Nervous About Shingles Anyone Familiar?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Scapper, Aug 10, 2006.

  1. Scapper

    Scapper New Member

    Earlier this week my mother asked me to look at what she thought was some type of bug bite on her scalp. I touched it and then rubbed some ointment on it. I did this several times this week.

    Then, today she complained of severe pain! I looked at it again, again TOUCHING. I could see that it had gotten worse and I also could visibly see that she was in pain....that's when the red-flag up and I just knew it was shingles.

    She went to the doctor and it's confirmed -- shingles it is!!

    So, I'm a bit nervous because of (a) how contagious shingles is; and (b) how weakened my immune system is, which makes me a candidate for catching this dreadful virus.

    I guess time will tell since the damage has already been done. When will I learn not to touch......but I thought it was a bug bite......uggghhhhh.

    The doctor gave her Famvir, which I was happy about, since some docs have no clue that it's a virus and will treat with antibiotics (go figure).

    Her doctor told her she needs to stay away from babies, pregnant woman and the elderly. Of course my mother thinks nothing of the fact that I have CFIDS for over ten years and can't even fight off a cold (I won't get started on this rant :)

    Does anyone know if there is any type of ointment that can be applied that may help her with the itching? She's going crazy with the urge to scratch! I'm assuming her doc would have given her something since she saw a dermatologist, but you never know (tea tree oil??) anything?

    I can't help but be nervous. I'm so sick as it is, this would floor me :(

    Well, just thought I'd get some ideas/advice since I still need to attempt to not get contaminated here.....but still be sympathetic to my poor mother!

    Thanks, Scapper
  2. Berylsgirl

    Berylsgirl New Member

    Here's some good info on Shingles, I feel for your mother I've had them on the right side of the trunk of my body and I don't think I've ever had anything hurt so bad.

    http://www.shinglesinfo.com//index.html?WT.srch=1&WT.mc_id=ZX026
  3. BlueSky555

    BlueSky555 New Member

    What I know about shingles; not much but hope this helps.

    My great, great aunt had them and my mother was taking care of her. She got them on the inside of her leg and mother took her to the Dr. I don't know what she was given but Dr. told Mother that if Mother had the chicken pox during her life, then she would NOT catch them. Otherwise, she would have been a candidate to them.

    Also, they are little blisters that come up, then will burst. During the beginning, when the blisters appear are when you are more apt to catch them but ONLY if you touch the fluid from the little blisters; which sounds like you have done but hope not.

    My neice just had them break out on her for about the 3rd time. She didn't know what she had until this last time; she went to Dr. and was treated; STILL not sure what but can find out for you tomorrow.

    I surely hope you will not get them. Also, PlEASE remember to wear gloves when dealing with anything, especially if you are uncertain of what you are dealing with.

    Hope this helps you some,

    BlueSky555
  4. mrdad

    mrdad New Member


    Something tells me that Shingles are not contagious but
    is a laten reaction to Childhood chickenpox. You might
    wait and see what others here have to say. Would an anti-
    histamine help with the itching?? See www.medlineplus.com

    Hope all gets better,
    MRDAD
  5. Scapper

    Scapper New Member

    She's definitely in the contagious stage, which is when the blisters first appear. I touched them quite a bit this week.....hence the nervousness.

    I'll take a look at that website to see if they offer any remedy for the intense itching. She's suffering.

    I remember last year when my sister had them and I was going away with her. I called my doctor and told him that I had touched hers (guess I'm a toucher :):) and the nurse flipped on me. She told me they were highly contagious and I was to not share food, drink, bath towel, etc., but "go ahead and have a good time" -- grrrrreat weekend :)

    This week should be interesting. My mother is a nightmare of a patient. She's not used to being sick.

    I just gave her script benedryl to hopefully get her a good night's sleep. Guaranteed she'll complain that it did something funky to her :)

    Note to self: WEAR GLOVES....AND STOP TOUCHING :)
  6. Scapper

    Scapper New Member

    OK, I'm even more nervous. I seriously would not be able to fight something this severe off!!

