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Shingles

Question:

What were your shingles symptoms and signs? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Gigi, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 30

My shingles started with horrible chest pain, numbness down my left arm and deep back pain. I finally went to urgent care. They did an EKG and it came back perfect. The doctor touched my spine. I flew out of the chair, and the doctor asked me to show him the rash! It was what I thought a spider bite. I was prescribed an antivirus medicine and pain killers. It's been almost 3 weeks and I'm still hurting. I've worked every day through this and it's the most pain I've ever had. Seems like nothing helps the sharp pain in my breast.

Comment from: Kat, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: September 19

It wasn't a mosquito bite on my itchy, swollen hot ear. I developed cellulitis from what was diagnosed as shingles. I felt fine except for an occasional ear canal pain, and what I thought was a strained muscle in my shoulder area. The doctor treated me with an antibiotic and viral medicine. By the 3rd shingles tablet my brain felt like it was pushing through my skull! Vomiting ensued. I stopped taking the virus tablet, and my headache stopped within 24 hours. Itching and the slightest burn feel on ear and jawline remained for 2 weeks. So grateful!

Comment from: Hadley3, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: September 12

My shingles started with a sore throat and headache, thought it was strange the sore throat was on the left side only. One week later the pain started in my left shoulder and I thought I had a pinched nerve. It progressively got worse over the next 3 days, shooting and stabbing pains to the point the pain was unbearable. I noticed 3 blisters appear just below my shoulder. Doctor diagnosed shingles and started me on antiviral drugs straight away. I would opt for labor pains any day, it was the worst pain ever.

Comment from: JustMe, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: August 07

On my right wrist I appeared to have a couple of bug bites. By evening I was itching just below my waist on the right side. Lots of tiny red blisters! Shingles. I had it 7 years ago. I called my doctor and got famciclovir 3 a day for 7 days. I'm not experiencing much nerve pain but conclude that the nerve pain took place for about a month in my low back, right side and subsided a week ago. I received the new 2 part vaccine, and the last one 6 weeks ago. The itch is horrible!

Comment from: LizzieB , 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 07

For about 3 days I felt like I was having a heart attack from the pain on my left chest and shortness of breath. I went in for an ECG and chest x-ray - both normal. Next morning I woke up with the shingles rash and was prescribed anti-viral medication. Next 36 hours it felt like random jolts of electricity and burning skin. Now 18 days later, and my arm and left breast still feel like a terrible sunburn with a severe pulled muscle pain accompanying it. I'm on Neurontin for pain. Shingles is terrible!

Comment from: Bernadetta, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 27

I've started with a rash in my groin, armpits and under my breasts. The doctor said it was psoriasis. It is now a month later and finally I have developed blisters on my breasts, and have pain all over my body. It turned out to be shingles, and now I am waiting for this doctor to order the proper medication, since it has been 30 days of agony. I think it's time I get a new doctor.

Comment from: shaunp, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: March 06

On early January 18 I woke up with a feeling of a pinched nerve in my neck. I am an avid hiker, hunter, and am in very good shape. I went to the doctor after a few days of the pain as it was terrible. The ordered x-rays of my neck and an MRI, and I told him it was the worst pain I'd ever had. A week later, blisters started on my shoulder, only a few. The doctor then diagnosed shingles. I took 800 mg of acyclovir every 4 hours, lysine and many vitamins. I'm 2 months into this, I am back to a semi normal workout routine but the pain has remained in my thumb and part of my hand. I fatigue easily but am determined to get through this. I did not find a pain medication which helped and I hear Lyrica should be tried. My advice, take sleep medication, you have to sleep to beat this. I was sleeping only a few hours a day due to the pain. This virus is terrible.

Comment from: Betsy, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: February 05

The first shingles symptom that occurred was constant pain beneath my ribs on my right side which radiated to my back, plus intermittent nausea. After a number of hours, I went to the emergency room. After blood tests, gallbladder ultrasound, EKG and chest x-ray, which were all normal, it was decided the culprit was recurrent gastritis and I was referred to a gastroenterologist. Two days later, I developed two itchy lesions which looked like insect bites, one located to the right of the sternum and another beneath the ribs on my back. The following morning, I awoke with a large and painful swollen gland under my right jaw. No fever, no chills, mild fatigue and continuing stomach discomfort and pain. It didn't occur to me that this odd assortment of symptoms was actually caused by a virus until a week later. By that time, more welts had appeared on my torso between my sternum and my spine and I began to suspect shingles. The diagnosis was confirmed today and I am now taking Valtrex.

Comment from: Workinafter65, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: January 17

I had deep back pain in the middle of the night. Thought I must have pulled a muscle or banged into something. Pain was there but bearable during the day, but I woke and it spread during the night for a week off and on. Thought I had a catch under my rib into my back. I worked all week but pain awakened me Friday night and when I looked in mirror I saw raised red bumps near the pain site. I went to urgent care next day and was diagnosed the shingles. I started on antiviral medication but the rash spread overnight. I did get shingles vaccine 5 years ago. Twenty-four hours later I am suffering significant back pain. Rash is stable. Hoping antiviral kicks in and helps. I have terrible stabbing back pain. Ibuprofen helps.

Comment from: Hopeless, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 01

The very first time I contracted shingles was about two months after my car accident (near fatal for me). This was February of 2014, it lasted about 2 months. Time went on and the doctor said I would most likely never get it again. Well, that wasn't the case. Around the middle of November 2016 it came back with a vengeance, leaving only a small external patch and the rest were all internal. I have no insurance any longer due to losing my job because I kept getting it (shingles). Over the next nine or ten months I became a regular patient at the emergency room (ER) continuously taking acyclovir and any other medicines they treat shingles with. I finally went to a teaching hospital where I was able to get a discount to see a primary doctor which did me no good. She told me it wasn't a typical shingles and accused me of being a drug seeker (pain medicines). I showed her every record from ER visits, explained to her that it was getting so bad that I was taking medication over the counter I'm allergic to, just to make the pain stop but still no help. What I really wanted from her is the cause. Extreme shingles is reoccurring two maybe three times in a five to ten year period. I have had it seventeen times in the last twelve months. They ran some tests no HIV, no immune issues, they said I could possibly have breast cancer after they did mammogram on a lump I found, but no biopsy. And now it is one year and two weeks later and it is worse than ever. I have it on my face and in my eyes, a 104 temperature with the worst headache of my life. I have double vision and it's almost as if I have cataracts. Still no one will help me and I am so scared and worried now that I could have a stroke. I am ready to give up completely. I can't take it anymore. I had to drop out of college as well as lose my job, now I can't even drive. Thanks for listening. I am feeling hopeless and helpless.

