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I am a writer, editor, reviewer and dance teacher based in Perth, Western Australia.

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The first two novels of my trilogy, The Talismans, are available as e-books from Smashwords. I do have paperbacks of The Dagger of Dresnia at the low price of $AU25 including postage within Australia. I also have a short story, 'La Belle Dame', in print - see Mythic Resonance below. The best way to contact me is via Facebook!

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The first two books of The Talismans trilogy were published by Satalyte Publications, which, sadly, has gone out of business. I hope to see my books back on Amazon under a new publisher in the near future.

The Dagger of Dresnia

The Dagger of Dresnia
Want a copy? Contact me at satimafn(at)gmail.com

The Cloak of Challiver

The Cloak of Challiver
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Mythic Resonance is an excellent anthology that includes my short story 'La Belle Dame', together with great stories from Alan Baxter, Donna Maree Hanson, Sue Burstynski, Nike Sulway and nine more fantastic authors! Just $US3.99 from Amazon. Got a Kindle? Check out Mythic Resonance.

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Places I've lived: Manchester, UK

Places I've lived: Manchester, UK

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Places I've lived: Auckland, NZ

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Places I've lived: Adelaide, SA

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Places I've lived: Braemar, Scotland

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Sunday, 26 July 2009

Shingles

I’ve taken a bit of downtime these last few weeks, in the wake of the tragic death of my grandson. The stress triggered a particularly nasty attack of shingles – it was so painful I thought I was having a heart attack! That’s what they thought at the hospital, too, as my heartbeat had turned a little strange since my last run-in with the cardio dept. It was doing something called “left bundling” which sounds scary but they assured me lots of hearts do it.

The pain and the left bundling were enough to make them want to do an angiogram. Now, you may or may not have had one of those, and in case you haven’t, I’ll tell you all about it. They open an artery, insert a stent, thread a wire through it and guide it all the way up to your heart while watching the process on screen. The sensate ability of medical people never ceases to amaze me.

As he removed the wire, the cardiologist assured me there was nothing wrong with my arteries. Just then, he glanced at my chest. “Um,” he said. “I think this is shingles.” And sure enough, by the time I got back to the ward, little blisters were merrily popping up all over the left side of my upper torso. One interesting spin-off from this was that the interns all wanted to see Real Live Shingles and so for the first time in maybe forty years I had a number of young guys lining up to look at my boobs. Gotta be something good come out of a shingles attack, I guess, but would have gladly forgone the attention to be rid of the pain.

And make no mistake, my friends, shingles is painful. Big time painful. I have given birth three times and I’ve had migraine attacks since I was nine, but I’ve never experienced pain as bad as shingles. Before the rash came out, the inside of my chest felt as if it were being attacked by sharp cutting weapons. The pain lessened slightly after the rash came out, but the painful itching of the skin compensated for that small relief. The movement of clothing against my skin alone was enough to make me whimper, woos that I am!

This was actually my second bout with the beast, and it has lasted six weeks. The first bout, four years ago, was not as bad as this and it only lasted three weeks. Yet they say that if you’re unlucky enough to get it more than once, it's usually less severe on the second round. And it’s very rare, they say, for anyone to have more than three attacks. Three? Two are more than enough, thank you.

I have high hopes that the last of the painful rash will fade away this week. I’m off to South Australia for six weeks, as I’ve run out of house-sitting gigs in Perth and besides, I want to spend time with family and friends in Adelaide and Mount Gambier. I’ll be back in Perth in September, and my first assignment will be with Timmy and Lucy, whom I lived with over the recent school holidays. They are a crazy pair, but loveable withal. And ever so cute:-)

20 comments:

Jo said...

I'm so sorry to hear about the death of your grandson - as if that isn't bad enough, getting shingles on top of it is not good. Poor you. I am sending you big hugs. Did you get to visit Annalou or did you have to put that off? I do hope you are feeling heaps better.

I had an angio but not for my heart, for my femoral arteries.

pdlloyd said...

My sympathies to you and your family. Any loss is difficult, but to lose a child or grandchild is particularly so.

Take it easy while you've got the shingles. I had my first encounter with it two years ago and found that it, or the medications I was on, sapped my strength.

Fiona Leonard said...

I will take heart from the fact that you are back writing again - this is a very good sign!

So sorry to hear it was your grandson.

Sending lots of love your way.

Satima Flavell said...

Thank you, friends. I am still feeling a bit wobbly with grief and shingles, but I'm gradually regaining a bit of equilibrium:-) I'll try to get back to regular blogging from now on!

Graham Clements said...

I thought something was up with you health as you have been quiet on facebook. Sorry to hear about your grandson.

I had shingles in my teens and recovered quickly, but my father had a bout of them a couple of years ago and he was in a lot of pain for many months, so you have my sympathy.

Hopefully you are near the end of what seems to be a bad run.

Satima Flavell said...

Thanks, Graham. Yes, this has been a pretty unpleasant year so far, and I'm not the only one who's noticed! So let's hope it gets better soon, for all of us!

Marilyn Z. Tomlins said...

