In spite of my shingles, the weekend went off without a hitch. We had 28 for the Friday night spaghetti feed which was followed by the traditional dice game. A number of us elected to be the peanut gallery as it's not so much fun with more than eight players. Yolanda (in the red) won the game and chalked it up to beginners luck. This is her first year. She's Ian's ex-wife, mother of his four children. She and her boyfriend of some 20 years came and camped with us this year. My oldest grandson John flew out from Massachu- setts with his girlfriend Shannon. The kids had the scare of their life. Their plane was struck by lightning after their layover in Chicago and on the assent. John said it struck the nose of the plane, the cabin filled with bright white light and the plane shuddered frighteningly. The pilot turned the craft around sharply and landed, deplaning all the passengers because the plane was broken. It's Shannon's first time out of the state - how scary! John and his Uncle Matt had an instant rapport last year and spent a lot of time together again this year. All weekend long someone would comment on how they couldn't get over their strong resemblance and that they act so much alike. If you're unfamiliar with John's story, I blogged about it here. Lexie spent all weekend working on double hoola hoops until she finally got it. Someone drove over the smaller one but she made it work anyway. We had thirteen children on Sunday and where you have boys and dirt and trucks, you get this. If you can't tell, our high energy dogs are exhausted. The boys spent a considerable while sliding down the bank on their seats. That attraction is timeless! Petie brought his banjo again this year. He follows bluegrass festivals throughout the summer months, including Rockygrass and Telluride but has given up the Strawberry Festival, also this weekend, to spend it with us. He and Ian went to community college together! He comes early to help us set up and stays late to help us clean up. He worried that he had overstayed his welcome and I told him that wasn't going to happen! This is the picture that my stepdaughter Margi was staging to catch all seven step-sibs and their partners. I jumped in it and looking at my Prednisone bloated body, certainly wish I had rethought. No one wanted to pose and there was a lot of grumbling, but I wish we could have gone further and brought in the grandchildren. John and Shannon had already flown out by this time. Next year we'll plan pictures in advance and use a tripod.
The doctor blasted my shingles with Prednisone at nine tablets a day. I'm down to two twice a day today and one a day starting tomorrow. I couldn't sleep all weekend and everything was so funny. I kept wondering if I was having a nervous breakdown. You dropped your plate in the dirt? HaHaHa. The dog ate your burger? HaHaHa. After everyone left, I looked Prednisone on my favorite medical advice website which represents The National Library of Medicine and NIH to mention a few. The first two side effects of Prednisone are "inability to fall asleep and stay asleep" and the second was "inappropriate happy moods." Phew - they were side effects. I am NOT having a nervous breakdown.
As for the extent of the shingles, I am fortunate that it was my C5 nerve affected, so the lesions are limited to my right neck and shoulder area. As the lesions have started to scab finally, I notice that they form a scab platelet and I wonder if it's this appearance that have given the syndrome it's name. A couple of FYIs I've since learned - you can't catch shingles from shingles, but if you've never had chicken pox, you can catch those from shingles. And, a very cool bit of information, if you are over 60, there's a shingles shot available so you don't catch them at all. The doc says that the stress of worrying over Ian's illness made me vulnerable. They're not fun, wherever you get them, but it could have been so much worse! Thanks for your expressed concerns and well wishes. I'm mostly reading and knitting these days. Wait! How is that a bad thing???