Beginning of Shingles?

Posted , 5 users are following.

Hi guys,

So I'm 27 and have a family history of shingles. (Not sure if that matters.) My sister had shingles around my age too.

So two days ago I noticed this weird pain on the left side of my back. It felt like a mole was getting irritated by my bra, you know like a sharp sting. I kept readjusting, thinking nothing of it. Finally I took off my bra and realized there was nothing there. No mole or spot. And the pain kept happening. Just random little stings in the same spot.

Later than night the pain felt in a larger area and became more of an achy burn than a sting. It wasn't constant, but really just when I moved certain ways.

I was worried about shingles so I make a last minute appointment with my doctor.

She said it was just a muscle spasm and send me home with muscle relaxers. She said since there was no rash, and the pain wasn't constant, it wasn't shingles.

Now it's day 3 and my pain hasn't gotten any better. I feel it even when I'm not moving sometimes, and sometimes it feels tingly? I even tried taking a muscle relaxer and it didn't do anything for the pain. I tried taking a walk and it was almost unbareable.

My mom is freaking out because when I had chicken pox as a child, it was like the worst case they had ever seen and I was in the hospital. I had sores down my throat, in my eyelids, etc.

So basically, long story short (too late!), does this sound like the beginning of shingles? I still don't have a rash.

And also, does the severity that you had chicken pox have any indication of potential shingles severity?

Any thoughts are greatly appreciated. Thanks!

2 likes, 17 replies

Report / Delete

17 Replies

Next
  • Posted

    Hi Sarah,

    As you had the worst case of chicken pox, and you have a burning pain in the same area, you could have what is known as

    "Zoster Sine Herpete," or Shingles without the rash. You need to go back to either your physician if you trust her, or another physician if you don't, and obtain antivirals immediately. Also, get Opioid analgesics for the pain. Physicians can be abysmally ignorant regarding this disease and often fail to diagnose Zoster-Shingles without the rash. The chickenpox vaccine came out around 1992, just after my son had a terrible case of chickenpox. I too, had the most severe case of chicken pox, and am the only daughter of five who has had Zoster-Shingles, and get recurrent Zoster-Shingles in my right ear every three to five weeks for the last 20 years.

    Do you have any of the following symptoms?

    Headache, fever, chills, sweating, aches and pains, malaise, fatigue, weakness.

    Often times, Herpes Zoster is preceded by a a week to 10 days of these symptoms, then pain, then the rash. FYI

    Please let me know how else I can help you.

    Best Wishes

    Merry Juliana

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hi Merry,

      Thats interesting, I didn't know it was possible to have it without the rash. I had a bad headache all day yesterday on the left side of my head, and I did have some chills. I haven't noticed a fever. I have noticed feeling fatigued. It's hard to decipher though because my husband recently started coming down with a cold. So it's hard to tell what could be because maybe I'm catching his cold.

      I've felt pretty good today besides the pain on my back.

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      The burning pain is like no other, and doesn't disappear in Zoster-Shingles. You can't transmit Shingles to another person, but you can transmit the virus and give chickenpox to a person who has never had chickenpox or the immunization against it.

      It sounds possible you have the prodromal phase of Zoster-Shingles, and need to see an urgent care or A&E physician to receive antivirals.

      Let me know what happens.

      Merry Juliana

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hi Merry

      I'm a 54 year old female in Australia. I had a rather severe case chicken pox at 14 followed by bronchitis.

      About one week ago I started getting a severe burning pain in the back of my head. It has expanded to my face in the last couple of days. I have no rash but I've been generally unwell. I've had a scan which showed nothing and the doctor is very puzzled but has referred me to a neurologist. My left eye now has a slight drop too but I can otherwise control my facial muscles. Very frustrating. I've had Bells Pallsy before and or doesn't feel like that - I also have autoimmune thyroid disease. Your posts and others are very informative - I'm wondering if it is shingles.

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Dear Marge.

      I am so sorry for your suffering.

      While certainly I cannot diagnose you, it certainly sounds like "Zoster Sine Herpete, Trigeminal Nerve, Ophthalmic Branch." I would ask your physician for antivirals STAT. I would also ask for analgesics. I have recurrent Herpes Zoster-Shingles in my right ear every three to five weeks for the last 20 years and have had Herpes Zoster Ophthalmicus twice. I would thereforeask for an Opioid such as oxycodone, if your pain is agonizing.

      You stated you have felt unwell. Let me paint the picture of the course of Herpes Zoster-Shingles. A person will start off with symptoms of headache, low-grade fever, chills, sweating, aches and pains, malaise, weakness, fatigue, etc. Typically, a burning or electric pain precedes the rash by a couple of days. The rash takes five days in which crops of vesicles-blisters appear. They can take up to a month to crust over. The pain is agonizing or excruciating. Fatigue and malaise are accompanying symptoms throughout the recovery period and can last months. As your eye is involved, are you having any vision problems? Also, can you close your drooping eye completely? If not, you need to obtain moisturizing ophthalmic gel for the night and drops for the day. You should see an ophthalmologist.

