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Old 10-05-2012, 07:43 AM   #16
design_mom
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I have had shingles twice (lucky me).

I'm not sure if this is a good thing to mention to your mom or not, but many patients can still have pain at the site of their rash, even months after the rash is gone. It's called "Postherpetic Neuralgia" and is caused by damage to the nerve that shingles can cause. I've read that about 40% of people get it and it can range from mild to severe. I had it for about a year after my first bout, but I think mine was a pretty mild case. For me, it wasn't horrible, horrible pain, but it was almost like it would "crackle" with pain then settle down. For some people it can be pretty bad though. So, if she continues to complain of pain even after the blisters heal, that could be what it is -- and her doctor can hopefully offer her some pain management techniques for it.

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/pos...ralgia/DS00277
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Old 10-05-2012, 07:49 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tefrench View Post
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.
I'm 55 and plan on getting it next month. I'm going to call my insurance co. to see if it would be covered on my plan, and if it is then ask where I need to get it as my doctor said sometimes insurance companies will pay for it only if you get it done at the doctor's office, and some only pay if you have it done at a pharmacy like Rite-Aid, Walgreens, etc.

I've done some research and didn't find it to be "hundreds of dollars" really, just about $200. Yes, it's still kind of expensive but I really don't care. If it is available to prevent painful shingles then I still want to get it. I think DH should get it too but he doesn't seem too concerned about it.

My Mom is 75 and I think she should get it too, but she hasn't done it yet.

I just hate to see someone suffer from something like that, when they wouldn't have to if they'd just get the vaccine.
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Old 10-05-2012, 08:18 AM   #18
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I had shingles when I was in middle school.

My parents took me to the hospital because I had a fever, vomiting, headache, and I could not turn my head. The doctors thought I had meningitis, but when they were getting me ready for testing one of the nurses noticed that I was starting to develop a rash.

It turned into a six inch wide band that went from belly button to spine, so it was quite uncomfortable after the blisters started to form because any bending, sitting, leaning back, etc would irritate the area.

It was not horribly painful, but I did have scarring for many months. Eventually it did fade.
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Old 10-05-2012, 08:29 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by amg35 View Post
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!
Not really anything to look out for. Generally it's just about pain management. As PP mentioned, some people get post herpatic neuraglia (pain in same area for months, after the rash has disappeared.) Otherwise, a secondary bacterial infection but I don't think that's very common either!
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Old 10-05-2012, 10:19 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by dakcp2001 View Post
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.
Shingles is only contagious to someone who has not had chicken pox (or the vaccine). It can cause them to contract chicken pox. You can not give shingles to someone.

OP..shingles is simply the reactivation of the CP virus in the body..there is a vaccine to help prevent shingles from occurring and it most commonly happens in "older" folks..sometimes it is an immune response, can happen during extremely high stress times..etc but it's just something that happens.
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Old 10-05-2012, 10:23 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by design_mom View Post
I have had shingles twice (lucky me).

I'm not sure if this is a good thing to mention to your mom or not, but many patients can still have pain at the site of their rash, even months after the rash is gone. It's called "Postherpetic Neuralgia" and is caused by damage to the nerve that shingles can cause. I've read that about 40% of people get it and it can range from mild to severe. I had it for about a year after my first bout, but I think mine was a pretty mild case. For me, it wasn't horrible, horrible pain, but it was almost like it would "crackle" with pain then settle down. For some people it can be pretty bad though. So, if she continues to complain of pain even after the blisters heal, that could be what it is -- and her doctor can hopefully offer her some pain management techniques for it.

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/pos...ralgia/DS00277
My mom had shingles a few years ago and it affected the nerves in her ear. Now she has constant tinnitus and reduced hearing in that ear.
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Old 10-05-2012, 10:44 AM   #22
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I was going to start a thread about something similar last week, but never got around to it. It was going to be about this: My DDs-13 have a friend who has had 2 doses of the chicken pox shot (as required by our school system) and a couple years ago she supposedly got the chicken pox anyway. Well, last Thursday this same kid goes home early (because she wasn't feeling well) and mom takes her to the DR. She then texts my DDs that she has the chicken pox again, but she'll be at school the next day. She claimed that they gave her a shot in each chicken pox blister and therefor she wasn't contagious any longer. I wonder if she had shingles, but not sure what the 'shot in each blister' was. And she was at school the very next day. My girls didn't see any signs of pox.

OP- my FIL had shingles twice and he talks all the time about how painful it was. I don't know what helped him feel better. He is a high strung guy and we think he gets shingle from stress (even though it's self induced stress). I hope your mom feels better soon and doesn't get it again.
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Old 10-05-2012, 11:57 AM   #23
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I've had shingles 3 times. The first was the worse but even then it never developed blisters after I started Valtrex. The other two attacks I knew what they were immediately and started Valtrex right away.
My cases were very mild, but it was still miserable. I feel for anyone who has a real blown out attack. It has to be horrible.
I also had the shingles shot, but not until after my first case. My insurance did cover it.
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Old 10-05-2012, 05:50 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coconut36 View Post
Shingles is only contagious to someone who has not had chicken pox (or the vaccine). It can cause them to contract chicken pox. You can not give shingles to someone.

