Sunday, October 14, 2018

Dear Kids,
         If I really really really hated somebody, I might arrange for them to get shingles.  The rash at first isn’t so bad, but after that, you can get  “post-herpatic neuralgia,” which is almost-constant pain from the effects of frayed nerve endings.  I’m taking a drug (gabapentin) that’s supposed to help with it, but there doesn’t seem to be any relief in sight. In fact, it seems to get a little worse every day.  Night time is the worst of all, when I have abdominal cramps that are like being in labor.  During the day, it’s sometimes almost OK.  The pain is always there, but I can distract myself by doing interesting things, like playing the piano or sewing.  I finally made myself find out more about “PHN,” and the news isn’t good.  It can last for months, or even years.  Can people really suffer that long?   I don’t see how.  I really appreciate all your prayers for me.  And your children’s prayers.  Please keep them up!  I may need them for a long time!  And please, please, if you’re 40 or older, get the vaccines!  (2 of them, 2 months apart.)  If my warning can cause even one of you to avoid this, it will have been worth it.  I keep thinking about Jesus, and how he suffered indescribable pain for all of us.  It’s very real to me now. 
         Our new kitties are providing me a little distraction.  They fight and bite and race and chase.   The oreo kitten, the girl, is named Sonia.  The boy, the gray one, is Scout.  I moved them to the garage the second or third day they were here, and they’re having fun exploring their new domain.  But they try to get in whenever they can.
         John’s family has kittens now too–three of them!  (One for each child at home.)  They’re tiny little things, much younger than ours.
         Conference was great, wasn’t it?  I’m still rejoicing over the prospect of a 2-hour block.  Of course it doesn’t start until January, but it will be great to put in two hours and then go home, not feeling guilty.
         In spite of my pain, I hope you will all keep visiting us, when you can.  We’ll always have plenty of oreos and gummi bears and otter pops.  And now you can play with our kittens!
         Life is good. Love, Mom