By the time we were done at Casa Grande, I knew something was wrong. A measly rash shouldn’t hurt this bad! But I am strong… Yes, I am strong.
The night after CG I decided to stay back from El Nene’s to rest and tend to Her. Juan R delivered vegetable lo mein to Eric and I. Meanwhile, I prayed to the Bird Gods that this hellish rash would disappear and I could still participate in everything on the trip.
I knew there could only be three options. 1. I’d wake up the next day feeling fine. 2. I’d wake up, feel fine, and then start feeling awful. Or 3. I would be bedridden and sad. And from the moment I rest my eyes that night until the foreseeable future, any dream I had of intended productivity, spiritual growth, and relaxation would be gone.
We woke up the next day to head to San Xavier. I was still playing it cool. I was excited for our first opportunity yet to get into the community, be in the desert, and interact with O’odham people. At San Xavier, we met with Angelo Joaquin, and, while I’d like to comment on how much I enjoyed listening to him speak, how much I loved San Xavier, and so on, and so forth, all I can remember is the aching screams of my insides as shingles took me over and sent me into a deep hole of excruciating 11/10 pain for the next 3 days.
I ended up having to leave San Xavier early to deal with it, though I wasn’t sure why a simple rash would hurt so god damn bad. Eric and I went back to the hotel, and after about an hour of being in a lot of pain, Harvey knocked on my door, and all three of us went to Tucson’s best NextCare facility.
The establishment wasn’t bad. At that point, I didn’t really care. I had said to Eric that I hoped they would surgically remove my skin and legs to stop the pain. That did not happen. But they were very nice. The male nurse said he liked my style, and the doctor, who I believe was in fact O’odham, diagnosed me right away and prescribed me with a regimen of 54 total antiviral, antibiotic, and anti-inflammatory pills to take over the coming week.
You, she said, have shingles.
Also, the NextCare facility overcharged me, but it’s fine.