Comment from: Ms sandra, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 28

My shingles symptoms started with a burning itch on my left side. I thought at first my bra was irritating my skin, but that evening I noticed 3 or 4 red raised bumps that looked like bug bites. By the next morning they had developed into a rash about 2 inches in diameter. I went to the doctor and was put on famciclovir for 7 days. Over the next few days, I began experiencing stabbing pains under my left breast, and one side of my breast was red. By the time I could see the doctor most of the redness has faded. It's been 2 weeks now, my left breast still has a faint red area along one side. I get shooting, stabbing pain under the left breast that feel like I'm being kicked. My left side from under the armpit to the breast is sore and tender to touch. The rash itself doesn't bother me at all, but the shooting pain and tenderness wake me up at night.

Comment from: Danny, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: September 07

I woke up early one morning to an extremely sensitive scalp. I noticed I had slight swelling under my skin on the crown of my head and forehead. My head was so sensitive I couldn't touch my hair without pain. I was very puzzled and thought maybe I had sleep walked and hit my head hard in my sleep. I just couldn't grasp what was going on, it never occurred to me that it was something different then a head injury. I had a terrible headache, my ear was hurting, my throat by the next day was sore. I felt worn out, kind of like onset of the flu. Then finally it dawned on me what was going on. I was the perfect age for shingles. I went to the emergency room on a Sunday. They gave me anti-viral drugs and gabapentin for the pain. Not sure why they give me gabapentin since a Tylenol was more effective, but barely. I am now at day 17 and I had the first day that I got by with 2 Tylenol and didn't have a headache most of the day. I still feel run down and tired but can tell I'm on my way back to normal. The shingles are awful. Get the shot if you can, it will at least make it more tolerable if you get it.

Comment from: Bee, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 30

I don't know if this had anything to do with shingles but coincidently I was in a rear end car accident and was injured in the area of the upper right area of neck and back. I was getting chiropractic care. The day before the pain started, I had a mid-back adjustment that felt a bit aggressive and off to the right more towards the rib area. On my next chiropractic appointment 3 days later, I told my chiropractor about it and he said he couldn't take credit for it because it didn't hurt within three hours after treatment, but I noticed it the next morning. The pain under my shoulder blade felt like my back was kinked up and just needed a good massage. I went to my family doctor and she gave me a muscle relaxant and Robax Platinum. The pain continued and after seven days I had another chiropractic appointment and it was still painful and was spreading towards the side of my right breast. He looked under my shirt and saw a small rash and told me it was shingles. I was in disbelief and went to my family physician the same day and she told me the same thing. By that time a small rash appeared on my left breast. It didn't look like the pictures I see online. It was prickly and some sharp stabbing pains but no intense itching. She prescribed the shingles antibiotic and gabapentin. After two weeks it has a burning sensation and lots of dull to sharp aching pain on the right side of my back and my right breast that keeps me awake but still no itching. I find the Robax helps and Tylenol with codeine (over the counter T1s) with the gabapentin to get to sleep. After two weeks the gabapentin doesn't seem to be working yet. I use a hot water bottle too for pain relief. I have had these pains before but in a much milder way. I just thought my back was out a bit, and it would go away in a week or so. I have been under a lot of stress lately so it may just have had a perfect time to manifest itself. Than in my disbelief I thought maybe it was an allergy to tomatoes or something. I haven't had the rash actually tested but maybe have to accept it really is shingles.

Comment from: Suzy E., 0-2 Female (Caregiver) Published: June 05

My husband has shingles and has taken antibiotics, but he just wants to sleep all the time. He has no energy and the rash is just now breaking into blisters. I am worried as he acts like he is in la-la land. He is not taking pain medications, as the pain is not that bad, just feels like electrical shocks when anything touches him, even clothes. He has had a small seizure before and takes medications for that.

Comment from: JewelerAK, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 11

I had a bout of extremely itchy skin involving my torso: mainly mid back, armpits and upper chest which lasted about a week. Following this, I experienced a sensation on my left side from mid back to under the breast that felt like a pulled muscle. After about five days of pain, my husband and son noticed a rash on the left side of my back. The following day, after the rash spread to the left breast with pain localized to the areas of rash I went to the doctor with my suspicion of shingles being confirmed. I am being treated with acyclovir 5 times a day for 7 days; we will see how it goes.

Comment from: mags, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: November 01

I had a pain in my armpit and a few lumps I thought were mosquito bites. I had to fly from New Zealand to UK and back in a week. I was very stressed at the time. Didn't know I had shingles until I returned to NZ. Recently my right buttock suddenly was very painful and the pain spread down my leg and affected my ankle. I felt tired, itchy and not 'myself'. There is no reason for the pain and so I think it might be shingles again. Again I have a few bumps, itchy, that I thought were bites.

Comment from: JG0121, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: July 25

One evening I had a long sleeve shirt on and it kept itching in my forearm. It felt like a plastic tag would feel if it were still in the shirt. It irritated me so much I changed my shirt. But I also noticed when the shirt rolled over the skin it tingled. The next morning I woke to a single jolt in my forearm. My shoulder blade started having tingly skin with random nerve jolts. For 2 or 3 days I didn't say a thing but I had a good idea what was going on. My shoulder is now a 4 inch patch and I have 3 small patches down my arm. I had to remove my wedding ring because my finger has a spot too. I have not suffered any other symptoms except a headache the night before all this started. I am not in any pain yet. Skin feels very different along the nerve path of the lesions but so far so good. I was put on acyclovir 5 times/day for 10 days. I was absolutely not surprised I got shingles. I have asked my primary care doctor about the shot for years now. He's awesome but he would chuckle and say I am too young for the shot and ask me what makes me think I will get shingles. I have suffered with cold sores on my left lip since I was 4. I'm good for 3 plus nasty ones a year. These shingles are also on my left side. Coincidence! I don't know what path these will take, 10 to 14 days of pain and then gone, or months of agony; but I wish anyone who gets them wellness. Take care of yourself and know your body. If something doesn't feel right and you can't explain why see the doctor fast.

