I have left arm weakness, still in pain. Help?

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This all started in May. Intense left shoulder pain, nausea, diarrhea and extreme fatigue. Physiatrist did MRI, tendonosis of left infraspinatus and supraspinatus. I felt intercostal pain, hurting when taking a deep breath. Echocardiogram and stress test- passed with flying colors. PT, massage, chiropractor. All helpful but not enough. Chiropractor saw rash on my left upper thoracic area, small batch, but had already scabbed over June 27th. Was getting better, arm still limited movement. Yesterday put on a bra, all symptoms started again. I never had any meds.

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  • Posted

    Sherri,

    Go to a physician STAT and get started on an antiviral. It sounds as if you have a recurrent episode of Herpes Zoster-Shingles.

    If you start the antiviral today, it will lessen the intensity and duration of the episode. I know, as I get recurring episodes every 3-5 weeks for the past 20 years in my right ear and twice in my right eye.

    I am a Nurse Practitioner in the States.

    Also insist on a strong analgesic such as an opioid.

    I know the severity of the agonizing pain you are in!

    PLEASE, let me know how your appt went!

    I am so sorry for your suffering!

    Best Wishes

    Merry Juliana

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    • Posted

      Thank you Merry, I went to a local walk in clinic. The nurse practitioner said the symptoms are Herpes Zoster and that I should be on an antiviral. Just started Valtrex. He wouldn't help with any pain meds, they are very touchy about pain meds here. I took a couple of ibuprofen, not sure how much to take. It's hard to believe the arm weakness and diaphragm tightness caused by this virus, but I guess it's true.

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    • Posted

      Merri,

      I had a small rash diagnosed as shingles last week.  I have no pain, no itching, no soreness. I've been taking the anti-viral.  Is it the shingles or the antiviral causing my diarrhea episodes?? They come on suddenly; do not respond to immodium.

       

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    • Posted

      Hi Bette,

      Valtrex can cause diarrhea. If it is bloody or profuse, you need to call your doctor immediately. Try to hydrate yourself, replace the fluids you are losing. If you have kidney, diabetes, heart disease, or other serious illnesses, you need to speak to your physician regarding the diarrhea or any changes in your condition.

      I am so sorry for your suffering.

      Best wishes.

      Merry Juliana

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    • Posted

      Merry,

      Thank you for responding.  I am on last day of Valtrex.  I am keeping hydrated.  I have no appetite, though. I'm  guessing the anti-viral has built up in my system, and diarrhea bouts will not stop as soon as I stop taking it?

      I did call my doctor this morning...have not heard back yet.I will let you know..

       

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    • Posted

      Bette,

      The diarrhea should subside gradually over a couple of days. If it doesn't, see your doctor.

      Shingles doesn't cause diarrhea.

      It causes a lot of misery, but not this type.

      Medically, do you have other issues?

      I'm sorry you are going through this.

      Merry Juliana

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  • Posted

    I agree you need to go now to your Doctor and have him confirm that it is shingles. Also informed him those old myths about shingles not recurring are not true and let him know new research on shingles indicates this new evidence/information. I found this in WEBMD archives...

    The article is from Nov. 2, 2009 (Philadelphia) however, I was unable to post the link so I sent part of the article, and there is more out there about this besides this one article...Nov. 2, 2009 (Philadelphia) -- People with shingles are more likely to suffer a recurrence than previously thought, especially if their attack is accompanied by lasting pain, researchers report. "The risk of getting shingles again, once you already have it, is about one in three," says Barbara Yawn, MD, director of research at Olmsted Medical Center in Rochester, Minn. "That's about the same chance of getting shingles once in your lifetime."

    People who suffer pain for 60 or more days after their shingles attack are nearly five times more likely to suffer a recurrence, Moore says.

    The research was presented at the annual meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA).

    Also known as herpes zoster, shingles is caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV) -- the same virus that causes chickenpox.

    In many people, the virus remains dormant in the nerves. But in some, especially older people and those with compromised immune systems, it can reactivate as shingles. "We don't know what causes reactivation of the dormant virus," Moore says. Risk Factors for Shingles Recurrence

    Moore and colleagues studied the medical records of nearly 1,700 people with a confirmed shingles attack from 1996 to 2001. Only 8% had compromised immune systems, she says. But 95 of them suffered 105 recurrences by the end of 2007.

    "Clearly most recurrent attacks are occurring in people with healthy immune systems," she says 

    The time between attacks ranged from 96 days to 10 years.

    Recurrences were:

    2.8 times more likely in people with shingles-associated pain for 30 or more days during the initial episode

    4.8 times more likely in people with shingles-associated pain for 60 or more days during the initial episode

    60% more likely in women than men

    40% more likely in people who were 50 or older when they had their initial attack

    "Still, most recurrences occurred in people with none of these risk factors," Moore says.

    The only way to protect yourself against shingles is to be vaccinated, she adds. The vaccine, known as Zostavax, was approved for use in adults ages 60 and older after studies showed it prevents shingles about half the time. IDSA spokesman Aaron

    Glatt, MD, of the New Island Hospital in Bethpage, N.Y., tells WebMD that he was "surprised" at the high rate of recurrence.

    "We knew you could get another episode, but we didn't know the risk was so great," he says.

     

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    • Posted

      Thinsport,

      That was immensely...

      My smart phone thinks it is smarter than I am...

      FYI:

      There is a new vaccine called Shingrex, developed by GlaxoSmithKline, being approved by the FDA & European Drug Agencies in 2016, probably available for distribution in 2017.

      Zostavax was only around 53-37% efficacious, with waning effectiveness with age.

