The healing pattern

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There is not a lot of info about what the 'healing' pattern or process is actually like so thought I would add some words. Male 66 got an itch in back one day which progressed to level 10 pain upper back within 24 hours - thought it was facet joint dysfunction but doctor said 'shingles' and started antiviral within 48 hours. A very bad prodromal pain (ie starting pain). Rash from back to breast started after three days. Rash was extensive but not blistering. Pain was unbearable and on antivirals and lyrica 3-600mg a day. It took me 3 months (12 weeks) to feel I could decrease dose (weeks 10 and 11) and come off lyrica at week 12-13. I am currently at start of week 17. So I have PHN which is allodynia (ie hypersesnitibity) on breast and around that area to back. The pain gradually - I mean very very imperceptibly - gets better and it is as if the dial of symptoms gets turned down but it is all still there. At weeks 14-17 the pain went from about 5 to 1 and now I am at .5 on pain scale so very very tolerable. It is almost impossible to understand how slowly the improvements occur until you think back each two weeks and realise it isn't as bad as it was. I may be looking at another 4-6 weeks for a 'no symptom' scenario or result but feel some residenual numbness is inevitable. So the lesson is it is unlikely one just wakes up and it is gone!! The secret is to slowly get your pain dosage down and expect that the older you are the longer it takes. 6-12 months for PHN when you are in your 60's is 'normal' so don't lose heart. 

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  • Posted

    Hi Hone,

    Unfortunately, there aren't many physicians willing to prescribe Opioids for what is one of the most agonizing conditions of mankind. Cancer pain, passing kidney stones, and childbirth are all excruciating , and I have had two of those. Herpes Zoster-Shingles in my ear, recurring over twenty years and eye is more severe than either of those.

    With the diversion of narcotics and an increase of overdoses, patients with pain are the ones who suffer. I find this deplorable. I am a Nurse Practitioner who lives in the States.

    Sincerely,

    Merry Juliana

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    • Posted

      Yes agree---unfortunately the pills do not address the complaint only the 'pain' - we need more research to understand what triggers the virus to re-upt after childhood chicken pox, what is happening to the nerves when impacted etc. All the theories about stress and inflammation are guesswork only. 

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    • Posted

      Hone,

      I have recurrent Herpes Zoster-Shingles in my right ear every 3-5 weeks for the past 20 years and twice in my right eye. I take Topamax, Oxycodone, and Auralgon ear drops that contain Benzocaine, a numbing agent.

      The medical communities first duty s no longer to relieve suffering, but to appease the legislative gods.

      Merry Juliana

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    • Posted

      Hi Merry, this is the old lady in the shoe : ). I'm reaching out because I was going strong for a while and then just yesterday all my mild pain began to increase and I now have a rash on the right side of my head and left side of my neck. It has moved each time I have broke out, which is now 3 times in 21/2 years. I started taking the acyclovir 1, once a day since June because my mother in law has done that for 20 years and swears it prevents hers from returning. Obviously this is not the case for me!! However, I don't know if this has helped with the severity of this outbreak. Do you think I should continue with the profilact(sp) dose? I have, of course, upped the dosage to 3x a day since I have relapsed. Send me your thoughts please. Thank you

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    • Posted

      Hi

      Sweet Shoe Lady🌞

      I would continue taking a prophylactic dose of an antiviral, but consider asking your physician for Famvir, which is considered more efficacious than Acyclovir. I have a feeling the prophylactic dose is working, or you would be getting this plague much more often.

      While I am not a proponent of taking Lysine tablets due to adverse effects on different organs, I do believe in paying attention to modifying your diet to consuming higher ratio Lysine to Arginine foods. I just had a lightbulb moment this past week after eating a cup full of peanuts "Yummy" and developing a worse than usual episode of Herpes Zoster-Shingles. It hit. me... Arginine.... usually I eat high content Lysine foods....you can't just eat one nut.... especially if you are one like me....hope this helps...

      Sorry about your double whammy outbreak,

      Shoe Lady....

      Best regards

      Merry Juliana

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    • Posted

      I have been really good about my high lysine low argenjne diet and lately I have been giving I to some almonds and quite a few sunflower seeds!! I wonder if this had anything to do with my regression?? Thanks so much! Cheers to meats and cheese!! ; )
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    • Posted

      Dear Manolo Blanik predecessor!

      As a determined legume and nutty eater and do I ever pay the price, I believe that your indiscretion could have played a role in your most recent illness. If it isn't in the house, I don't eat it sooooooo.....

      I do hope my dear friend, that this episode is of short course and not too painful.

      Best wishes

      Merry Juliana

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  • Posted

    Hone,

    You're correct...there is not much about the healing process.  I am a 69 year young woman who had the vaccine and still developed shingles.  Most doctors say it "scabs off".  Mine is just turning brown, no scabbing. I had no itching, no soreness, no pain.  Had it not been on the front of my body, I would never have noticed it.  I have slight PHN.  My neurologist was all set to recommend something...but, my primary care said, "Give it 2 months."  I went through another primary care and got something. 6-12 months for PHN??? Not very heartening!

    Did you have the vaccine?

    Thank you for sharing.

    Bette

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    • Posted

      Thanks ---I did not have vaccine. I used anti-virals within the 72hour window but the PHN still developed, However, everyone is different. I had no scabs just extensive rash. It sounds good your rash isn't bad but PHN develps after rash is gone. For those who get PHN at the 65-70 years of age bracket it is good to know it can take a 1 year so not to be disheartened. If it goes away in 3-6 months then great. My post tried to describe what the healing process feels like and is experienced - basically the same symptoms you get after the rash it just dials down in intensity and pain levels. As I say at 17 weeks I have a dimmer version of what I had at week 5-6. 

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    • Posted

      Hone,

      There is a new vaccine being presented to the FDA this year for approval by Glaxo-Smith-Kline called Shingrex. It has a 90-97% efficacy rate. Zostavax by Merck has an efficacy rate of 53-37%, which dwindling as one ages.

      As recurrent Herpes Zoster-Shingles occurs more frequently than previously thought, hopefully the new vaccine will help those who suffer from recurring Herpes Zoster-Shingles, who are at risk of a recurrent episode, or decrease the frequency of episodes.

      Merry Juliana

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    • Posted

      Thanks I did not know that. That means it won't be available in Australia till at least 2017 but looks good. Anything that can stop PHN will be welcome!!!

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    • Posted

      Hi Merry

      Merry

      It is I again...how come my doctors at Kaiser CA know nothing about this new vaccine??  My PCP advises me to get the Zostavax again in 6 months!  I would welcome your thoughts on that.

      Bette

       

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    • Posted

      Hi Bette,

      I happen to read medical journals, which your internist could also. I do not know why he does not know, but if he shows no interest in learning more about it, I would start worrying about his intellect. In six months, there should be news about Shingrex's approval by the FDA, and you will be able to make an informed choice. I do not know when Shingrex will become available, but I should think that Glaxo-Smith-Kline would have their manufacturing site ready to ramp up production. Shingrex should make a fortune for them.

      I hope this helps with your answer.

      Best regards.

      Merry Juliana

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