SHINGLES........ after the rash and pain are gone

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I am a 75 yo female who was diagnosed with Shingles early December 2017. I took the antiviral meds, dealt with a nasty rash on right side of midsection , took pain meds, used ice packs and finally got over that after 31/2 months. 

But I am just really tired and have to make myself do daily things. Some days are better than others but I am not where I was before December 1, 2017 when Shingles symptoms hit like a brick!  I am healthy other than hypertension controlled with meds. I just cannot seem to shake this fatigue. Anyone else have this problem?? I’m a nurse , so I am constantly evaluating myself. I’m a much better nurse than I am a patient! Any suggestions??

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  • Posted

    Hi Jeannie,

    Physicians fail to tell patients, probably because they are unaware, that fatigue and exhaustion are often long lasting sequelae of shingles. So many of us have these symptoms for many months up to a year after the onset of the rash.

    I am sorry you are dealing with the fatigue of shingles. You get tired of feeling tired...

    Shingles is not a minor inconvenience with some pain. Your entire body has been assaulted by a nasty virus.

    Some of us nurses are not patient at being patients, myself included, although I have learned to ask for help and accept things as they come, ( not giving in and doing nothing, but fighting for the best treatment, working in rehabilitation, etc.

    I am a Nurse Practitioner and have had Herpes Zoster-Shingles in my right ear every three to five weeks for the past 21 years and twice in my right eye. I also had two strokes and other issues, but keep on going and going...

    Best Wishes

    Merry Juliana

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    • Posted

      I don't really have any suggestions except for the following:

      Get your Vitamin D level checked as a low Vitamin D impaired immunity.

      Get your Vitamin B12 checked as it becomes more difficult to absorb B12 through the gut as we age.

      Eat nutritionous food. I know you know what that is.

      Obey your body's need to rest.

      Google High Lysine Low Arginine diet and Herpes . Lysine helps prevent Herpes Zoster-Shingles and Arginine triggers Herpes Zoster-Shingles.

      I would consider getting the new Shingrex vaccination by Glaxosmithkline. It is 93% efficacious compared to Zostavax, which is 37-53 % efficacious.

      Please know you are not alone in the exhaustion and fatigue symptoms. It is good to push a little, but not a lot, as you pay for it the next day. I do empathize with you.

      Merry Juliana

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    • Posted

      Merry, thank you for responding with some excellent suggestions. It is just amazing to me how different I feel since that day in December that hit me like a ton of bricks! Although I can see improvement gradually, I am NOT where I was before this virus engulfed my body. But like you, I’m not one to give in easily even though I feel like it sometimes. I just keep pushing also while I test my limitations and listen to my body. 

      Take care of yourself too “ nurse”!

      Jeannie

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    • Posted

      Dear Jeannie,

      You have responded so lovingly to each person who reached out to you. I know how difficult it is, but you are truly a caring person, and I certainly would have wanted you to be my nurse.

      Please know you are not alone.

      Consider getting the Shingrex vaccination when you are better, although some people feel quite sick with it, as if they have experienced a bout of the flu without the pulmonary symptoms.

      Also, to prevent recurrent Herpes Zoster-Shingles, Google High Lysine Low Arginine Diet and Herpes.

      Check your Vitamin D level as Vit D is tied to immunity. I am sorry if this is a repeat of what I stated to you before, but taking Vitamin D 2000 IU daily and eating a diet high in Lysine and low in Arginine (I dislike Chocolate, so it is easy), has markedly reduced the frequency and intensity of my episodes.

      Best Wishes as you recover.

      Enjoy each moment in the day.

      Merry Juliana

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much Merry for your very  kind and uplifting words!  It is not only helpful to relate to all, but encouraging to speak with another in the same profession. As I previously stated, I’m not a great patient; would much rather be on the giving end. This experience has definitely been a learning curve for me as I had NO idea how painfully horrible the shingles virus can affect one so badly. Neither did I know about the after affects associated with this nasty virus. I cannot imagine your situation with so many recurrences over such a long period of time. But like most nurses that I know, you are a trooper who never stops, never gives up and plows through your own difficulties to get to others in need. 

      Prayers for you as you journey through this experience.

      Jeannie

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    • Posted

      Merry

      I sent you this post a few days ago and everyone on this forum and from what I have read you are very knowldgable about shingles and pHN, can you please give me your opinion on my situation, I am very worried.

