Shingles, Lyme, and Tapeitis

Shingles, Lyme, and Tapeitis


Several years ago I went to the doctor for my regular checkup and he gently suggested that I would need some tests within the next year to form a baseline. I put it off. Each year the suggestions were a bit stronger until I finally gave in and scheduled the first test. A colonoscopy.

In preparation, I drank gallons of water, gulped laxatives, and choked down an evil citrusy cocktail. I survived the liquid diet and took no more than a sip of water for the last 15 hours. I went in. I went out. It was over. Nothing to it. I survived.

I hopped out of bed the next morning full of confidence until I noticed a small reddish rash on my stomach in the form of a ring. I looked harder and called to my husband. As he entered the bathroom, he saw it at once.

“Yikes! That could be lyme disease. It forms a bulls-eye. You better go to the doctor today.” I was stretching my neck downwards and pulling my stomach upwards trying to get a good look at the spot. It did not itch but I could plainly see it. He got a permanent marker and made dots around the rashy area. “That way we can see if it grows.” I nod.

Now, I was just a little worried. If I remembered correctly lyme disease could kill. I was scheduled to read to the 4th grade class at school that morning and attend the volunteer breakfast. I decided to remain on schedule and call my physician in between to get an appointment. Surely I wouldn’t die before noon.

When I got to the school, I quickly showed the spot to my friend, the school secretary. She gasped, “Oh, that looks like shingles. What are the little blue dots around it?”

I pulled my shirt down and explained the permanent ink dots. I thought about shingles through breakfast.

After the breakfast, I rushed home to research on the Internet. I read about symptoms and treatments of Lyme and Shingles. I looked at google images. Side note here: One should never look at Google images of rashes. I called my sister and we discussed my stressful life in relation to shingles. I researched some more. I hopped up and ran to the mirror to look at my own circular rash. I went back and looked up “circular red rash” on the google search. I decided that I had lived through a colonoscopy, I would live until some further tests were run.

At the appointment, I explained how I had had the colonoscopy the previous day so they could add it to their charts. I then explained how I found the rash and I pulled up my shirt to show the rashy ring.

“Hmmm…what are these blue dots?”

I explained. He nodded and gently felt the area. “Well, this is not lyme disease because you only have one ring.” I let out a sigh of relief. I was not going to die! He asked me to turn around and he felt all over my side and back. “Does this hurt?”

“No.” My brain started ticking. As I stood there with my shirt pulled up, I knew instantly what was wrong with me.

“Well, if you had shingles it would hurt in these other areas…”

Before he could finish the sentence, I pulled my shirt down and started laughing.

“I know what the rash is.”

He raised an eyebrow at me.

“Yesterday, when I had the colonoscopy, they put an electrode sticker right there on my stomach.”

He looked surprised.

I was relieved! I was not going to die!

All I had was a simple case of tapeitis and a blue ring of permanent dots on my stomach.

Thank you God!

About Fawn Musick

Writings to make you Smile and Think. Fawn is an award winning newspaper columnist. She is an avid writer, blogger, and mom. Her advice comes from her years of mothering her eight children.
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