Shingles recovery

Canyon Lake, TX

#42 Dec 27, 2010
My daughter told me to read this post because I have been suffering and I mean that literally, with shingles for 6 weeks. I am a 69 year old women and I too had been under a certain amount of stress.
My first question to everyone was how long will this go on? I have found that all cases are different but now I can see lots of similarities.
I have them on my bra line and up to my shoulder blade. I did not have a bad rash and no appreciable itching till after the rash had gone away.I also have no appetite and shivers, sweats and stomach pain.
But for 2 weeks the PAIN was ferocious and unending. I had all the drugs mentioned above and vicoden did not work during the first two weeks, all I could do was cry.
I am still in pain I would say a 5-6 most of the time. And still taking vicodan and valium for sleep or stress.Hearing your experiences has been helpful and hopeful.I will see about patches this week. The people that have or have had them on their face and eyes have my most sincere sympathy I can not even imagine the pain.

Dekalb, IL

#43 Dec 27, 2010
My 'shingles' was on the left side. I just got the test results back last week and they came up negative. Although Dr. says that's what it was since they cleared up after using Valtrex. But now the right side of my face is pimply and my nose is all broke out. I don't know if this is part of it or if it's just broke out with all the new stuff putting on the sores. I usually have a clear complextion and it just seems to never end!

Edgewater, MD

#44 Feb 5, 2011
I am a 47 year old woman, and I was diagnosed with shingles on January 13th this year on the left side of my face from my chin, across the edge of my left eye and up to my forehead. I was lucky in that since my mom had them 2 years ago, I recognized the symptoms when they started and got on the anti-viral medicine within 24 hours. It was still bad enough in that the pain, fever and headaches for that first week were excruciating - although all of you fellow sufferers unfortunately understand. There is no substitute for the anti-viral (Valtrex etc) medicines - so if you think you are developing shingles - GET TO THE DOCTOR NOW. My break out would have been worse without them. Now, 4 weeks later, I have very little scarring but I do have that crazy stinging itchy pain on that side of my face up into my hairline. It's hard to describe, but I tell people it's like you burned one side of your head on the stove plus now there is a big stinging catepillar attached there. Still doesn't quite describe it...but it gets close :). Luckily, my opthamologist says my eye is going to be OK. My true sympathy to all of you out there struggling with this thing. No one really can understand it unless they have been through it! I would love to hear anyone else's story, suggestions or thoughts, so please write.

Edgewater, MD

#45 Feb 5, 2011
Just to add....I am taking 300 mg of Gabapentin 3X day now for the pain and it works most of the time. The medicine doesn't seem to affect me adversely as far as I can tell, but starts to wear off a bit at the end. All doctors should go ahead and prescribe a painkiller along with the anti-viral when they see make the diagnosis. Mine did not, so I suffered unnecessarily the first 2 days.

Koondoola, Australia

#46 Feb 5, 2011
I came down with shingles 10 days ago...started on on my forehead, went to the docs and got meds within 12 hours of sores breaking out...On wed i woke to find my eye swollen and red..yep I now have shingles in the eye..the pain in my head is driving me mental, the whole side of my face hurts and my brain feels like i have a boil inside it. I really want to get back to work tomorrow but I just dont have the energy, does anyone know if I do go back too early will i be struck down with another dose of this blasted disease. I am usually extremely fit and active and the tiredness is overwhelming me.

Edgewater, MD

#47 Feb 6, 2011
Pat: I am so sorry for your pain. Your case sounds exactly like mine.(read posts above) You were wise to get started on the meds right away, but are you taking any kind of pain medication? My doctor started me on 300 mg of Gabapentin, then increased it to 900 mg, and now I am on 1500 mg. Some people are given even higher doses, so you really have to keep trying until your pain is under control. It does not make me feel weird or tired. I remember those headaches very well...they were horrible, unlike any headache I have every had. They will stop. As far as your eye goes, you should get to an opthamologist right away...don't delay. I ended up with 2 spots on my cornea, but they have healed. Still having regular visits to check it for infection. Don't even try to go back to work until you are ready. I am much like you - fit and energetic - and this shingles has taught me a lot about slowing down and allowing my body to heal at it's own pace. I don't think the shingles will come back, but your recovery time may be affected if you don't take it slowly. 10 days into shingles is nothing, but the worst of it should be over. Cold packs for your face will help a lot by the way. Anyhow, I am now 1 month into all this, and I am finally starting to feel good again. Hang in does get better! Write again if you just want someone to talk to.
Jules - uk

Bristol, UK

#48 Feb 11, 2011
I was diagnosed with shingles 15 days ago, Im 39 and have to say the pain is worse than childbirth, i have it on my lower leg and have now also developed celutitus in my lower leg as well, im on anitibiotics and a mixture of pethadine and tramadol, i was supposed to return to work over a week ago, but the pain of standing and walking is unbearable, my question is how long will it take before the pain begins to ease it seems to get worse everyday my skin has just started to peel as well any suggestions.