Comment from: chrisptx, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: June 09

My shingles outbreak started with a patch of tender skin on my right scalp that hurt when touched. Next I started getting an ache in my right jaw back around my molars. I thought maybe I had a deep cavity or something. Then my right ear started aching the next day. Then later the third day, I started getting red bumps around my right ear and on the right side of my face. These started aching and were itchy, so I went to the doctor and found out it was shingles.

Comment from: ddr, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 01

I've had shingles twice now. Once when I was 29 or 30 and again last week at 45. This time the pain was in my neck. I was sensitive to the touch and the pain went from my neck to my jaw, and then into my ear. It felt like an ear ache and I could barely open my jaw. I only had 2 or 3 blisters and they were very hard to detect. Hope this helps someone else.

Comment from: T S Elrod, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: May 27

Three days ago I had a sore spot just inside my nose and I thought it would develop into a cold sore but the next day my upper lip was swollen and there was swelling up my left cheek. It was itchy yet painful. I was diagnosed with shingles even though there was no rash. I am concerned because all that I have read about shingles does not mention anywhere about swelling except in the lymph nodes. My face is deformed looking from the swelling.

Comment from: judy, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: April 27

I was inoculated against shingles when I was over 75. Then about a year and a half later, first a deep pain in the left side of my back started. After several days I noticed a ring of blisters around my waist. I thought this couldn't be shingles, but went to my doctor who verified that it was. For six weeks I was in agony, never given any anti-viral drugs and the pain in my back felt like a knife being turned. People said that it must have been a light case because, after all, I had been inoculated. Many nights, it was so painful I willed my heart to stop beating but obviously it didn't. I just hope it never returns.

Comment from: seashellsk, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 05

I had ear and neck shingles twice. First bout was at the age of 30 and second at 47. It started with my earlobe swelling, turning red and burning/itching. First time it took 3 emergency room (ER) visits and an urgent care (2 weeks) to have my doctor tell the ER what I had via phone. Second time is now and at 24 hours I ran to my doctor's office. My lobe is about 3 times the size, red and hot. I now have a rash running from my ear down my neck. I am taking valacyclovir and prednisolone pack. My throat is hurting, but no blisters yet. I am also putting on a lidocaine patch cut to wrap on lobe. I hope this time my ear doesn't blister and then turn black. I am a very active hiker and stay in shape. I am not at all the type they say are at risk. Ugh.

Comment from: DAFFODIL, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 05

My shingles breakout did not begin until 3 weeks after extreme pain in right upper back for which I saw the doctor twice. I only have Medicare so this costs a lot. I should have been treated immediately. Then slowly it spread and from spine to front under breast. I could not lie on sides or back and it was very difficult to get any sleep. The doctor gave me Percocet which helped some with that. For the shingles itch the medicines given (prednisone) did not help at all and I finished that bottle. Famvir helped with the increase of spread but pain still exists. I am curious as before this I had some issues with urinating though I always drink a lot of water. Just after that the pain came and shingles 3 weeks later. Must be some connection. Very difficult condition to deal with I must say as I am still in pain and itch in that area.

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

I am a 54 year old female, I broke out with shingles in April of 2015. At first I woke up with a broken rib feeling in my left side. This lasted about 4 days. Next, little rows of pin dots that looked similar to scabies (which is what I thought I had). I took real hot baths with borax thinking it would kill scabies. Big mistake, next the blisters formed from front of abdomen wrapping around to the back. By this time I was in excruciating pain like I never felt before. My doctor prescribed Valtrex and Percocet. It took 2 months to recover and I still have scars and lingering skin pain. I also was prescribed gabapentin for nerve pain. It is now February 2016. I am certain I am breaking out with shingles again but this time on my left chest. First a numb feeling on left side of chest in about a 5 inch circle. An aching like a pulled muscle with spasms of pain for about 3 days. Now it's a feeling like a sunburn. I began Valtrex about the second day. So far the blisters have not appeared. I am hoping the Valtrex will halt it.

Comment from: Jennifer, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: February 12

I have had shingles now for 3 weeks and the pain is vile. I have seen online that vitamins B12, E and C really help, I will try anything. I suffer osteoporosis in my spine and this is bad enough but the pain shingles has left me in my left lung is just excruciating.

Comment from: Statinized, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 08

My case of shingles started 3 weeks ago. I had severe red-hot pain down the back of my left buttock and leg but no blisters or sores. This could be because I had the shingles vaccine in April 2014. A different deep, intermittent, pinched-nerve type pain started nearby in my buttock last week, and now I'm using a cane to keep it from flaring. My doctor didn't prescribe an anti-viral since he thought my case would be mild. No painkiller has been effective. Now I have neuropathy in the area too and I hope it goes away with the more severe pain.

Comment from: Deeb, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: February 02

I received the shingles vaccine a few years ago and just got diagnosed with shingles by a dermatologist, so I am taking Valtrex and Synalar cream. It doesn't hurt, just a little itchy, it feels like a mild sunburn. I suppose it would have been a lot worse if I hadn't been vaccinated.

Comment from: Sue, Female (Patient) Published: January 11

I first noticed a stabbing pain under my left breast and thought I had been stung by a spider. By night-time it really hurt and I could not figure out why such tiny pimples would hurt so badly. Two days later I realized they were now on my back too. In retrospect, I remember having severe muscle pain in my upper right arm and associated it with pulling a muscle while walking my large dog. By the 3rd day, my back started to hurt (not where the shingles are) and my left rib-cage ached as if I pulled something. I told a friend that my rash was weird because it was only on one side of my body and she told me I have shingles. I went to the doctor and they started me on the anti-viral medication. I have mild headaches and muscle aches and if I eat a full meal, my stomach is hurting. I do think the medication is helping although it is only 24 hours. My advice would be to get the spots checked right away and not wait a few more days like I did. I did not want to spend a USD 35 co-pay and be told it was something minor.

