A week ago, I woke up with this pulling, burning pain in my right lower back that radiated to my abdomen. I didn’t think anything of it right away because I just assumed I slept wrong and it would be resolved by the afternoon or the next day at the latest. I was able to swim and run without any difficulty. Actually the swimming felt really good, so I went with “meh, it’s muscular” and continued on. The pain didn’t get any worse but as the week went on it didn’t get any better. I started reviewing my sleep position/workouts in my head trying to figure out what happened. I was still convinced it was muscular until Sunday evening I felt a rash on my lower back, just above my hip. Since I do have a nursing background and I put my symptoms timeline together and diagnosed myself with shingles (confirmed on Monday by a physician).
At first I was like, WTF! I’m only 33 years old?! I’ve been around tons of people with shingles (at the stage where it can be passed along) and never got it. Then I realized during that time I was working as a nurse and knew why the patient was coming in and washed/sanitized my hands after coming in contact with each and every person.
Here’s the thing: I still work with the general public at a bike shop but 1. I don’t wash my hands after coming in contact with every single person and 2. I don’t know any of their medical history (nor is it any of my business) unless they offer it up and it usually comes in the form of “I have arthritis so I can’t run anymore, please fit me for a bike.” So, who knows how I developed shingles, but I’m guessing I came in contact with someone with it while I was at work.
Luckily, it’s a minor case-just on my right lower back and a small patch on my right lower abdomen. The pain and itching are of course uncomfortable but tolerable. I’m thankful for my Roga shorts, because the waistband doesn’t irritate my skin (which feels like it’s on fire at times). I’m just a little more tired than usual, but I’m guessing that’s because my sleep isn’t great due to having to constantly reposition in bed to get comfortable.
So, swimming is out until I’m completely scabbed over, which will hopefully be no more than 10 days. I’m also taking a few days off this week from running and cycling, first of all because when my right side hurts it hurts and second so I can let my body recover.
I’m grateful this is happening early on in half ironman training rather than during some of the bigger weeks later this summer.
This week’s plan: healthy eats, yoga and some strength training. Hopefully I’ll be back on my bike and in my Hokas later on this week!