I've never been this sick.

Posted , 6 users are following.

I was diagnosed with shingles 18 days ago. Patches on my forehead causing swelling. And a couple of patches around my left eye. My doc took one look and said, 'oh-you've got shingles"...here's 7 days of Valtrex, sent me to the eye doc who confirmed.

Within 3 days the sites dried up and swelling went down and I was feeling fine. Four days later I started sneezing and had a mild sore throat. And started feeling generally unwell. So I went back to the doc and he said I was unlucky enough to have gotten the flu on top of the shingles.

I immediately broke out the nedni pot and within 3 days all head cold related issues were cleared up. No fever, no sore throat, no runny nose.

But suddenly I started aching in my legs and feeling weak. It's now been 10 days and all I can do is lay in the bed. Being hit with rounds of weakness, aches and slight nausea. I'll wake up in the morning feeling ok, then my 11a the waves start hitting. And it's like that all day and into the night.

I've never had shingles, I'm 48 yr old male in general good health. And I feel like I'm dying here. I thought I'd for sure feel better after 10 full days of laying in the bed.

Is this a normal thing with shingles? How much longer am I in for? I'm supposed to leave for a 12 day work trip in 9 days. And honestly, if I still feel like this, I don't think I can do it.

Any thoughts? Could this be the flu or still the shingles virus? Thanks in advance.

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  • Posted

    I had a shingles scare recently may or maynot have been it but when I did have it when I was in my thirties the shingly bit rash and sores cleared up quite quickly but I was left with 7 weeks of total exhaustion so much so that I watched neighbours twice a day .  I went back to worl after 7 weeks but  I would say it took me 4 months to recover.  Rest a lot but try to keep your brain active and if possible a little bit physically active 

     

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    • Posted

      Thanks for the reply jon...with this being the first time I've had shingles I had no clue what to expect. I thought I'd take the meds, they'd clear up and I'd be on my merry way. That's what I'm so miffed at the situation. During the times when I feel halfway normal, I've been trying to do a few things but I quickly wear down and back to bed. I can't wrap my head around a 4 month recover. So sorry to hear you had to endure that.
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  • Posted

    Hi Thedwp,

    I am so sorry for your suffering. When you have Herpes Zoster-Shingles, you literally have a viremia, a virus circulating through out your body. You were fortunate that your physician diagnosed you immediately. The bad news is that your immunity is down and you have been hit by another virus, the flu virus, a double whammy. With Herpes Zoster-Shingles, you feel like you have the flu to begin with, the headaches and, chills, sweating, malaise, weakness, fatigue, etc, and especially with Zoster affecting your eye, you would be predisposed nausea. Then you actually contract the flu, which happens quite a lot. If you are still feeling very fatigued and weak, I would not entertain the thought of your business trip.

    As I have recurrent Herpes Zoster Oticus in my right ear every three to five weeks for the last 20 years, I am appreciate of the symptoms you are having. I also have had Herpes Ophthalmicus twice. Shingles is excruciating, especially when it affects your face. Hopefully, your physician has given you strong analgesics to deal with the pain.

    I am a nurse practitioner in the States.

    Please let me know how I can help you.

    Best Wishes

    Merry Juliana

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    • Posted

      Hi Merry,

      Thanks for the reply. I know my doc said I had the flu because i was having the sniffles at the time. But after reading all of the info on this site (many of your informative replies), I'm not convinced I actually have the flu. I don't really have the classic symptoms and my wife has been around me the whole time and she didn't catch anything.

      After reading everyone's symptoms, I'm pretty sure I'm just suffering the after effects of the shingles. As I said in an earlier reply, I just can't wrap my head around these symptoms. They make no sense.

      I'm always very curious as to why our bodies react like they do, and in this case, what's going on when i get hit in waves of fatigue and weakness, then an hour later I feel like a walk in the park.

      Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the respit from the symptoms, but then they start creeping back up, starting in my thighs and then I'm back to square one. Lately it seems like the waves are getting worse.

      Is that my body just fighting extra hard?

      Thanks again for all your input.

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  • Posted

    I have been asking these same questions to myself. When I feel sick again, I keep saying, " is this part of the shingles virus?" I'm not sure of the answer except everything I have heard is that your immune system is compromised due to the virus. Therefore, you are susceptible to other illnesses. I have had shingles twice in two years and both times I had extreme fatigue and flu like symptoms for a while after. I am currently trying to take it very easy and boost my immune system. I am a very active person and for the last 3 months I haven't been able to to all the things I normally do. Anytime I start up my crazy active life, I seem to be hit with a cold or flu. So now when I feel better I still take it easy hoping in time I will have a consistant run of good days. I don't know for sure the answer to your question, but I do know shingles can wreck havoc on your body. If you find out anything else let me know.
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    • Posted

      Hi Michelle...I have a dr's appointment tomorrow and plan on asking him those very questions. Although, docs don't seem to want to answer specific questions like that. I KNOW I have shingles, I KNOW it was from having chickenpox, etc....I just want to know specifically what's going in my body.

      If it's my body fighting the fight, I can get with that which helps with my state of mind. If it's the virus killing me, then what can we do about that?

      I know that sounds kind of elementary, but I'd love to get some specifics on the now. Not how I got here.

      Good luck on building your immune system up...I wish I'd paid more attention to mine all along. We lived downtown in a loft for a while and both me and my wife were getting mystery illnesses every other month...we moved away and haven't had any issues....until now.

      I think it's hard enough to keep our immune systems up but add in environmental things and we have to work twice as hard.

      I'll let you know what the doc says...*heres to better days ahead.

