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Thread: Anyone here had shingles? (happy birthday to me)

  1. #1

    Default Anyone here had shingles? (happy birthday to me)

    Hi everyone!

    Wish I was asking a happier question, especially on my birthday. 23 today! This is the second year I have spent it away from my family and it's always a bit bittersweet but the day has been wonderful. I have fantastic, caring friends! It's really been a week of celebrations. On Wednesday I treated myself to a facial and skincare products which I have been saving for; yesterday, James and I went out for lunch to a really nice restaurant (it's a public holiday here today and we wanted to avoid the surcharge), and then at midnight my flatmates surprised me with a really sweet card and cake and some crazy dancing and singing and we stayed up till 2am and just ate and laughed. Then this morning I went to a farmer's market out of town with James and got some delicious fresh food, spent all afternoon snacking on it and avoiding doing any study and then this evening I went out with another friend to a Mexican restaurant for dinner! A truly amazing week!

    HOWEVER, it has been tarnished somewhat by what I now am 90% sure is shingles. I first noticed a blistered patch on my left forearm on Tuesday night accompanied a slight ache. On Wednesday, it was still there. I misjudged getting off the bed at the beauty therapist's and fell and the muscle pain intensified but I assumed it was just from the fall (I didn't injure myself otherwise). Then on Wednesday afternoon, I went to the dr because the beauty therapist mentioned that it looked like I had some kind of fungal infection on my face (I thought it was eczema), so I went to get some cream and while there, showed the dr the patch and she took a swab. I didn't mention the muscle aching because I thought it wasn't related at that point - I actually thought it was related to the apparent fungal infection.

    Because it's a long weekend here, she said it wouldn't be back til Monday, but upon consulting Google (I know... I know) it sounds like I have the symptoms of shingles. Blistered patch on one side. Aching pain in the area where the patch is, and I have noticed a few more spots have come up (not blistered yet). The pain is generally not too bad (though there are periods where it is quite sore...) and the patches themselves are not itchy or sore but I did read that sometimes they prescribe anti-virals which are most effective the sooner it is diagnosed.

    So, I guess my q is, do you think I should go to an after hours clinic tomorrow or can it wait till Monday? And has anyone here experienced shingles? And should I tell my parents? (I already know the answer to that one... but I still think it'll just make them worry unnecessarily).

    BTW, I have made sure the patch has been covered just in case it is contagious, which apparently it can be, but only if people come into direct contact with the blisters.
    Last edited by CPchick; 02-06-2015 at 02:57 AM.
    Enjoying the excitements of life. Looking forward to what's to come! What a ride!

  2. #2
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    Never had them myself, but have friends and relatives that did. Oddly enough, the wife got them first, her doctor assured her they were not contagious, but her husband came down with them three weeks later. Coincidence maybe? Very painful and they can last up to a month or more. My cousin had them in her eye. That I could not imagine. She was miserable. Don't know what kind of treatment they can do because it is caused from a virus. Topical pain medication may help. Sure hoping that is not what you have. Once you have them, apparently you can get them again. Get the shot if necessary. I got mine five years ago. Didn't want to worry about dealing with this issue.
    grandmother of Tyler (22): Ohtahara Syndrome/SCN2a gene mutation, cortically visually impaired, quadriplegic, severely developmentally delayed, no speech, severe intractable seizures, frontal and temporal lobe atrophy, progressive scoliosis/kyphosis, chronic kidney stones & UTI's, gastroparesis, 100% tube fed, autonomic dysreflexia, but what a precious gift from God. "Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change."

  3. #3
    Distinguished Community Member Earth Mother 2 Angels's Avatar
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    ((((((Erin)))))) ~

    Jim had a mild case of shingles last year. He experienced stinging pain at the site of the blisters (his lower back) and he felt like his entire body was being bitten by insects (nerve endings firing). For 2 days he had aching/stinging in his legs, and the site itched. We put Neosporin on the blisters (we thought it was a spider bite). A cold pack relieved the itching. He did not take an anti-viral, and his symptoms subsided within a few days.

    I'm surprised your doctor didn't immediately recognize the blisters as shingles or rule out that diagnosis. As soon as Jon's nurse saw the email photo of Jim's rash, she identified it as shingles. And she confirmed that a couple of weeks later, when she visited for Jon's cath change and saw it in person.

    If the doctor felt the need to swab and test the rash, then an after hours clinic doc might agree that test results are needed before prescribing the anti-viral med. You definitely don't want to take a med like that unless it is necessary. On the other hand, another doc might just identify the rash as shingles upon clinical observation.

    If I were you, I wouldn't tell your parents until you have a definite diagnosis. They'll just worry. It's what parents do. It's in the Parent Manual.

    Oh and ...

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY ERIN!!!

    So glad that you celebrated in style!

    Healing prayers on the way for you ~

    Love & Light,

    Rose

    Edited to Add: Acylovir is the anti-viral given for shingles: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/d...s/a681045.html

    Also, per my research for Jim, typically after a shingles outbreak, a person has immunity for about 3 years, which should preclude another outbreak during those years. I don't think you can get the vaccine while you have shingles, and there may be a protocol to wait 3 years after a case of shingles before vaccinating.
    Last edited by Earth Mother 2 Angels; 02-06-2015 at 02:27 PM.
    Mom to Jon, 48, (seizure disorder; Gtube; trache; colostomy; osteoporosis; hypothyroid; enlarged prostate; lymphedema, assorted mysteries) and Michael, 32, (intractable seizures; Gtube), who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003 and now resides in Heaven. Our Angel Jon lives at home with me and Jim, the world's most wonderful dad.

