Menopause Matters Forum

Menopause Discussion => Other Health Discussion => Topic started by: jaycee on February 09, 2018, 10:21:36 AM

Title: Shingles
Post by: jaycee on February 09, 2018, 10:21:36 AM
Has anyone any experience of Shingles,i have just been diagnosed with it, after coming out in huge red itchy lumps, i did wonder about shingles, but the pictures i looked at didnt look like my rash
However they are now blistering, he has given me antvirals, but what can i do about the pain and stinging.
I hope someone can give me some advice,Dr said calamine lotion. but the chemist said not to until blisters have dried up
Finding it difficult to sleep or get comfortable at any time
Title: Re: Shingles
Post by: Shadyglade on February 09, 2018, 10:46:54 AM
Hi Jaycee

You need teangi cream.  It is basically tree tree and witch hazel with zinc.  I use if all the time for everything.  I gave my sister a tube when she had shingles and it worked better than the cream her DIL gave her (and she is a nurse).  It's made by Lanes, so if you go to their website you can order some (it is not sold in shops).

I will PM you the web link

Shadyglade
Title: Re: Shingles
Post by: Tinkerbell on February 09, 2018, 11:39:06 AM
You can buy Virasoothe from Chemists it is for chicken pox but might be worth asking if that could be used.

Also remember to avoid anybody who hasn't had chickenpox.
Title: Re: Shingles
Post by: jaycee on February 09, 2018, 11:40:05 AM
Thank you so much, will have a look at PM and link and send for some, cant believe how painful it is
I am hoping someone will tell me how long it last for, i know it can vary, but hoping its not too long
Title: Re: Shingles
Post by: jaycee on February 09, 2018, 11:42:49 AM
Thank you too Tinkerbell, i will look into that too, my Dr said it is only contagious if i touch someone or they touch me when i have touched my rash
Title: Re: Shingles
Post by: CLKD on February 09, 2018, 07:05:24 PM
The medication that your GP has prescribed should be given within 72 hours of noting the rash/spots/blothces.  Have a talk with a Pharmacist about the best pain relief and how much you are able to take.  You may find the effects last for a while which is why it is important to have good pain relief. 

SHINGLES IS NOT CONTAGIOUS!!!!!  it is due to being in contact with someone who has chickenpox, which is the same virus. 
Title: Re: Shingles
Post by: CLKD on February 09, 2018, 07:06:55 PM
From the NHS-web-site

Causes of shingles
Most people have chickenpox in childhood, but after the illness has gone the varicella-zoster virus remains inactive (dormant) in the nervous system.
The immune system keeps the virus in check, but it can be reactivated later in life and cause shingles.
It's possible to have shingles more than once, but it's very rare to get it more than twice.

It's not known exactly why the shingles virus is reactivated at a later stage in life, but most cases are thought to be caused by having lowered protection against infections and diseases (immunity).

This may be the result of:
old age as you age, your immunity may decrease; shingles most commonly occurs in people over the age of 70
physical and emotional stress the chemicals released by your body when you're stressed can prevent your immune system working properly

HIV and AIDS people with HIV are much more likely to get shingles than the rest of the population because their immune system is weak

recently having a bone marrow transplant the conditioning you require before the transplant weakens your immune system

recently having an organ transplant you may need to take medication to suppress your immune system so your body accepts the donated organ
chemotherapy chemotherapy medication, often used to treat cancer, can temporarily weaken your immune system
Title: Re: Shingles
Post by: CLKD on February 09, 2018, 07:07:48 PM
from the NHS web-site:

Is shingles contagious?

It's not possible to catch shingles from someone with the condition or from someone with chickenpox.

However, you can catch chickenpox from someone with shingles if you haven't had chickenpox before, but this is uncommon.

The blisters of shingles contain live virus. If a person who has never had chickenpox makes direct contact with an open blister or something with the fluid on it, they can contract the virus and develop chickenpox.
Title: Re: Shingles
Post by: jaycee on February 09, 2018, 11:13:38 PM
I havent been in contact with anyone with chickenpox, was told by the Dr,that you can only pass it on if someone actually touches my rash,or i touch someone after touching my rash , and its most likely stress related,which would fit in my case,had a very stressful 2017,
As the virus lives in the base of the spine and is activated by most likely a stressful event
I found the rash on monday and went to the Dr yesterday when i realised it could be shingles,he said i had seen him early on so gave me the antvirals
I dont feel ill, but had a very bad headache today, and wateryeyes
Also taking ibuprofen and paracetamol
I asked about the vaccination, as i only heard about it recently,hr said i was the wrong age
After looking it up, i cant have it until i am 78,which is ridiculous,it said people can have it at 70  the next age is 78. doesnt make sense
Another search said everyone over 60 should have it
When my sister had it she had to ask for it, Drs dont tell you like they do about the flu one,
Title: Re: Shingles
Post by: jaycee on February 10, 2018, 01:44:21 PM
Woke up in agony this morning, had 2 400mg ibuprofen, with my antivirals,
I hope it doesnt get any worse than this, and doesnt last too long, also using spray virasoothe,
Title: Re: Shingles
Post by: CLKD on February 10, 2018, 04:00:58 PM
Who told you that the virus lives in the base of the spine which is enclosed  :-\.  OK so I went on a search, as you do  ::):