Comment from: Bary, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: December 01

I never knew I had chicken pox but, when I was 15 or 16, I had a small patch of blisters break out on my left side rib cage. I didn't know they were shingles but now I have read you can get the shingle blisters at your initial chicken pox exposure and not really show other signs. Here it is some 50 years later and I had performed some yard work and thought I had strained the muscles on my rib cage. The pain was intense for about two days and the blisters appeared on my rib cage from the center of my chest around to my spine in the classic ribbon. The pain is intense. It is now about day 9 for the blisters and they seem to be starting to dry up but the horrible pain is still there. Hopefully I will be able to sleep again. I'm getting the vaccine as soon as I am over this. I can't afford a doctor so I am riding this out by myself.

Comment from: Pat in Michigan, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: November 20

The shingles started out with a sunburn-like feeling on the right side of my neck, and by that evening I had two blisters on the back of my neck. By the next morning I had a 2 inch patch, and by that evening two more patches. By the next morning another patch with a few blisters here and there. I'm now in the 4th day and getting some stabbing pains up the back of my skull.

Comment from: Hairdo, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 12

I had usual sore muscles on Friday. I always get some and stiffness around weather changes. I woke up Saturday with a 2 inch diameter rash on my back. I thought I had poison ivy. At this time I have no pain and it only slightly itches so I have not scratched. By Tuesday I decided it could not be poison ivy because it would have itched worse. I had suspicions it was shingles. I still had no pain. I went to the doctor and they say it is shingles and prescribed anti-viral medicines. I can't figure out why I am not having pain.

Comment from: 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 10

I am a 50 year old woman who has had many bouts with kidney stones (always on my left side) for the last two decades. So when I started having back pain on my left side in the area of my kidney and it didn't go away after several days, I went to see my urologist. He did a CT scan to check for a stone and that came back negative. Two days later I woke up with a painful rash in the same spot and went to my doctor to find out I had shingles. I never realized that you could have pain under the skin, like almost muscular, and it could be shingles.

Comment from: Castlefield, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 20

I am a 57 year old female. My twin sister developed shingles 10 years ago and my mother had it at age 76. It started as a red looking pimple on my left lower stomach. Then I had a similar red pimple on my back. I showed it to a physician who told me it was nothing. It was not until I showed the physician the spread of the rash and flaking of the skin that he finally realized I had shingles. The pain is deep and very painful, sensitive to touch. It is difficult to sleep on your back or stomach as the rash covers both areas. Painkillers do not kill the pain.

Comment from: KMR, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 20

I had the shingles vaccine about two years ago at age 56. Six months later, I developed a bad case of shingles without the rash. I then developed a post herpetic neuralgia that would act up when I was under a lot of stress or my immune system was overtaxed. Then just recently, I fell badly while hiking and then a week later misjudged the last step of our stairs and took a hard fall. Two days later, the pain started up and now I am dealing with my second bout of shingles, again (thus far) without a rash. The burning pain is unmistakably shingles and is in the same place, wrapping around the right side of my lower torso.

Comment from: Shingles Lady, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 20

I've had recurring shingles outbreaks for about 15 years, ranging from 2 to 12 times a year. I'm 54. The first time, the doctor said it was a yeast infection; the second time it was misdiagnosed as ringworm; the third time of the exact same symptoms, the lesion was cultured and found to be herpes zoster, i.e. shingles. Most recently, the acute care physician called it 'easy to read shingles' because it was clearly on a nerve distribution on my inner thigh near the knee. In the past it's almost always been in the same location, my upper right buttock; but occasionally it appeared lower down or on the inner thighs, always within the region of my panties. This year, I've had five outbreaks, on my arms, legs and buttocks. I used to have an outbreak every time I got my period. Other triggers include lack of sleep, decreased ability to deal with stress, highly emotional states, excessive caffeine, or energy drinks. The symptoms that precede the actual outbreak by 2 to 3 days include a weird headache, feeling unbalanced, back/flank pain that isn't relieved with NSAIDs, sharp shooting pain in the groin and down the leg, legs buckling, stabbing prickly pain in the region of the outbreak, and anxiety. During the outbreak the itching and pain are unbearable. Fatigue follows. Recently, I have been taking cimetidine (Tagamet) and lysine and have had very good results quickly, shortening and reducing the severity of the symptoms. My primary care doctor doesn't think people can have recurring shingles. He's sending me to an infectious disease specialist. I'll keep you posted.

Comment from: Fern, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: July 29

I've had reoccurring shingles since I was 16. I am 42 now. I have them several times a year on the right side of my back through to the ribs and into right breast. They don't always break out into blisters. Now it is mostly constant nerve pain. It causes exhaustion, headaches and migraines, and depression. I've moved many times and have only had a few doctors understand what I have since it is so rare and I do not have any auto-immune disorders. Because I also have degenerative disc disease, when my back hurts, it sets off a shingles attack. Now my right arm is going numb, and shooting pain into my hands; from the nerve damage, I am sure. It's just getting worse the older I get, and I would love to find a doctor who would understand and help. I'm on acyclovir, Neurontin, and pain medicine every day.

Comment from: Jolo47, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: June 01

I am dealing with a case of shingles still, after being diagnosed about 2 weeks ago. It started with my right thigh being ever so painful and tender, which took me to the doctor. He said it was a pulled groin muscle and to ice it and take Tylenol. Over that weekend I notice a dime-size lesion near my quads and more on my public bone. I went back to the doctor and he said it was shingles and put me on steroid and Valtrex. Now 12 days after starting medicines lesions are drying up, but I am still in pain that can be pretty severe at times. It runs all over my lower back and abdomen, plus burning pain along with it. I have almost finished my medicines; hopefully my episode will not return.

Comment from: rockhound, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: May 20

The shingles started with pain in my left arm. I went to the chiropractor who thought I had a strained tendon near my neck. A few days later red rash appeared above my wrist with a few spots on my upper arm. The rash didn't blister but the pain was severe. I'd only get few fitful hours of sleep at night and after the dose of medicines the doctor gave me were done, he put me on a pain killer that help me sleep at night as well as Neurontin. It's odd that the worst pain always started in the evening and lasted all night. In the morning it would just disappear (except for some tenderness). Anyway, after 3 or 4 weeks, I'm still waiting for this to end. It has helped reading everyone's stories.

