Shingles vaccine

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I was wondering if anyone on this forum who suffers with on going cases of shingles has had any luck with the vaccine? I can't go 30 days without shingles so I don't qualify yet to receive this shot but I was wondering if I should take the shot anyway and if anyone else has done it and have you had any relief? Reading through all these messages are comforting knowing I am not alone but at some point this has to get easier. I average 2-3 out breaks a month with no rash just the pain and I haven't been shingle free since last November. I know merry spoke of a new vaccine hopefully coming out next year but in the meantime I was just wondering about the current vaccine.

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  • Posted

    Gosh that's terrible. This is my first experience and it's 4 am which tells you I am miserable. Pain meds only help for a brief period. It's feels like my insides are being twisted in my lower left abdomen, now more lower back pain with spasms. Even though I started Valtrex at the first sign of the rash, it continues to spread along my left hip, thigh, across upper pubic area and low back. Holiday weekend has prevented me from seeing my gp. I have only seen ER Doctor, urgent care and my gastro doc since I have diverticulitis as well. I can't imagine what you must be going through. I am so sorry for your suffering

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  • Posted

    Hi D

    I had the Zostavax, after I developed Herpes Zoster-Shingles, and it did not help at all.

    Merry Juliana

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  • Posted

    I am not sure about tge current vaccine necause since i am only 42 nobody will give me the shot. I wouod try anything at this point. I wish i couod find another state that would let me get it would be worth the drive. I read that you ahould atkll get the shot its supposed to stop the shingles from reoccurring but only after your current outbreak is over.
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  • Posted

    My insurance co would cover it even tho I am 47. I have had shingles for 19 years so it's on my medical record which prevents the insurance co from not covering it. Hopefully you too could get it covered if you push the issue. I too have been up since 4. I can't lay on my right hip. God this case just won't go away. I would love for these Drs to learn more to help us. I finally found a dr who let me try the famir but I ran out before the full outbreak again and she wouldn't refill it. I have an appt with her next week and I am switching Drs afterwards since she doesn't understand the importance of anti virals or else she wouldn't hold this script hostage. Just sad. It's sad what we go thru on a daily basis without much help from our own Drs.

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  • Posted

    Yes I have had the vaccine. I am not old enough to qualify for the insurance to pay for it. So I just paid for it myself. I had relief for about nine months then it was back to having shingles. I have read stories about people on this forum having the vaccine and they still have recurrent shingles.  Most the people that have had the vaccine say that their doctors informed them that it would be worse without the vaccine. I also read about one person like me who had the vaccine and had relief for about nine months then it was back again exactly like me. It is important to remember that everybody is different and unique so what happens to one person may not happen to the other. For me since I've had the vaccine the pain involved in shingles has gotten much worse. However maybe it's because I've gotten older but, no one really knows what causes the shingles to reactivate. I posted some information on this forum to another person yesterday. I will just put this information out there again for you to see in case you haven't seen it. The information is long (I just wanted to warn you) and I won't be offended if you don't read it all.  Information from yesterday and about my history in case you're interested....For decades, medical wisdom about shingles has been that it's a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The commonly-held belief is that patients are protected from a recurrence of the herpes zoster virus, which causes shingles, after one episode. But according to recent research and/or studies about shingles they have found that this is not true. For example, a study published in the February 2011 issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings shows that recurrences of shingles may be significantly more common than doctors have suspected. New Medical Studies have found and prove that recurrences of shingles are prevalent in the immunocompetent population.   "It's been thought that recurrences were limited to people with compromised immune systems, for instance from chemotherapy or bloodborne malignancies, but this is not the case," "Recurrence was prevalent in the immunocompetent population. We were very surprised by the results." Unfortunately, alot of doctors are not up-to-date on the most recent research about shingles. There is still so much that the medical community needs to learn about shingles. "Shingles has a mind of its own and does what it wants to do".

    The bottom line is No One Knows exactly what causes a reactivation of the virus! If they knew exactly what caused it there probably wouldn't be this forum. You could have a good immune system and get it. You may also have a poor immune system and get it. Some of the other speculations / research published in medical journals suggest these things may contribute to reactivation of the virus but like I said before they do not know for sure.  1). Having experienced injuries or nerve damage also seems to raise the risk for shingles, since within the nerves is where the virus lays dormant. 2). Some research suggests that traumatic stimulation of the nerves in the dorsal root ganglion can trigger the virus to reactive. 3). Some people also seem to be genetically predisposed to the development of herpes zoster to some extent, with research showing that changes in the gene for interleukin-10 (an immune-system mediator) are associated with an increased incidence of herpes zoster, as is a family history of the virus. 4).  Finally, the impact of high amounts of stress and poor gut health shouldn’t be overlooked. Psychological stress, chronic stress, or dramatic life events seem to contribute to VZV reactivation, with studies showing an association between physical, emotional and sexual abuse and higher incidence of shingles. According to a report published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases, contributing psychological factors for shingles development include financial stress, inability to work, decreased independence and an inadequate social-support environment.

