12

I have HERPES!!! (Read 910 times)


Needs more cowbell!

    No...not THAT kind of herpes...I'm a good girl. Git yer heads outta the gutter, already! A few days ago I started getting this intense tingling on one side of my stomach. By the following day the tingling was joined by itching and weird, painful twinges. Not long after this the area (only a couple of square inches and a much smaller area over further to the side) became covered with small pink bumps. At first I simply thought it was bug bites or hives or something, as I tend to get pretty severe reactions to both. But hives and bug bites improve or disappear after a few days--this thing is getting worse...like OMFG this is the itchiest thing EVER! Extra strength Cortaid and Benadryl spray don't touch it. So I started to do some online research and most of what my symptoms kept leading me to was a diagnosis of shingles--basically chicken pox in people who have already had chicken pox. I had the pox, but a very mild case. And shingles tend to strike people with suppressed immune systems...I have endometriosis (auto-immune disorder) and in the past week have been recovering from a cold AND an intestinal bug. Bingo. I had read that getting on anti-viral meds ASAP can help a bit, so at 4:30 I decided to run down to the nearest med-center and have it looked at, rather than wait until tomorrow and suffer through another night of not sleeping well from the itching. The doctor was really nice...had me lift my shirt, looked at it for only a second and verified my self-diagnosis. She also said that my recent viral illnesses almost certainly opened me up for this. Right away gave me a couple of samples of Valtrex and a script for a week's course of the anti-viral. Funny thing...for years my hubby and I have joked about the Valtrex ads and how attractive and fit the actors in them look...yeah, right, like people with herpes are all so pretty and athletic. And now I am one of them! Tongue k

    I shoot pretty things! ~

    '14 Goals:

    • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

    • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

      Both my grandmothers had shingles, it can be pretty dangerous in elderly folks. My maternal grandmother had it on her face and it ended up affecting her vision in one eye, it lingered on her for MONTHS. The other grandma turned out fine, it was just on her body. I had it also when I was a teen but I dont remember much about it, isn't it isolated to one side of the body?
      ---- Cynthia


      Needs more cowbell!

        Yep, my 2 spots are relatively small and both on my right side, just inches apart. I am SO glad to get this while I am young and in excellent health (not so glad to get this JUST as the weather starts to improve...hopefully I will feel a bit better for my long run on Sat., though I'm not sure I want my Camelbak strap right on top of the affected areas. I'm feeling sort of run-down at the moment, so I don't know what this might do to my running in the coming days...weeks?). Most people who get shingles never get it again, so I'm keeing my fingers crossed that this holds true for me, too. Here is some interesting info. I have been reading: FDA page So far it's not so painful, just intensely itchy. I wouldn't be surprised if that changes, though. I'm very lucky in that I have a VERY high tolerance for pain (about the only asset to endometriosis is that it sort of trains a person to have a very high pain threshold). I'd probably be a good ultra runner, LOL! Wink k

        I shoot pretty things! ~

        '14 Goals:

        • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

        • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

          Hi K - hope you get over this quickly Smile Let's see - cold - intestinal bug - shingles - girl, you better be done now!

          Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of moments that take our breath away...(unkown)




          Go With The Flow
          Thyroid Support Group


          Needs more cowbell!

            I know. It's someone else's turn to get sick! Tongue Oh, well, at least it's now and not in a couple of months when I'm getting ready for my big 25k. This should run its course in about 3-4 more weeks, so hopefully will be completely done a solid month or more before the big race in mid-May. Smile k

            I shoot pretty things! ~

            '14 Goals:

            • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

            • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

              Kirsten, I had it when I was young and it ran its course pretty quickly. Certainly NOTHING compared to that time I had mono, dang, I wouldnt wish that crap on my worst enemy! I believe you are right about only contracting it once in a lifetime too.
              ---- Cynthia


              A Dance with Monkeys

                You get Chicken Pox. It never goes away. The virus, Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV, one of the herpes virus family) moves to your spine and spends the rest of your days with you. Then, for no good reason and typically at an inconvenient time, it decides to come out and visit. When it does, it travels along one major spinal nerve, often causing an outbreak in a belt-like distribution on one side of your body. Details - -The pox from this last 10 days. -The rash and recovery can take weeks. -Shingles rarely causes only itching. Shingles causes pain. Like fire. -The pain can be incredible, among some of the worst pain there is. This is because the infection and inflammation come from within a nerve. The pain can last weeks, and rarely years. -The virus IS contagious, but ONLY to people who have never had chicken pox, and it causes chicken pox in them. You CANNOT give somebody else shingles. -There is NO TREATMENT, although taking steriods such as prednisone and antiviral medications may slightly reduce the duration, severity and side effects (such as chronic pain) from the illness, but only if started within 24-48 hours of onset of the rash. If you go on therapy, do not get some complicated steroid taper or dose pack; just take the full dose once a day for the 5-7 days, then stop. Tell your doc that this is the best way. -Good girls get that kind of herpes. But I digress Wink -Advil is good for the pain. -The incidence of shingles seems to be on the rise, and folks seem to be getting it more than once in their lives, which almost never happened in the past. -Shingles on your face is an emergency.