      Physicians/clinicians can be abysmally ignorant regarding this disease.

      Did you have an MRI or CT to rule out stroke?

      As you are immunocompromised, and had chickenpox, i

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Dear Marge,

      Sorry,

      The Website replied before I was ready!

      As I was saying, it certainly sounds like Zoster Sine Herpete to me.

      Again, please ask for antivirals,

      analgesics, an Opioid if you are experiencing excruciating pain, and Zoster Ophthalmicus is usually excruciating.

      See an ophthalmologist, stat

      I am a nurse practitioner in the States. I care about my

      fellow sufferers very much!

      Please keep me posted.

      Best Wishes

      Merry Juliana

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hi Merry

      Doc has put me on antibiotics as she thinks to see if I improve. She said shingles cannot be diagnosed without a rash.

      I guess I'll have to try this now maybe see someone else if it doesn't improve.

      Marg

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Marg,

      I hope for your sake it is a sinus infection, but the two diagnoses could be easily confirmed. A sinus infection is validated by a CT scan. The physician can draw antibody titers of IgM for the Herpes Zoster-Shingles infection. Frankly, your doctor is abysmally ignorant regarding Herpes Zoster-Shingles. If it is a burning, excruciating pain out of proportion to anything you have had before, reconsider the diagnosis. If you have had sinus infections and know how they present with you, they certainly can be one sided, with pressure, throbbing, but the pain is the nasty typical pain. You usually have either hay fever or a cold precipitating a sinus infection.

      I hope this helps.

      Best of luck.

      If the doctor seems off base, find another. Please know, you do not need a rash to diagnose Zoster-Shingles. "Zoster sine herpete" look it up...I have diagnosed it, verified it with antibody titers, and treated the patient promptly. That is what counts!

      Best Wishes

      Keep me posted

      Merry Juliana

      Best Wishes

      Keep me posted.

      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Merry hit it on the head great reply Merry19451 and yes Sarah it is very possible to not present a rash and still have shingles.  I also had horrible chicken pox and broke out internally and was very sick and ended up in the hospital.  I get outbreaks on my hand every month or so and have been put on anti virial meds, they work but you have to catch it at the very first sign mine usually start with tingling and itching.  Opaits are about all that work for my pain when I have an outbreak and don't catch it.  I would go back to your doctor or another as Merry suggested and talk with her again.  My first outbreak was without symptoms and I felt like I had the flu.  Good luck and hope you feel better soon..
    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Lori,

      Poor you! The hand is very sensitive and as I also have the similar frequency, I know the fatigue and flu-like symptoms very well. May I ask how old you are? I was 44 years old when it started, and I am 64 now. I am immunocompromised, although I didn't know it, at first.

      Is the Zoster in your dominant hand?

      Merry Juliana

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hi Merry I have not been on for awhile and just saw your post I am 69 and it does not affect my dominant hand.  I was 31 when my first symptoms appeared the blisters started 2 months later.  In 1993 after the birth of my youngest son I was diagnoised with RSD in my left arm and they associated it with my Zoster as I have never had a tramautic injury to that arm.  I have been on disability since the age of 40.  I was a nurse up until then and really miss it this disease has taken a big part of me but I will not let it destroy me.  I am so glad you are on here and can give the advice you do I wish I had someone like you when I was first diagnoised. God Bless and keep up the good work..
      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Merry hit it on the head great reply Merry19451 and yes Sarah it is very possible to not present a rash and still have shingles.  I also had horrible chicken pox and broke out internally and was very sick and ended up in the hospital.  I get outbreaks on my hand every month or so and have been put on anti virial meds, they work but you have to catch it at the very first sign mine usually start with tingling and itching.  Opaits are about all that work for my pain when I have an outbreak and don't catch it.  I would go back to your doctor or another as Merry suggested and talk with her again.  My first outbreak was without symptoms and I felt like I had the flu.  Good luck and hope you feel better soon..
    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Merry hit it on the head great reply Merry19451 and yes Sarah it is very possible to not present a rash and still have shingles.  I also had horrible chicken pox and broke out internally and was very sick and ended up in the hospital.  I get outbreaks on my hand every month or so and have been put on anti virial meds, they work but you have to catch it at the very first sign mine usually start with tingling and itching.  Opaits are about all that work for my pain when I have an outbreak and don't catch it.  I would go back to your doctor or another as Merry suggested and talk with her again.  My first outbreak was without symptoms and I felt like I had the flu.  Good luck and hope you feel better soon..
    Report / Delete Reply

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion Reply

Report or request deletion

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up