Shingles

thermalben's picture
thermalben started the topic in Monday, 14 Nov 2022 at 3:09pm

Anyone had 'em before?

Had a bit of a crook neck last Monday, persisted into Tuesday then migrated to a headache that night and into Wednesday (headaches are rare for me, too). Felt a smidge worse Thursday, then Friday noticed a few small red marks appearing near my shoulder. That night it developed into a full blown rash across my shoulder and chest.

Yep, I've got Shingles.

Gotta say, the pain is bad, but in a weird way. I've got a permanent dull ache across my shoulder, as if the collarbone has been broken. There are occasional sharp shooting pains from my shoulder up into my neck. The rash should be itchy, but it isn't (yet!). So right now I'm feeling the opposite of what I thought it'd be like.

Not looking forward to the scabs falling off, either.

I'm on antibiotics, but the pain relief medication isn't doing much (apparently this is common, for nerve pain?). Not keen to go higher than Panadeine Forte either.

So, at the risk of scaring the crap out of myself, has anyone else had this? I've already heard a few stories, from "worst pain of my life, for a month" through to "moderate annoyance for a week". Apparently Shingles can re-occur down the track too, though there is a vaccine available (I'm outside of the eligible rebate age bracket, so apparently it costs $280).

Either way, I'm not looking forward to the next fortnight. Already had four terrible nights of sleep.

Only good news is that my kids won't have to go through this, as they've been vaccinated against Chicken Pox.

andy-mac's picture
andy-mac's picture
andy-mac Monday, 14 Nov 2022 at 3:35pm

Sounds horrible, wishing you a speedy recovery....

GreenJam's picture
GreenJam's picture
GreenJam Monday, 14 Nov 2022 at 3:47pm

havent had it Ben, but I hear the strong medical grade Manuka honey on the rash may help. It has helped me with other strange painful skin rashes arising after tick bites

and at risk of getting attacked on here, it would seem your immune system is slightly compromised at present (allowing the old chicken pox virus to reemerge), perhaps a result of covid and/or the vaccines, or is it the other way around... The spike in shingles cases is undeniable.

all the best with it

blackers's picture
blackers's picture
blackers Monday, 14 Nov 2022 at 3:49pm

Bad luck Ben, it's horrid. It can return when you get run down, so something to keep an eye out for.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Monday, 14 Nov 2022 at 3:54pm
GreenJam wrote:

and at risk of getting attacked on here, it would seem your immune system is slightly compromised at present (allowing the old chicken pox virus to reemerge), perhaps a result of covid and/or the vaccines, or is it the other way around... The spike in shingles cases is undeniable

Certainly quite likely that my immune system is compromised, though to be honest I've been running at 150% for about twenty years now. Ironically, early last week when it all kicked off, I was very relaxed, camping down the coast with family and friends!

But I've been aware for a while that I need to slow down. Recently had my knee go on me, also had to get glasses for the first time, etc. Not enjoying this slow decent into middle age (I'm 47).

GreenJam's picture
GreenJam's picture
GreenJam Monday, 14 Nov 2022 at 4:13pm

yep, I hear you. similar age and recent major work stress/overload plus a peak in medical issues leading to an operation, I'm currently in a phase of active slow down. It is going reasonable well. Managing the stress is key...

I'd also recommend getting lots of vit C powder into you 3xday, a zinc supplement, something like olive leaf extract or high-absorption turmeric supplement, coconut oil on the rash may also help, and some medical cannabis to help ease the pain and support better sleep while you battle this one. Cheers.

lostdoggy's picture
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lostdoggy Monday, 14 Nov 2022 at 4:16pm
thermalben wrote:
GreenJam wrote:

and at risk of getting attacked on here, it would seem your immune system is slightly compromised at present (allowing the old chicken pox virus to reemerge), perhaps a result of covid and/or the vaccines, or is it the other way around... The spike in shingles cases is undeniable

Certainly quite likely that my immune system is compromised, though to be honest I've been running at 150% for about twenty years now. Ironically, early last week when it all kicked off, I was very relaxed, camping down the coast with family and friends!

