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Shingles, help/advice please - Page 2 - Carers UK Forum

Shingles, help/advice please

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My brother came to visit us with chickenpox about 20 years ago and I ended up with shingles - the pain was worse than childbirth! Even now if I feeling stressed I get pain along the track of where the shingles was.

When I was having chemo treatment I was told that it is vitally important not to come in contact with anyone who has, or has recently had, chickenpox or shingles in order to avoid serious reaction with chemo meds.

Sorry I do not have anything to add to the replies you have received, except to say that I hope your condition improves soon.
Thanks for your messages Henrietta, Elaine, royd and Eun, all help so much.
I went back to my Dr this morning, strong painkillers didn't work and just made me feel sick.
I ask for a week of Diazepam so that I could at least get some sleep to help me to cope but it was a definite No! I have read that it helped one woman who was given a 2 week course to help with the nerve pain.
The Dr has given me Lidocaine patches to put on at around 7 of a night and I can take it off at 7 when I get up each day. I pray to God that it helps to take the edge of the pain at least and I can get some much needed sleep.
Instead of me dashing back and forward to my Sons house each day, I have ask him to stay here, so just one place to be to care for him and my Husband.
Thanks Violet I just spotted your message after I wrote my reply.
I have stayed at home for almost 3 weeks now, I know it's contagious and can affect others. I've been to the Drs twice and both times sat away from other people.
My Son who has severe mental health problems had a stroke last year and my Husband is still rather frail from a heart attack and heart surgery and I worry about them getting it.
I remember my Mother speaking about the pain/horror of shingles when I was younger but I have never give it a second thought. I now know that there is a vaccine available on private prescription for £99 and it is available for 70 to 79 year old on the NHS.
I hope that you are keeping well Violet and that your chemo was successful for you.
While chicken pox is contagious, shingles isn't. It's a reactivation of the chicken pox virus that you're never fully clear of, and usually comes up when you're under the weather, exhausted and/or stressed out - basically, run down.

I think caring for two people probably qualifies as "all of the above." The only thing you can do - apart from pain relief - is to try to rest as much as you can and give your body time to recover.
Because my partner was on antibiotics he was unable to have the shingles vaccine as soon as he was eligible at 79. 2 weeks later (the week before Christmas)he contracted shingles all over the left side of his chest and his back. He was admitted to hospital 30th December with pneumonia and sepsis where he had to stay for 5 weeks. He came home for a week then was back in for a further 6 days. All this time he has been suffering the most dreadful shingles pain. He has been on morphine and every sort of controlled drug possible, which he is still taking, and he is still in absolute agony. Because of his COPD he is on oxygen 24x7, can barely take a step because of his breathlessness, yet he says the post shingles nerve pain is the worst of all his suffering. I just pray that in time the pain will ease up. I bought a Tens machine, hoping to give that a try, but it said on the instructions you must not use it on the chest. Does anyone know of anything that can help him? In the meantime I, as his carer, am not eligible for the vaccination as I am 75, so must wait until I am 79 to get it on the NHS. My own Doctor won't even give it to me if I pay so I am having to go to a private clinic and pay £190 for the vaccination. I would urge everyone to have the vaccination when they can as it is the most agonising and debilitating disease I have ever witnessed.
Hello Charles, thanks for your message. I really do think that I wore myself out when my Husband and Son became seriously ill within 6 months of each other; I was dragging myself around due to my own health problems so I can see why this happened. I have heard that it is brought out by trauma.

Hello Carole I'm so sorry to hear that your Husband got the shingles on top of everything else he has to cope with; what a nightmare! I know how you must be feeling, my Husband was out of his mind with worry.
Like your Husband they gave me all the medications they could but the pain was agony! It's nerve pain and that's why it's difficult to treat. I injured my back in the 90's whilst at work and that was a hellish time but the Shingles is up there and above. I am almost 10 weeks since the shingles started and for 5 weeks I was up every couple of hours in the night making my water bottle, that did help but some people say a cold cloth helps.
I am now able to control the pain and discomfort. I take 50mg of amitriptyline and 2 codeine 30mg before I go to bed and for the past 4 weeks I have slept through. Throughout the day I take co-codamol. I still feel very tired and physically weak and I am resting as I have no choice.
I can only describe the shingles experience as like a tornado has ripped through my body and I am now dealing with the fallout, I have aged 10 years, I have been so very ill.
My Dr said shingles is debilitating and agonizing pain, how right he is! It can take up to 18 months for the nerves to repair so for some the pain lingers.
I do agree with you Carole that all Carers should be given the shingles vaccination,
When I was a young child I used to hear my Mother talking about the horrors of shingles and when I got it I knew why!
If I'd have known that there was a vaccine I would have paid for it and it would have been worth every penny.
I do hope that your Husbands pain and discomfort eases soon bless him.
Thank you for posting this message Carole. Kind regards
For Carole, I've tried to post this message privately but have been unable to do so.
If this message isn't allowed please remove it but I'm hoping it may be of help.
Hi Carole
I've just posted a response to your message about your Husband and shingles.
I have been so ill and in desperation I phoned and spoke to Dennis Gore, he is a chemist but has a wealth of knowledge in alternative and complementary medicine. His phone number is: 0161 773 4212 and e-mail: enquiries@dennisthechemist.com
He will ask a series of questions about your Husbands health medications etc.... he may be able to advise you if anything what your Husband will benefit from. He can send you what you need by post or you can buy what he suggests yourself.
I now take Bio-Lipoic Acid 30mg which helps to repair the nerves and I take Bio-Quinone Q10 Gold 100mg and Bio-Seleno Precise 200mg I am determined to get well and have an immune system that is stronger. All products are Pharma Nord.
I hope this helps.
Hello to all who replied to my initial message.

We are now in October and when stressed or tired which is often the case, I can feel my shingles pain.

I had to stop the complimentary medications as they caused nausea.

I still feel very tired and have fatigue which is dreadful.

I recently became unwell with a sore throat and immediately took Beechams all in one which really helps me. After 2 weeks matters were getting worse so I saw the Dr who said I had to have antibiotics ( I don't like them at all ) so I took the course. After a few days I was in agony with pain behind my ears that led down to my throat it was awful so I spoke to the chemist who said I had to see a Dr so I did! She said I had to have another course of antibiotics and I ask was there anything else she could advise other than antibiotics but she said there was not. I have almost finished the course but they have made me feel rather unwell; needless to say my pain and discomfort has gone!

I do believe that I have been unwell for 4 weeks due to the shingles wiping me out so to speak. I just pray that I build up. Caring is hard enough without one feeling ill.