How to best achieve recovery from PHN?

Posted , 6 users are following.

My concerns it that I'll be that small group that doesn't have a full recovery. Now that we know what I'm dealing with, either a lot of backk/chest pain from acute shingles or early PHN, is there something I can do? So often there are two theories, power through something and suck it up (with reasonable precautions) or really take it easy. I have a sister who's on disability for numerous back surgeries and uses a lot of meds and treatments to deal with her pain. I'm a very active, very healthy 61 y/o woman who  WILL suck it up but also believes in slow, cautious recovery for something like this: it's not a cold or sprained finger. By limiting activity and keeping the pain level low by now aggravating the nerves, doesn't it make sense that this would improve healing? Or is this totally random, that the body and healing will do as it wishes? Do I power through and return to work, no matter how lousy I feel? Or say stop! take care of myself, my health is too important. Any advice.

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  • Posted

    That is a loaded question. I DONOT know your health history.

    are you taking antiviral to treat shingles. Very important to start as soon as you feel that tingling sensation. Also numbing Gell prescribed works well and there are meds to help with the nerve issues. Have anoth go at seeing an infectious disease specialist. Also the shingles vaccination helps even though you have already had a breakout. It has help lesson the length and seriousness of my breakouts. Itching drives me nuts also meds for that too!

    Peace & Heeling on your journey to wellness 

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    • Posted

      Yes, it is, but I never intended that. You're giving a good, thoughtful question. Unfortunately, it wasn't diagnosed early enough, so no anti-virals. We were traveling and the initial symptoms of chest/back pain could have been caused by many things and I didn't have the variceles (??). Then almost two weeks later I developed the more classic rash on my chest and the increased pain.  That brought me to you all. I'm using Lidocaine ointment, Gabapentin, tylenol and am already on a prescription NSAID. The only thing I don't have is any itchy at all, which is odd. Peace to you too, thank you.

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    • Posted

      My doc went ahead and gave me the immunization for shingles. Even after I had a rash. Studies show it is efficient and helps shorten the duration and intensity of the next break out. I has really helped.

      also the intense itching I will pm u the medication.

       

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  • Posted

    Hi babs, I'm so sorry your dealing with the pain and discomfort, my advise to you is to take it easy for as long as you could..I have PHN and it's because it wasn't detected early enough so I didn't get the antiviral medication that I needed. Your immune system has been compromised so it's better to build up your immune system by rest, and if you're not already taking a multiple vitamin I would. the more you run around you're just dragging yourself down.Gook luck on your recovery..Lori..

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    • Posted

      I'm starting to discover that you're right. I was really surprised how at diinner, when 2 of the meds had worn off and I was waiting for them to kick in, that the pain was back to a high level. I thought I was DONE with crying! Guess not, so I learned my lesson. Take care of myself, no guilt trips!

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  • Posted

    I would stop and really take care of myself. Im 13 weeks down the line, still on gabapentin and low co-codamol. Still numb from my middle back to my front. Do have pain, however its not nearly as bad as it was.

    I never imagined that shingles would be this bad.

    I realise that unfortunately people have been suffering for so much longer and i pray that we all get relief soon.

    I hope you start to feel better soon.

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    • Posted

      Thanks Margaret, wow 13 weeks, sorry. It's only been 1 bad week, but 3 weeks of late-diagnosed shingles. What is co-codamol? Is that like Tramadol or other pain/anti-inflammatories?

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    • Posted

      Hi babs, co-codamol is an analgesic, similar to tylenol, different strengths, i am now on the lowest but am going on to paracetamol.

      You have to rest as much as possible, work can be a real problemstress from managers do not help at all.

      Keep well, margaret

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    • Posted

      My doctor's office just got back to me and agreed I should not be back to work yet. I believe many of you are in the UK, right? In the US, we'll have a two day holiday next week, so I wasn't scheduled to work Thursday and Friday. The following week I'll be back to my usual, two days a week schedule so I'm hoping to get back then. If I'm not up to it, I'll talk to my doctor again.

      I had intended to keep working (believe it or not). We are short-staffed and I felt there was no-one else to work. A good friend convinced me of that idiocy Sunday night so I called my boss then and next day saw my doctor. Thank God she got through to me, as I had no idea what I was in for.  I know it's been said before, but I don't know how I'd deal with this without all of you.

      As I mentioned elsewhere, my husband was also diagnosed two days ago with shingles (astronomic odds) and is doing well as he got the anti-virals immediately, but he's doing so much for me and us that I need somewhere else to turn at times. In case anyone's new to my background we just got back from an incredible 6,000 mile road trip but that plus a number of major stressors at the same time piled up on both of us.

