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Shingles
Old 09-13-2010, 05:13 PM   #1
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Shingles

Well, I just got diagnosed with shingles. Looking forward to a boatload of fun. I'm off to the ophthalmologist tomorrow because the rash started around my temple and the Dr is worried my optic nerve might be affected.

I browsed and found this thread Just got my zoster vaccine. Only a week into this and I would say the vaccine is highly recommended even if insurance doesn't pay - the pain is unlike anything I've ever dealt with.

I'm confident things will work out.
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Old 09-13-2010, 05:17 PM   #2
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Old 09-13-2010, 05:19 PM   #3
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Well, I just got diagnosed with shingles. Looking forward to a boatload of fun. I'm off to the ophthalmologist tomorrow because the rash started around my temple and the Dr is worried my optic nerve might be affected.

I browsed and found this thread Just got my zoster vaccine. Only a week into this and I would say the vaccine is highly recommended even if insurance doesn't pay - the pain is unlike anything I've ever dealt with.

I'm confident things will work out.
Sorry Michael, I know it is terribly painful.

I hope you recover very quickly.

Ha
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Old 09-13-2010, 05:19 PM   #4
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Sorry to hear, Michael. Too late for the vaccine for this episode, but it can be given after prior outbreaks after this one clears up. If there are immunosuppressant drugs in the picture, it gets even trickier.

I remember the original thread a year ago or so, and can only join you in suggesting everyone over age 60 discuss it with their primary doctor.

Glad you are getting close ophthalmologist care to protect that eye.

Keep us posted and best wishes.
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Old 09-13-2010, 05:48 PM   #5
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I somehow missed the original thread... oh! Yeah. I was banished during most of that time period. Anyway, I was harrased by Shingles for about five years and for the most part have it under control now. I have to admit that I never had a severe case -- at the worst it was three pustules (or whatever they are called) and the pain was never greater than that of a mosquito bite -- but it was very, very irritating during the "flareups" every month or so.

My "cure" began with Acyclovir 5 times a day for ten days through five cycles. No Joy. I, then, took two tablets a day for one year. Partial joy. Then I took a tablet (acyclovir) at the first signs of a "flareup." A year later it seems to have been resolved. I can now ignore the initial signs and it subsides by the next day. This all took place over about a five year period.

As an aside, I noticed that the "flareups" always occured during a (relatively) high stress period. This has led me to believe that stress is an important trigger.

As such, I have tremendous sympathy/empathy for anyone who suffers from this affliction.
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Old 09-13-2010, 05:52 PM   #6
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I somehow missed the original thread... oh! Yeah. I was banished during most of that time period.
Nice to see you're now back on the straight and narrow...
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Old 09-13-2010, 07:02 PM   #7
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Oh, I'm so sorry to hear you have shingles. I can sympathize with you. I had them when I was 16 years old...it's been a long time but I remember how painful they were.
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Old 09-13-2010, 07:09 PM   #8
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Tough luck Michael, I hope things work out okay
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Old 09-13-2010, 07:12 PM   #9
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Nice to see you're now back on the straight and narrow...
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Old 09-13-2010, 07:19 PM   #10
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I had shingles back when I was about 20 years old. Wasn't that painful for me, but it sure did itch.
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Old 09-13-2010, 07:21 PM   #11
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I am so sorry you have shingles . I had them fifteen years ago and I still cringe thinking about the pain . Take care !
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Old 09-13-2010, 08:19 PM   #12
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I remember the original thread a year ago or so, and can only join you in suggesting everyone over age 60 discuss it with their primary doctor.
The thought of this hanging over my next decade is one of the few things making me wish I was 60. Or wishing that the medical community would lower the threshold by 10-15 years.

Of course I guess you don't get to Shingles Vaccine Avenue (and pass "GO") without stopping at Colonoscopy Street first.
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Old 09-13-2010, 08:44 PM   #13
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Just checked again in the Medicare booklet which states that all Medicare prescription drug plans must cover the shingles vaccine. DW and I got ours just as it was becoming available. Don't wait on this. Even if you have to fork out of pocket, it would be worth it. Three years ago our physician was getting $300 for the shot.
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Old 09-13-2010, 08:45 PM   #14
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The thought of this hanging over my next decade is one of the few things making me wish I was 60. Or wishing that the medical community would lower the threshold by 10-15 years.

