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.

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Ready for tomorrow’s Super Bowl – GO BRONCOS, GO POT ROAST

I’ve savored every moment of the last two weeks, watching SportsCenter, listening to ESPN radio and eating up all the coverage of my Denver Broncos. It’s almost showtime. And best of all, WE ARE PREPARED for tomorrow’s game.

We have our Broncos shirts. I have my Broncos lounge pants and Manning 18 Jersey. Our best friends are coming over. IT’S SUPER BOWL TIME.

My wife is making deviled eggs that look like footballs. We’ll eat Papa John’s pizza in honor of Manning. She’s also making some kind of Rocky Mountain Cookie. We’ll have meat and cheese and bread. She didn’t want to buy Coors, but bought some fancy beer made by Coors. It’s all about authenticity I told her. She ignored me. I’m used to it.

My good friend and long-time Super Bowl pal is making pot roast in honor of #94, Terrance Knighton, of the Broncos. Every time he makes a big play we’re going to yell, “POT ROAST,” and eat a slice in his honor.

Here’s an assortment of the other Broncos stuff we have ready for the game.

Our black lab is ready and wearing her lucky collar.

Our black lab is ready and wearing her lucky collar.

Broncos tattoos and eye patches or whatever they're called.

Broncos tattoos and eye patches or whatever they’re called.

Found an orange flower at Home Depot. A Martha Stewart tip, along with how to hide your stock gains.

Found an orange flower at Home Depot. A Martha Stewart tip, along with how to hide your stock gains.

My wrist band and the orange hair gel I plan on using tomorrow. Yeah, you heard it hear.

My wrist band and the orange hair gel I plan on using tomorrow. Yeah, you heard it here.

Table wear in orange and blue. Martha Stewart detail.

Plates and napkins in orange and blue. Martha Stewart’s Chow Chows would be happy to eat off of these pups, though in China they’d eat the Chow Chows off plates like these, if they watched the Super Bowl. (Where did that comment come from? There go my fans in China.)

A nice touch by my wife, who hates Martha Stewart.

A nice candy touch by my wife, who hates Martha Stewart.

Lording over the game is my $2 Broncos troll. I discovered him at a flea market in Long Beach and consider him my best find EVER!

Lording over the game is my $2 Broncos troll. I discovered him waiting for me at a flea market in Long Beach and consider him my best find EVER! BTW, he was the only troll they had. Yes, the Universe works its magic in strange ways.

Little John Elway and Big John Elway will be there to watch. My friend teases about how big a head the real John Elway has. These two are only slightly larger he says.

Little John Elway and Big John Elway will be there to watch. My friend teases me about how big of a head the real John Elway has. These two are only slightly larger, he says. But look at these, the little one’s head is as large as his body. Balloon-Head John Elway is more like it.

Another winning day, another dog

I’m a lifelong football fan – lifelong Denver Broncos fan. So, Super Bowl Sunday is a holiday in my house. When I tell my daughter that it’s my favorite day of the year, she gets upset, telling me I should choose her birthday. “That day is also in my top five,” I say, which makes her crazy.

I buy this calendar every year because I am afraid that if I don't bad things will happen

I mention the Super Bowl because days like this make me feel like a winner. I didn’t bet on the Packers. However, I did get to watch the game at home with my wife, daughter, and closest friend, who has watched the last 16 Super Bowls with me. That is a winning day, my friends, because I didn’t cough up blood and I wasn’t in the hospital.

I also got to watch another Super Bowl. Though that may seem like a given for some, I can’t be sure that I’ll be around to watch next year’s – I’m not taking anything for granted. Milestones matter.

My daughter turns 9 soon, and I’ll cherish the fact that I’m here to see her ninth birthday, though I don’t want to jinx myself. There is always the chance I’ll have to celebrate the actual day while I’m in the hospital.

Here’s how superstitious and strange I am. I have a 365 Dogs calendar. Each day, I rip one page off of it (except weekends with two days on one page). I do not tear a page off until the actual day arrives. I am afraid to remove the page the night before lest it causes me not to live through the night to see the day – punishment for my overconfidence of looking ahead.

Yes, it’s not easy being me.

Even now I worry about waking up healthy tomorrow, as every time I blog about a good day, I get punished by CF. If I’m lucky, CF will skip this post and I’ll escape its curse of sharing good days. We’ll see. I have a bag packed just in case.

Stay healthy.