When Virii Attack

Sick. Ugh. I felt kind of crappy and tired last weekend, but it never turned into anything so I figured I fought it off. Turns out that wasn’t quite the case. Friday morning at work I suddenly became aware of a telltale tingling in my lip. Cold sore! Again! This is my second one this year, which is way more frequent than usual. I guess I was more sick and/or stressed than I thought last week. The problem is that as I’ve gotten older, my reaction to the virus has gotten more and more extreme. Having a blister is the least of my worries. The lymph nodes under that side of my jaw swell up and get painful and tender. If it’s really bad, I get shooting pains (neuralgia) all the way up the side of my face. That leads to a headache. It’s really pretty awful, and it can take more than a week to heal. Anyway, after my last one Dr. Chin gave me a prescription for an antiviral. The key, he said, was that I had to take it IMMEDIATELY when I noticed the symptoms. Of course, the prescription was at home and I was at work. I went to a drugstore at lunch to get some Zovirax and ask the chemist how long the window was for taking the antiviral. He said I could still take it that night when I got home, but the sooner the better. I finished up what work I could and then left early at 4pm. I grabbed the script at home and went straight to get it filled ($28 for three pills!). By then my lip was getting puffier and I was feeling more and more crappy. I took the antiviral, then doped up with lysine, vitamin C, and paracetamol. I basically spent all day yesterday in bed, which is pretty unusual for me. (I rarely nap.) The good news is that I think the antivirals have helped. The blister started disappearing yesterday and is now nearly gone. My glands are tender, but it’s manageable with painkillers. And I never got the shooting neuralgia pains, which is a big relief. I still feel dizzy and tired, and I’m annoyed that I’m going to miss my long run for the third week in a row. Still, it feels like this is going to be a much shorter recovery time. Back to bed, I guess…


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  1. Oh No! How horrible. But what is this anti-viral you speak of? Sounds great.
    While I was stalking your blog yesterday I noticed you looking poorly on the couch. Poor thing.
    I do hope you feel better tomorrow.

  2. The one he prescribed me is called Famvir. Judging by articles/studies online, it’s been proven to cut a couple days off the healing time. It certainly seems to have reduced this bout. If my last one was a 9 on the pain scale, this one’s only been a 3.

    I’m definitely feeling human again. Just wish it had hit on a work day instead of ruining my weekend!

  3. My husband is prone to cold sores, especially when he is stressed and tired. He has had good results, meaning no breakouts, when he takes a vitamin B supplement everyday. I hope this is helpful.

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