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Shingles - Recovering... - Carers UK Forum

Shingles - Recovering...

For issues related to specific conditions and disabilities.
I'd be interested to hear from anyone old who has had shingles.

My mum (in her late 80's) is in her 3rd week of this, still with raw skin (from burst blisters) and having to take 8 tablets a day of paracetemol to combat the pain. She is very weak, run down with no appetite. (I keep trying to urge her to eat at least some protein - which helps the body repair itself).

Specifically I'd like to know how long the pain has lasted. I can't get any specific info on this since it seems to depend on age, health etc. As a guideline I've read that 50% of patients with shingles have pain lasting longer than 3 months ... and it can go on for years!! My mum is exasperated with this; I've tried to tell her she may be one of the 'lucky' ones having it for 3 months!
Hi Amy

I remember my Mum's late sister having shingles in her 70's and that lasted about 3 weeks, she was in terrible pain for the first couple of weeks then it eased off.

My brother-in-law's in his 60's and he had shingles for 3 days - my sister swears it was the nicotine that killed them off!

Hope your Mum's on the mend soon.

Take care

Amy - Mum had shingles in November 1997, so she'd have been about 75 at the time. The pain in its worst form lasted around three weeks to a month. What was really unfortunate was that whilst she had shingles she had at least one TIA (mini stroke) which was masked by the shingles and therefore she didn't receive any care for it. I therefore advise you to keep an eye out for weakness on one side, inability to swallow, slurred speech, facial distortion or paralysis - any of the more obvious symptoms of stroke - they may only be transitory but if you see them tell your GP.

Please extend my sympathy to your Mum, and I hope you cope ok.
Thank you so much for your replies.

Indeed my mum has already had a stroke so this information is even more pertinent!
I had an acute attack of shingles at age 50, and three years on I still get the odd twinge. It's sheer hell, during the acute phase that lasts for a few weeks I thought someone was driving a piledriver through my ribcage, and the after effects for the next year are most unpleasant. I was young and fit, I hate to think what it would be like for an older, frail person. Strong painkillers are essential as backup.