Want to exercise after scabs gone but pain still here...

Posted , 7 users are following.

Hi Fellow Shingle Sufferers! I've had shingles across my lower left front for about 5 weeks. Got lucky with just about 10 spots. The scabs are gone and light pink spots remain. When I try to walk quickly outside, I get pain in my front and back again. Is it okay to push past this pain and power walk for 30 minutes twice a day or should I still lay low? I'm also eager to get back to the gym. Thanks!

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  • Posted

    I am past 5 weeks since the on-start, Many light pink spots but still some tiny red healing spots. I had to stop running and power walking and just walk at a somewhat brisk pace for the last month. I still have severe pain and stabbing pain in my lower right abdomen and lower right back. Walking does seem to tire me after the walk, slow it down for now is my mantra. I am 72.
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  • Posted

    Thanks for your reply -it made me realize how awful this thing can be! When I walk it exhausts me too and it triggers pain. I find myself taking daily naps!
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  • Posted

    Debbie,

    My strong advice to you is lay low and go slow! Seriously, please do not try to power through this. Your body has had a major assault by a nasty virus. It can return with a vengeance.

    Please rest and sleep.

    I worked as a single mother 21 years ago and went to grad school. My shingles was not diagnosed in a timely fashion and I have had recurrent episodes of Herpes Zoster Shingles in my right ear every three to five weeks for the past twenty-one years. I blame it on

    the lack of diagnostic skills of three physicians, and therefore, lack of treatment and management of the disease.

    Best Wishes in healing

    Merry Juliana

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  • Posted

    Merry's the expert here, but I agree with USMC also. I'm now almost exactly 1 year post shingles, the same area as you. The rash or spots are just an outward example of the virus. The real issue is what's happening inside. I had almost NO rash, but now have PHN, which happens after the nerves are damaged and respond with pain, despite being "healed". You may have effects for weeks or months, it varies, but do NOT try and push, keep as comfortable and pain-free as possible. Keep active if you can, but go easy.

    I am improving, not everyone does, so reset your time-frame on this and accept it may be a while yet, or not. Are you using anything like Apercreme with Lidocaine? It's a life-saver for me. I use that, Tylenol and also Gabapentin. I HATE the Gab, but my pain was so bad, I needed to take it. Good luck!

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  • Posted

    I really appreciate all of your kind replies. I'm going through a divorce and the stress has taken it's toll. I find myself napping for 2 hour spreads almost daily. I'm doing this without pain pills and did take a pricey prescription for something when first diagnosed. It's hard to just take it easy but I see your points...my doctor told me very little about what to expect.

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  • Posted

    Also, does anyone know if a heating pad on the back (rash was on front) is bad for it?
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    • Posted

      It's  all individual. Some prefer heat, some cold. I personally got relief from warm showers. It seemed to confuse those nasty nerves a bit and I'd not notice the pain. BTW, the way the nerve goes, you may have pain in the front OR back and above or below the area where the rash was. Technically, the virus follows a specific nerve, but IMHO the nerves branch out to other areas so there can be pain or itching away from the main area.

      When you say "pricey prescription", was it an anti-viral like Valtrex? Or was it for nerve pain? Lyrica is one drug, and it's expensive, Gabapentin, is similar, but generic. Some people use narcotics, but most doctors won't prescribe them. If it helps, your doctor's not the only one who doesn't seem to tell their patients much. So many of them only know inaccurate, out-dated info. There are many myths about shingles. I've found this website, both the main one about shingles, and this support forum to be one of the best sources of information and help out there. I worked for 30 years in healthcare for 30 years as a medical secretary, so it's easier for me to negotiate this than it is for others. But I had no idea it could be this life-altering.

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    • Posted

      After I hit Enter, I realized I forgot something--stress is definitely a contributing factor. This virus lies dormant for years and will present itself if you become immune-compromised or under a lot of stress. Many of us were very active people and had to make a lot of changes in our life when this came up. You're not alone.

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    • Posted

      Hi Babs,

      I think it was Valtrex and I took it within 36 hours of noticing the rash. Yes, I'm definitely under major stress. It's comforting to know that everyone here is so supportive. I usually cope with stress by power walking or going to the gym but that's not possible now. What's your preference on destressing? So I gather there's no way to tell how long this can last. I actually thought that once the scabs were gone, I'd be healed!

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    • Posted

      The good news is you got the Valtrex so quickly, it greatly decreases the likelihood of long-term problems. Mine was so atypical (and I was 1600 miles from home) that I didn't get it. When I was at my worst, destressing was just finding a good movie to watch to take my mind off of shingles. AND giving yourself permission to slow down. It's an invisible condition so others don't realize how ill you are and we're normally in denial that this has affected us so much, so we try and fight it. Rest, find something else to occupy your mind and distract you. If we feel up to it, do some brief physical activity.