                Needs more cowbell!

                  Yep, everything you posted appears to agree with what I've been reading. I have a feeling that I started the anti-viral treatment too late, since I first noticed the tingling early this week...maybe on Tues.? But I'm going to continue taking it (1g Valtrex, 3x/day) until it's gone, just in case it will help. So far the pain isn't so bad and the itching seems to be easing up. I really hope the pain doesn't get too severe...then again, I am "lucky" to have a really high pain tolerance. Trent, what do you know about the varicella vaccine that was approved for adults over 60 (I believe it's a stronger version of the one given to kids--my son had it, so I'm not to worried that I could spread the pox to him)? Do you have any knowledge of whether something like this would be beneficial to a younger adult with an auto-immune disorder who has already had shingles? I have a really good insurance provider, but I know that vaccine is very $$. I'm wondering whether they might cover something like this in my situation. k

                  I shoot pretty things! ~

                  '14 Goals:

                  • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

                  • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

                    My son had the vaccine when he was in the 2nd grade,I think. He then contracted Chicken Pox moderately bad case, when he was in the 6th grade Roll eyes - So I'm wondering why the vaccine didn't work for him. He has multiple allergies to antibiotics, as well as a few unusual food allergies, don't know if that makes a difference or not. he does seem to get protection with the flu vaccine. My brother had shingles as an adult and he said the pain was pretty excrutiating. Pain tolerance - well he got stabbed in the leg with a 6" knife while working as a bouncer(in his youth) and "no big deal". Roll eyes K,thanks for the info, I always thought that if you had a "bad" case, that you were pretty much guaranteed immunity for life. "The incidence of shingles seems to be on the rise, and folks seem to be getting it more than once in their lives, which almost never happened in the past." Trent, things like that reinforce your nutrition article. I did read it, well, some of it Wink

                    Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of moments that take our breath away...(unkown)




                    Go With The Flow
                    Thyroid Support Group


                    Needs more cowbell!

                      Pain tolerance - well he got stabbed in the leg with a 6" knife while working as a bouncer(in his youth) and "no big deal". Roll eyes
                      Eek! How many days into it did the pain set in? I figure I'm probably on day 4 or 5...so far it's more of an annoying ache that comes and goes with occasional stabby twinges, but nothing too bad...yet. k

                      I shoot pretty things! ~

                      '14 Goals:

                      • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

                      • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)


                      A Dance with Monkeys

                        The vaccine for folks over 60 is the same as the chicken pox vaccine for kiddos. It is a reasonable thing to do, but the research is still being conducted.
                          oooh! that sounds icky! Shocked I hope it passes quickly.
                          Jennifer mm#1231
                            K - my brother's rash sounded like it was quite a bit worse than what you are describing, he might have had a more severe reaction? Hopefully yours won't be as bad.

                            Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of moments that take our breath away...(unkown)




                            Go With The Flow
                            Thyroid Support Group


                            Needs more cowbell!

                              The vaccine for folks over 60 is the same as the chicken pox vaccine for kiddos. It is a reasonable thing to do, but the research is still being conducted.
                              So is the vaccine only for adults who haven't had shingles? My hubby was thinking that since I have already had it, the vaccine wouldn't be useful for me. Ok, another question...I have read that there is a type of shingles outbreak that doesn't present with any rash. I have the rash, obviously, but it seems to be going away without any obvious rupture of the "pustules." They are much smaller now than they were a few days ago and flatter. The itching, pain, and twinge/tingle are gone, but I never saw any sort of drainage--I've been keeping a real close eye on things, too. But I have looked online and can't find any reference to rash that never fully develops. I asked my mom about it...she's an RN and worked for about 15 years in a nursing home, so she saw plenty of shingles outbreaks in patients. She wonders if my age and relative health have anything to do with what is apparently a very mild outbreak. Any thoughts? k

                              I shoot pretty things! ~

                              '14 Goals:

                              • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

                              • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)


                              A Dance with Monkeys

                                There is great variability in Shingles symptoms, so it is possible. Count yourself lucky. But since you had a mild outbreak, it may not have protected you from future outbreaks. In other words, the vaccine may still be of use for you.
                                12