Greetings from the "Sunshine State"
The first sign of Shingles may include itching, tingling, and burning. A few days later a blistering rash appears which can last up to 30 days!
I would like to share with you my very painful past few weeks! This is how it happened. Around August 12th, I seemed to have developed an ear ache, so I bought ear drops. I used them for a few days and thought my ear was feeling a little bit better.. although I felt a numbness. I thought it was the chamomile drops numbing my ear or rather the pain! But also my neck was sore to touch and actually my skin hurt to the touch it. The following day I saw awful blisters on my upper torso, to include my chest area, arm, under arm, neck front and back... I immediately called my doctor and got an appointment that day. As soon as he walked in and saw me, he said... "UH OH looks like shingles!"
What to do? He prescribed Vicoden for the excruciating pain. I cannot even begin to tell you how much pain I was in. Acyclovir 800 mg, 5 X's a day for 10 days which is an antibiotic. I started the regimen of pain pills, to my chagrin... the Vicoden did not even touch the pain. I called my doctor again, explaining to the nurse that I just could not take this pain any longer. Within a few minutes she called me back with a stronger prescription.
The new meds indicated, take one tablet every 6 hrs. as needed for pain. Sure enough it did help and finally after a few days of complete bed rest, I was able to get up and actually start to eat a bit. Because of the awful pain I could not eat, only drink water and take my regular meds and the "shingles" meds. Altho I did my best to eat some crackers and jello.. yummy!!
My biggest concern with the pain meds was that it could have created a problem with my breathing. Because of the nature of these drugs, there is a big warning on the bottle "Taking more of this medication then recommended may cause serious breathing problems."
Needless to say, I was very careful in taking them.
Something that we should all be aware of is that: "We need to be careful with any different medications we may need to take. If possible, research the side effects and reactions that could occur while taking these along with our 'normal' meds." Also remember... do not be afraid to ask you doctor any questions you may have.
Today is a better day, altho I still have some pain on the right side of my neck. From what I have read, sometimes there is residual pain from the shingles and it is called, (PHN) Postherpetic Neuralgia. The pain from shingles can range from burning or throbbing to a pain that is stabbing or shooting. In my case the shooting and stabbing would apply! I can only hope that this will go away quietly and stay away.
I know most people wonder... "what causes shingles?" Well, from what I have researched, if you have had Chickenpox than you are at risk for this potentially serious and painful disease.
Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. The virus can remain inactive in your body for years. If the virus becomes active, you can get a case of the shingles. What causes the virus to become active... stress and perhaps a weakened immune system.
One thing I mentioned in the beginning of my post is that at the time I was using the ear drops, I assumed the drops were causing the numbness to my ear. But after being diagnosed with shingles...I read that they can cause numbness to the ear if the outbreak is in that area.
I have attached a site link with more information about "SHINGLES".
If anyone has had this type of experience, please write in and share this with us. It is very helpful and important for all of us to beable to learn and share together.
Breathe with all the strength that you have my friends,
1 2 3... Inhale ... 1 2 3 4... Exhale