If you have had chickenpox the virus that caused it may live on afterwards in a dormant state in the nerves linked to your spinal cord. If the virus becomes active again, it will multiply and move along the nerve fibres to the area of skin supplied by those nerves; shingles then appears in this area. About 20% of people who have had chickenpox will have an attack of shingles later in life. [interesting!  I learn something new about herpes every time I read about it!]

Shingles is not caught from someone who has shingles, but follows an earlier attack of chickenpox. However, a person with shingles can infect someone who has never had chickenpox, causing an attack of chickenpox but not shingles.


 It will be painful for a few days .......... and the nerve endings may well aggravate with painful spasms for a while after the rash has gone away.

NHS advice It's not possible to catch shingles from someone with the condition or from someone with chickenpox. However, you can catch chickenpox from someone with shingles if you haven't had chickenpox before, but this is uncommon. The blisters of shingles contain live virus.


Are the shingles contagious?
Once the rash has developed crusts, the person is no longer infectious. Shingles is less contagious than chickenpox and the risk of a person with shingles spreading the virus is low if the rash is covered. ... Wash your hands often to prevent the spread of varicella zoster virus.


To activate shingles the immune system has to be stressed, both Mum and MinL developed it at different times, both after a heavy fall.  About 3-4 weeks following their accidents.  A friend had it continuously during chemo therapy, in that after the initial rash the nerve ends were burning. 
Title: Re: Shingles
Post by: CLKD on February 10, 2018, 04:05:38 PM
From a US-based site:

Shingles cannot be passed from one person to another. However, the virus that causes shingles, the varicella zoster virus, can spread from a person with active shingles to cause chickenpox in someone who had never had chickenpox  or received chickenpox vaccine.


The virus is spread through direct contact with fluid from the rash blisters caused by shingles.

A person with active shingles can spread the virus when the rash is in the blister-phase. A person is not infectious before the blisters appear. Once the rash has developed crusts, the person is no longer infectious.

Shingles is less contagious than chickenpox and the risk of a person with shingles spreading the virus is low if the rash is covered.

If you have shingles, you should:

Cover the rash.

Avoid touching or scratching the rash.

Wash your hands often to prevent the spread of varicella zoster virus.

Avoid contact with the people below until your rash has developed crusts
pregnant women who have never had chickenpox or the chickenpox vaccine;

premature or low birth weight infants;

and
people with weakened immune systems, such as people receiving immunosuppressive medications or undergoing chemotherapy, organ transplant recipients, and people with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection.
Title: Re: Shingles
Post by: CLKD on February 10, 2018, 04:09:03 PM
Are you keeping a note on how much pain relief meds you are actually taking and when?
Title: Re: Shingles
Post by: jaycee on February 10, 2018, 11:06:49 PM
Only just seen all these replies, and have kept checking,i knew the shingles virus [herpes zoster] was dormant in the base of the spine, as i had bells palsy about 15 years ago and that is from the same source,and was told then
My Dr told me again this time, everyone carries but it lies dormant until its activated, often by stress
I have had a very stressful year  one way or another,
As for painkillersi kist take when it gets painful an ibuprofen and a paracetamol,
Title: Re: Shingles
Post by: CLKD on February 12, 2018, 10:52:11 AM
How R U this morning, any relief yet?

