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I have PHN in my chest and back after shingles in October 2016. I'm getting better, slowly, but yesterday I fell. Yes, directly onto my hand, elbow, should, and of course my front left rib area, where the PHN is. I got the wind knocked out of me too. I had tripped over a raised sidewalk, in our neighborhood, and sadly, it wasn't until the third car that someone stopped. I was only a half block from home, so the driver took my dog, while I walked next to him.
The pain was intense--about how it was during my worst shingles. My first thought was--broken ribs or pain from the nerves, which is this? I've had a previous rib injury and worked in healthcare for over 30 years, so I know there's nothing that can be done, unless it's a truly broken rib that can cause injury to the organs. I did call my doctor's office, she agreed with me, but of course told me to call back if it worsened.
As the evening went on, the pain (and tears) increased. Moving, walking, using the toilet was extremely painful. I was incredibly discouraged--FINALLY after almost a year I was getting better and now this! So, ribs or nerves? It didn't matter too much, as there was nothing I could do, but emotionally, it was hard.
Surprisingly, I slept pretty well, once I settled in. Oh yeah, lying down was loads of fun, but my previous experience with my rib injury and the PHN in that area helped me know how to move.
Good news!! Today, the pain is greatly decreased! I did ice it yesterday, which helped, but now I know that part of that intense pain WAS from the PHN/nerves. I did injure myself, so yes it hurt and still does hurt, but the worse of it was temporary. I'll still be limited for the next 1-3 weeks. I have a ballroom competition at the end of the month, so that was one of my first concerns. I had to stop dancing for 6 months after my shingles, so I'm really hoping I can get back on the dance floor.
So if you suffer trauma to the area with PHN, realize that the worst may only be temporary. When I hit that sidewalk, it set off a firestorm of nerves that lasted 8 hours. But in the morning, it had settled down.
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