I went in to see the doctor today. I found out that the rash and severe pain are indeed Shingles. Someone commented as much on my last post, and he/she was right. Thanks, Anonymous. The doctor prescribed a pain pill and an anti-viral pill which I'm taking now.
The other problem - the distended abdomen - is still a mystery. The doctor did that thing where he tapped on my abdomen with his fingers and all he could say was that it didn't sound like it was gas. He didn't say "sound like." He used some more technical, medical term. He sent me for an X-ray, which I got today, and he's scheduling me for an ultrasound, to be done as soon as they can fit me in. Hopefully one or the other, or both, will let them know why I look like the octomom when she was pregnant. There are apparently several things that could be causing this. The doctor didn't like my suggestion that I've been knocked up by an alien (the space kind, not the immigrant kind). (I've decided to name it "Dave.")
I guess the pain pills are working, because I haven't felt any of the shingles-related burning pain. But other pain is present, like the pain I've recently started having in my lower back, right side. Wouldn't the pain pill work for that pain, too? The pain medication is Tramadol, in case you're reading this and think it might make a difference.
I will update the blog as information becomes available.