Comment from: benstanklin, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: May 15

I thought I had another bout with poison ivy or allergy to a new medicine I was taking but strangely the rash which started on the middle of my back and curved around my side was sensitive but not that itchy. Well, after about a week the pain started flaring up. It quickly became excruciating. I took a Vicodin which barely helped so off I went to the emergency room (ER). It took ER staff about 3 seconds to confirm it was shingles. In Spanish it is called 'culebrilla' which means 'little snake' which apropos to a snake as the rash snakes along the nerve endings. My advice to all is to get it checked out as soon as something suspicious appears as supposedly the anti-viral medicines are more effective when given earlier and can save you some misery.

Comment from: j. fox, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 06

I now realize that I have suffered from shingles from the age of 20. I now know at the age of 53 my symptoms. I feel drained, so tired I sleep at any opportunity, suffer night sweats and niggling pain. This happens for about 3 to 5 days and then the real pain starts. I get shingles on my right buttock, so my pain affects my inner groin, my right buttock and all down my right leg, so much so that even my jeans hurt when touching the leg. It goes down to my big toe and I have for years been misdiagnosed with sciatica. Once the blisters appear I put cold sore cream on them and this helps a lot. Four days later the pain goes. I have got fed up with doctors telling me it can't be shingles because you only get it once. I have the scars to prove it!

Comment from: Elizabeth, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: May 05

My shingles started out as much pain in my mouth and a few pimple-like bumps on my chin. I thought I had an infection in my mouth and tried to see a dentist. I couldn't see a dentist and started having pain in my ear. Then figured this was not just an infection in my mouth but something a doctor should look at. I went to my doctor and the nurse said it looked like shingles to her. The doctor said it was a skin infection and prescribed an antibiotic. When I asked if that was also the reason for the pain in my ear he said he would give me some ear drops for that. When I asked him if that would also help the very painful mouth I had, he said he would give me a mouthwash for that.

Comment from: donawa, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: April 16

My shingles symptoms were terrible all over feeling with burning of skin in the front torso area. I had shingles shot last year, yet diagnosed a day later with shingles and started on medicines the next day. Mild case of blisters from front torso to back spine area, but I have excruciating pain. The doctor prescribed 3 Advil and Tylenol with Codeine. I have terrible itching on arms, hands, legs, and feet in reaction to the medication. The doctor gave me a steroid shot followed by 5 days of prednisone which helped with itching rash. But all the medications caused my blood pressure to spike and I took a trip to the emergency room (ER). I started spraying with essential oils every day which was the key to no itching on the shingles area at all and the blisters scabbed over quickly. After 4 weeks my skin (front torso area) continues to be very sensitive to touch and especially to clothing around my waist. I mixed 30 drops of eucalyptus, essential oils of lavender and tea tree with coconut oil and sprayed all areas 4 times per day and before bed. Relief!

Comment from: Angelsongs, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 08

I had really bad muscle pain in my shoulder in back on my right side, and it went around to my breast. In a few days the rash was all over my right breast around to my back. I went to the doctor and found it was shingles. The muscle pain in my shoulder has been with me the whole time. It has now been over a month. I have had these awful nerve pains the whole time also in my breast. Boy, does it hurt! I was supposed to have my mammogram, but who knows when I can have that now. No way can I do that with this pain. I hope this pain goes away in my breast soon. It feels like needles, and it feels like one trying to go through my nipple, ouch! I hope I don't get this again.

Comment from: pmor, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 07

I've had shingles for a week now and the pain is so fire hot and stingy. I want this to go away. It's very painful. I do not wish this on my worst enemy. Fortunately my now red blisters are small. I'm told it will go away.

Comment from: [email protected] yaho, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 06

My left under arm, breast and chest are very sensitive to touch. I have very deep sharp pains at times. I had a slight rash in the crease of my left arm which went away but the pain remains. I have had this for 2 months. I am wondering if these are symptoms of shingles.

Comment from: Pearlr, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: March 28

I got a severe pain in right upper back for 2 weeks. It felt real muscular like a pulled back. The doctor did MRI and blood work for kidney stones and gallbladder; it all just showed liver fat. After 2 weeks itching started at the place of pain in back and around to front stomach above navel. The doctor thought I was allergic to sulfamethoxazole medicines and stopped that. I have intense itching now back and in front under breasts. I had something similar once before and chicken pox as a child. There is just itching now, no rash. Maybe not shingles.

Comment from: YahsGirl, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: June 25

Well, I self-diagnosed myself with shingles two weeks ago. Bumps started in the middle spinal region, moving its way around the right side of my ribs to sensitivity to my abdomen. The bumps are going away thanks to this cream I bought that also helps with the pain. I bought it from a local shop, called Soothing cream, and it has eucalyptus, tea tree oil, lemon tea tree oil, etc. It smells really good, but most importantly does help ease the pain. I am now experiencing the pain in my bones. It feels like I am misaligned or something, or like a broken bone, but when my husband massages it, I can barely feel it. The worse pain ever, and I hope this doesn't mean I have permanent damage, as I am very active normally and love weight training! I am only 31 years old, so that also kind of worries me. I so need to go back to the gym, but I know I need the rest.

Comment from: Izzy, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 17

With shingles I had itching in the back of my head. Then came a few red dots (spots) on the left side of my face and neck.

Comment from: TrueBlue32, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: March 13

I went in with many of the same shingles symptoms people are talking about; spider bite, in a strange spot (upper arm), etc. Luckily I had health insurance at the time and could afford to see a doctor who suggested doing a swab test on the blister. It turned out what was diagnosed at an Urgent Care as shingles was, testing on a lab swab, HSV II (genital herpes). My personal feeling is both viruses travel through your body and the doctors diagnose without properly qualifying it (swab and test the blister). Many people with herpes don't know they even have it. And herpes apparently can pop out on any of your nerve paths. Either way, I appreciate I know so I can take better care of myself and my partner.

Comment from: juan, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 16

I am a 52 year old black woman. I was diagnosed 2 weeks ago, I don't know anything about shingles.

Comment from: stacey, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 06

I want all to know that age has nothing to do with this disease. I was only 43 and I got the shingles in my eye. It has caused a lot of damage and I have had to have cataract surgery already due to all of the medicines they give me. I wish they would change the age on the shot as I cannot get it because I'm too young. Age has nothing to do with this and why they classify this as an old person disease is unbelievable. Please take care of yourself if you have this. Don't take it lightly.

