Viewer Comments: Shingles - Diagnosis

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Shingles - Diagnosis

How was your case of shingles diagnosed?

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Comment from: happytobehere, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 22

I thought I had pulled a muscle in my back. For 4 days I had extreme deep ache in right hip and buttock, wrapping around to front thigh down to my knee. Day 4, I felt stinging and hypersensitivity in one area on my butt. Next morning there was a rash in the area of stinging. I went to the doctor the next day and was diagnosed with shingles. He prescribed acyclovir 800 to take 5 times a day for 10 days along with Tylenol 3 for pain. Rash has spread to all the areas where I originally ached but no visible blistering or oozing. I still get achy feeling in my hip and hypersensitivity on and off. I only take a Tylenol 3 at bedtime as that is when it usually hurts. I'm on day 6 since diagnosis and am coping well.

Comment from: K, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 05

I thought I had strained my right shoulder and upper back (had past injuries) and phoned in refill for muscle relaxant. Before picking up the prescription and after 3 nights without sleep due to severe pain, I noticed rash under my arm and thought maybe razor burn. But by late afternoon it had spread across chest and burning like heck. I didn't want to wait until next morning and went to 24 hour walk-in clinic and was diagnosed with shingles. Actually I was quite fortunate I went there right away and was able to start antiviral therapy within 72 hours of rash developing and given Vicodin for pain. Rash did spread further across upper back to spinal cord and upper breast and down arm to elbow. I suppose stress of losing and caring for terminally ill sibling during the past year had caught up with me.

Comment from: SandyT, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 03

On a Friday, throughout the day, I was aware of a sensitivity on the left side of my neck and top of my shoulder. I could see nothing there, so I just assumed it was irritation from a necklace I was wearing that day. By Saturday, a very small red spot appeared in the same area. My neck felt a little sore, so I began using a warm rice sock on my neck to relieve the soreness. By Monday, a couple of other spots appeared on my skin; nothing raised, just red in color. By Monday afternoon, I began having excruciating, stabbing pain in my neck and nothing would control it. The pain was like nothing I have ever experienced before, and finally got the best of me. A kind neighbor took me to the emergency room (ER) for diagnosis and treatment. Ice packs in the ER helped a bit. The doctor there prescribed pain medicines, cortisone, and several other medications, and the diagnosis was perhaps a pinched nerve. I was instructed to follow up with my spine doctor (as I have had low back spinal issues before). Tuesday continued with pain off and on with almost unbearable pain from time to time. Everyone kept asking me about my pain level on a scale from 1-10. During the worst episodes, the pain level was easily a 12 or 13, and in between the episodes, the pain level was a constant 8 at least. I went to my spine doctor on Wednesday, and, by that time, more red areas had appeared, and he quickly said he thought it was shingles and referred me to my regular family doctor. Two hours later at my family doctor's, the diagnosis was confirmed, shingles. Five more prescriptions later, I have been dealing with this for another 5 days. The worst episodes seem to have subsided, but the rash and blisters continue and the neck pain just never seems to let up. Ice packs and ibuprofen have been my best friends. There is no doubt in my mind that I would rather give birth again than have to deal with shingles again.

Comment from: Snowqueen, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 01

It all started about a week ago with chills which I didn't pay much attention to because I live in the north and have a very tender scalp. A few days ago, I started to get occasional shooting pain in my right ear. The following day a blister formed on the bridge of my nose and by night time the rash had developed on the outer edge of my eyebrow. Throughout the day, it began to feel as if I had sandpaper in my eye. Late yesterday, I noticed a lump in front of my ear. I have been fortunate that the pain is tolerable and I am mostly cold and tired. It has not been officially diagnosed by a certified doctor but my research and the rash point to shingles. It doesn't help that I already have adrenal exhaustion.

Comment from: Beth, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 14

Had flu 3-4 weeks ago followed by bronchitis. End of last week started feeling ill again - headache, tiredness now ear ache and pain that is covering a greater part of the left side of my head. Just seen doctor - no ear infection but it could be a muscular headache but my neck isn't stiff. However, I had shingles in this ear in 1988 and I had symptoms of shingles pain in my back last summer but no eruption. She is cautious that this might be the start of it again as I'm feeling ill and tired. Last time I had it I remember my neck ached - a new symptom on her. Taking paracetomol and ibuprofen alternately. She has given me a prescription for anti-viral in case it erupts over next few days. I sympathize with the person who described the pain on scale of 1-10 as 12. I can truly say that shingles in the head is the worst pain I have ever experienced including childbirth. The virus destroys the nerve sheath and ever since 1988, I have been slightly deaf and suffered intense pain in the winter.

Comment from: Akhealth, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: May 14

Noted a slight numbness or coolness with soreness to touch of left thigh for a couple days and it was so minor that I thought nothing of it. However, in a couple days I noticed a red raised area on left buttock that I really couldn't see very well even with a mirror. Next day it had grown and I noted a hand size reddened area on left front near pubis so I went to the doctor thinking it was either a bug bite, impetigo, or just maybe shingles. Actually I felt silly going to the doctor for a bug bite but I am glad I did. Next time, if there is a next time, I'll go at the first symptoms; it was shingles so I am presently on Valtrex 1000mg q8h. So as of 2 days later I notice above areas, described, less in appearance but do now note a slight burning sensation on upper left back. Have a follow-up doctor visit next week.

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Shingles - Symptoms and Signs

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Shingles - Effective Treatments

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