kept thinking it was Gall Bladder cause my mom had that. It was very painful. And since it was on my side it was kinda hard to breath without a lot of pain. It lasted about a month and it got worse before it got better. You know,  what the Dr. that diagnosed me didn’t give me any medicine. He said it would go away in a few weeks and it did subside, but I took a hell of a lot of Advil. It is brought on by stress and shows it’s ugly head anytime you are under a lot. So please take care of yourself, and I for one will be glad to wait for your recovery before any Dave news. Hey The Foo’s are on Hiatus as well so not too much will be going on. Feel Better Shingles Sista!! Oh and BTW my son had it when he was 17 so it is definitely not an old persons thing, cause I’m not old LOL.

  • Anonymous

    We’ll all miss you and your website.  Get yourself healthy!

  • My God, woman!!! Well, I immediately had to rush down to the bottom of the post, and wish you well. I honestly didn’t read all of it, but I intend to. Kind of a big fan of your work here. Anyhow, get well, and hope you enjoyed the meeting with John! Kind of jealous right now…

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