4 ER Visits, 3 Doc Visits and 12 days of extreme pain, It's Shingles

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After 4 ER visits and 3 doc visits in 12 days I was dx with Shingles. 

On a Wednesday evening I began to have pain in my left lower back. On Thursday I called my Urologist, thinking it was a kidney stone. On Friday @ 9am I had an X-ray to see if it was a stone. By Friday afternoon, I had not heard back from my Urologist, so I called. They stated they did not have a result back and that if I was in 'that' much pain to go to the ER. Later in the afternoon I went to the local ER. A CT was done to determine if there was a kidney stone. There was not. I was told that my pain was a muscle strain and was given a couple medications. I knew it was not muscle, but went home with the medication. The medication did nothing to alleviate my pain. The pain continued to get worse and worse. It was not muscle pain. So on Sunday night (new years eve 2017) my husband took me back to the ER. The ER doctor told me it was muscle pain but I needed different pain medication. He gave me stronger pain medication. I went home, took my medication and the pain continued to increase. On Wednesday I went to my doctor’s office and saw the Nurse Practitioner.  She increased my muscular pain medication and stated I should look into physical therapy. I went home that day, by evening I was in so much pain that my husband again to me to the ER. The ER doctor was rude and very unsympathetic to me. He even said to me, I know it is not muscular pain and I needed to see my PCP. He then said, it’s Shingles within a week you will have the rash. Then he left and sent me home. The next morning I saw my PCP, wonderful doctor. He checked me over, felt my abdomen and told me it was Diverticulitis. He gave me an injection of an antibiotic and started me a high dose of antibiotic. I told him I was leaving that afternoon to drive 900 miles to my nephews wedding. He told me to go that I should start to feel better the next day or so. I got to the wedding rehearsal dinner and couldn’t stay I was in so much pain. I then went to the wedding on Saturday afternoon. I was unable to eat or stay at the wedding reception. The night went on and I was in more and more pain. My husband took me to the ER (out of state). The doctor was very nice, did a CT and told me no kidney stone and no diverticulitis. She gave me anti-anxiety medication. Why – I guess I was just making up the pain in my head. We traveled home all day and night on Sunday and at 9am on Monday I was in seeing my doctor. At that time he was worried about an abscess. I then told him I think I have a small rash on my waist, left side. He looked at it and immediately said, it’s Shingles. He put me on anti-viral medication and Gabapentin.  I have been treated now for 4 days (Thursday) and I am doing a bit better but still hurt. 

I feel like others think that after 4 days of treatment I should be up and going. I'm still in pain and very worn out. I also feel like my entire body aches. 

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  • Posted

    I’m sorry you’re going thru this, as I understand after my wife is now hopefully nearing end of this process. Those that think 4 days of treatment should have cured you just don’t understand Shingles (like me before my wife’s current episode). Sorry I can’t offer more suggestions other than what you can read on the many threads here.

    Don

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  • Posted

    Boy oh Boy, what a shame that you had to suffer so long before a doctor recognized shingles. My guess is that because you didn't get the antiviral medication in the first72 hours, and the stress you have been under has aserbated the situation. Try lysine for a least a week, as well as turmeric. Get lots of rest, take tramodol for pain and frankincense oil on the rash. A healthy diet no stress should get it under control. Consider the vaccine once your better. Hope this helps. Gayleen

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  • Posted

    Hi aab I Too went through similar. I had horrible pulsating back pain my right side and pulsed in to my hip. I went to ER and was told it was a pinched nerve. I was given something for nerve pain to be taken once a day at bedtime. It didn’t help.  I went  a few days later and had acupuncture which didn’t help One week later I was back in ER and told the same thing. I had a rash beginning in my thigh and told it was contact dermatitis nand given a prescription for cream. Two days later I went back to the doctor who did the acupuncture as she said to come back if I wasn’t better. She looked at the rash and told me I had shingles and it was the worst case she had seen. I was covered from my back down my groin and my thigh. She gave me an antiviral I think it was famiclover( not sure of the exact name and also gave me Addisol 30 for pain. That was back in July/17. I still have faded scar on my thigh and groin and have PHN which happens if you don’t get the pain under control in the beginning. I think I was too late for the anti virals. As I suffered for weeks. I also had extreme exhaustion and nausea for the first few weeks. After two months I was back to my doctor and was given Lyrica and that helped with the nerve pain which I stayed on for two months. I weaned off it as I felt better but now started back with burning and numbing my thigh.  The important thing for you is get lots of rest and eat well. I take a multi vitamin plus extra Vit c Vit D3   Vit B12 and Lysine. And eat healthy. Wishing you a speedy recovery. I shared all this just to say I sympathize with you and to let you know that you are not alone. You will find that this forum will help as we all have been there and everyone is different in their recovery. There is a nurse practitioner here named Merry and she is very informative and hope she can help you. 

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  • Posted

    It’s shameful that the medical profession is so ignorant regarding Shingles!  It took 3 visits to my doctor’s office, when I finally had some exterior blisters (most of mine were in my mouth), for them to figure it out, and that was after I had sent pictures of the blisters to my sister who is a nurse and she said, “You have Shingles!”  Jeez... and then if you read the medical articles online about how Shingles should go... well, they really don’t have a clue.  I am 8 weeks out now.  Blisters have been gone for weeks, but I’m still fatigued (averaging 11 hours of sleep/night), can’t really participate in life as I once did, feel like I have fibromyalgia, and am left with the most horrid taste in my mouth, which has made eating a challenge.  I’m 20 lbs lighter now, so there’s my silver lining...  

    I wish you a speedy recovery, but take my advice and just rest.  It’s a long healing process with Shingles.

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  • Posted

    I also went through the same nightmare. I had extreme pain in my right abdomen and lower right back for two weeks before the blisters appeared. I had been overexerting myself on home remodel and thought I had pulled muscles somehow. I accidentally discovered the blisters on my stomach and back (there was no pain from the blisters). I thought it was stress related. I went to Immediate Care when the pain became unbearable. Immediate diagnosis of shingles. (to late for the pills). I suffered for three months before the pain and rash disappeared. I do have remnants of the rash and minor itching after 6 months. I never found a medication that helped the pain and refused a narcotic. I have just now recovered enough to start running/power walking again after 50 years as an active runner. I did have the vaccine five years ago. 
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  • Posted

    Ive had horrible pain for 9 weeks and my shingles almost gone but the horrible prickly pain and swollen has persisited on gabapentin and doing no good. Good luck!
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