Shingles - I really need some help here!

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Greenbean7, Mar 2, 2006.

  1. Greenbean7

    Greenbean7 New Member

    Ok, I know this has been discussed, but I didn't pay attention because I'd never had it and hoped I wouldn't!

    Last Friday my side started to itch. Just below my bra towards my back on my left side. There was a red bump there and then on Saturday I had the red bump that is about the size of a dime and a rash all around it. Later on Saturday I noticed more itching about 3 inches in front of the rash. I had another spot with the rash right on the same level as the first one.

    I called the doc and have an appointment tomorrow. But the itch is making me crazier than usual. Does anyone have a suggestion on what to do about the itch until then? It is really intense but I can't scratch it because it hurts really bad when I do.

    DH said it is probably caused from stress. Mom has dementia and I deal with her everyday (not because I have to, but because I love her and talking to her makes her feel better!), had the injection in my back to worry about, of course constant fibro pain, 21 year old DD broke and just found a job this week, and then my job is always stressful but has been exceptionally so the last couple weeks.

    So, anyway I started out asking you wonderful fibromites about help for my itch and then rattled on, but I knew you would understand!


    Stop and smell the puppies!

    Remember! The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese!!!

    HELP! I really need help with this itch and the pain! I am taking my hydracodone 750 and it isn't doing anything! I think I'm running a fever and I just feel like @*(&_#*!

    THANK YOU!!!

    [This Message was Edited on 03/02/2006]
  2. 69mach1

    69mach1 New Member

    aren't ou running a fever and in pain..not itching...fatigue more than ususal...

    ihad it on my bum last should be having some nervepain...

    mayeb it isn't shingles...

    needs tobe are contagious....especially those who have not had chix pox and pregnant peple...

    they gave dilud for pain and zoverax to lessen the takes some time to get over this...i still have a flair up on and off...

  3. Greenbean7

    Greenbean7 New Member

    Oh, yeah, I have a lot of pain where they itch and I am trying not to touch it!

    I knew it was contagious, but since I work in an office and have washed with antiviral soap and am being very careful not to touch it I don't think I can infect anyone else.

    I thought it was if you had had chicken pox you could get it. Read something about it, but don't remember.

    I feel sick so often that I just brushed this off as fibro except for the rash, itching, and pain just in that area. The only thing I want to do is curl up and sleep. I didn't think about it yesterday, but I ate soup for lunch, which I only do when I am sick, and had a soft vanilla ice cream cone, which I also only do when I feel sick.

    I have an appointment tomorrow at 1:00 with the PA in my doc's office. No way to get in before that and since I went to the hospital with chest pain last week (it was from my Imitrex), and then had that injection in my back yesterday, I don't want to spend another $75 at the ER if I can help it. We'll see.

    Thanks again!


    Stop and smell the puppies!
  4. Greenbean7

    Greenbean7 New Member

    HELP! I really need help with this itch and the pain! I am taking my hydracodone 750 and it isn't doing anything! I think I'm running a fever and I just feel like @*(&_#*!

    THANK YOU!!!

  5. spiritsky

    spiritsky Member

    I've had shingles before and it should clear up on it's own over time (if you can wait) but you really should see a doctor and get it diagnosed. There are so many types of skin problems, rashes etc that you can have. Also, if it's shingles they can give you and anti-viral which speeds up the recovery (that's what they gave me)...

  6. Greenbean7

    Greenbean7 New Member

    What did you do for the pain and itch?

  7. tonakay

    tonakay New Member

    hemmoroid cream helps the itching! I fight shingles every couple of months so now I have a script for zovirax ointment from my doc.

    Good luck!
  8. Greenbean7

    Greenbean7 New Member

    Thanks Ton!

    I will stop at the pharmacy on my way home! I will try anything at this point.

    I want to wiggle all around but because of my back that causes spasms! Can't scratch cause it hurts too much and I don't think that would be good for it anyway!

    I think I prefer the kind of shingles that go on the roof!!


