August 25, 2013

Shingles Update!

I wanted to give you an update on how I was feeling and some information about Shingles.  It's been about five days since I broke out with the rash, and I am still itchy and scaly with a lot of pain and tingling.  Yesterday I was feeling pretty decent and was up and around the house, but today is a different story.  Today I feel like a mack truck hit me and magic elves came by the scene and started sticking me with pins in fingers and toes.


The rash hasn't gotten any better and has spread to the left side of my back, leaving a lovely trail of blisters from my spine to underneath my left breast.  It's a site to behold!  I can deal with the itchiness because I'm not a big scratcher -- don't like scares, hence no scratching for me -- but the pain my body feels is just unfathomable.   I cannot begin to describe it only to say that Shingles makes your joints ache, the skin itch, and makes parts of your body very painful to the touch.  Yesterday, I kept thinking my face was flushed because it felt like it was on fire.  I did scratch my scalp a little just to satisfy a small itch there and then my head was on fire.  I felt like that character from the Disney movie, Hercules.

Sexy, huh?


To tell you a little about Shingles, especially those in the WLS community is that you can get this disease only if you have had the Chicken Pox at some point in your life.  It can affect those of us who have had extreme surgeries, suppressed immune system, bouts of stress, etc.  Shingles is more common among those people over 60, but if it happened to me, it can happen to you.  It seems the more traumatic the experience, the more susceptible you are.  You can't catch Shingles, but people who haven't had Chicken Pox, can contract it from you.  Be careful around family and friends.

When you have Chicken Pox, the virus remains dormant, in your system, kind of lurking for the opportunity to rear its ugly head.  The symptoms for me began with a sharp pain in the left side of my back right under my shoulder blade.  I was very fatigued and then got chilled.  This lasted about two days and then I noticed the rash on my left side near my breast.  It was strange because I never break out and the lovely blisters were very pronounced.  I immediately googled skin rashes, and went to the doctor the next day who confirmed it was Shingles.  There are medications that the doctor can prescribe that can help lessen the overall number of days in which the virus lingers, but really the best thing to do is to get a lot of rest and drink lots of fluids.  I was prescribed an anti-viral medication and Tylenol with Codeine.  The pain meds haven't helped much to be completely honest, and since my house is a very noisy one, I haven't had a good rest.  I will definitely be looking forward to getting out and about again because I definitely have cabin fever!

If you know of a good book for me to read, leave your responses below.  I have about another week of recuperation and I need something to do before I drive my family kray-gee.