      Part of this recovery is psychological--it's so hard to realize that, even briefly, your normal routine and life is so disrupted. It's logical to think, well I'm just dogging it! Of COURSE I don't need to keep sleeping. Ah, but you do, it's the body working at healing itself, so be kind to yourself and help it along.

      Coming here helped me also, there's no judgement, we understand much better than others can and sadly, you can usually find someone else with more problems than yourself, so you can try and count your blessings. As I said, you'll should have a longer recovery than you first thought, but better than many others here, so there is light at the end of the tunnel.

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    • Posted

      You are so right about it being invisible - I didn't even see it coming! I'm trying to stay calmer (taking your advice!) by watching movies and reading. Can't believe it's still painful- you're right, it's not right under the red spot area. I also notice that my skin is still sensitive and can only wear soft clothes. Hoping that I'm near the end of that tunnel! Thanks!

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    • Posted

      Debbie,

      When I first had Shingles,

      I was going through an acrimonious divorce with a murderous man, fighting for custody of my son, going to grad school, working, etc, and my son and I were ill.

      I understand your stress, even though I am not living your life.

      It is really difficult being you right now. You will get through this, I promise you, and life will get easier. We have your back here.

      When life was extremely difficult, a dear friend sent me a card, and I have never forgotten her or the card.

      It said, "💕Create "Le Petit Bonheur." or "A Little Happiness!"

      Read a good book by the fire

      Take a bubble bath by candlelight light

      Put on your favorite music

      Put on your old-time favorite movie

      Listen to some classical music

      Have a friend come over for coffee

      Call a friend

      Do these things one at a time until you feel strong enough to conquer tomorrow and tomorrow and then the stars and moon will shine, and your days will be bright, the way life is supposed to be.

      Fondly, and with love,

      Merry Juliana

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    • Posted

      Hi Merry,

      I really appreciate your much needed kind support during my more than difficult time. If you got through your nasty circumstances it gives me hope that I can too. I've been reading and watching good movies. I'm just after 5 weeks and notice that I feel fatigued after lunch and nap for 2 hrs! Is that part of it?

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    • Posted

      Yes, it is. Before shingles, the only time I'd nap was about once every 10 years when I had influenza. The first two months, I'd doze or nap regularly. Then even months later when I thought I was better (which I was) I'd have days where I'd fall asleep. Now, I'll have days of more fatigue, but try and ignore it. But you DID help me remember, that's still part of this.

      On a good day, you can geek out by reading more about this strange, pervasive disease. Some MRI's actually show changes to parts of the brain due to the virus! Not to freak you out, but to let you know it's not your imagination or you babying yourself, it's the disease. One of the hardest parts is learning to deal with and  accept that, at least for a while, life will be different and you need to adjust. I couldn't work, even my part-time job, for two months, then eventually had to quit. Other factors were also at play, but I just couldn't handle the discomfort and the side effects of the gab. We were very lucky I had that option (about the ONLY thing about getting old, is being able to take early Social Security.)

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    • Posted

      Debbie,

      The fatigue and exhaustion is certainly part of Shingles. You need to rest and sleep. Obey your body. Do not try and power through this. The fatigue can last months. I don't even know if one physician mentions the fatigue that the Shingles patients experience, but besides the classic dermatome rash and excruciating lancinating pain, the fatigue and exhaustion are also debilitating, as well as the depression.

      Best Wishes

      Merry Juliana

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    • Posted

      Merry, You are so right! I napped yesterday for about 30 minutes until the phone woke me up. I then went to bed at 9:30 and slept straight through until 5:30 and got up at 6:15. The pain still progresses from early afternoon until bedtime.

      Reading other's posts it seems there's definitely a trend for this to occur in stressed out people. I'm going through a divorce among other things. I'm trying to take things a day at a time. I'm in week 6 and hope that this doesn't last for months. Focusing on staying calm.

      Thank you!

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    • Posted

      Debbie you may very likely have a shorter course than others. I do believe in preparing for the future, but I also try and remember this quote from Michael J. Fox. “Don’t imagine the worst… If you imagine the worst and it happens, you’ve lived it twice”. It's not so easy for me at times to remember that.

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    • Posted

      babs - i love the michael j fox quote. thank you. and you're right - it's hard to remember those kinds of things, as it's so easy to get caught up in the pain. but if we can get out of heads for even short periods of time, it allows our bodies to rest. even small bits of escape are helpful. thus, the walks with headphones and favorite music. and being with people you love as much as possible. we'll get through this!

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