    The website mentioned people w/ weakened immune systems being at risk.

    If you have had the chicken pox, which I have, you are at risk of developing shingles. What happens is, after you have the c.pox, that virus lays dormant and later in life can reactivate into shingles.

    They mention the severe nerve pain and that it can last from months to even years......yikes....I will not mention this to my mother.

    And, I will pray I do not get this nightmare added onto my nightmare of a life!!!

    I'd much rather be the caregiver than the care-receiver :)
  7. lovethesun

    lovethesun New Member

    nut the fibro wasn't bad then,I don't remember any extra pain.I had it above my rt eyrbrow and with the anti-viral it was gone in a few days.Linda
  8. 69mach1

    69mach1 New Member

    i have had them...on my right buttock...hurts, painful, couldn't hardly walk...just to tell me i have herpes zoster on my buttock......yes can be contagious...will not turn into shingles..only chickenpox...

    that is why the reccomend you stay away from people that have not had chickenpox or from pregnant women...

    jodie
  9. jaltair

    jaltair New Member

    Shingles are a form of chickenpox .. same virus. However, unlike chickenpos, shingles aren't spread like chickenpox. That is, shingles are not an airborne problem.

    People can get shingles if they have had chickenpox. The virus hides in the body, then when the immune system is "down," it can strike.

    Shingles are painful, and make people very anxious/nervous. Shingles follow a nerve pathway. Sometimes they can cause a Bell's Palsy on the side of the face.

    With antivirals, shingle outbreaks can be controlled. Usually the first episode is the worst. I've had it twice at least that I know of for sure. I was given an antiviral cream to apply to the area and the problem cleared within days.

    If you develop little blisters, usually in a row along a nerve, then see your doctor for an antiviral cream.

    Please, don't work yourself up. There's a good chance that you won't get shingles. A person prone to shingles is susceptible if they are in contact with a person who has chickenpox. Shingles is rarely tranmitted to others.

    Jeannette
  10. ellie5320

    ellie5320 New Member

    I had shingles a couple of years ago you have to have had chiken pox earlier I got them front to back right side down below my dr said they are not contaigous as I was worried about toilet there is a med that has to be taken I think no later than 72 hrs from start
    linda
  11. kellygirl

    kellygirl Member

    in ome-health. I never got them. I wore protective gloves also, just in case. My kids had them growing up, too, at different times from one another.

    They usually appear when we are older and if the immune system is weakened I think.
  12. starcooks

    starcooks New Member

    For those over 60 a shingles vaccine was recently approved. I don't know if they are also considering giving it to high-risk populations.

    Starcooks
  13. sjogrens

    sjogrens New Member

    I hope it is spelled right. When I had shingles 5 years ago I used the calamine lotion. Its pink liquid. It works pretty good and then there is the usual anti itch creams most stores have. I think calamine is the best. It also is found in most stores.
    [This Message was Edited on 08/11/2006]
  14. Scapper

    Scapper New Member

    Thank you for your replys.

    I'm going to make some calls to see if someone can recommend something for the itching.

    My mother is not the type person to complain of pain, or anything for that matter. For her to say it's bad, it must be!!

    She was describing it last night that she felt as if she were going to jump out of her skin. It made me realize how these Herpes viruses effect your nervous system......especially shingles!!

    As for me catching this, I just pray my immune system can handle the contact I've had.

    Thanks again.........scapper
  15. Scapper

    Scapper New Member

    Just thought I'd let others know what has helped.

    The doctor gave my mother Famvir. An anti-viral others here have taken. It seems to have taken effect very quick. The first day she was sicker but today she's 75% better.

    Also, on the day she was suffering with nerve pain and the general feeling of jumping out of her skin, I gave her .25mg of klonopin. This helped her calm down tremendously and she slept straight through the night too. Today she didn't need any.

    I'm amazed at how quick her body responded (and happy). Now I'm wondering why my doctor refused anti-virals with me. I'm thinking of finding a new M.D. and giving up on the homeopathic approach to these viruses.

    Thanks for listening :)