  4. #4

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    Thanks Rose and Tamie! I agree about the anti-virals. I don't really want to take any medication unless I have to. It was quite achey when I went to bed last night but it was ok this morning and it hasn't been very bothersome today so I decided not to go to the after hours, especially after I called to ask about their fees and heard the price! Didn't think it was worth going just to be told I have a virus, which essentially will just have to run its course. Definitely more patches popping up (not blistered yet though) and a couple are itchy but I think I will just call on Monday and ask about the test results before doing anything. Will keep you updated!
    Enjoying the excitements of life. Looking forward to what's to come! What a ride!

  5. #5
    Distinguished Community Member Earth Mother 2 Angels's Avatar
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    ((((((Erin)))))) ~

    To relieve itching: Aveeno (if it's available there ~ it's oatmeal based); hydrocortisone cream (1 to 2% ~ it is steroidal); Neosporin; cold packs; Benadryl (careful, as it can be sedating ~ read the label and consult your physician).

    http://www.aveeno.com/category/our+products.do

    For the pain, Advil or Tylenol.

    Talk with your doctor about the benefits and risks of Acyclovir, as well as any risks you might have from shingles relevant to CP. Ask your doctor about immunity following this outbreak and about the vaccination. I'd gather up all of the information possible in your shoes.

    I'm praying for you! May this be a mild case, if it is shingles. And may you not suffer any pain.

    Healing energy on the way to you, dear Erin ~

    Love & Light,

    Rose
    Mom to Jon, 48, (seizure disorder; Gtube; trache; colostomy; osteoporosis; hypothyroid; enlarged prostate; lymphedema, assorted mysteries) and Michael, 32, (intractable seizures; Gtube), who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003 and now resides in Heaven. Our Angel Jon lives at home with me and Jim, the world's most wonderful dad.

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    Distinguished Community Member andromeda31's Avatar
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    Hi Erin!

    ((((hugs)))) I have had shingles and it sucks! It is hard to remember exactly when, it was around 2009-2010 when Caitlin was having a lot of shunt problems. She had been in the hospital a lot so at first I just thought it was a staph infection on my skin or something, that I had picked up bad bacteria from being in a hospital so much. It was on the side of my back, kind of by my hip...a blistery area about the size of my fist and it hurt like you wouldn't believe! I went to the doctor and when I showed it, she was like right away, "that is shingles". I did feel better knowing what it was and the pain did go away. I was just really glad it was not on my face...once everyone started telling me their shingles stories, I heard about a lot of people that got it on their face and had scars. I don't have any scars from it so that is good even though it is where no one would ever be able to see. I am positive that is was from all the stress I was under at the time. That was before I had joined the gym, now I workout quite a bit and do yoga a few times a week to keep the stress levels down. I hope yours is only a mild case and that it clears up quickly.

    Lisa O.
    Lisa O: mom to Caitlin (14-CP, VA shunt, seizures), Brandon (12), Tyler (10), Logan (7)...my babies are all getting so old!!

  7. #7

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    Hey! Thanks Lisa and Rose. Just to update you all, it was shingles but didn't spread any further and I didn't end up on any anti-virals. It has mostly cleared up now and I'm not experiencing any pain anymore so that's good.

    Also went to the thyroid clinic this morning and things are looking okay there. The doctor said that being hypo as opposed to having grave's and fluctuating was a good outcome and that my GP can monitor my levels from here. Once they are sure the thyroxine dose is right and things are stable I should only have to go for a blood test once a year. Considering I waited nearly 2 hours at a local clinic the other day to get one, I'm pleased about that!
    Enjoying the excitements of life. Looking forward to what's to come! What a ride!

  8. #8
    Distinguished Community Member Earth Mother 2 Angels's Avatar
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    ((((((Erin)))))) ~

    Shingles came and went quickly ~ that's great. A mild case, but you should be immune from another outbreak for at least 3 years.

    I'm happy for you that your thyroid issues are under control with Synthroid. May your thyroid levels remain normal.

    Be well!

    Love & Light,

    Rose
    Mom to Jon, 48, (seizure disorder; Gtube; trache; colostomy; osteoporosis; hypothyroid; enlarged prostate; lymphedema, assorted mysteries) and Michael, 32, (intractable seizures; Gtube), who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003 and now resides in Heaven. Our Angel Jon lives at home with me and Jim, the world's most wonderful dad.

  9. #9
    Distinguished Community Member andromeda31's Avatar
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    That is great news! Glad the shingles are fading away!

    Lisa O.
    Lisa O: mom to Caitlin (14-CP, VA shunt, seizures), Brandon (12), Tyler (10), Logan (7)...my babies are all getting so old!!

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    Sorry I couldn't help with the shingles but HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I'm happy the shingles went away.
    Last edited by funnylegs4; 02-25-2015 at 08:44 PM.
    Mild Spastic Diplegia Cerebral Palsy and bad proprioception.
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