The Denver Broncos gave me shingles – in my mouth

16 years ago, when the Broncos beat the Packers in the Super Bowl, the stress of the game made me sick for three or four days. The following year we beat Atlanta (sorry, Larry) and won our second Super Bowl, and I was much calmer.

I packed up all of my Broncos gear until next season. I'm embarrassed to be seen in it right now.

I packed up all of my Broncos gear until next season. I’m embarrassed to be seen in it right now.

As this year’s big game drew closer, I got nervous and a little wound up. I started using a lot of CAP LETTERS IN  MY EMAILS AND TEXT MESSAGES. I walked 81 miles on my treadmill during the week. I wore Broncos gear every day.

Then I woke up at 2 in the morning the night before the Super Bowl with pain in my right front tooth and other spots in my mouth. Nerve pain. I had to take an Ativan to go back to sleep. I feared I’d broken a tooth or had an abscess, which didn’t help with the stress.

Watching the game only made it hurt more.

Monday: The dentist asked me if I was stressed about anything lately. Yeah, the Denver Broncos, I said.

I guess he thought I was joking or this wasn’t good enough to make a diagnosis of shingles. He mentioned something about a possible virus or burn, but I didn’t connect the dots. It took my brilliant wife to do that at dinner while I was high as a Seahawks fan on half a 4-year-old Vicodin tablet.

Tuesday: Back to the dentist, but the one I see most of the time (he was off on Monday). Diagnosis: Shingles. Rx: Valtrex for 7 days, thanks to my doctor.

I thought when I had shingles on my body it was painful, but having it my mouth? Wow, torture and tears. Yes, sometimes when I eat and the food touches just the right spot, tears just fall out of my eyes, which is more rain than LA is getting these days. I should eat in the garden.

But let me make this very clear: Even the pain of shingles in my mouth is nowhere near the pain of watching the Denver Broncos tank another Super Bowl. I’d take shingles over that any day, but having both happen at the same time . . . F**k me.