Interesting thread though sorry that you are suffering  :-\
Title: Re: Shingles
Post by: jaycee on February 12, 2018, 11:41:40 PM
Thank you for asking, feeling much better today, not as painful, but still a bit more tired than usual, supposed to having a few days away with, partner next week,[we dont live together] so a bit worried as he has a low immune system,
Posted about him before [prostate possible cancer still having tests]
I am hoping any contagious stage will have passed then, as i cant risk him getting it, although i have explained to him about how it can be passed [or not]
Still sore to touch, although i have got a spray i can use instead of putting gel on it,so not touching rash
Also very careful with hand washing anyway
He has had chickenpox so shouldnt get it anyway, but i can understand his worry
Title: Re: Shingles
Post by: jaycee on February 15, 2018, 06:09:45 PM
Have now got a kidney infection, and stomach pains,was up most of last night, also numb ribs and flesh on same side as shingles
Dr has given me Gabapentin for the pain
Title: Re: Shingles
Post by: CLKD on February 15, 2018, 06:54:32 PM
If I were you I would postpone the trip with your OH!  Travelling is tiring at the best of times.  Keeping his immune system as health as possible is important.
Title: Re: Shingles
Post by: jaycee on February 15, 2018, 11:35:20 PM
Yes will definitely be postponed now, cant be bothered at the moment anyway to do anything
Hoping the ABs kick in soon too
Wasnt going far anyway, but i dont want to risk his health either and i wont be much fun if still feeling like this
I was hoping i would feel better,the rash doesnt feel too bad now at all, but back and under ribs aching and numb and stomach feels bloated
He gets his results on thev 5th Marh ,so will know what is what then, keeping fingers crossed , that its just been a scare after all
Serves me right for boasting that i never get ill ;D
Title: Re: Shingles
Post by: Taz2 on February 16, 2018, 10:05:16 AM
Hi Jaycee - just catching up with your thread and so sorry to hear you have shingles.

My best friend had this at the end of 2016 and she learnt that it is important not to stress yourself more than necessary and rest as much as possible. Hopefully the anti virals will have worked. She didn't realise it was shingles until it was too late to have those. You have to be careful if you want to avoid developing complications. She didn't listen (we are SO alike  ;D) and went on to develop post herpetic neuralgia which is where the pain from the rash remains. Gabapentin is the usual drug given for this so it sounds as if your doc is on the case.

Hope the kidney infection soon goes. What antibiotic have you been given for that?

Taz x
Title: Re: Shingles
Post by: CLKD on February 16, 2018, 03:00:36 PM
How R U today? 

Rest.  Listen to your body!  Treat yourself to feet up with TV on  ;)
Title: Re: Shingles
Post by: jaycee on February 16, 2018, 10:19:25 PM
Celafexin ABs, but the gabapentin made me so dizzy and spaced out, cant take anymore, the shingles rash isnt too bad now,but the numbness worries me, and discomfort under my ribs ,
Wondering if that is wind pains, the antivirals gave me the runs, now feel constipated,
I am not doing much,but had to go shopping today,left it as long as possible,but needed some food and dog and cat food, but got a lift into town with my daughter on her way to work and taxi back, didnt hang around,just got what i needed
I felt better after going to town, but not done much since,poor dog hasnt been for a walk,
Going to have a warm bath soon
Had a lot of stress last year with one thing and another, so probably what has caused this
I wonder if i could take half a tablet each time?
Thanks both for replies
Title: Re: Shingles
Post by: CLKD on February 17, 2018, 01:06:31 PM
Have a chat with a Pharmacist today?  Give lloyds a ring and ask the question about the medication?

If possible, a gentle walk with the dog.  Get some VitD.  Then rest.  This won't go away quickly.
Title: Re: Shingles
Post by: jaycee on February 17, 2018, 01:22:23 PM
| I have had a word with my local chemist where i got the meds, apparently the Dr gave me a high strength, she said ring him on monday and see if he will give me a lower one
Cant halve them as they are capsules, but she said just take the nightly one for now,but a bit earlier so it doesnt affect me as much in the morning
Also i was thinking, i am only just under 5ft tall and slim, they might affect someone of my build more than a bigger person
Just going back to the Ibuprofen and Paracetamol for now
Woke up again at 5 this morning, the numbness apparently is not unusual, saw it on a website about shingles
Suppose to have an appointment with an eye specialist on Wednesday might have to cancel that,already hgad to cancel dentist
Title: Re: Shingles
Post by: CLKD on February 17, 2018, 01:29:14 PM
As a recovering anorexic since age 3 I've had this thought that being under-weight and 5 ft tall, that medication prescribed to me, must react differently to people who are larger.  Pharmacists however thought otherwise, however: my private anaesthetist talked long and hard about this prior to surgery, she told me after that she didn't have to give as much due to my weight and was bearing this in mind for future use.

If the shingles isn't in the eye area then I would postpone the appt..   We've had to put all ours off this week due to The Germ   ::)
Title: Re: Shingles
Post by: jaycee on February 17, 2018, 07:35:08 PM
My appointment was with eye specialist with regards to checking for Glaucoma, but eyes are a bit watery at the momebt so probably wont want me to go,
I might try the Gabapentin tonight, again,but take it earlier,
The rash has almost gone and not bothering me much now, got the antivirals in time

Took the dog for a short walk, but as i woke up at 5 had a doze after that
Thanks once  again CLKD for your reply
Title: Re: Shingles
Post by: CLKD on February 17, 2018, 09:32:26 PM
Sleep tight!