Of course I guess you don't get to Shingles Vaccine Avenue (and pass "GO") without stopping at Colonoscopy Street first.
Vaccine is easy (but expensive); colonoscopy not only expensive but requires prep; actually had a mammogram (don't want another)
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Old 09-13-2010, 09:24 PM   #15
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Hi Michael, sorry to hear about this. My dad had shingles when he was in late seventies. He treated it rather late and the shngles affected a large part of his nerves around the neck and shoulder. He is now 81 and he still feels the pain. The important thing is to treat it early. All the best to you.
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Old 09-13-2010, 10:34 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
Well, I just got diagnosed with shingles. Looking forward to a boatload of fun. I'm off to the ophthalmologist tomorrow because the rash started around my temple and the Dr is worried my optic nerve might be affected.

I browsed and found this thread Just got my zoster vaccine. Only a week into this and I would say the vaccine is highly recommended even if insurance doesn't pay - the pain is unlike anything I've ever dealt with.

I'm confident things will work out.
How terrible!!! I hope you recover quickly.

Is the vaccine still only for 60+?

We had a scare a month ago. DH developed a rash on both arms. At first he thought it was just because he had messed with some in wall insulation one day without his arms covered (but his hands were). But it got worse, and really started to burn and we decided time to see a doctor ASAP. About that point we were wondering if it was shingles, but knew we had already missed the 72 hour or whatever it is window for getting quick treatment to avoid log pain, etc. That was upsetting! Turned out it was what DH originally thought, and stronger anti-inflamatories helped the healing get started. The rash once it really spread did look kind of like shingles, but both arms the same was a good clue that it was not.

Audrey
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Old 09-14-2010, 08:22 AM   #17
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Vaccine is easy (but expensive); colonoscopy not only expensive but requires prep; actually had a mammogram (don't want another)
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Many women are afraid of their first mammogram, but there is no need to worry. By taking a few minutes each day for a week preceding the exam and doing the following practice exercises, you will be totally prepared for the test. Best of all, you can do these simple practice exercises right in your home.

Exercise 1: Open your refrigerator door and insert one breast between the door and the main box. Have one of your strongest friends slam the door shut as hard as possible and lean on the door for good measure. Hold that position for five seconds. Repeat again in case the first time wasn't effective enough.

Exercise 2: Visit your garage at 3 a.m. when the temperature of the cement floor is just perfect. Take off all your clothes and lie comfortably on the floor with one breast wedged under the rear tire of the car. Ask a friend to slowly back the car up until your breast is sufficiently flattened and chilled. Turn over and repeat for the other breast.

Exercise 3: Freeze two metal bookends overnight. Strip to the waist. Invite a stranger into the room. Have the stranger press the bookends against either side of one of your breasts and smash the bookends together as hard as she can. Repeat for the other breast. Set an appointment with the stranger to meet next year to do it again.
My mother and grandmother both dealt with shingles. I intend to get the vaccine when I get to 60yo.
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Old 09-14-2010, 08:39 AM   #18
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I will put a reminder on my calendar for my next doctor's appt. I will be 60 by that time. Will keep my fingers crossed 'til then.
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Old 09-14-2010, 10:07 AM   #19
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Thanks all for the kind words. My diagnosis was at day 5 so it looks like I missed the early diagnosis window of opportunity and will enjoy a full course. Am taking valacyclovir (antiviral) and cephalexin (infection) – the original blister site looks infected and I have spent the past weeks inbetween a nursing home and hospital with a severely injured (and severely infected) aunt. I’m actually more concerned for her well being (and my mother’s too). Hopefully this will clear up within a week so I can get back to them.

Dr. said to get the vaccine as soon as this passes. I’m 56, so the “wait ‘til 60” rule isn’t hard and fast. I browsed a bit and there doesn’t seem to be a reason not to, it may be just a general population cost / benefit analysis.
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Old 09-14-2010, 10:40 AM   #20
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Because I had seen others with shingles, I got the vaccine even though I had to pay for it and it is supposed to be only partially protective. I equated the cost of the vaccine to maybe 3 happy hours.

Sold!

Maybe you will have a relatively light case; I hope that will be true.

Ha
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