• What We’ve Learned About Shingles

    by  • February 10, 2014 • Uncategorized • 1 Comment

    It’s been almost a week since the morning the hubs went crashing down to the floor in severe pain in his left shoulder/rib area during breakfast.  No direct cause, no trauma to the area, no overuse of the muscles.  It was a long 8 minutes of watching him suffer and not understanding what was wrong or what to do.  Off and on that day, he would have several minutes of agony without relief from anything.  Finally giving in around 6:00, it was decided a trip to the ER was in need and off we went.  (why does the decision always get made after the doctor’s office is closed?)  

    “I’ve seen a lot of younger people developing shingles lately.  It begins with a horrible pain, then in about 3 days develops a rash in the area.  Give your doctor a call when you get the rash and we’ll start you on anti-viral medicine.”

    With us, went a muscle relaxant and some pain medicine.  Neither worked, or at least not enough to tell a difference, and when Friday morning rolled around without any change in pain… back to the doctor we went.

    “It sounds exactly like the shingles, but there’s no rash.  Strange.  Let’s take an x-ray and see.  All’s good with that? Ok, here’s a steroid and medicine to help with the nerve pain.  Call if you get a rash.”


    Sunday night… the pain still flares up and down, but when its up, it must be how he feels watching me in labor.  The helplessness of watching him is killing me.  Over the last several days, I’ve researched shingles on just about every site Google has to offer.  I’ve learned:

    • Shingles is the same virus that gave you Chickenpox as a kid.  So if you’ve never had chickenpox, you’ll never have shingles.  
    • It is not contagious without direct contact with the skin rash; more specifically, the fluid from the blisters.  (if you’ve never had the chickenpox and touch the rash, you’ll get the chickenpox)
    • It causes extreme pain in the area you are experiencing shingles.
    • The nerves in the skin become hypersensitive at times (a lot of the time), and a feather would send someone crumbling to the ground.
    • The sensation can range from intense shooting pain, burning, tingling, or numbness.  All happen randomly.
    • Most people get the rash around their waistband or on their face.
    • Some people never get a rash.
    • Shingles is most common in men and women over 50.
    • The pain can linger for anywhere between 30 days and 4 months.  (An unfortunate percentage of people will have nerve damage from shingles for life)

    This is not my husband… obviously.


    Without the rash, they have yet to prescribe the anti-viral medication that all sites recommend for the shingles.  That will change first thing in the morning.  I need my husband back.

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