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Auburn
Dec. 19, 2011, 10:40 AM
For the third year in a row, my DH and I had planned on starting my eventing season in Aiken.

For the third year in a row, I find that going to Aiken may not happen. Either Tess or I have been lame or ill and we have not gotten there, yet.

I have Shingles. :( If you have never had them, then count yourself very lucky. They are extremely painful.

We have had lovely weather for the past week, but I have not been able to ride.

The frustrating thing about getting them is that I tried to get the Shingles vaccine two years ago. I was told that I could not have it until I was 60 years old. I will be 60 in July. :mad:

If any of you have had experience with Shingles, would you mind sharing how long it took for them to go away? Any hints on how to make things be more comfortable?

Would Y'all please jingle for my Shingles to go away, ASAP? I would greatly appreciate it!

quietann
Dec. 19, 2011, 10:45 AM
jingling like mad! I know a couple of older people who've had shingles and just been miserable -- they DID get better fairly quickly, though.

deltawave
Dec. 19, 2011, 10:50 AM
Get treated quickly if you can--your best bet at knocking it down. Good luck! Owie. :(

Zebra Dun
Dec. 19, 2011, 10:53 AM
Agree with get treatment ASAP! I had them on my face, and yes, painful. If I recall, took about 2 weeks for the rash to go away, however I got treatment as soon as I had symptoms. Good luck, but please do see a doc.

Auburn
Dec. 19, 2011, 11:03 AM
The pain started last Thursday. I saw my PC Doc on Saturday. At that time, I just had terrible pain starting from my spine on my right side and running around my rib cage to the midline of my body.

The Doc thought that I had pulled a muscle doing sit ups. Since I had done two sets of them on Thursday, I took his opinion. '

This weekend was the most painful of my life. My whole right side hurts to have clothes touching it. The spots started to break out on my side and stomach yesterday. By then, it was too late to do anything about it.

I am leaving for another appointment with my Doc, shortly.

Thank you for the jingles! I know how much they helped Tess and me in the past. :yes:

fooler
Dec. 19, 2011, 11:22 AM
Many jingles to you!!!!

The "middle'of' my 3 older brothers just finished a really bad case of shingles. His 2nd, the other one some 30 years ago. Since he is over 60 his DR will (or has already) give him the vaccine.

Will see how he was treated with this last round. His was on his torso as well. :eek:

Come Shine
Dec. 19, 2011, 11:33 AM
Prescription wise: There is Zovirax cream and Valtrex that I am familiar with. Ibuprofen for pain. You can also pick up different cold sore creams at the drug store. Perhaps ask your pharmacist for an otc recommendation.

Hopefully getting some Valtrex (or another antiviral) will be helpful at this point, to lessen the severity of the outbreak.

iirc Bathing with Avenno (or something similar) can help alleviate some of the pain and itch.

Once the initial outbreak is over - a few days - the pain should start to settle down. You should find you'll be less itchy and prickly, but you may find you will be quite muscle sore and tired. Shingles seems to really give some people a big hit.

Take care of yourself! I hope you make it to Aiken.

jherold
Dec. 19, 2011, 11:36 AM
Get on the anti-virals right away. I used to get them every year starting in my early 30's. (They stopped the year after I got divorced)! The first time I was almost hospitalized because my reaction to extreme pain is to vomit. Every hour. Take the good drugs for the pain and wait it out.

LAZ
Dec. 19, 2011, 12:36 PM
Ugh, poor you! Jingles that they heal quickly!

Robin@DHH
Dec. 19, 2011, 12:46 PM
My husband and I have both been through shingles. Husband found that bathing in water as hot as he could stand helped with the pain (advice was to apply cold but he found heat worked better). I was luckier in that mine were less painful than unsightly; I developed blister lesions which I initially thought were a very bad case of ringworm caught from some horse. By the time I saw a physician there was nothing to do about it but protect the skin from infection.
Mine healed in a few weeks but took a couple years before the scars on the skin faded.

vineyridge
Dec. 19, 2011, 12:53 PM
I had them but mine was a very mild case. Once the pustules appeared, it was a short run of painkillers. I waited too long for antivirals to be any good.

over60
Dec. 19, 2011, 01:01 PM
I had shingles last February. Your case sounds almost identical to mine, extreme pain on the right side, can't stand for clothes to touch the skin, etc.

I was on antiviral meds within hours of the pustules appearing. The meds worked on the pustules but the pain remained. I chose to do acupuncture rather than narcotic pain meds. At least 50% of the pain was gone with one treatment, two more sessions and the pain was gone. My insurance did not cover the acupuncture but it was worth every out of pocket dollar I spent.

SmartAlex
Dec. 19, 2011, 01:49 PM
OP, I'm terribly sorry for you. I had it this past April on my face. It started on the tip of my nose, and went to the outside corner of one eye. I had symptoms for several days before it really cut loose, and luckily, a friend of mine who is a pediatrician, figured it out.

That was on a Saturday, and I waited until Monday morning to call my doctor rather than go to the ER. He freaked out because it was so close to my eye (can cause blindness) and put me on antibiotics and antiviral immediately, and also sent me to an eye doctor.

I missed three days of work. I was miserable. Besides general flu like aches and pains, I felt like I had biting ants crawling under the skin of my face. Then the weeping blisters started. I lay in bed with a mirror so when I HAD to scratch, I could avoid the blisters. Calamine lotion helped a bit but not much.

It was about three weeks before I felt normal. Despite meticulous care, I will have some minor scars. They say once you've had it, you can expect it again.

Auburn
Dec. 19, 2011, 02:42 PM
Thank you for giving me so much helpful information.

