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Shingles!?!? Me?!?!
Old 01-26-2012, 04:58 PM   #1
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Shingles!?!? Me?!?!

So I went to bed last night feeling like I had just bumped my head on something. This morning a slight rash was visible on my forehead. I went to a morning meeting with the Upstate Master Naturalists. One of our members is a retired dermatologist from Ohio. She said, "You look like you are getting shingles." I made an appointment this afternoon, only to have the diagnosis confirmed.

Fortunately, they say it is very early, and the anti-viral drugs should limit the expression of the shingles. Anybody else have experience with this? What can I expect?
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Old 01-26-2012, 05:01 PM   #2
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Yep - thank goodness you got it diagnosed within 72 hours! Supposedly that really limits the pain and suffering.
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Old 01-26-2012, 05:26 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Brdofpray View Post
Anybody else have experience with this? What can I expect?
Unless you are very lucky, what you can expect is quite a lot of pain.
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Old 01-26-2012, 05:31 PM   #4
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Wish you the best and hope your case is mild and short lived.
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Old 01-26-2012, 05:44 PM   #5
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I have no medical training, but I had two friends and a relative all come down with shingles in their 50's. All are healthy athletic people (for their ages). The two still working are workaholics, and continued their work schedule as usual even though they felt tired and in serious pain. They suffered for months. One finally took two weeks off, total rest, and recovered almost completely in that time, although some pain in the hand she uses for a mouse (she uses a computer all day) still returns when she overworks. The other recovered but it seems like it took forever (I don't know how long, but months).
The relative, ERed, had learned from the experience of the other two. Although all three found it early enough to take the antiviral, only the ERed person had very mild symptoms, with complete recovery in a couple of weeks. But it took laying around and doing almost nothing during that time, complete rest, which drove him somewhat crazy because he normally exercises every day.
SO the moral of the story is - REST UP! Take it very seriously. You may not feel very sick or weak, but at least in my relative's case, two weeks of laying around may have saved him months of misery and perhaps permanent nerve damage.
Take it seriously, and take it easy until the rash is gone, IMHO.

I learned my lesson and got the shingles vaccine at the first opportunity. They used to require you to be age sixty, but I got it in my mid-50's. It's not perfect protection but my two friends were so miserable, I'm not taking any unnecessary chances. And if I do get shingles, you know what I'm going to do. Bring on the fluffy slippers and DVDs.
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Old 01-26-2012, 05:46 PM   #6
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I always thought that shingles typically appears on the trunk but apparently not, as in your case: http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-a...gles-symptoms:
Quote:
A rash may occur on the forehead, cheek, nose, and around one eye (herpes zoster ophthalmicus ), which may threaten your sight unless you get prompt treatment.
I'm glad you got it diagnosed so quickly and didn't chalk it up to an allergy.
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Old 01-26-2012, 05:54 PM   #7
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Unless you are very lucky, what you can expect is quite a lot of pain.
Catching it early can make a huge difference. My son recently got it, caught it early and started getting the anti-virals. It wasn't pleasant, but not at all like the horror stories I've heard from others.

Hopefully, the OPs case will be mild, since it was treated soon.

-ERD50
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Old 01-26-2012, 06:17 PM   #8
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Just as reminder to everyone else - there is a shingles vaccination available and it has been approved now for ages 50+ recently, vs 60+ intially. I paid for mine out of pocket - $220 at a local drugstore. It is supposed more effective for younger folks than for older, so don't wait.
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Old 01-26-2012, 06:32 PM   #9
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Just as reminder to everyone else - there is a shingles vaccination available and it has been approved now for ages 50+ recently, vs 60+ intially. I paid for mine out of pocket - $220 at a local drugstore. It is supposed more effective for younger folks than for older, so don't wait.
You are all welcome for being the impetus for this service announcement.
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Old 01-26-2012, 06:33 PM   #10
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Yikes! Thanks for reminding me I need to get that vaccine! Hope it works out not to be a serious case for you.
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Old 01-26-2012, 06:55 PM   #11
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Heading to the local pharmacy tomorrow. Got the prescription in hand, called last week to verify vaccine was in stock. Took the last thread on shingles to get me to think of it and this one to get me in.
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Old 01-26-2012, 06:58 PM   #12
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It can be very painful based on the two people I've known who had shingles. I hope early detection and/or current treatments help considerably, best of luck...
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Old 01-26-2012, 07:05 PM   #13
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I had shingles but it was too late for the anti-viral . All I can say is OUCH ! My friend got it about the same time but was able to get the anti-viral drugs and had a mild case .Good Luck !
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Old 01-26-2012, 07:09 PM   #14
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Thanks everyone for the words of encouragement. I guess I will just lay low, sit on the back deck, relax, take a nap, and watch birds. Wait a minute, that is what I normally do.

I love being FIRED.
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Old 01-26-2012, 07:13 PM   #15
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I had shingles about 30 years ago. Never had it again, thus far, at least.
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Old 01-26-2012, 07:29 PM   #16
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If you are under 60 double check your insurance coverage. Our insurance told me they would cover it for me (age 56) but later denied the claim saying they had changed the age requirement to 60, retroactively.

I had to resubmit the claim and cross my fingers but in the end they paid it in full ($229) and the notation said "benefit misquote". This was Medical Mutual of Ohio, one of the largest medical insurance companies in this area.

DH won't be covered until he's 60.
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Old 01-26-2012, 08:27 PM   #17
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Brdofpray,

It's not obvious from your post (or maybe I missed it somehow) - did you get the antiviral shot? As you said, it's supposed to help minimize the pain and discomfort if you catch it early enough.

I'll repeat what others have said. A friend of mine had shingles recently and it was not diagnosed for several days. Wow! It was a real problem and from start to finish probably lasted nearly 6 weeks. 4 weeks for the really bad symptoms and another 2 weeks to finally return to normal.

I recently received the vaccine and I have the paperwork to submit for reimbursement. My out of pocket was $250 at a local pharmacy. Worth it in my mind even if I'm not reimbursed.

Several pharmacies and all the doctors I spoke to said they don't carry the vaccine due to the storage/freezer requirements. Not too much problem finding a pharmacy but it was surprising how many did not carry the product.
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Old 01-26-2012, 08:28 PM   #18
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What sucks the most (pardon my extreme language), I can't visit my grand daughter this weekend. To much risk of passing chicken pox.
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Old 01-26-2012, 08:31 PM   #19
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IIRC, the amount of pain varies widely from case to case.

Craig Ferguson recently had it; he is about 49.
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Old 01-26-2012, 08:33 PM   #20
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I did not have the preventative shot. The anti-viral drugs I am taking now are after you are diagnosed. The earlier you start taking them, the better the results. (at least that is what I am told.) Once my symptoms clear, the shot will help me from having shingles again.

If you haven't had the preventative shot, get it. If it costs $200, small amount to pay to avoid a world of hurt.
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