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Surrendering to Motherhood

Jennifer Huffman's Surrendering to Motherhood: Taking a stab at it

My back is killing me, said my husband last week. It feels like someone is stabbing me with a knife.

He had been grumbling about it over the past couple of days. OK, maybe four or five or sixish days.

Arrrghhh, he groaned. I might have to go to the urgent care, he said that Saturday morning.

I frowned. Are we being a wee bit dramatic? I thought. As far as I know, you’ve never been in a knife fight. How do you really know what a stabbing feels like?

I fully admit that I am an anti-urgent care/ER kind of person. My motto is unless you’ve cut off your hand, stuck a Tic Tac up your nose or swallowed a dime (the last two of which actually happened to two Huffman toddlers) just wait until the next workday and then call your regular family doctor for an appointment. We don’t need to be rushing off to the ER for “indigestion.”

Maybe you pulled a muscle? I suggested. Have you taken some ibuprofen? Pepcid?

In other words, suck it up, man. We’ve got weekend chores to do. That dog poop in the backyard isn’t going to pick itself up.

Sunday night rolled around, and he was still complaining. Yes, there was a bit of a rash, but he’s always had sensitive skin.

Just call the doctor's office first thing in the morning, I said to him. I’m sure they can squeeze you in.

Monday morning I was going about my day (in other words completely forgetting about his phantom stabbing) when he called me at work.

I just saw the doctor, he said.

I have Shingles.

Wait, WHAT? You’ve got to be kidding, I said. Oh, man. Now I feel terrible. I hear Shingles is really painful. Like stabbing painful.

In 2018, a dear friend of mine got Shingles. It was awful, she said.

Her news really shocked me. I thought that Shingles was something, ahem, old people got. But my friend is a year younger than me, and she’d gotten it.

Turns out, because I had chickenpox in 7th grade, I was a ripe candidate for Shingles. The Shingles virus was possibly already living in my body, just waiting to erupt, like a herpes-inspired volcano.

The good news was that there’s a vaccine. Yet, it was hard to come by back then. Apparently, at that same time, many, many other such people of a certain age also had a friend that suddenly got Shingles which lead to the Great Shingles Shot Shortage of 2018.

But after a few weeks of searching, I managed to get my Shingles shot at a local drugstore. I was smug in my knowledge that I, Jennifer Huffman, was heretofore protected against the Evil Shingles Varicella Zoster Virus. Take that off the long list of Things I Should Worry About.

However, I now see this as a total wife-fail. In 2018 I suggested to my husband that he should also get the Shingles vaccine. I told him of my extensive search for the Shingles vaccine. I believe I gave him the phone number for the drugstore that had a stock of the vaccine. I believe I encouraged him, more than once, to make an appointment. Yet, he did not get the vaccine. And after the weeks went by, I forgot about Shingles. I did not remind him again.

Which is too bad, because I hear Shingles really hurts ... like someone shoved a knife in your back.

Hot air balloons often land in the city of Napa's Vine Hill Park. Here's what it looked like on a recent day.

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Surrendering to Motherhood appears every other Monday. Follow Jennifer on Twitter: @NVRHuffman.

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Business Editor

Jennifer Huffman is the business editor and a general assignment reporter for the Napa Valley Register. I cover a wide variety of topics for the newspaper. I've been with the Register since 2005.

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