It has been a long 2 months since I last posted and it has been a roller coaster but I am now feeling great again.
As well as the blood pressure postural drops I suffered in March-May and coming off all my meds, I got a severe dose of Shingles on my left shoulder. I had no idea it was such a cruel and painful condition.
I had just come right from the BP issues, and am happy to say I now take no blood pressure meds, no amitriptyline and no sleeping pills. I still take Losec and Diclofenac anti-inflammatory and since having shingles, I am now on Gabapentin for the nerve pain. This also helps with fibromyalgia too.
Shingles has to be the worse pain I have ever experienced in the last 30 yrs. There is no relief, it is constant and I did not know where to put myself for comfort or relief.
The pain started literally overnight on the Monday morning and I thought I had gotten a chill after spending 3 hrs the previous day in the garden. Think of the worst muscle pull you have ever had, multiply it by 10 and you may be close. Usually you can find a pressure point that eases it or by changing position you get relief, but not with shingles nerve pain…. it does not ease.
The next day it was awful and I sought medical help from my chiropractor who sent me to the Doctor for pain relief. I was given tramadol but got no relief. I made a wheat heat pack and used it constantly heated and also felt relief from hot showers. I went back to the Dr on Friday and was given more tramadol and codeine. Late that night my shoulder got itchy and the next day I had huge blotches – I thought I had burnt myself with the heat pack….. that what it looked and felt like, bad burn on top of the nerve pain. The pain spread from my spine, to my jaw, and across my collarbone to shoulder tip and down the back of my shoulder a hands depth and back to the spine. I was out of my tree with pain, couldn’t sleep and was not in a good place. On Sunday the ‘burns’ turned to blisters.
Monday I went back to my doctor and said I had burnt myself using my wheat bag…. he laughed and said no you haven’t, you have shingles. Fine, a diagnosis but what can you do about this pain? More codeine given and prescription of Lovir, an anti fungal. This photo was taken on 23 May.
By Friday these blisters had burst and became gooey and the scabby. The pain continued and the area between the blister/scabs. At this stage I was given an antibiotic and Gabapentin, which helped with the pain. The last scab went by about June 20th and the pain has eased since then, but I am left with scars visible on neck and throat, more so since I got my hair cut very short. I still get bad pain in the shoulder but have had the Gabapentin dose doubled and I can treble it if I have to. My shoulder is still very sensitive and at times I can’t bare
So please, if you hear of someone with shingles, help them, care for them, they are suffering horrendous pain. I have fibromyalgia so am used to pain, but this was such an intense pain, it was totally different to fibro muscle pain, this is raw pain, from a spinal nerve and nerve pain is the worst that can be experienced. I am a strong person but I was out of my tree with pain.
There is one upside – since mid March, I have lost 13 kgs. For about a month I only ate to take my medication as I had no energy or wish to eat. The beauty is, now I am eating again, I have managed to maintain this weight and plan to lose more.
I would like to know if you have had Shingles and if so, how did you cope and have you had any lasting effect?? Leave a comment please and let me know.
- Effective Treatments for Shingles Rashes (healing.answers.com)
- Shingles and Postherpetic Neuralgia (everydayhealth.com)
- The Virus known as “Shingles” (biotechuta.wordpress.com)