Mad Jack Hanks: Pain from shingles was worse than most any other pain in an old cowboy’s life |

Mad Jack Hanks: Pain from shingles was worse than most any other pain in an old cowboy’s life

Well, lets see here.

I have had a broken leg, separation of foot from ankle, cracked ribs, a broken heart and shingles. I reckon if Terry Bradshaw can warn folks about the shingles virus and talk to strangers about it on the “telly”, I can discuss it with you, my friends. I will tell you that shingles can slip up on you when you least expect it.

In my case, I was relaxing in the old recliner watching the “telly” late one summer evening when my left shoulder began to ache. I would rub it on occasion thinking that I had maybe bumped it or scraped it doing the chores of the day around the place. The pain got worse.

It’s sort of hard to describe other that it just flat out hurt. My leg hurt when that fourteen hundred pound horse fell on me and that time I was thrown over the dashboard of my new pony out in the boonies and cracked some ribs. All of that hurt, but not like that red rash of ugly whelps creeping over my shoulder when I finally went in the bathroom and took a close look. I knew what it was from what others who’d had the shingles told me.

“The pain got worse. It’s sort of hard to describe other that it just flat out hurts.”

Shingles are caused by the varicella zoster virus, the same virus that causes chicken pox. When you get chicken pox, you acquire that particular virus and it may wait years to attack you if it does at all. I understand now that there is a vaccine to help protect you from shingles. It, like a lot of other vaccines, will not guarantee you that you won’t at some time or other get the virus.

I have also endured prostate cancer some fourteen years ago and managed to beat that, knock on wood. The checkup, biopsies, and treatment were painful but, of course, well worth it, as I sit here writing this column.

I went to the doc with my diagnosis of shingles. I had not seen this doc before and he couldn’t — or wouldn’t — confirm for me right off the bat that I did indeed have shingles. I don’t think he approved of me telling him what my ailment was until he had the chance to take a good look and then tell me what was wrong.

He finally said, “Yep, you’ve got the shingles and I’ll give you some meds, but it will take some time to get over this. It just doesn’t go away at once.”

About that, he was right.

I had made plans to drive down to Texas for a long overdue visit and now I would have to cancel my trip as the virus was right over my shoulder where the seat belt strap would fit and I knew I couldn’t stand to have it there for some twelve hours or so. I sure didn’t want to drive without my seat belt.

So, here’s the deal boys, you go and get your P.S.A. test for prostate cancer if you are over fifty. You might also get a colonoscopy to see where you are in regards to maybe having pre cancers in the colon. For sure, ladies and gentlemen, go get that shingles vaccine at first opportunity. If it will prevent you from getting the varicella zoster virus, you will be forever grateful.

It’s always a good thing to get on the internet and study any ailment you may think is hanging around ready to pounce. Start the year off right, it will make you feel good about yourself and give you some peace of mind. Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion, pray for peace but keep yer piece handy and I’ll c. y’all, all y’all. ❖

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Mad Jack Hanks

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