I Have Shingles!!!

Updated on May 03, 2012
T.K. asks from Grand Prairie, TX
19 answers

My chiropractor told me I have shingles yesterday! I had been having alot of pain in my right shoulder blade. We thought it was a pinched or irritated nerve. Then some big red splotches came up. I thought that was a stress reaction to the pain. Now one of the splotches has turned to an itchy blister. She's pretty sure it's shingles. Have you had it? What advice can you give me. I'm thinking of going to the urgent care clinic after work. She reccomended I go to her accupuncturist. That sounds like a cool idea, but I'm quite sure it's not covered under my health plan! Of course I'm worried about the kids getting chicken pox from it, but isn't there a vaccine for that? If it's required, I'm sure they've had it.

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answers from Madison on

My husbannd just had it a few weeks ago...he seams better now...he had to take some medecine for a week and it helped out...He was in quit a bit of pain :( guess it isn't very fun

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answers from Lakeland on

My MIL had this recently and my daughter never got chickenpox from her. She went to the ER and got a couple of prescriptions (they cost over $500) and it cleared up in a couple of days.

As long as the blisters do not pop and/or the pus does not get on anyone else you can keep it from spreading.

Why didn't you get the shingles vaccine?

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answers from New York on

GO TO THE DOCTOR. Shingle can spread rapidly over your body. Both my mother and my cousin have had it and it is not fun. The sooner you get real treatment for it sooner you will feel relief. The trick is to try to keep it from spreading.

I wish you luck becuase it is not pleasant, typically the sonner you treat it the less severe. Oh, and find another chiro, anyone with any medical training who would reccomend going for accupuncture to treat shingles should lose thier license (just my opinion).

Feel better!

ETA: WebMD has more info -

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answers from Washington DC on

Oh hon!!!
Get to urgent care NOW!!! Don't wait, they can get you a presciption that will lessen it. My neighbor had it really bad, it was veyr painful.

I hope you feel better soon.

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answers from Portland on

My mother had shingles. No one else in the family got them. Your children will not get chicken pox from your shingles. They completed their immunizations didn't they? And, as others have said, keep the shingles covered so that they will not be exposed to the exudite.

And, definitely go to the doctor. Make an appointment.

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answers from Houston on

Get to the MD or urgent care right away. You need to start an anti-viral medicine. The sooner you get treatment the less severe it will be. This is nothing to toy with or experiment with. You don't want to end up with postherpetic neuralgia.

I have a family member who could tell you a horror story about shingles. Get it treated now.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Oh, man...I'm sorry. My husband had shingles once. He said it was more painful than a shot gun blast.
Anyway, one thing I wanted to tell you (that our pharmacist told us and worked!) to do is get some Mylanta and dab it on the blisters for pain relief...because it is a sort of ulceration of the skin. It really gave my husband some relief. So maybe pick some up before it gets really bad so you'll have it.
They will give you meds as well.
Good luck.

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answers from Washington DC on

I got it when my first was about 4 weeks old. I couldn't take the meds because then I couldn't nurse, so they had me watch it. I had it on my left arm. It was painful, but bearable.

My daughter never got it and she hadn't been immunized...my breast milk was the best anitbody for her at the time.

My dad had it not too long before me and he was in bed for over a week. He was in severe pain.

Definitely go to the doctor, but no one else will get it unless they touch it.

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answers from Charlotte on

T., please go to an MD. There is an antiviral med they can give you to help you with this. I would not go to an accupuncturist right now. Talk to the MD about it.

Shingles is terribly painful - it's a product of having had chicken pox when you were younger. Usually it rears its ugly head during a very stressful time in your life. (Probably that jerk of a boss of yours!)

You need to look at your kids' shot records and see if they had the varicella vaccine. And THEN call the ped!

Don't mess around - you need medical care for this one, hun. I'll be saying prayers for you that you don't have boatloads of pain.


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answers from Minneapolis on

How old are you? I have heard the pain is worse if you are older. A friend had it in late 20's , never heard her complaining of "terrible" pain that is associated with shingles and she was fine after two weeks of medications. She told M. it wasn't that bad at all. My dad had in his 50's and had a tough time. Pain lasted for a year or so and I guess he still has some lingering pain , but not as bad. He had tried a lot of medications, pain killers etc. We were told it works differently for each person and the same pain medicine that works for one might do nothing for someone else going through the same pain. Do try different things and see what works for you in managing your pain. Kids do get Chicken Pox vaccine , I think my kid got it at 1 year old. If your kids have had it, they are safe. But just be careful because other adults who have not had chicken pox or chicken pox vaccine can get it from you including your husband and family. It's extreemey contagious. Washing your hands and keeping the blisters covered should be enough.
Can you talk to your doc about shingles vaccine? When my dad had it, I remember looking into that for him and I think I was told the vaccine doesn't work if you already have shingles. It's been a while , so I might be confused.