Comment from: jenni21264, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: November 25

I am 39, not the usual age for shingles. I also have lupus. I had had a lupus flare and received a dose of IV steroids. The next day my inner left thigh had a spot that was extremely painful. It felt like something was in the seam of my pants constantly rubbing the same spot raw. A couple of days later a red rash appeared and then the blisters. The doctor gave me Valtrex and Neurontin. Then I developed chills, diarrhea, vomiting, and headaches. I don't know if that's from the shingles or if I'm just lucky enough to get a stomach bug on top of everything else! I never would have thought such a small area could be so painful!

Comment from: every30days, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 18

I had my first round of shingles at the age of 20 and it was really bad. I had the blisters that wrapped around my waist from my spine to my belly button. It was last year when planning my daughter's wedding with all the stress, I broke out again with a spot above my tail bone about the size of a golf ball. I had pain in my synaptic nerve, down my left side and my hips were in so much pain I could barely walk. I also had lower back pain as though I had thrown my back out and had a fever like the flu. It was miserable. I work for a doctor and when I showed him the patch he told me, “Go home you have shingles!” Well, now whenever I am stressed or at least every 30-40 days, I break out. It's the same spot and the pain gets worse every time.

Comment from: All the Shingle Ladies, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 14

It started with a burning pain much like windburn or chafing. I asked my spouse if he could see anything on my back because it hurt. Nothing was there. Then three to four days later, a small red spot appeared. I thought maybe my bra was chafing me. Then the next day, a red raised cluster appeared. I immediately went to the doctor because I knew it was shingles, as I am a nurse. I have a very high pain tolerance. I had been under a lot of stress. I started on antivirals and hopefully the quick treatment will stop it in its tracks. The pain is from the site of the rash on my back all the way to front of my body under my breast. It follows the nerves, so you can have pain even where there is no rash. I am told if caught within first seven days, treatment with antivirals is usually very successful so I am hopeful.

Comment from: snowbear55, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 04

I thought I had twisted my back at first. My spine was very sore. Then I noticed itching and bumps first on my right groin area. They traveled to my buttock, lower back and down the front of my right leg above the knee. Just spots here and there, mind you. I went to a doctor, who gave me an anti-viral and a nerve pain medication. I went to my regular doctor and he prescribed a prescription pain medication and a triple-up on the nerve pain meds. The hip pain is horrible. It's so very painful. The fiery, tingling, and itching -- I didn't think I would get them this bad.

Comment from: Big Mama53, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 04

Mine started with my side itching. There were no bumps. I tried to scratch it, but when I touched my side, I had pain like a thousand needles stabbing me. A few dates later the bumps appeared. I ran a low-grade fever, no more than 100 degrees. The bumps are bigger than last time, but the pain is the same.

Comment from: Bab, 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: September 16

I have had the shingles 3 times this year. It is always in the same places and starts in the same exact spot each time. I have a bad headache the first 2 to 3 days and hurt all over. I break out on the 2nd or 3rd day.

Comment from: KUY, Female (Patient) Published: September 16

I had shingles a couple of years ago. It started with a tingling, almost itchy feel across the top of my left leg/thigh. I have mild hip dysplasia and suffer from pain in the hips often so it was only when the blisters came that I went to the doctor to have it checked out. She gave me antivirals and pain meds. Calamine lotion helped sooth the burning/itching sensation. My concern now is that I've just finished a course of cortisone for bronchitis and worried that it will bring the shingles back.

Comment from: Sonia, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 27

I'm 36 and my shingles started as pain in my right lower back and hip. Since I have lower back issues already, I thought it was just a flare-up of that. I then had extreme itching in my groin and a couple days later I noticed four bumps in a row above my pelvis. I thought they were bedbug bites. After doing some research online and talking to my mom, we settled on shingles. This was then confirmed by my doctor just yesterday. I'm now using a cream called Zostrix. It's only been about a week since it all started and seems to be a pretty mild case so far.

Comment from: tlmooreoc, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: August 05

I thought I was just sunburned! I live near the beach, and it is summer. My chest/ribcage area has been hyper sensitive for several days, and yesterday my side began to itch. Upon investigation, sure enough, there were raised spots which I knew immediately had to be shingles. The worst part, so far, has been the lower back and hip, pain and stiffness. I've been quite tired and irritable (sorry, family!). Best wishes to all you who are suffering. To those over 60 who have not had shingles - get vaccinated! It's not cheap, but I wish I had known about it.

Comment from: charlie, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: June 24

First I thought I had a fever. The next day I woke up with a blister rash on the buttock area. The whole right side of my leg and feet were in pain. I thought it might be a food reaction. I went to my doctor and he said I have shingles. He gave me some pills for it and now it is drying after a week. I still have a little pain, but I think I'll be fine.

Comment from: holly, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 12

Over a weekend away, I had a sore back so took a heating pad to heat up in the microwave and apply to my sore back. I thought I actually had burned myself a bit with the heating pad so did not give any thought to the blisters. It got worse on Monday and I went to my regular doctor. She started looking at my back and where the pain was. She came around to the side and knew within seconds that I had shingles. I had heard of it but not seen it before. Now I know how debilitating it can be! It took a good 2 months to heal and feel better.

Comment from: LJ, 65-74 Female Published: December 09

My right hand felt like I broke my wrist. I could not figure out how I broke it and the pain was bad. I have a few tiny red marks in the area. I went to the doctor to have to have it checked out and my doctor said it was shingles.

Comment from: shirley, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: October 07

Before the rash appeared, I noticed a slight stabbing pain on my lower right side. I was running a 99.2 temperature and feeling tired. Within three days the rash appeared. It was scarlet red with yellow blisters appeared from front to back. I was diagnosed with shingles. I took the medicine for six days. The rash was slightly sore but not bothering me greatly. On the inside, the pain felt like an open burn on my skin. The rash lasted for 30 days. It is now 40 days and the constant burn has remained in the same spot. It is not traveling. I spend most days just resting. I also use an ice pack on that spot and melatonin to sleep.