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    • Posted

      Thank you. That would be wonderful. I have been driving my husband crazy because I have been struggling for so long and it seems to be one thing after the other and I don't always have a visible rash to prove that something is really wrong. Every doc I have talked to tells me something different. "Your too young to have shingles", "you can't get shingles more than once", "it always comes back in the same spot" bal bla bla Then I find out from someone else that none of that is true!! This all can truly make you feel crazy. good luck tomorrow.
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    • Posted

      Dear Michelle,

      As a long-time recurrent patient with Herpes Zoster-Shingles, I can say for certain that I have Herpes Zoster-Shingles, not any other disease causing these symptoms. It started when I was 44 years old. I had PCR testing that confirmed the diagnosis of Herpes Zoster-Shingles in my right ear and right eye. I also have had my IgG and IgM antibodies tested for Herpes Zoster-Shingles and other diseases. I was positive for Herpes Zoster-Shingles, and negative for all others, including Herpes simplex. Physicians can be so ignorant about this disease and have no idea about the accompanying symptoms that last for months. The patients end up educating the doctors.

      Best Wishes, again.

      Merry Juliana

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    • Posted

      Michelle,

      You are never too young to have shingles, as long as you have had chickenpox. Children get shingles, unfortunately,although usually not as severely.

      Merry Juliana

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    • Posted

      So Merry, they have blood tests that can confirm they type of shingles virus? That's what I want to get. Not that I doubt the diagnosis but I'd like to know if they'd the only virus perusing my blood at the moment.
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    • Posted

      Merry,

      I am starting to realize this. How come they do not offer those tests that you had? I have not had any dr's say anything about testing. If you had not mentioned this, I would not have known that there even was a test. I'm sure you can remember when you were first experiencing all the symptoms shingles can bring, the fear and uncertainty that can make you doubt yourself. Thank you again for your insight.

      Michelle

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    • Posted

      Michelle,

      The diagnosis of Herpes Zoster-Shingles is straightforward, but if there is any doubt, the physician can do a skin scraping of the vesicles-blisters and order a PCR, polymerase chain reaction on the fluid in the vesicles-blisters. This test can differentiate between Herpes Zoster-Shingles and Simplex. I have no difficulty with the diagnosis, but many practitioners do. Also, the serum IgG and IgM antibodies help. Immunoglobulins G tell if you were once exposed to chickenpox and positive with Immunoglobulin M says that you are acutely sick with shingles for the first time. It would be too late to do the antibodies tests as I believe you already had shingles for certain. If you are getting the same painful rash in the same place, and the rash remains on one side of your body, that is shingles.

      I believe you are the Mother with many children?

      Best regards

      Merry Juliana

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    • Posted

      Hi 

      Your experience sounds a lot like mine, the crazy life bit that is! In Feb when I got this (for second time) I was going away for 11 days but on 3 different trips. I had to pack for a conference, a kick-off at work and a ski trip plus tie up all ends at work and home. I did it all this but when I was at the conference the shingles started. I think I had just stressed too much for too long. Last time I got it was after the death of a loved one and the symptoms were the same then but a bit worse - total exhaustion of mind and body, feeling depressed and as though I would never be able to achieve aything ever again!

      I really want to get the shingles vaccine but the doc I talked to didn't even know it existed. Merry says there is a new vaccine coming soon.

      Anyway, good luck and slow down. Don't say yes to everything at work, home or with friends. I am having to make an effort in this field as I'm also really active and like doing stuff. My body is weak after having lain in bed a lot and my back aches after just going for a walk so I'm going to gradually do more exercise and hope that it helps. At least it's Easter now and a good time for relaxing - and reflection!

       

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    • Posted

      Yes, this is me. I did have the rash the first time, but was on the antivirals before it blistered. I did get two small blisters in the very center of the red, raised rash, but i cannot imagine letting anyone touch it, it was so painful to even lightly rub ointment on it!! That test seems horrifying. The second time I recognized the pain right away, although it was in the same spot on the opposite side, and started the antivirals immediatley and never developed a rash. Weeks later, I did get one tiny blister, started the antivirals again right away and did not develop any more. If I get it again, God forbid, I think I will try and get into the dr for the test. Ouch!!
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    • Posted

      Amen. It is really a huge life change for me. In fact, most things I love to do are very taxing on my body. I'm feeling discouraged, but at the same time I have spent many hours worrying that with my symptoms it must be more than shingles. As I have continued hearing others synptoms, I can see that how I am feeling is common for people suffering with shingles. For this, I am more at ease and thankful that it probably is shingles and something more serious does not have to be to blame. Take care of yourself.
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    • Posted

      I had my doc appointment today. I explained all my symptoms post shingle outbreak. Fatigue, weakness, upset stomach...and how they come in waves. I point blank asked him if this could still be the shingles roaming around in me. And he's it was possible but it would be 'unusual'. He mentioned patients feeling fatigue and generally I'll prior and up to a break out. But he didn't really give me a solid yes or no. No surprise there right?

      He said the typical post shingle pain is the lasting nerve damage. Even mentioned all the people on this forum suffering the same symptoms post shingles...that's when he did say it's possible.

      He went down a long list of questions in terms of symptoms...he didn't think it was the flu either.

      Ultimately he ordered up a round of blood work. He said if it comes back normal (which he fully expects it will) then I'll need to 'power through' the fatigue and carry on. He's a pretty no nonsense doc. He said these types of non-descript fatigue symptoms without other things going on, like blood in stool, headaches, etc. usually resolve themselves on their own.

      So I had blood drawn and they said I would know the results this evening. So fingers crossed.

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    • Posted

      That's what I said. I had a clear diagnosis followed with this fatigue. It's the only thing that makes since. I didn't just come down with a mystery fatigue syndrome out of the blue.
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