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Author Topic: Shingles  (Read 504 times)
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Doug Elliott
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« on: Jan 01, 2018, 05:32PM »

Just a reminder to the older members here...

When a red rash appeared across one side of my chest a couple of nights ago I just thought it was some kind of contact dermatitis but I couldn't imagine what it was from.

24 hours later it appeared on my back too, and my wife said "Shingles, get to a clinic immediately."

2:00am on December 31st....  emergency room was the only option.  Got Valtrex and Prednisone started, only about 24 hours after it appeared, so that's excellent.

There hasn't been any pain - I might have recognized it sooner if there had been the usual stabbing pain.  I really don't feel it at all, hopefully that will continue.
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MikeBMiller
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« Reply #1 on: Jan 01, 2018, 05:41PM »

I heard that there is a new vaccine out that is supposed to be very effective.

Good luck Doug. I hope it heals up quickly. My aunt had that one time and it was very uncomfortable.
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BGuttman
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« Reply #2 on: Jan 01, 2018, 05:43PM »

My mother-in-law had it and she really felt bad.  They gave me a shot about 2 years ago, but my e-chart tells me I'm due for another.  I have a doctor appointment in 3 weeks, and I guess I'll get it then.

Good luck, Doug.  Usually it doesn't hit people as young as you.
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« Reply #3 on: Jan 01, 2018, 06:56PM »

I had a mild episode in college. Stress can screw with your health at any age.

Feel better soon. Hope it clears up quickly.
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Doug Elliott
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« Reply #4 on: Jan 01, 2018, 07:09PM »

Usually it doesn't hit people as young as you.
Ha! You don't even know.  I'm the right age for it.
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« Reply #5 on: Jan 01, 2018, 07:10PM »

I heard that there is a new vaccine out that is supposed to be very effective.

Good luck Doug. I hope it heals up quickly. My aunt had that one time and it was very uncomfortable.

Yes indeed.

Re that vaccine. There is a National Shingles Vaccination Program available in Australia which provides free shingles vaccination to all people aged 70 years old, with a five-year catch‑up program for people aged 71-79 years old until 31 October 2021. Those who are not eligible for a free vaccine can purchase it with a prescription from their vaccination provider.

The cost is fully recoverable from Medicare - Australia's universal health care system, which is the primary health scheme that subsidises most medical costs in Australia for all Australian citizens and permanent residents.

Local doctors remind you about getting the vaccination when they are checking your records at your free yearly medical. At least, mine does. Good!
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Doug Elliott
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« Reply #6 on: Jan 01, 2018, 07:15PM »

I was going to get around to it eventually...
Kind of like the Honda and Toyota airbag recall... I guess it's time for that too.
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« Reply #7 on: Jan 01, 2018, 07:21PM »

There is a new, new Shingles vaccine, Shingrix

No Excuses, People: Get the New Shingles Vaccine

Quote
“This really looks to be a breakthrough in vaccinating older adults,” agreed Dr. Jeffrey Cohen, a physician and researcher at the National Institutes of Health.

What’s causing the enthusiasm: Shingrix, which the pharmaceutical firm GlaxoSmithKline intends to begin shipping this month. Large international trials have shown that the vaccine prevents more than 90 percent of shingles cases, even at older ages.

The currently available shingles vaccine, called Zostavax, only prevents about half of shingles cases in those over age 60 and has demonstrated far less effectiveness among elderly patients.

Yet those are the people most at risk for this blistering disease, with its often intense pain, its threat to vision and the associated nerve pain that sometimes last months, even years, after the initial rash fades.

Almost all older Americans harbor the varicella zoster virus that causes shingles; they acquired it with childhood chickenpox, whether they knew they had the disease or not.

The virus stays dormant until, for unknown reasons, it erupts decades later. The risk rises sharply after age 50.

Shingles is hardly a minor menace. “A million cases occur in the United States each and every year,” Dr. Schaffner said. “If you’re fortunate enough to reach your 80th birthday, you stand a one-in-three to one-in-two chance of shingles.”

Preventing the great majority of these cases — along with the risk of lingering and debilitating nerve pain, called postherpetic neuralgia — would represent a major advance in public health.

So while the old vaccine will remain on the market, the C.D.C. committee voted to make Shingrix the preferred vaccine and recommended it for all adults over age 50 — a group younger by a decade than those earlier encouraged to get Zostavax.
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« Reply #8 on: Jan 01, 2018, 07:40PM »

Ouch.  I had it a few years ago when I was traveling. My doctor could prescribe acyclovir across state lines but not the opioids for pain.

The new vaccine is worth being aware of. It is more effective and is a dead vaccine and so many more people are eligible for it. I was not eligible for the old one but am looking forward to getting the new one.

Heal fast, Doug.
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« Reply #9 on: Jan 01, 2018, 07:44PM »

Sorry to hear that.  Shingles will recalibrate your pain threshold in a hurry ... a bad case can be brutal. 
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Doug Elliott
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« Reply #10 on: Jan 01, 2018, 07:50PM »

I'm well aware of how painful it can be, but as of now I still barely even feel it at all.
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« Reply #11 on: Jan 01, 2018, 07:57PM »

I was diagnosed with chicken pox 3 times. I'm aware that's not supposed to be possible, so I suspect one of those times may have been shingles. The last time I was 21 years old in the Navy I had chills and a 104 deg temperature along with splitting headaches. The Navy doctor told me to quit faking it and go back to work.
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« Reply #12 on: Jan 01, 2018, 08:05PM »

I had a bout with it a few years ago. We caught it early. There was concern about it affecting my eyes and my family physician walked me across the hall to the ophth. Fortunately, no problems.

I don’t remember much more than that, so obviously a minor case.
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« Reply #13 on: Jan 02, 2018, 04:28PM »

I recently had a bad case and I'm only 47. It HURT! I also have a few scars to prove it. I'm glad for you because it sounds as if you caught it early. I did not.
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« Reply #14 on: Jan 02, 2018, 05:37PM »

I asked my doc about the vaccine last visit, he said the older you get the less effective it is.  It's probably worth doing but marginally, and kind of expensive -$300  - $500 range I think.

I didn't know about the new one.  I'll ask him this month at my regular followup.  I had chicken pox at age 9, missed the last few weeks of school.  The teacher said just stay home, no way she was risking catching it. 
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Doug Elliott
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« Reply #15 on: Jan 02, 2018, 05:59PM »

missed the last few weeks of school.
That explains a lot.  Evil
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« Reply #16 on: Jan 02, 2018, 09:03PM »


Got Valtrex and Prednisone started, only about 24 hours after it appeared, so that's excellent.

There hasn't been any pain - I might have recognized it sooner if there had been the usual stabbing pain.  I really don't feel it at all, hopefully that will continue.

This is very similar to what happened to me about 10 years ago—I was only 45! I was prescribed the same things at that time. About 7 years before that, my wife had a case of shingles. She was about 5 months pregnant at the time. Nothing but Tylenol for her!
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