      Shingrex allegedly has a 97% efficacious rate due to an adjuvant added to it. Hopefully, it will work on the individuals with recurrent HerpesZoster-Shingles.

      Merry Juliana

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    • Posted

      Merry Juliana,

      Yes I know my last message did seem infinite, my apologies. I think that I was on a roll and I did not feel like consolidating. Unfortunately, I don't know why I was unable to post the link to the article. I tried doing the link once before and they just didn't allow it to be posted.

      I have heard they were coming out with a new vaccine. However, I didn't know the name or when it would be available. So I wanted to Thank You So Much. I look forward to communicating with you more!

      Terri K

       

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    • Posted

      Hi Merry,

      I am doing better today/almost 80%.  I saw my doctor this am.  He knew nothing of the upcoming vaccine from GlaxoSmithKline; to me, it sounds so much more effective. He stated since I'd had a bout, I wouldn't be likely to get another...which is the exact opposite I've heard from people on this site. So, I am getting different views from different people.  He suggested that if I am concerned of this hitting me again, I get the zostavax again...I got it in 2011.  Your thoughts???

      Bette

       

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    • Posted

      Terri,

      This site is monitored for outside influences. While your sites are respectable, scientific sites, many posts can contain questionable

      material. They do not allow advertising, misinformation, etc.

      Apparently there is a way to send a private message.

      Do not worry about ventilating about stuff! Get it off your chest....

      I live in Delaware currently, BTW.

      Look forward to speaking with you soon.

      Merry Juliana

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    • Posted

      Betty,

      I am very happy that you are doing much better today. I sent a post yesterday talking about people and physicians not being up-to-date on the newest shingles research. Unfortunately, it seems like your doctor is not up-to-date on the newest shingles research. Which probably makes sense, since he had not heard about the new vaccine for shingles. I have my PhD in psychology and my best friend is a medical doctor I know more about shingles than she does. She still believes what she learned in school 25 years ago. I have educated her and given her tons of legitimate medical journal research articles. She has told me numerous times it's hard to let go of what you learned in medical school. So most the time she follows the old myths about shingles when talking to patients. Unfortunately she has never been around when I've had shingles outbreak. She still has a hard time believing that I could have reoccurring shingles. She keeps thinking that I must be mistaken. Anyway look for the post / discussion that I put on this page yesterday.

      Terri K

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    • Posted

      Merry Juliana,

      Thanks you are so kind! I currently live in Denver Colorado and Vail Colorado I'm back-and-forth because my children live in Vail. They are on the  Vail ski team. My daughter will be trying to qualify for the us ski team next year. However, I am originally from Dallas Texas

      Terri K

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    • Posted

      Bette,

      First I want to say that I apologize for spelling your name wrong. I spelled it with a Y instead of an E. I know that Mary Juliana knows my history with shingles (so Mary please do not waste your time by reading this). I am posting this for Bette in case she wants to know my background was shingles.

      I have reoccurring shingles otherwise I am very healthy!  I get a physical every year and pass with flying colors. My cholesterol is excellent, my heart rate is low and my blood pressure is low. I get my mammograms regularly and I've been tested for colon cancer. My doctor said my colon was great one of the best that she had seen.  I am a 54-year-old female. I have been getting reoccurring shingles since I was 12 years. I had it again when I was 23 years old. I also had shingles with both my pregnancies I was 39 and 41. I read an article that said it happens frequently during pregnancy. I am in excellent health I am very fit just last weekend I rode my bike in 2 days over 300 miles. I was a college gymnast and performing arts major in dance. I have always been athletic and continue to maintain my fitness. However, since getting older the frequency of my recurrences seems to come quicker and are becoming more painful with each episode. The pain is more in my hip-flexor or back on the side I get it in on my back. Sometimes it's my left side sometimes it's my right side. I also get a neck ache if I get it at the base of my neck. I feel very frustrated because the pain can be quite debilitating  I usually get it on my back. When I get it at the base of my neck it causes my neck to be stiff and I have lots of headaches. It's also very frustrating because no one believes you. It's embarrassing to share with anyone that I have reoccurring shingles because they think there something wrong with me, or they do not believe me.

      Doctors need to become more aware of this information. It's almost like the Doctors shame you if you tell them you've had it more than once. I'm so tired of feeling embarrassed and ashamed for having shingles. So not only do I have to feel embarrassed and ashamed but, while I'm feeling this way I'm also in horrible pain from the shingles. I do hope that they will continue to do research in this area. I also hope Doctors  get the word out some people just have reoccurring shingles and it's nothing to be ashamed of. NO one knows exactly what reactivates the virus for some people it could be as little as a small amount of stress. I have also had the vaccine for shingles it worked for nine months then I had another outbreak of shingles and it was one of the worst that I have experienced.

      Terri K  (username: Thinsport)

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    • Posted

      Terri,

      Thank you for your response, and your information. My doctor (yesterday) suggested I get  another dose of the vaccine...admitting that its efficacy does wane over time. I had my vaccine 8 years ago, when I turned 60. So, I have some years on you; but, I live in a VERY active retirement community...fitness center, gyms, pools, tennis courts and bocce courts, and 2 golf courses. I do not participate in all of these, but most of them.  Though my case was mild and is on the mend, I do feel sensitivity and soreness with my right thigh. I guess it's PNP settling in. I only hope I can continue my active life style.

      One of my daughters and four grandkids live outside of Denver...a beautiful state.  I am in CA.

      Again, thank you for taking the time to respond to me with your wealth of information. Now, I question whether I should the vaccine again!

      Wishing for your good health,

      Bette

       

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