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brownowl 05-10-2006 12:31 PM

How do you know if it is Shingles
I've been sick about a month -- a nasty, wicked pain in my back, right-side, about where my lungs are and then goes down toward your lower-back by the kidneys. The doctor originally thought it was pneumonia, so gave me Alevox (sp?) -- nope, that stuff didn't touch it; actually, made me sick. Then he tried Naprosyn (Naproxen) because I had inflamation -- nope, I found out I'm allergic to it. So, he tried Biaxin -- nope -- didn't work. Actually, it got so bad, I had a hard time walking or standing straight. He said that he thought it was the Shingles -- even though I'm not broken out anywhere. He prescribed Valtrex -- I'm 4 days into a 10 day prescription. It is a little better, but not a whole lot. Now the right side hurts too, but maybe I just need to wait until I'm done with the entire prescription. I've never had the Chicken pox before -or- if I did, not bad enough for anyone to notice. I've been under a quite a bit of stress but its been like that for years, even though it has been worse over the last year due to an accident and the loss of the use of my hand. Does anyone know how long you have to take this Valtrex before you can move without any pain? Plus, can you have Shingle and no rash? Has anyone seen this to be something else? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

mayam 05-10-2006 02:20 PM

Re: How do you know if it is Shingles
yes you can get silent shingles without the rash. It stays internal and causes severe pain down the nerve pathways. It can be very debilitating but it usually goes in a band from the midline of abdomen around to the middle back.
Don't know how long you would have to take the Valtrex for. I took a 7 day course of antivirals when i had my first attack, with a rash. It cleared up after about 2 weeks but I felt weak for a while afterwards.
Perhaps it could be pain due to other causes, I don't know. Maybe an xray or scan could be helpful. I would certainly ask for other tests if you don't improve soon.

Hope you feel better, it sounds as if you have a lot to contend with.

brownowl 05-10-2006 03:35 PM

Re: How do you know if it is Shingles
I have to take it for 7 days, 3 times a day. I've never heard of silent shingles, but I learn something new every day. They did a chest x-ray and said all looked good in the lung, no pneumonia or anything. But my whole back is killing me. It hurts to move, breathe, etc. and I sweat like crazy when I am absolutely doing nothing, it is pretty much all the time over the last month, whether you are sleeping or just sitting in a chair or talking. I have had a fever for over 2 years now (99-101). So, I can't say if it is getting better or worse.

mayam 05-11-2006 01:26 AM

Re: How do you know if it is Shingles
If the antivirals don't clear it would be asking for more intensive tests in that case. The pain from shingles is severe but your symptoms could be due to other causes.

brownowl 05-12-2006 08:56 AM

Re: How do you know if it is Shingles
One day of medicine left; however, the pain has gotten worse and now I've got this stiff neck and headache. Does that sound like shingles???

mayam 05-13-2006 02:09 AM

Re: How do you know if it is Shingles
It's hard to know. I have had 3 out breaks but not in the same area as yours. I had shooting stabbing pains and sometimes electric shock type pains which are difficult to describe. I think there is a blood test to detect the herpes zoster virus that causes shingles.

brownowl 05-13-2006 09:03 AM

Re: How do you know if it is Shingles
Now, I am really confused. I got a call from the Dr.'s office and they said that if it was shingles they would be gone by now, not feeling worse. Now they are going to set up an appt. with a Physical Medical and Rehabilitation specialist and pain management. I don't know what I am supposed to manage -- I did not have this until a month ago. Does anyone have any experience with this type of doctor. I'm thinking maybe I should just go to the Emergency room or something, sometimes it is really hard to take a breath. I am so confused.

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