But I've been aware for a while that I need to slow down. Recently had my knee go on me, also had to get glasses for the first time, etc. Not enjoying this slow decent into middle age (I'm 47).

Always the way. You finally relax and you get sick.
You’ve been in chronic fight flight, and the hyper-adrenal state actually protects you from illness, then you sit back, relax and the rest of your immune system has been depleted and doesn’t protect you as well as it could.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Monday, 14 Nov 2022 at 4:56pm

Here's where I'm at right now.

GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley Monday, 14 Nov 2022 at 5:07pm

Got them in my early 30s starting day 1 of a 2 week trip to the sth coast. Dr confirmed shingles day 3 of the trip in Merimbula. Drove home and spent next 2weeks in bed. Right shoulder, neck and up to my face covered in tiny pimple like blisters. Very sharp shooting pain up my neck to my face every time I moved my right arm or shoulder. Nothing you can do but bunker down and rest Ben, good luck.

GuySmiley's picture
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GuySmiley Monday, 14 Nov 2022 at 5:09pm

Wow just saw that photo, bloody hell, take care

Nick Bone's picture
Nick Bone's picture
Nick Bone Monday, 14 Nov 2022 at 6:16pm

I had them early last year. Along the top of my eye and towards the temple. I thought it was just a couple of mossie bites at the start. They never got superficially bad, a bit scabby at worst. But the pain was not enjoyable. As you said Ben, a constant kinda dull pain. Like I was getting punched in the eye but from inside out. Doctor said it's lucky as they usually only attack one nerve or soemthing. If it had spread to the eye - no bloody bueno.

lostdoggy's picture
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lostdoggy Monday, 14 Nov 2022 at 6:43pm

Jeez, that looks horrible.

blackers's picture
blackers's picture
blackers Monday, 14 Nov 2022 at 8:31pm
Nick Bone wrote:

I had them early last year. Along the top of my eye and towards the temple. ......Like I was getting punched in the eye but from inside out. Doctor said it's lucky as they usually only attack one nerve or soemthing. If it had spread to the eye - no bloody bueno.

Had them on the face too. Got under my eyelids. Felt like a combination of being jabbed in the eye with a stick and having the eyeball getting a light rub over with 40 grit.

jedi old mate's picture
jedi old mate's picture
jedi old mate Monday, 14 Nov 2022 at 10:38pm

Hey Ben,
I also had them last year. Rash wasn’t too bad just a bit on my chest and back. I kept my sores dressed with fixamull and Manuka honey under it to stop it from drying and me scratching it. My worst symptoms for me were really bad fevers and head aches as well as nerve pain in my back rather than a rash. The doc loaded me up with anti-inflammatory’s and some anti-virals I think and they took the edge of a little bit. I had a few other health problems at the time but I was pretty easily the sickest I’ve ever been. I was properly bed ridden and absolutely exhausted for at least 2 weeks but probably felt it’s lingering effects for at least a month or 3.
Just try to rest up and take it easy even when your feeling a bit better as it may linger for longer than expected.
I feel for you and hope it’s not too painful.

nomad1's picture
nomad1's picture
nomad1 Tuesday, 15 Nov 2022 at 2:34am

I got them a while ago when i was 21. After id had a bad bout of glandular fever, a sinus infection bla bla then was at the doctor about something else and said btw this rash started appearing yesterday. he immediately said it was shingles and got me on medication. So in a way i got lucky by getting on top of it very early and so avoided getting it too bad.
as someone above wrote, for me it was very much at a time when my immune system was a bit shit.
the more i hear about long covid and all the different effects it reminds me of what i went through back then.

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher Thursday, 17 Nov 2022 at 9:32pm

Boss leads by example + Crew's Shingles diagnosis & symptoms is first rate...Excellent Med Advice!
Stress > Sunburn > Virus > Vax > Age ...all compromise immune system to bring on a bout of Shingles.