I just started on one of the antiviral meds. The Doc prescribed lidocane patches to help with the pain. When I saw how much they cost, I could have cried. Yikes! If they help with the pain, then they will be worth the cost.

I have not had any itching, yet. So far, it feels like I have patches of burns. The fire ants under the skin analogy fits quite well.

I do wonder why you have to wait until you are a certain age, before you can get the vaccine? :confused: If I could have gotten one when I tried to get it, then maybe this could have been avoided.

Everything happens for a reason. I just have not figured out why I am not supposed to go to Aiken. I had pneumonia in January year before last, Tess came close to foundering in January last year and this year I get Shingles. Do you think that I need to take a hint?

SmartAlex
Dec. 19, 2011, 03:42 PM
I imagine the lidocaine patches will help. My husband has them for chronic nerve pain in a bad knee replacement, and they are great. You might get some skin irriration if you put them in the same place over and over so keep that in mind. Put them on after a hot bath or shower while your pours are open. That seems to help deliver the goods more quickly and throughly.

Jingles for a quick recovery.

Equibrit
Dec. 19, 2011, 03:47 PM
My Doc gave me anti-virals and pain killers. No problems kept going as normal. MIND OVER MATTER. I'd go to Aiken !

flashwhitelock
Dec. 19, 2011, 04:48 PM
go to aiken but, realize that you are contagious until the rash/blisters are healed over. Being an adult, just be very careful of washing your hands non-stop so you don't spread it. Be super careful about using bleach in with your clothes. Yes many have had chicken pox or the shot but there are many who haven't.

You should be comfortable within just a few days of starting on the anti-viral.

Kairoshorses
Dec. 19, 2011, 08:14 PM
Jingles to you! I hope these heal quickly. Maybe do a lot of reading??

EventingJ
Dec. 19, 2011, 08:41 PM
I *just* got over the shingles - my arm is still a bit scarred from it. Mine mostly occurred just above the armpit - so basically everytime I moved my arm it hurt! I had a spot on my back that hurt, but didn't have any blisters. Sorry you have it - mine was relatively quick to heal, maybe a week or two, and I did not have a bad case.... I *swear* mine occurred because of the flu shot (and maybe not DIRECTLY, but my tail bone hurt *so* bad right after the flu shot (figured it was just part of the aches I usually get after the vaccine) so bad it hurt to ride, and a couple weeks later I got the rash). Anyhoo, of course I get the flu as well (2 weeks ago now) - my immune system is crying, I feel like if I never had the stupid flu vaccine I wouldn't have had so many problems this year! *sigh* I was sick most of the summer with pneumonia (if anyone saw the coughing till she choked girl at Stuart, GVH, GVRDC oh that was probably me). I'm wishing for health for next year!

I really didn't have downtime from the shingles, but I'm young (28) and was relatively healthy (in fact the day after the rash started I had a lesson where I trailered out). I kept the blisters covered when I was at the barn or work (I work in a hospital/hematology lab) and used an antibacterial just to prevent any secondary infection. Hopefully you have a quick recovery, and the pain subsides very soon!

eventingismylife
Dec. 20, 2011, 12:01 AM
I am so very sorry! Jingles for a quick recovery!!

RiverBendPol
Dec. 20, 2011, 07:27 AM
I hope you're all well soon and can make it to Aiken. The southern air will do you good. :)
Would you guys tell me which it is:
If you had Chicken Pox as a child, you CAN get Shingles or can NOT? Is Shingles as contagious as C.P.?

EventingJ
Dec. 20, 2011, 08:08 AM
Shingles is what happens when the dormant CP virus reinfects you - if you've had chicken pox you are not going to get anything from someone with shingles. Children who've not had the vaccine/CP, pregnant women, and people who are immuno-compromised should not be around people with shingles.

SmartAlex
Dec. 20, 2011, 10:01 AM
Shingles and Chicken Pox are both manifestations of the Herpes Zoster Virus. From what I've read and understand, if you have Shingles, you can give a non-immune person Chicken Pox. You can also trigger Shingles in someone who has had Chicken Pox.

My husband had "Chicken Pox" three times as a child, or so I'm told. When I was diagnosed with Shingles, he called his doctor, and they said for him to stay the _ _ _ _ away from me :lol:

Once you've had it, low immune system or stress can trigger an outbreak. Usually Shingles occur in people over 60. Which is why its hard to get the vaccine when you are younger.

I normally have a white blood cell count on the low edge of normal. Throw in some serious stress, and BINGO.

Auburn
Dec. 20, 2011, 11:36 AM
EventingJ,

I cannot imagine how painful it was for you to have it on the underside of your arm. :eek: Trying to get comfortable must have been awful for you.

I knew that my immune system was shot from having cancer/radiation last year, but had hoped that it had recovered. I guess not.

As of this morning, the sores have spread to a more solid mass on my right side, under my boob and down the front of my stomach. The lidocane patches are really helping to knock down the pain/burning. Still no itching, but everyone says that they will itch when they start to heal.

Aiken is still a goal. However, I do not want to run Tess if she is not fit enough. I need at least a month to six weeks to get her fit.

Thank you again for all of your helpful information. I had no clue how many of us are dealing with this mess. Misery loves company? My Mom used to say that to me all of the time. What the heck does that even mean? I would not wish this on my worst enemy, much less company. ;)

scubed
Dec. 20, 2011, 01:09 PM
My DH is dealing with shingles on his face/head. Sadly, he is having a long, slow recovery, but it did not really inhibit his activities much. Once the sores have healed, you can use Zotrix to deal with any residual pain. The DH is finding plain old Calamine lotion a godsend for the itching. I had a case across the middle of my back (where I could not reach at all) many years ago approximately 4 months after the end of chemo and radiation. I also did not curtail activity, but mine was more itchy, burning not really super painful.