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  • Posted

    Babs,

    As I was not diagnosed early, and did not have the benefit of antivirals the first time, I have recurrent Herpes Zoster-Shingles. I do not have PHN, however. Those individuals who are on the anticonvulsant class of meds,such as gabapentin, have a lower risk of developing Post Herpetic Neuralgia.

    If you keep irritating the neuropathways by powering through it, you will have more pain and increase the risk of PHN.

    I was a single mother who had to work with HerpesZoster-Shingles and I powered through the episodes. I have been having the recurrence of Zoster-Shingles ever since.

    Merry Juliana

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    • Posted

      I'm very lucky we have no children at home now and my hubby's been super. I WILL take it easy. I was shocked at how little activity it took to bring that pain level back up from 1-2 to 4-6, then tears.. I got an email from work asking how I was i.e. "when are you coming back". I gave them many of the gory, painful details and just said I'd talk to my doctor tomorrow about increasing my meds. I only work part-time but am supposed to be covering for vacations now. I honestly think they may let me go, but there's nothing I can do about that. I think now this will be much longer than I realized and I won't be working much next week either.

      BTW, anybody else get headaches that just come and go? Not sure if it's the shingles or whatever. I'm on Tylenol, hope it's not re-bound.

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  • Posted

    I will reply to each separately too, but thanks so much to all of your. I hope you know what a tremendous difference you're making for me and probably others. I took it very easy this afternoon. I finally felt well enough to just read the paper and watch a movie. Darn, I was feeling pretty frisky and thought I'd be just fine! Yeah, until I got up and started doing more. Which confirms what most of you are saying. Also, please excuse any typos, I'm usually pretty obsessive about that, but I think you all understand why it's happening. I looked back on a form I was filling out earlier today and couldn't believe the mistakes I had made. Gotta love pain and Gabapentin!

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  • Posted

    I'm now almost 80 and have always been very active even after Malta Fever which taught me a lesson to go slowly enough that the exhaustion doesn't hit so badly.  then almost three years ago while in Spain and immensely enjoying the sun and all my walking and trips I started as you with shingles and finally wa sdiagnosed by their health service and belatedly (My Fault for not recognizing shingles sooner!)and stated the meds.  I already had taken the 'shingles shot' which does not accord full immunity however.  I regularly have bouts of tiredness and exhaustion with the last few nights up too late and it has started to affect me with little tingles of pain.  Right not I have started with TENS and hope it will help with creating the endorphins needed to not experience more intense pain.  I am concerned the nreves may be too aggravated and will stop if that level is reached!

    it's just an experiment for me and I would not suggest it for you. Hopefully you just have the shingles and do not have Post Shingles Syndrome  Rest, rest and more rest is the answer. Smell the roses and prepare for days when you will be well and able to do more without having to worry when the symptoms may return!

    Merry is so helpful as are all on this thread.  Bless you and keep you all well for all the tomorrows.

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    • Posted

      Great positive advice and support.than you for you kindness and sharing.

      there is another post on a new vaccine for Shingles that is better that the origional on . Has any one seen it it sound very hopeful.

      many blessing sent ur way.

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    • Posted

      Avey,

      Thank you for your kind words and also advice of going slowly and resting.

      I just posted that GlaxoSmithKline

      applied for approval on October 24, 2016 from the FDA for Shingrex, the new vaccine for Shingles with a much better efficacy rate than Zostavax. Once it receives approval from the FDA and similar agencies in the UK and Europe, my advice is to get the new vaccine ASAP.

      Best Wishes to you Avey..

      Merry Juliana

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    • Posted

      Thanks, Merry Juliana, I keep questioning the UK and CA doctors on the new vaccine and finally an answer!!!

      Best wishes to you and may you keep well to continue your marvelous work for all.

      Mwrry christmas if I don't get back to the site soon.  I'm in Jordan for a short while and will ask the doctors here also. A friends usband, a rheumatologist is in the states for a conference, maybe he has some updates.

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    • Posted

      Thanks for your comments. I had to give my doctor an update today, as they'll be increasing the Gabapentin. I told the nurse I don't see how I can work next week, between the pain, fatigue and fog it wouldn't be good. We'll see what he says, but I believe he'll agree. If he doesn't, I know my body best and I'll deal with it then.

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    • Posted

      Your health now and for the future for youself is most important right now.  Take care of all!!

      You will improve more quickly when obeying your health.

      Bless you!

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