Not contagious unless touched by Unvaxed C' Pox > Contracts similar Virus > Chicken Pox
Keep away from Pregnant Women.
1/3 Aussies > 1/2 to 80 years will get shingles
99.5% 50+ have the Virus > At further risk by residing with immuno suppressed
25% get PHN ( Nerve Pain ) For months > Years > Life

Main stream Med reports confirm wot crew say about Covid + Covid Vax increasing Shingles!
Link a few mainstream med media reports for Ben & Crew to verify the immuno suppression link.

[+] 15-20% higher risk
https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/news/2022/08/16/If-youve-had-Covid-look-ou...
https://www1.racgp.org.au/newsgp/clinical/covid-19-linked-to-higher-shin...

Covid Vax - Incubation period of 'many Vaxes' increases Shingles risk.
https://www.healthline.com/health/covid-vaccine-herpes#vaccines-and-shin...

No shortage of disruptions to immune systems that are mandated or simply part of the Family Life.

Like the crew ...
Family break Up > Aged 13 tbb also suffered (Mystery) Glandular condition in Hospital for weeks
Got out & immediately after got shingles on side rib cage/s

Note Ben is modelling his Shingles on one side only...( Mostly targets one side )
Experts say it's just the one side but you can get a lesser patch on opposite side...tbb had both sides!
Can recall many convincing tbb it was just the one side, only tbb still have the spot scars on both sides?

Bizarre how folk go around transplanting false memories...who does that? + How is that a real Job!

Pain / Itching remains after rash...sufferers will likely suffer torment on both sides rash or not!
Insane extreme Itching & nerve racking with shock like shivers shooting from the shingles patch.
Oddly also up the back which would contort & writhe yer body...nasty it is! Can & will drive you insane.

tbb's 1976 Treatment was buckets of Calamine Lotion + Do not bust the blisters.
New Prescription swear Lotions makes it worse...tbb can agree, it sure felt like that.
Reckon it lasted about a month...

Relapse! You can occasionally get one or two smaller episodes in same area over time.
Each mostly a random solo blister or open welt, is of less concern each time over 5 > 10 > 20 years.

As for scarring...
Over 20 years the scarring may leave darker mole like spots but loses the patchy lumpy texture

Around 30 years maybe the last rare exposed itch in that area of almost zero consequence!
Meaning you may still scratch an isolated itch of one of the spots...not more & not for long!
It is weird that outta the blue ya get an urge to scratch that itch & break the flesh. (Yes! Occasionally!)
Kinda like a Hot Spot Release Valve for yet pet Shingles Bug to get a breath of fresh Air...off ya go!

40 years on are slight freckle like small bumps of no real concern...resisting the urge to scratch. (Kinda!)

If any are concerned over aesthetics...eg: as in scars on yer face!
If you go in the sun often, these spots may grow darker with tan...like sun spots & moles.
Interesting...as sufferers are meant to keep outta the Sun / Bright Lights.

Even now...Beach crew or close family members may ask what are those patch of spots...
Shingles do leave their mark for longer thru life.

Queue at the Hillsong Cure All Caravan & beg for Pastor Morrison's Free Shingles Vax..
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FBsSViDUcBseRkY?format=jpg&name=900x900
Nov 2016 - 31st Oct 2023 ~ Oz seniors 71-79 yrs ( Recall the Rollout of TV ads)

How to treat...Health Direct has great info on Shingles Treatment (Regime)
https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/shingles#:~:text=There%20is%20no%20cure%....

Shingles Jingles + Q&A
https://www.knowshingles.com.au/

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo Friday, 25 Nov 2022 at 7:08am

Clearing up now Ben ?

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Friday, 25 Nov 2022 at 7:20am

The rash and blisters are on the way down now, but the nerve pain cranked up again this week (after subsiding a little last week). And the itchiness is off the hook.

Not a lot of fun at all.