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answers from Washington DC on

My doctor gave me a prescription for Valtrex (the herpes drug) and it scabbed over in a matter of days and Vicodin for the pain, which I only had to take for a few days. Accupuncture may help with pain, but you need to fight the virus, get drugs.

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answers from Dallas on

My 14 yo (then 13) had shingles last August. His pediatrician said it was only contagious if someone touched the rash. We were even allowed to take him on vacation while he had it as long as we kept the rash covered. He really wasn't too bad. He had a patch on his back at his waistline. It hurt sometimes and itched sometimes, but didn't make him too miserable. I hope you feel better soon!

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answers from San Francisco on

You poor thing! I've had shingles three times! I was just saying to my hubby yesterday that I'm going to get that vaccine I'm hearing about on TV because I believe I'm extremely suseptible (SP?) having had it three times already. It seems like it's really becoming prevalent - you never used to hear about people having shingles - now everyone seems to be getting it.

I don't know that there is any vaccine you can give the kids to not get the chicken pox. Old school of thought is let them get them because you only get them once and it's much easier to have them as children than get it as an adult.

I would definitely go to Urgent Care - never mind he accurpuncturist. Not sure what they can do for you but if you find that they do do something that helps, please share!

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answers from Denver on

First, I'm sorry you have shingles. I don't know what you do for work, but if you work with people you should stay home until all the blisters have scabbed over and dried up. The danger with shingles is that if you come into contact with someone who has not had chicken pox, or someone who is undergoing chemotherapy or has a compromised immune system, you can spread it to them.

You should check with your kids' doctor to see if they have had the chicken pox vaccine, and even if they have, what precautions to take.

An anti-viral medication is sometimes used to control the spread of the shingles. Your doctor would decide if it would benefit you.

The problem lies with what happens down the road. There can be complications or pain or lingering effects and that's the reason you should be in touch with a doctor.

A good pain relief technique to try: get an aloe vera plant. Cut off an entire leaf near the base. Then slice the leaf horizontally, like you were fileting a whole fish. Many people cut off a small piece and get some of the aloe juice and put it on wounds, but it's that jelly-like substance in the center of the leaf that is the healing part. Lay the jelly-like center on your blisters and just leave them there for as long as you can when the pain flares up.

My dd had shingles several years ago and still has some side effects from it, so following it with a doctor is so important.

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answers from San Antonio on

Hi T.
I use this website for all my go to remedies.
Look it up and see if there is anything you can use from your house that could help or that is causing it.
I know I recommend it all the time! I promise I have nothing to do the website. I just like it so much!!
Good luck girl!

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answers from Santa Barbara on

I was diagnosed with Shingles on 4-19, I'm 45!! My colleague was diagnosed the week before (hers was on her shoulder) and we pretty much had the same treatment although she went to a family medicine physician and I went to the dermatologist.

I had a Ketalog injection to stop the FIRE ON MY FACE, took a gram of Valacyclovir three times/day for a week and had a topical antiviral Denavir (this was one $53 for the co-pay). I really think a dermatologist is more equipped to handle it than urgent care. If you have access to one, I think that is the best.

I was looking at the vaccine (maybe from Merck??) and I believe you have to be 50 to receive it, I believe you are much younger than me.

I call on OBGYN offices for work so I stayed out of them until it healed over (about four days with the meds).

Good luck!!

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answers from New York on

I had shingles two months ago. The anti viral will work if you get to the
doctor within I think three days. Since it is on your back, you should not
be contagious. The blisters are, I assume, covered by clothing. Someone
would have to touch the oozing blisters to catch it. It was painful but
bearable. I also had a bad, bad abdominal wall infection at the time, so
compared to that, shingles was a breeze. I did have to go braless for a
week (having me braless was detrimental to everyone within 100 radius LOL). Feel better.

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answers from Dallas on

Get to a dr. The problem with shingles isn't the itchy rash, it's the lingering nerve pain that can go on for weeks/months/years. There is medication, but you have to start it early for it to be most effective. My GMIL had it on her legs, she ended up addicted to pain meds several months later because the nerve pain was so bad. I had it a couple years ago, got in to the doc right away and started the meds. I have occasional rib pain and a deep itch that never goes away on my back, but that's it - I consider myself very fortunate. FYI - it won't 'spread'. The virus attacks nerves in your spinal cord, that's why the rash is typically only on one side - it shows up along the nerve endings where the virus is attacking. It is contagious to kids in the form of chicken pox, they can't get shingles from you.

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answers from Dallas on

I would go to your dr now I would not waitt that can be contagous. And yes your kids can get it even if they have hat the chicken pox vacination. That's what most kids are getting now that have had it. Some still even get the chicken pox.

Good luck and God Bless!

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