Comment from: mauigrl, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 05

My case started as a backache on my left side which didn't want to go away even after taking ibuprofen. Then a couple days later thought I had mosquito bites. Turns out that I had full blown shingles. I felt like someone was using sandpaper on my back! I also felt listless and drained. I went to a doctor and now I'm on acyclovir, pain medication and prescription ointment. The back pain was pretty bad.

Comment from: Rainy, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 18

I had a strange tingling and sensitivity on the left side of my lower back. Even clothing brushing up against my skin created a burning and tingling sensation. This became worse after several days, and shooting, spasm-like pains deeper in the affected area started, especially at night. Walking around or being active tends to dampen the pain; staying in bed only made it worse.

Comment from: Timeflies, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 24

I have recurring shingles whenever I am highly stressed at work. I am 56 yrs old. I have had them return for the last 8 or 10 yrs. I didn't even know what it was at first. So I went through 2 or 3 outbreaks before my doctor noticed the scars and asked when did I have shingles? I said, "Is that what that is?". He gave me Acyclovir. But usually by the time I realize I am having a breakout the blisters are already forming and I use some itching cream. It was interesting to read others comments. The 'tingling" you talk of, I did not connect that with my shingles. WOW. I break out on my upper left buttock all the time and my leg and hip will tingle/hurt. Now I know that is a first sign that I need to take some meds.

Comment from: 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 10

I had shingles on my bottom, many years ago now I'm having pain and burning in same area.

Comment from: daisybee, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: May 06

Mine started in my eye. I had strange feeling that my eye wouldn't open fully. My cheek had a constant tingle. Next, the whole side of my face just swelled up! There were no blisters on the outside but a mouthful of what I thought were ulcers! The pain is in my jaw and ear too. It has been two awful weeks of doctors and dentists saying I must have a bad tooth that they couldn't see because of the swelling. I just hope this ends soon, am feeling depressed and desperate to ease the pain somehow!

Comment from: skyhawk, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: May 02

First the skin in my upper left arm was sensitive to touch. There was slight pain when bending my elbow as the skin was stretched. Almost a week later a rash developed on my outer forearm. There was no pain associated with rash though. Over the course of the next few days small areas on my palm, thumb, forefinger and middle finger were painful to touch. These areas then developed into a blistering rash. My doctor prescribed an anti-viral drug and it appears to be slowly working. I had only occasional slight to moderate pain which I controlled with pain killers (aspirin).

Comment from: Sally, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 21

For me, shingles started four days before the rash appeared, with severe pain, especially at night. Thought I had kidney stones, as it was in the side. I was prescribed Acyclovir, an anti-viral drug also something for the pain. The pain is incredibly severe, unbearable at times, and I feel desperately sorry for anyone suffering from this illness. I can only hope mine improves over the coming days.

Comment from: 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: April 20

I noticed redness under my chin bone on the left side, with no pain. A few days later there was a teeny scab on the little bumps that occurred. It looked like a series of bug bites. A few days later I had a migraine-like headache that lasted most of the day. I stayed in a dark room and rested. A couple of days later there was very severe pain at the base of my hairline on the same side. I described it as feeling like something inside had torn. Touching it made it worse. I went to the doctor, who gave me prescription for Valacyclovir HCI 1 gram tablets. She told me to take 3 a day for 7 days. I am beginning my 3rd day and just noticed the directions on the bottle are 1 every 8 hours. I've been taking them about every four hours! So far there are no blisters but there is a lot of itching that began yesterday, about a week after I noticed the redness that got lumpy. I am concerned that our granddaughter may come down with chicken pox since we hugged before I was diagnosed.

Comment from: Mimi46, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: April 20

I thought I had spider bites on my shoulder and back of neck because of the extreme soreness, redness, burning and constant pain. Then over next few days more "bites" appeared on my neck, shoulders and then chest, and I had swollen lymph nodes in my neck. They burned and itched like mad and I was running a low grade fever and felt flu-like. I was actually hesitant to go to doctor for such a silly thing as a spider bite but I knew I just did not feel well. My diagnosis was a complete shock!

Comment from: lauren, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 19

Before I understood that it was shingles, I encountered serve pain on the right side of the body, particularly in the thigh, then around the back and breast area. It was so bad that wearing a bra was unbearable.

Comment from: cat-dancer, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 01

My shingles started as an ache in my pelvic area, it seemed my bones hurt. Then the next day it localized to the small of my back, with shooting pains through my left hip. I thought I had put my back out, even though I was getting general aches and pains like the beginnings of the flu. The third day came and there were lumps on my back, spreading over the next two days around my hip to my lower stomach. They were a little painful though not too bad, but over the next two weeks the pain increased, as did the dreadful tingling and numbness. It itches constantly but scratching does not alleviate it, it just makes it worse. I take analgesics constantly, if I don't the aches and pain gets too much to bear.

Comment from: meekjoellen, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: March 21

I have a rash on the left side of face by the eye. It itches and burns.

Comment from: Glory, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 15

I had had a mild pain in the back of neck and the left shoulder for quite a long time. I also had a tingling and pricking sensation in the same places. Doctors said nothing was wrong. Then suddenly the pain became unbearable and in two days I had the characteristic rash. Although my doctor diagnosed it immediately and put me on the right antiviral medication, an absent-minded pharmacist gave me five times less of the required dosage and the first two days of treatment were lost. I realized that on the third day and started the right treatment and felt the result right on the next day - the pain was no longer so excruciating and the spray did a miracle, because the blisters did not break but were reabsorbed and developed crusts.

Comment from: Linda, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 15

I started with a patch of red bumps in the crease of my right leg and pubic area and a patch of bumps above my pubic bone. They then traveled to a spot on my right thigh, a spot on my belly and then around to my back and buttock. Back pain was excrutiating. Since my husband had this two years ago, I knew to get myself to the ER right away so medicine could be prescribed. I am having extreme tiredness, also.

Comment from: MJ, 55-64 (Patient) Published: March 07

I'm 58 and have shingles on the left side of my forehead, into my scalp and around my left eye. They started out as a painful tingling feeling then the blisters appeared. I thought I was having an allergic reaction to something as I also had an upset stomach but on day 3 the doctor diagnosed shingles. I started on meds and then had to add prednisone due to swelling around my eye. The scabs look terrible but the pain is not bad - just a tingle now and then. Unfortunately with it on my face I'm looking rather scary.