      I first got the shingles rash early February of this year, the rash went away mid March but I am experiencing pins and needles and mild burning sensation on the area where the rash was located left buttocks lower back and also on my legs, feet, upper back and arms. These sensations comes and goes. When I walk or do something physical it goes away, weird thing is when I sleep I don’t have any of these sensations. I did take a ten day course of Cipro in March so I don’t know if my neuropathy is shingles related or Cipro related. Any feedback would be much appreciated.  I am having PHN symptoms that come and go in different parts of the body that I did not have the rash.

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    • Posted

      Hi Matt,

      I apologise for your not receiving my first response. I wrote an entire response to your questions after researching the latest findings on Cipro and fluoroquinolones causing peripheral neuropathy. It obviously didn't send properly.

      The pins and needles sensation under the shingles rash site would be due to Post Herpetic Neuralgia PHN.

      Cipro could cause peripheral neuropathy in the other regions of your body. It is difficult to prove causation, as many other things can cause neuropathy. I would consult with an excellent Neurologist for a comprehensive history and physical, and to specifically address the neuropathy concerns. I am sorry you are suffering with these issues.

      Best Wishes

      Merry Juliana

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    • Posted

      Hello Mary

      I am confuse when you say that in 21 years you have gotten shingles on your right ear?  You mean to say that shingles have repeated itself at least every 5 weeks in those 21 years?  So are you saying that in a year you have gotten shingles almost monthly and with the rash and blisters too?

      I am thinking if after four months of myself getting shingles I am getting it again but with less blisters?  Please help me with this confusion 

      Thx

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    • Posted

      Myrna,

      To answer your question, it is possible to have recurrent Shingles in the same location. I was getting severe headache,ear pain, rash, vertigo, hoarseness, difficulty swallowing, photophobia every 2-2/2 to 3 weeks up to five weeks, 13 to 14 episodes yearly, for 21 years. Plus Fatigue and Exhaustion. That is why I am so active on this forum.. so I can help others avoid going through the repetitive agony, be supportive, help them advocate for themselves, and just be there for them

      Are you having new pain and or vesicle-blisters show up? Any other symptoms? If so, in the same location as before?

      Merry Juliana

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  • Posted

    Hi there!  I had my first “rash” and official diagnosis of shingles in July 2017.  Since that time had one diagnosed recurrence that manifested in a burning pain in my forehead and sinus area, general flu like symptoms and unrelenting fatigue.  Still to this day I am so tired.  I am on famvir 500 daily for at least six more months according to my doctor.  I can only offer support because I am having this same issue.  I’m 49.  I get as much rest as I possibly can.  
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  • Posted

    I'm still suffering from shingles. I was hit with it the last week in January 2018. It affected my right side of my face, beneath my right eye, straight into the right side of my top scalp. My hair on that side is almost bald. I don't have any energy. I'm 60 years old. I can still feel it in my face and scalp. My right upper side of my forehead had dark scar marks. What can I do to make these scars go away.

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  • Posted

    Be patient.  This all takes time.  I was diagnosed in Feb. 2018 and just recently have been able to go outside.  I tire after a couple of hours.  Give yourself time to heal.  Take some supplements if you can.  I'm sorry you're going through this.

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  • Posted

    I’m your age and had a case of shingles a little over a year ago when I was 73.  I, too, have had unusual fatigue ever since.  It’s as if I can’t get enough sleep.  I feel tired even though I haven’t exerted myself.  I was attributing this to age but it could be related to shingles.  Thankfully, I’m retired and can usually sleep as late as I like in the morning and then take afternoon naps if there is nothing on my schedule.  My shingles were on my left arm and hand.  I still have sensitivity in that hand, especially in the area leading into my thumb.  It’s not the sharp, stabbing pain that ai had with shingles but it is definitely different from my right hand and sort of a reminder of my bout with shingles.  
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    • Posted

      Goodwater Betty, I am sorry that you too are experiencing this fatigue. It is extremely unusual for me to feel this way. It’s good to know that there are others who are dealing with the same thing because I had no idea that was part of the after effects. Also, I think you are experiencing some neuropathy in your arm and hand. This is an almost numb sensation that is just different because your nerve endings have been affected. I am having the same sensation in my waist area where the rash was. It may go away eventually or not. Sometimes it itches also. 

      May you regain your strength over time. 

      All the best,

      Jeannie

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