OP..shingles is simply the reactivation of the CP virus in the body..there is a vaccine to help prevent shingles from occurring and it most commonly happens in "older" folks..sometimes it is an immune response, can happen during extremely high stress times..etc but it's just something that happens.
No, it is people that have HAD chickenpox. "After you have had chickenpox, the virus lies inactive in your nerve roots and remains inactive until, in some people, it flares up again. When the virus becomes active again, you get shingles instead of chickenpox."
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Old 10-05-2012, 06:06 PM   #25
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I got shingles after moving my daughter into her UCF apartment in the middle of TS Fay! After my flight home, I felt this itchy/irritating rash on my back. At first I thought it was bedbugs from the hotel, but the location clued me in. My primary gave me Valtrex and told me to stay home from work until the lesions were dried up. I work in a hospital, so obviously I couldn't be near patients. The rash took awhile to disappear, but I was glad not to get postherpetic neuralgia.
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Old 10-05-2012, 06:36 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by disney1990 View Post
No, it is people that have HAD chickenpox. "After you have had chickenpox, the virus lies inactive in your nerve roots and remains inactive until, in some people, it flares up again. When the virus becomes active again, you get shingles instead of chickenpox."
I have no idea what you think you are correcting in my post as I stated that it was a reactivation of the chicken pox virus in the body that causes shingles and that shingles is contagious only to those that have not had chicken pox as touching the shingles lesion can result in someone not immune to chicken pox to get the chicken pox virus. One can not give shingles to someone though.
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Old 10-05-2012, 06:40 PM   #27
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OP, make sure your mother can keep her arm bare. Also, if she feels pinprick like sensations on other parts of her body, check for new shingles blisters. I had it 15 years ago and it was extremely painful- like droplets of boiling water. Even now if I'm stressed or very tired, some of the spots might hurt although not as much. You can get recurrences of shingles.
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Old 10-05-2012, 07:08 PM   #28
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A good friend of mine has shingles right now and it's horrible. She's suffering terribly. She started having bad pain on her back with blisters but thougth she was suffering from a kidney infection. After a few days, she went to her doctor who dismissed the blisters as nothing of importance and sent her home with pain meds when her kidneys appeared to be ok. Two days later, she's screaming in pain and throwing up so her DH runs her to the ER. She shows them the blisters, they say it's nothing, order a CT scan, x-rays and a colonoscopy and send her home. 4 days later she goes for the colonoscopy and is suffering terribly and the nurse sees the rash and says, "Well, no wonder, you have shingles." This was quickly confirmed by the dr performing the test.

So she was more than a week without treatment and it got BAD. She's on anti-virals now but the pain is horrible. She's on her 3rd week out of work.

They did tell her to get the vaccine because they said it could prevent a reoccurance. She plans to get it the SECOND she's able.

I admit... I'm considering it... it seems just awful.
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Old 10-06-2012, 02:33 AM   #29
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I heard earlier today that my cousin has just been diagnosed as having shingles. She had the shot last year because she didn't want to risk having them, due to an older relative suffering numerous bouts over the years. She is very upset that after trying to avoid them, she has developed them.
She has asthma. One of the medications states:
"If you have not had chickenpox, shingles, or measles, avoid contact with anyone who does. Contact your doctor at once if you have contact with anyone who has these infections."

I don't see her very often and heard about her illness from another relative. Should I mention this to her? This is a medication that I took once upon a time. My Dr. was very concerned because I was taking care of 4 young relatives on a regular basis and mentioned that I was to IMMEDIATELY call the office if any of them had measles or chickenpox. I'm wondering if she should even have had the shot to try to prevent the shingles?

I feel very sorry for anyone going through these.
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Old 10-06-2012, 03:39 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by figaro2tigger View Post
I heard earlier today that my cousin has just been diagnosed as having shingles. She had the shot last year because she didn't want to risk having them, due to an older relative suffering numerous bouts over the years. She is very upset that after trying to avoid them, she has developed them.
She has asthma. One of the medications states:
"If you have not had chickenpox, shingles, or measles, avoid contact with anyone who does. Contact your doctor at once if you have contact with anyone who has these infections."

I don't see her very often and heard about her illness from another relative. Should I mention this to her? This is a medication that I took once upon a time. My Dr. was very concerned because I was taking care of 4 young relatives on a regular basis and mentioned that I was to IMMEDIATELY call the office if any of them had measles or chickenpox. I'm wondering if she should even have had the shot to try to prevent the shingles?

I feel very sorry for anyone going through these.
Yes, let her know.
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