    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 in undergraduate school. Performing arts is not a good way to make money so now I have a Phd. 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 even though I've had the vaccine. 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 the new information and research on shingles. A lot of Doctors still think that you can't get it more than once!  My very best friend of 35 years just moved to California and is an internal medicine Doctor at UCLA. She was even unaware of the new information and research. She's up-to-date now and tries to let other Doctors know about the new research when the subject comes up. It is difficult for them to stay up-to-date because there is always new information and research coming out everyday. NO one knows exactly what reactivates the virus for some people it could be as little as a small amount of stress but no one knows for sure. I wish you luck and I hope some of this information will help you. From Denver/Vail Co.- Thinsport

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    • Posted

      One of the comments were very interesting and made me wonder if a recent medial branch block in my neck could have stirred up the virus. I suffer with pinched nerves and have epidural for pain and recently just about 3 weeks ago had the procedure that is supposed to help with nerve pain, it did help my neck.
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    • Posted

      Thank you very much for all of this info. I am sorry you have to deal with all the pain and limitations on your life from the outbreaks. Do you have any info on the new vaccine now before the FDA?
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    • Posted

      Sorry mmsmith I do not have any information on the new vaccine although I wish I did! I even asked my friend that is a physician about it and she has not heard anything about it. I did start a new discussion with the title "New information and research concerning this shingles virus. Also, any new information about the new vaccine".  So if you find any new information about the vaccine or shingles please post it on that discussion.

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    • Posted

      Dear dfortkiewic,

      I am so sorry for all your struggles. Having to carry the weight and/or burden of your financial struggles along with the emotional toll that shingles takes must be so overwhelming at times. My heart goes out to you. I am so very sorry, no one deserves what you're going through. Although, I appreciate your optimism in your reply! I do not know if I would be so nice to my sister I would probably hire a lawyer and sue her. This is why I probably only loan friends and family money that I never have any expectation of getting back. I do admire your kindness and I believe in karma. Most of the time I have faith that everything will work out. However, the discomfort of my shingles experiences makes me question that faith. None of us deserve the discomfort of shingles and why do we have to keep having a reoccurring shingles? I know that no one can literally answer that question and it's so frustrating.

      I appreciate your reply So Much and it's nice to know that someone understands what I'm trying to say and/or express.

      I was wondering what type of doctors have you been to?  Also wondering what do you think the neurologist will tell you and how is the neurologist more helpful than anyone else? I logically can sort of figure that out but I'm not 100% sure and I hate making assumptions. So I would love to have information about the neurologist and your appointment. I was also wondering if your mother had shingles or another type of herpes virus? I am so sorry that your mother died of ALS. I had a grandparent who had a lot ALS and died but it was many many years ago and a grandparent not a mother. I am so sorry for your loss I have not experienced losing a parent  but I can imagine / empathize how hard that would be.

      I started a new discussion page with the title..."New information and research concerning this shingles virus. Also, any new information about the new vaccine"

      I am hoping that people will post anything NEW that they have learned about shingles or the vaccine. That way we may all stay up-to-date on the latest research information.

      I was also wondering where you are from or where do you live? I will not be offended if you don't want to answer that question it's okay, I'm just curious. I am originally from Dallas, I've lived in a lot of different places though. I currently live in Denver and Vail Colorado . My children are nationally ranked skiers so I have to have a place there for school and training. I like Denver better (I don't like being cold) The place in Denver is mainly for me. We had it first before they were ski racers.

      My apologies because I should look back over this message I'm about to send you however my battery is about to die and I am in Denver but I left my power cord in Vail when I came down to Denver today. Looking forward to hearing from you again soon. Sincerely, Terry (Thinsport)

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much for your message! I am from NJ. Been here my whole life. Only 40 min from NYC. Good location. Good schools as my daughter just entered 6th grade. I do believe most of my reoccurring shingles is from stress. I had chicken pox twice as an adult and the first case was when I was 23. It was an odd case where the pox never surfaced but you could see them. There were millions of them and they went right down my throat. Those were real and I was almost hospitalized because of mal nutrition. The second case wasn't so bad but similar because they didn't surface either. I then had a case of herpes when I was 27 and that was painful and that blistered. After that I had an awful pain in my bad with a small red mark and I was about 30. The mark never surfaced but I was diagnosed with shingles. It didn't surface again for a few years and then at 40 when I went broke and my mom died I had the pain in my back that was excruciating so I started pain management and epidurals thinking it wasn't shingles. I lived with the pain for years until I had a itchy red mark on my right leg. The pain was spread all on my right side but the pain stopped at my knee, which is weird because that's where the red mark was. No one diagnosed me. After pain management I went to two different GP's, infectious specialist dr, rheumatologist, orthopedic dr, urologist, a dr for stomach (I forgot the type of dr he was) and now my last dr is going to be neurologist. I had blood work up done and my ANA was positive so I had more testing done and they didn't find anything. I had the block done in my L4&L4 also and MRI of my right side. Lead to NOTHING! I think that is where all of our frustration comes from. I was determined to get somewhere or someone to help me. I have a career and a family and I am very active. If you remove the stress I can't help but think how much better I would feel however I will always have this virus. As far as I know my mother only had herpes but many times over her years and I think hers also came out with stress. Neurologist is just because I need to rule him out. The truth is the Drs are not experienced in this virus and all the help I am getting is on line. My spot on my leg is still there but other then not being able to use most of my right side, I have no real symptoms for any dr to go off of. I take anti virals as often as I need them which is almost daily since this last case has been active since December and I can't get rid of it. Could be the home stretch as I finish paying my sisters debt and knowing how close I am to freedom but can't quite get there, that could be the root. I want to free from shingles for 30 days to try the vaccine but I am also hopeful next years vaccine will be more helpful. I think as more pp are diagnosed with this, the dr world will start to pay closer attention and work to find a pill that helps us live because this isn't living.

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  • Posted

    Hi dfortkiewicz, I was just checking the form to see if there was anything new in the discussion about "new information on shingles..." and the page is not there anymore longer.  I'm not sure why that happened do you have any idea?-Thinsport

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    • Posted

      I went back to find it and you are right, it's been removed. I don't know why. That's really odd. There is a local person Chris and his phone number on the top of that page. I took a pic of it. See if you can see that. I would call him.

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