By JOHN HOWELL Shingles and its painful effects could temporarily sideline mayor-elect Frank Picozzi and his plans to debut his popular home Christmas display on Black Friday. Picozzi posted his condition Monday on his Facebook page, saying the shingles
Shingles and its painful effects could temporarily sideline mayor-elect Frank Picozzi and his plans to debut his popular home Christmas display on Black Friday.
Picozzi posted his condition Monday on his Facebook page, saying the shingles was making it difficult for him to use a ladder and that he was using a crutch. On Tuesday, he visited a walk-in clinic and was prescribed valacyclovir, which he said in a text Wednesday “seems to have improved it quite a bit, but it’s still very painful but getting easier to live with.”
But he’s still working on his light show and transition plans.
“I did a bit of work on the display yesterday afternoon – not a lot because I couldn’t climb ladders and have to use a crutch for support but at least I felt like I was being a bit productive.”
Meanwhile, Picozzi continues to work on the transition, setting up interviews with potential candidates for leadership positions in his administration.
After browsing the internet, Picozzi has little doubt why he was hit by shingles.
“Stress and no sleep,” he said Wednesday in a telephone call.
Dr. David Lowe, infectious disease specialist at Kent Hospital, identified “severe stress” and compromised immune system as triggering the virus that goes to the nerve roots and manifests itself with searing pain and a rash or blisters. He said shingles is linked to the chicken pox virus, and after having chicken pox the virus goes dormant and can later “wake up” when the immunity system is lowered.
Lowe also said shingles will usually attack the nerve roots on one side of the body or the other, but not the whole body simultaneously. He was surprised to learn that Picozzi has it in his foot – specifically, his right ankle – as it is more commonly manifested on the torso and face. He said treatments usually clear up the rash and it takes longer to address the pain. He also noted that there is a vaccine for shingles that is administered in two doses about six months apart that is 95 percent effective. He said it can be “pricey” but is covered by Medicare.
Finishing his display – which is driven by a computer program and synchronizes music to the “dancing lights” that cover his home and reach upwards to star-like features above his house – not only takes time but someone who understands the system and the programming. It’s not a project Picozzi imagines someone can help him with.
Picozzi worked on the display yesterday and he still holds out hope he can have it up and running by next Friday night. He doesn’t want to disappoint his fans and he is especially concerned about raising donations for the Tomorrow Fund to help families with children at Hasbro Hospital. Because of COVID-19, the fund has been unable to host its traditional fundraisers.
“I’ve worked in construction most of my life and like everyone in construction you get injuries but still have to work, you just learn to tolerate pain” he texted. “I’ve worked with broken bones. This won’t keep me down long.”