To begin with I am not a doctor or in the medical field whatsoever. I am simply a regular person just like you who has now gone through an outbreak of shingles. I am going to give you what I know from my experience and hopefully it will help – whether you are starting to get the symptoms or have already been diagnosed. Actually, to be more precise an attack of shingles is truly how I actually felt for couple of weeks. And believe me I have a high tolerance for pain and I am not being over dramatic, shingles will take you out of your daily groove for a few weeks. Though it all depends on how bad and aggressive it affects you personally obviously. Over the years I have only suffered through one thing more painful and agonizing than shingles and that was kidney stones. Kidney stones were incredibly painful and excruciating for the few days I was the affected by them. At least for me the pain never seemed to get any better until I was able to pass stones. Honestly, I must say kidney stones was the most discomfort I ever had continuously, however the shingles was a close second. Between the kidney stones and now shingles, the pain and the aftermath has consequently inspired me to create this blog on shingles. In layman’s terms shingles is no joke at all.
Within this blog I plan to honestly and forthrightly explain in as much detail as I can my experience with shingles, right from the beginning to the end. As I am writing this I am still in much ache and with fatigue which makes it difficult to concentrate however I decided to begin writing now while I am still dealing with the effects of the viral disease. Some of you may have never heard of shingles, that’s okay because I only truly researched the disease in my early 30s. For the most part younger people do not have to worry about shingles, the viral disease typically affects people in their 60s and 70s. However just for the record, I am nowhere near my 60s but I still unfortunately got it. And besides we all know how young people think and feel about diseases and life in general. That they are invincible, only the old and unfortunate get sick.
What Is Shingles?
Shingles is a disease that affects your nerves. It can cause burning, shooting pain, tingling, and/or itching, as well as what is known as a shingles rash and blisters. I will go into details within another post however I will say that I felt intense shooting pains, tingling and itching and at times extreme burning throughout my shingles rash. For the most part I mostly had to deal with the shooting pain and the burning, not fun! You may recall having chickenpox as a child. Shingles is caused by the same virus, the varicella-zoster virus (VZV). After you recover from chickenpox, the virus continues to live in some of your nerve cells. It is usually inactive, so you don’t even know it’s there.
In fact, most adults live with VZV in their bodies and never get shingles. But, for about one in three adults, the virus will become active again. Instead of causing another case of chickenpox, it produces shingles. We do not totally understand what makes the virus go from inactive to active. Having shingles doesn’t mean you have any other underlying disease.
In conclusion, besides kidney stones no other disease has impacted my daily life so significantly such as shingles. This viral disease usually last anywhere from 3 to 4 weeks on average however the shooting pains and burning sensations can linger on for a while. As I write this I have now had shingles for about 2 ½ weeks, thankfully my signs and symptoms are dwindling away. I truly can’t wait for this particular episode in my life to be over with and to start feeling completely normal once again. At the present time, there is no cure for shingles.
- Early treatment with medications which fight the herpes virus can help you.
- These kinds of prescription drugs can also help protect against lingering pain.
- A vaccine may prevent shingles or possibly reduce its side effects. The vaccine is usually recommended for individuals 60 or higher. In some instances physicians may give it to individuals ages 50 to 59.
- It is not contagious like chicken pox, herpes or rabies but can be spread person to person through close contact or by sharing saliva (kissing). Therefore it is important to try and avoid close contact with others for at least 2 weeks after vaccination.