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Old 10-04-2012, 10:44 PM   #1
amg35
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Thumbs down My mom has shingles - question

It's on her arm, she started medicine (went to doc on Wednesday) and she said it's a mild case.

She's 73 (healthy-knock wood), anything I should be looking out for? (for her, not me)

I think she must have gotten from my sister who has Lupus and had shingles a couple months ago?

Thanks!
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:52 PM   #2
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I don't think so. My sister had shingles and as I understand it you had to have had chicken pox at some point in the past. If you are around someone with chicken pox you won't usually catch chicken pox for a second time but you can develop shingles. It's my understanding that the contagious period of chicken pox at least is before the spots ever show up. If your sister had it 2 months ago I wouldn't blame her. I think it was too long ago. I feel bad for your Mom. I understand they are extremely painful. I hope she feels better soon.
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:54 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lizabu View Post
I don't think so. My sister had shingles and as I understand it you had to have had chicken pox at some point in the past. If you are around someone with chicken pox you won't usually catch chicken pox for a second time but you can develop shingles. It's my understanding that the contagious period of chicken pox at least is before the spots ever show up. If your sister had it 2 months ago I wouldn't blame her. I think it was too long ago. I feel bad for your Mom. I understand they are extremely painful. I hope she feels better soon.
Thanks! I don't blame my sister, just thought maybe it was a possible reason!
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:59 PM   #4
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I just got over shingles a few weeks ago. What the doctor told me was you can't give shingles to someone. However, when I was contagious I could have given someone the chicken pox.
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Old 10-04-2012, 11:07 PM   #5
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Shingles is not contagious..it is not airborne and you can't catch shingles from someone else who has it (although someone who has not had chicken pox can contract chicken pox if they come in contact with shingles lesions).
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Old 10-04-2012, 11:13 PM   #6
amg35
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Okay yes, my sister didn't give her shingles! I only asked because my sister said it was contagious - I was just wondering how my mom got it. (wasn't really the point of my post originally, sorry)

I guess I was asking, I shouldn't worry about any side effects from it for her?

Last edited by amg35; 10-04-2012 at 11:22 PM.
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Old 10-04-2012, 11:34 PM   #7
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IIRC keep her away from anyone pregnant. My husband had shingles while I was pregnant and all the doctors flipped out (though I did have the chicken pox as a kid, so I don't recall what the big deal was exactly.) Hope she recovers soon!
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Old 10-05-2012, 12:03 AM   #8
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You CAN catch chickin pocks from shingles if you have not had it, it is not airborne but it is in saliva and from direct contact with the shingles.my dad had a severe case a few months ago and when he was put in the hospital they thought it was from complications but he had ecoli sepsis.shingles can be very very painful . Hope she is doing better soon! They even put my dad in isolation in the hospital until the rash had healed.
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Old 10-05-2012, 12:08 AM   #9
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Shingles IS contagious in the blister phase until it crusts over. It is very dangerous for pregnant women to be anywhere near someone with shingles. It is very dangerous to the fetus.
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Old 10-05-2012, 12:55 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janepod View Post
IIRC keep her away from anyone pregnant. My husband had shingles while I was pregnant and all the doctors flipped out (though I did have the chicken pox as a kid, so I don't recall what the big deal was exactly.) Hope she recovers soon!
I found out I was pregnant after I was dx with shingles. Its a big deal. I didn't get all the reasons why but I did know that it can cause miscarriages.



OP just have your Mom keep her arm covered by wearing long shirts. Someone has to touch them to be exposed. The spots can last a long time. I think mine lasted almost a year. Not all of them but a couple of spots did. Funny thing was in one area the spots were in the shape of a smiley face.
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Old 10-05-2012, 05:40 AM   #11
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You get shingles when the chicken pox virus already in your body from having chicken pox long ago reactivates. Usually your body can fight off an old virus with antibodies, but people with reduced immune systems, for whatever reason, are vulnerable. But the shingles sufferer is capable of passing the virus to another to give them chicken pox if they are not immune.
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Old 10-05-2012, 06:10 AM   #12
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My dh has them now!

For him, it is the pain that bothered him - he said it felt like road rash - and he was wiped out. He was told to stay home from home until the blisters had started scabbing over, and he was so tired, he didn't complain about missing work.
Even wearing a shirt hurts.

He seems to be recovering, but it's kind of a slow process.

Good luck with your mom!
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Old 10-05-2012, 06:14 AM   #13
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There is a shingles vaccine. It is called zostavax. Most minute clinics carry it.
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Old 10-05-2012, 06:38 AM   #14
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There is a shingles vaccine, but most insurance won't pay for it until you are 70 (way too late for dh!) The cost out of pocket would be in the hundreds of dollars.

Dh's doctor told him, once you have developed shingles, the shot won't prevent any recurrance.
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Old 10-05-2012, 07:33 AM   #15
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DS16 had shingles earlier this year -- you can get it even if you had the chicken pox vaccine! It's more likely to occur when your immune system is compromised or you're under stress.

And I just had to research the cost of the shingles vaccine for my boss -- Costco and Sam's have it for about $180. If you live in the Chicago area, Dominick's charges $214, but they have a free discount program that brings it down to $170 something. If you're under 60, your doctor can give you a letter recommending it. Even if you've had shingles, it's worth getting the vaccine because it can reduce the severity of outbreaks.
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