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  • First time shingles - what to expect?

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    Old 06-22-2015, 02:38 PM   #1
    jayt1990
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    First time shingles - what to expect?

    Okay so I have some questions for anyone who has experienced this.
    I am a 24 year old male and rather active. I was diagnosed with shingles last nite, with the rash presenting on my under arm(my left arm from my perspective right from yours). Today i believe is the 4th day(day ending now mind) of having the rash, originally in the first 2 days I thought that this was a heat rash, it was a little bit uncomfortable but nothing excruciating.

    The rash on the third day yesterday, blistered over which told me it wasnt a heat rash and prompted me to get an immediate diagnosis which i did at one of the walk in centers. I was perscribed anti-virrals aciclovir.

    The pain i would describe as a burning sensation, that is present the majority of the time but not all of the time. The pain on a scale of 1-10 i would put between 3-5 its uncomfortable but not as painful as i've heard some people describe it to be. I am taking paracetamol to take the edge off and although it does not get rid of the pain all together, it does make it slightly less.

    so my questions:

    1) I am a 24 year old male- i've always heard of this being an older persons disease. I do not have HIV/AIDS and as far as im aware am not immuno suppresed in anyway. So is shingles a sign that I have an undiagnosed condition underlying that has caused this flare up?/ what could have caused it in an otherwise pretty-healthy(* Ido have a neurological issue that isnt diagnosed yet- causing muscle spasms etc you can search for my posts in the MS section of the board to hear a description of the issue there, symptoms described there have recently subsided quite alot and now only tend to flare up under stress or lack of sleep or when im hung over) 24 year old male

    2) It is suggested that anti-viral medication is best started within the first 72 hours of the rash presenting. This time has passed, I have not taken the anti-virals yet- I spoke with the doctor this morning and I was told that anti-virals will help but arent a nescessity. I want to ask if anti-virals being taken after the 72 hour window would still help ?

    3) As i have described I am now on day 4 and the pain isnt as severe as i've heard it described by others. Will this pain get worse in time or am I currently experiencing whats should be the worst of it?

    4) I know there are complications that can occur from shingles. these inclued
    - PHP (chronic pain after the fact)
    - encephilitis
    - ocular shingles
    - meningitis
    -pneumonia
    my rash is located on my under arm as mentioned, there is also a small patch of rash on my shoulder blade. I want to ask how likely am i to experience any of these complications (not so much PHP- as i already know the answer for that is 1 in 5 experience this).
    Given the location of my rash im guessing it unlikely for ocular shingles to occur. So i am mainly interested to hear how common pneumonia, encephiltis and meningitis are as complications from shingles given all that has been described here?

    I really appreciate any help anyone can give me here in answering these questions. I am going to assume that most people reading this thread/section of the forum will be going through shingles themselves and have some curiosity on the subject like my-self and i wish those a speedy recovery

    cheers,
    jamie

     
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    Old 06-22-2015, 02:54 PM   #2
    SOE
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    Re: First time shingles - what to expect?

    Hi

    I can't answer all of your questions, but I can tell you what my experience was in this past January. The emergency room doctor told me that they were seeing all ages come through with shingles, even kids.

    I went to the doctor too late, because I didn't realize what I had and waited too long. Although I did take the antiviral, I did not start them within 72 hours and my experience with shingles has been horrific. I don't know if that is related or not -- but I was told that it is due to the delay that I wound up with post hepatic nerve pain, and am still in pain 5 months later.

    Now my sister also had shingles, but she went straight to the doctor and she did not wind up with long-lasting nerve pain.

    In my personal opinion, I think you should take the anti-viral -- but I don't know whether that matters or not at this point.

    Perhaps someone more knowledgeable will speak up.

    Take care.

     
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    Old 06-22-2015, 07:48 PM   #3
    35stitches
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    Re: First time shingles - what to expect?

    Take the antiviral! Why take a chance? Post hepatic neuralgia can stay with you your whole life. My husband's aunt had it until she died at ninety something. My daughter and I both had shingles in our thirties. Seems like it is not an old folks' disease. Maybe we just hear about it more. It really is a pain and you can have small versions again later on, even just one little spot. You were very smart to get it checked out right away. Now please take your meds!

     
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    Old 06-24-2015, 11:27 AM   #4
    jayt1990
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    Re: First time shingles - what to expect?

    ok so today (day 6) the pain got a little bit worse, still not as bad as ive heard some describe. Today i'd describe it like being constantly slapped on a sunburn.

    I went to the pharmacy to get some strong painkillers than paracetamol. They gave me small dose of co-codamol. It seems to have taken most of the edge off, the pharmacist said she had shingles before and asked me how long id had it and i said 6 days she said for her the pain was worse in week 2 i was like thanks for that lol.

    Hope it doesnt get too much worse!

     
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    Old 06-24-2015, 01:41 PM   #5
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    Re: First time shingles - what to expect?

    I don't know why you didn't take the antiviral. I didn't get to the doctor in time. I took the antiviral -- but not within 72 hours and now I have post herpetic nerve pain. I've been in major pain since January 25th.

    You may be fine, but I don't get why you took the chance.

    Take care.

    Last edited by SOE; 06-24-2015 at 02:22 PM.

     
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    Old 06-24-2015, 01:46 PM   #6
    jayt1990
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    Re: First time shingles - what to expect?

    2 reasons

    1) i was unsure about interactions with alcohol. I have a party this weekend that has been planned for months and know drink will be involved.

    2) I have muscle spasms and jerking movement issues, it said if you have any issues with the nervous system to consult the doctor.

    I was waiting to consult the doctor which i did. He did say the anti-virals aren't nessasary but can be useful if taken early.
    Turns out my movement issues wont be affected by the medication

    but i wont be taking them now as its a bit late anyway and ive got the planned event on saturday. So long as i can have the pain managed in the mean time i should be fine, younger people like myself are much less likely to get PHN and if we do generally wont be a long lasting issue is my understanding from reading on the internet.

    Didnt expect pain to increase though i must admit this morning took me by surprise.

     
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