Comment from: Petunia, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: February 22

I started with high sensitivity on my inner upper arm. I could not find a position for my arm at night. I could not sleep for three nights. Then spots, hives showed, went to doctor and was told it looks like shingles. By then 2 of the spots had blistered. I was prescribed Acyclovir, 5x a day for 7 days. All I could do was sleep. Get up take meds, eat, sleep. By the 4th day I could stay up most of the day. Everything on my upper torso tingles. The spots continued to progress down my arm to the finger tips. My palm has pinpoint spots. Now it is day 5 and the pain is worse. Spots have darkened as the Doctor said they would. I am tingling more. Just bearable.

Comment from: Dee, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: February 15

I had pox when young, and I am now 66. I thought I'd overdone bouncing on a snow plow. The next day my hip hurt really badly. I went to a chiropractor and he didn't help at all. I went to another and he said put cold then heat. I went to another doctor and I could hardly walk. He told me I have shingles gave me pills for the rash and more pills for pain. It is now 4 weeks later, and I am still in more pain than I can stand.

Comment from: jean, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 14

I have a tingling pain on my mid torso and around to the front. I also feel tired and sick.

Comment from: Mathavan, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: February 14

I feel sad for the people who had shingles because I am suffering from the same. It started with left naval and left hip side. Luckily I went to doctor and the blisters are not there. The spots are changing to skin color. However, I have swelling and burning pain and I don't know when this horror is going to end. I was not given any medicine after blisters have gone and I told the doctor about pain but the doctor tells me that it will go automatically.

Comment from: April, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 11

I was just diagnosed today. For the past five days I have had a band of red from the midpoint of my abdomen just above my public bone and spreading out toward my left hip; then around the back a small dot on my upper left buttock. I could not figure out what it was, but last night I was up almost all night with pain shooting down my leg. I was afraid it might be genital herpes (even though I couldn't figure out how that would be possible), but there are no blisters anywhere in that area. Went to the doctor and he said it was a classic case of shingles. All I know is it hurts like crazy. He said he wished I had come in a few days earlier, but put me on acyclovir and steroids and gave me oxycodone for the pain. I just want this to go away. Hopefully it does and I never have to deal with it again. Wish me luck!

Comment from: sandild, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 10

Sadly I was 42 when I got my first case of shingles. I've had it four times now, mostly on the upper region of my face and to the side on my lower back. Oh and of course the pain didn't leave after the blisters, they put me on a nerve blocker called Neurontin which did the trick for me after nine weeks of sheer agony. My heart goes out to anyone who has this illness. For me it seemed like the pain would never end, pain killers did nothing to ease the pain. It was a big stressor, but not anymore, so if you have shingles stop...breathe...and try to get through it, it will pass eventually.

Comment from: Woman 56, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 07

When I developed shingles, it started with nausea and intense hip pain. I broke out two days later with spots middle back to front close to belly button. Now, I have stinging pain and itching.

Comment from: mississauga guy, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: January 31

My shingles started out as intense pain left arm. I also had shooting nerve pains and intense pain in the joints as well as numbness in the hand and fingers. The rash started three days later and have been concentrated between the heel of my left palm and just above the left elbow, with a little on my underarm. The pain is very bad and my medication. The pain increases with activity and sitting/standing.

Comment from: 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 25

Yes, I had the chickenpox when I was a child. Then when I was about 24 yrs of age I was diagnosed with shingles, on the lower part of my back. (It always comes up on the same place). The nerve starts on the bottom of my right foot and travels up my leg, resulting in the outbreak on my right side. I seem to have an outbreak whether I'm stressed or eat chocolate! (I haven't heard of food causing shingles, but happens every time, especially with dark chocolate). I spoke with my doctor about Zostavax, and she wasn't comfortable with giving me the shot since I have recurrent outbreaks.

Comment from: dine, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 25

My shingles started on the left side of my back. I went to the doctor, who gave me cortisone and pain medication. My doctor then sent me for an MRI, and I broke out with the rash and hives all over my left buttock and groin area. I am still having problems. I work all day and I'm 55 years old. I just wish the pain and swelling would heal up.

Comment from: cath, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 18

I had a pain in my lower back and side for a few days a sort of tender burning pain, it then progressed right around to my belly button left side I then noticed a few spots and the next day these spots looked slightly yellower reminding me of chickenpox. The next day, there were two more spots that appeared and still burning pain halfway around the waist area. I headed off to doctor who diagnosed me with shingles, and I am just starting medication. The doctor warned me it could get very painful. Fingers crossed, I hope it goes away quickly. He gave me pain medication, too, just in case. It hasn't been too bad so far. I just hope it doesn't itch too much.

Comment from: grateful to optho., 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 11

I thought I had scratched my eye - it was irritated, burning, and I had blurred vision. The ophthalmologist recognized that I had shingles, although I did not have a rash yet. I've had shingles at least 3 times before and this was on the same side. Valtrex and antiviral drops cleared it right up.

Comment from: 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 10

When I had shingles, it started with a pain on my left side, going around under my left breast. The pain was a dull pain like a side ache. After a few days a rash started to come on my back side and under my left breast. It has been 5 months and I still have some discomfort under my left breast, like my skin is still numb. A very painful ordeal, hope I never get that again!!

Comment from: Stressed, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 13

I am a 53 year old woman, who had a mild case of the chicken pox as a child. Two years ago, I had my first shingles outbreak, on my face, near my eye. Two months later I had the same symptoms on the same eye. I was treated with antiviral drops and the pain was minimal. I have had shingles reoccurring every 3-4 months. Each time, I get a small cluster of raised bumps on the left side of my face with minimal pain. I have not had breakouts anyplace else on my body, however I have experienced tingling on my back and once on my thigh. Each time I treat the shingles with Valacyclovir and usually most symptoms are gone in 5-7 days. I strongly believe that stress is a big contributor to shingles.

REFERENCES:

Janniger, C. "Herpes Zoster Treatment & Management." Medscape. Mar. 6, 2018. <http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1132465-treatment>

Moon, James E. "Herpes Zoster." Medscape.com. Mar. 6, 2018. <http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/218683-overview>.

United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Shingles (Herpes Zoster)." Jan. 30, 2018. <http://www.cdc.gov/shingles/>.

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