Shingle Bells, Shingle Bells

It’s true that I’m acquainted with chronic pain, and some days are worse than others. 

Since Thursday, though, the skin on my left arm felt like it had been branded with a hot-iron mallet, the same one that must have pounded and shattered that elbow into searing, unrelenting submission — so much so that I did what I almost never do.  I went to Quick Care, fully expecting to hear that my arthritis was just acting up and ready to ask the doctor, in all sincerity, if a quick knock-out blow was at all in conflict with her a professional ethical standards.

Alas, she’s opposed to that sort of thing.  But she agreed something was acting up; further, no hot irons were involved.  The only thing acting up are the nerve bundles in my left arm raucously celebrating the holidays with fiery intensity and a steady staccato of stinging bursts of lightning.  It’s a full-on shingles party, and damn it if I’m not only the invited, but the host as well.  My chips and Icy Hot dip are not making much of an impression, which, actually, is how it goes in all of the other parties I host. 

My left arm is fairly useless, so while there’s a lot going on that I’d love to comment on, I’m going to need to take it easy for awhile.  Evidently this has a lot to do with stress, as well as with the fact that I got chicken pox when I was 32.  My prayer is that I can join the rest of our family in Western Washington on Friday, although that looks iffy now.  Either way, it’s Christmas whether I feel well or not, whether I’m with my husband and kids or not, and whether I’m traveling or not.  The Emmanuel has come. 

Thank you, Holy One — Jesus, Lord at thy birth.

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