Satima; My condolences with regard to the death of your grandson. Terrible. And that attack of shingles - oh I do hope you get better soon.

Jason Fischer said...

Sorry to hear about your misfortunes :-( but the bit about people lining up to look at your boobs made me laugh!

I'd love to catch up for a coffee and a gasbag if you find yourself in adelaide.

Cheers,

jason.

Satima Flavell said...

Thanks, guys. Jason, I'll be in touch!

tessa said...

Am sorry to hear that. Our condolences...Shingles really affect the nerves, maybe that's why.
Sydney Hotels

Barry said...

Hi Satime have come acroos you page in desparation. I have had shingles for four weeks now my prescriptions medicine does not seem to be working Could you tell me what you were given. I am not seeing light at the end of the tunnel and am getting desparate My life is on hold. Jo

Satima Flavell said...

You have my sympathy, Barry. Shingles has got to be one of the worst things that can happen to a person.

They prescribed me an antiviral called Famciclovir, but apparently it only works if they catch the shingles early. I took it for the five days they recommended and the shingles seemed to be going away, but as soon as the tablets were finished the beast reared its head again. The doc gave me another three days' dosage and this time it went away. However, I was left with senstitive skin and soreness around the affected area, which was a wide band around the upper left torso. This lasted a good six weeks, but it was nowhere near as painful as the actual shingles.

The only consolation I can offer is that the wretched thing will go away eventually and the after effects usually don't last long, although you do hear of people having it for months, even years. I hope you aren't one of them. And I hope neither of us ever, ever, gets shingles again!

GrandmaDude said...

I am so terribly sorry about losing your grandchild. I can't even imagine how horrible that is.

As for shingles, yes, I can imagine it because I've been getting them 2-3 times a year for about 20 years.

My solution -- I'm not saying this will work for you but it ALWAYS works for me. When the blisters appear, I pop them, wash them, and then put corn remover (yes, I did say corn remover) on them. It burns horribly -- for 20 or so minutes and then the pain dies down. I let it dry and stay on. I paint the blisters every day for three days. After that, I literally rip the accumulation of corn remover off (yes, it burns), wash the area well and dry it. I then put neosporin on it for 2-3 hours. I then wash that off and let the area air dry. The area will be raw and I have to keep it loosely bandaged (so the bandage doesn't touch it). For me, there is no more pain after this. It's now a matter of time for a real scab to form and for it to slough off.

I wish you peace and health.

Satima Flavell said...

Thanks, Grandma Dude:-) I'll hang onto that info and give your treatment a go if I get the beastly thing again. Fancy having three attacks a year! I should be so lucky - not!

hamjenny said...

Thanks for writting about your Shingles I feel like I am going crazy. I went to the ER twice and the Doctor twice finally after I started to break out they figured out I did not have pleurisy but Shingles. My chest hurt so bad and in between the pain med doses my chest still hurts a lot. I put ice on my back and my chest started to hurt like when you drink a frozen drink to fast it lasted for hours. I am a mess. I just hope it passes soon it has been two weeks today. And I still am suffering a lot. I am glad to hear the chest thing is not something else. The ER checked my heart out to no end. It was fine I still keep feeling like I am having a heart attack and I feel better knowing this is part of the Shingles. Cause it sure seems like there has to be more to the pain. LOL So hard to explain.
Anyway thanks for sharing.
And I am very sorry to hear why your Shingles started with your grandson dying now my stress over bills that triggered mine seems so small. I need to just try and remember bills are nothing to worry about they will always be there nothing you can do sometimes but I should be thankful for everything else in my life. Thanks again.

Satima Flavell said...

I'm truly amazed at the number of hits this post has had! Shingles, it seems, has been a nasty event in many people's lives, and sadly, it's often a recurring one. Sharing other's experiences can be encouraging, and I hop that everyone who's visited this page has, or will make a full recovery in as short a time as possible.

ramona said...

OMG! Shingles..i thought that was a roofing material! yes i was stressed and Shingles showed me that things can be worst indeed!!! I do not have much of a rash just a few running across the left side of my stomach and one on my spine which I keep at bay with calamine lotion. But the PAIN internally is inhuman!!! no relief! it is like a migraine in your internal organs on my left side, I feel like I am rotting!It is horrific! I get migraines and have birthed a 10lb baby boy after 33 hours of back labor..but Shingles is the Motherload of physical pain (not to be compared to the blogger who lost their precious Grandchild)I do not know what to do. It awakens me at night. My PCP gave me antidepressants to relieve the pain but I read the side effects and opted not to take them..I take Aleve..it works sometimes but I have to take 3 and we all know that is NOT good. Omg..its the Holiday season, tis the season to be jolly. Shingle Bells?

Satima Flavell said...

I do hope you get some fun out of the holiday season, Ramona, and that the pain goes away quickly. Shingles has to be one of the worst ailments that can happen to humans!

ramona said...

Thank you Satima for your well wishes I wish you love.

ramona said...

My dear Satima..please accept my apologies for not mentioning how sad I am for your loss.

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