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J. Daniel Ashton

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Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, —Ecclesiastes 9:10a NIV
The LORD God has told us what is right and what he demands:
"See that justice is done,
let mercy be your first concern,
and humbly obey your God." —Micah 6:8, CEV
With all your heart you must trust the LORD and not your own judgment.
Always let Him lead you, and He will clear the road for you to follow. —Proverbs 3:5,6 CEV

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Name: Daniel Ashton
Location: Germantown, Maryland, United States

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Friday, March 14, 2008

I Am a Walking Death Sentence

At least I understand now why I feel like someone punched me in the stomach and lower back, both, but only on my left side.

That little scamp, the zoster virus, decided to wake up and give me the shingles. You can check the Wikipedia article for all the whys and wherefores.

The good news is that this seems to be a mild case (not much headache or fever, and only mild malaise), and that we're catching it pretty early. (The blisters came on only last night, I think.) I'm facing some pain and itching, but I'll probably make a good recovery. And I'm statistically unlikely to face this a second time.

The bad news is that there is no certainty that I will be non-contagious before Easter.

Without this impediment, this is what my schedule would have looked like:
  • Tomorrow: church, followed by the conference-level Pathfinder Bible Achievement event
  • Sunday: church (2 services x 2 anthems), and the Montgomery Philharmonic concert in the evening
  • Monday: potential orchestra open board meeting
  • Tuesday: ACMP string quartet reading session
  • Wednesday: Big, final dress rehearsal with both Rockville and Bowie choirs and five string players
  • Thursday: Maundy Thursday service (1 anthem)
  • Friday: Good Friday service (Bach's Cantata #4 with strings, and other beautiful music)
  • Next Sabbath: church, and Easter Vigil service in Bowie repeating music from Friday
  • Next Sunday: church (2 services x 2 anthems with brass)
This contagion is serious for anyone with a compromised immune system. That would include anyone with AIDS or undergoing chemotherapy, for example. It's also a significant risk for people over the age of 60, at which point postherpetic neuralgia is more of a problem.

The doctor was very emphatic that I am not to participate in the above activities until I reach the stages of non-contagiousness. And that will probably be sometime in the next 3 to 14 days. He said that I could be conducting at the Kennedy Center (I liked that bit) and an immunocompromised person in the balconey would be at risk of catching this from me, and dying. Then he shooed me out the back door of his office.

So, I solicit your prayers. God knows about everything that has been on my plate. He knows how quickly He plans to heal me, which events I will be healthy enough to help with, and who He has prepared to step up and take over while I'm absent. Please pray that He will work this all out exactly as suits His purposes.


Blogger Beth said...

I'm very sorry! I hope you get better very soon. I'm praying for you!

7:26 PM  
Blogger Tanner Lovelace said...

Oh man, that's bad timing. At least it's not very serious for you. Have you had chicken pox before? (I guess you would have since that's probably where it came from.) We gave Bram the vaccine for it when he was 2-3 (whenever it's recommended) and he still managed to get it about a year or two later. :-(

Anyway, get well soon! Music isn't very well suited for telecommuters.

10:58 AM  

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