Shingles - Diagnosis

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Shingles.
How was your case of shingles diagnosed?
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See what others are saying

Published: October 05

It all started with a sore throat that didn't go away over a few days. Then I had a swollen gland on the left side of my neck. Left ear felt strange, but no pain. I saw the doctor and we both thought it was an ear infection. I went home with antibiotics. Next day I had fever with chills and was throwing up (nausea). This lasted two days. I knew something was really wrong when I had trouble walking the next morning. I walked like I was highly intoxicated but I didn't have anything to drink. It is called vertigo. I went back to my doctor with the aid of my neighbor and the nurse. He looked in my ear and saw the sores and rash. Perplexed (he's a PA, physician's assistant), he brought in the regular doctor. He tested me for nerve damage, looked at my ear and said I have shingles, and to go to the emergency room at the local hospital. They gave me mega doses of anti-viral medicines for three days and two nights. An MRI showed that it wasn't in my brain or my eye. It is called Ramsay Hunt syndrome. I still have a slight vertigo but I am in physical therapy for that. I got a hefty hospital bill. Three months later and my ear still itches. Massive rash and sores never developed. Thank you doctors and nurses..

Published: July 29

Initially I went to an orthopedic/sports doctor when I experienced an excruciating pain on my right shoulder, I thought I did something to my shoulder when I played tennis two days prior and worked out at the gym the day before. I asked the doctor if my blistered (looks like burnt) finger and 2 pimple like rash on my right palm had anything to do with the pain on my shoulder. He laughed and said he did not think there was a relations between the two because he thought my hand symptoms looked like poison ivy. He told me to put cortisone on my hand and take 2 Aleve every 12 hours. Aleve did not alleviate the pain. The following night the pimple like rashes had spread on my hands and wrist and I was talking to my sister-in-law about my poison ivy symptoms and she thought based on her experience with poison ivy that mine was not, and said it could be shingles. I did not know much about shingles, so I googled it and came upon this forum. After reading the postings I was convinced I had shingles. I went to a family doctor first thing that morning who confirmed that I did have shingles. She prescribed an antiviral medicine and hydrocodone for pain. Hydrocodone did not seem to work so the following day I called her back, and she prescribed gabapentin that I can take along with hydrocodone. After 3 to 4 hours of taking gabapentin, the shooting pain was gone and whatever pain left behind was bearable, so I discontinued the hydrocodone the following day and was just taking Tylenol with gabapentin. I'm still waiting for all my sores to ripen and dry up but at least the pain is now just from the sores on my skin. I've been putting Desitin and sprinkling baking soda on the sores and that seems to help. This forum was a lot of help for me. That's the reason why I'm taking the time to post my experience also, hoping to help someone else. Thank you to all who posted their experiences before me..