    Stop and smell the puppies!
  9. spiritsky

    spiritsky Member

    I just had to bear it...aspirin is the only thing I took for the pain, and the itch? Well, scatch, scratch, scratch is about the only advise I can give you. Once you're on the anti virals it does get better in about 2 weeks from what I remember.
  10. victoria

    victoria New Member

    I'm surprised nobody's mentioned this yet... I'd originally posted about it back in 2003 or so, and others have now used it as well and posted about it ...

    we'd helped a friend who couldn't get rid of the post-herpetic pain and was still getting blisters despite Valtrex... you can read more about using it for shingles and boosting your immune system at:

    but here are some excerpts from their article:
    Herpes zoster (shingles)

    The most common neurologic condition known is herpes zoster, usually referred to as shingles. The CDC says that up to one million people in the United States contract herpes zoster each year. David Cooper, M.D., a contributing editor to JAMA, stated in 1998 that shingles afflicts more than one million people every year.

    Herpes zoster is a reactivation of the virus that causes chicken pox. Once a person has recovered from chicken pox, the virus (varicella) remains dormant, hiding among the connective nerve tissue in the body.

    No one seems to know why it occurs, although stress and/or a compromised immune system is thought to exacerbate the condition, but it usually activates in people over the age of 50. Traveling through the ganglia, it causes a tingling, stinging or burning sensation.

    A couple days later, once the virus has completed its journey to the skin, an irritating and painful rash and accompanying blisters may erupt. The resulting condition can be so painful, the patient may be unable to tolerate clothing or anything that touches the affected area....

    In cases of herpes zoster (shingles)... cimetidine has been successfully used to lessen the debilitating pain and intensity of the skin rash and eruptions.

    Published studies indicate that viruses like herpes simplex and herpes zoster can be put into quick remission, or the breakouts prevented altogether, when T-lymphocyte suppressor cell function is inhibited.

    The best way of accomplishing this is to take 200 mg of cimetidine (Tagamet) three times a day and then 400 mg a bedtime. Tagamet is available in pharmacies over-the-counter.

    Suggested use is to initiate Tagamet as soon as symptoms of a herpes-related virus infection appear. Continue to take it for one to two weeks after all symptoms of the outbreak have abated.

    One precautionary note, even though Tagamet (cimetidine) is sold over-the-counter, refer to the package insert to make sure it does not interact with prescription drugs you may already be taking.

    Please note that if your doctor prescribes generic cimetidine, it may cost less to obtain it as a prescription drug (especially if you have prescription drug insurance) rather than buying the Tagamet name brand that is available without a prescription.
    (if you go to their website, there are also references to the studies)

    I was successful using acupuncture and Valtrex and got over it VERY quickly - if I'd known about tagament I'd have done it too!

    hope this helps...

  11. laura81655

    laura81655 New Member

    You need to have the doctor give you an antiviral, the sooner you start the anti-viral med. the shingles shouldn't spread. Usually with Shingles it follows a nerve and thats's the side where the lesions show up.

    Also, Shingles is only contagious to people who have never had Chicken-pox(same herpes virus).

    I hope you get better real soon!

  12. Greenbean7

    Greenbean7 New Member

    I went to the doc on Friday and saw the PA. She gave me a sample of Lyrica which is supposed to help with nerve pain. Since this pain is caused by inflamed nerves the regular pain meds don't work.

    I took it Friday evening and it knocked me out. I had to wait on Saturday until after I took my MIL to the grocery store. I was hurting and itching so bad I couldn't sit still so I got my shop vac out and did all the edges of my carpets and floors (two big dogs in the house mean a lot of hair!). Then I still had 10 minutes before I had to leave so I got the regular vacuum out and did the rest of the carpet.

    When we got home from the grocery store I took the Lyrica and cleaned the rest of the house while I waited for it to kick in. I laid down to take a short nap around noon and woke up at 6:30!

    I took it again Saturday night, slept great, then again Sunday morning and slept the day away, again last night and slept some more! I should have a lot of energy today, but I'm at work and can't take it until I get home.

    It does help, and I lost 3 lbs over the weekend because I couldn't stay awake to eat! I think the idea is to knock you out until it goes away!

    I didn't go to the doc early enough to take the anti-virals and make them work. They need to start within the first 24 to 72 hours. He said that some times cortisone will help to shorten the duration, but since I just had the cortisone shot in my spine on the 1st, he didn't want to do that either.

    So, it is wait it out. I don't know if I can handle four or five more weeks of this. You will be finding me in the loony bin!

    If anyone knows of a way to stop the itch I am up for trying anything. Doc says once the blisters are gone and it starts to scab over he will prescribe Lidocaine patches, but not while the blisters are so prevalent.

    Thanks again!


    Stop and smell the puppies!

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