Edgewater, MD

#49 Feb 11, 2011
Hi Jules: I am no expert...I just know my own experience so far.(see my posts above) If you were diagnosed with shingles 15 days ago, you have made it through the really "sick" part, but now try to be patient with yourself as you go through recovery. I know it's hard. 15 days, unfortunately, is not long in the full process. I am taking things day by day - and I am getting better - but I do have days that feel like setbacks. I am used to being very active, so this has been humbling! When you feel ready to go back to work, then go...but don't push yourself too soon. If you are still experiencing a lot of pain, call your doctor and ask for something new or higher dose. You should not have to suffer. Take care.

United States

#50 Mar 1, 2011
Nancy Davis wrote:
<quoted text>
use Zostrix.....It worked for me
Nancy, I am 48 and I also had shingles in the same area. Are you still experiencing the pain? I still get flair ups some days I hardly feel it and just this past weekend I colored my hair at home for the first time and the smell made the pain flair.

United States

#51 Mar 1, 2011
Ron wrote:
Ice helps the itch of shingles. I've completely recovered without using any drugs.
Ron, what did you use? I had shingles in July 10, and I am still in a battle with the pain. It flairs up now and then. Did you have the post pain and if so what works? Thank you.
Ebrecon 1970

San Jose, CA

#52 Mar 27, 2011
Does the blisters mean it is now in the healing stage?
Ebrecon 1970

San Jose, CA

#53 Mar 27, 2011
My are mostly on the back of my legs making it hurt to walk. This sucks because i enjoy goinv to the gym or taking my german shepard for a jog. Im also missing out on overtime money. not to mention my wife is only a sub teacher right now.

North Haven, CT

#54 Mar 31, 2011
karen wrote:
<quoted text>
Nancy, I am 48 and I also had shingles in the same area. Are you still experiencing the pain? I still get flair ups some days I hardly feel it and just this past weekend I colored my hair at home for the first time and the smell made the pain flair.
Hi Karen,
I just wanted to say hello. I am around the same age and live in new haven. I have been battling flair-ups for 1 1/2 years now! The pain isn't nearly as awful as when i first was diagnosed with shingles but the pain never seems to go away. It is dull and achey almost every month for a few days. I hardly had any blisters but every now and then i will get one or two.
I find that it is much worse if i am very stressed. I haven't had any luck getting a dr. to take this seriously. How about you?

Massillon, OH

#55 Apr 25, 2011
I am a healthy 43 year old woman. I am in my second week of Shingles. It presented on my left lower back, right next to where I had major back surgery 10years ago. The doctor said it was probably from the years of daily back pain I suffer from. However, I have always stayed very active, even with the pain. I only have a 2x2 rash with blisters, that is already drying up. My pain is already subsiding. Am I crazy to think this could be the extent of my recovery?
Jules - uk

Bristol, UK

#56 Apr 25, 2011
I am so glad I found this site, nobody I talk to understands the dreaded Shingles, I have had it since Jan 25th and although the blisters have dried up, I am left with a thick "tight" band around my lower leg, it is badly scarred and feels hard to the touch and still painful most of the time and teamed up with celulitus that had reared its ugly head as well im just wondering if anyone knows how long or if it will ever clear up and go away, doctors say its hard to give a time so thought i would post and ask the experts.. many thanks Jule's
34 with shingles

Huntington Station, NY

#57 May 16, 2011
WTF! So I went my Doctor on Friday because for three days I noticed painfully a hive like rash spreading on the left side of my torso! I didn't know what to think, well I have eczema so I really thought it was my eczema flaring up! Turns out, I have shingles...WTF, I'm 34! I new shingles to be a viral infection for the elderly not my generation:(.. Anyway, now I have to take a week off from work which wouldn't be a bad lthing except were State testing in my school district! I'm trying everything to Speed up the healing process. I found that using Calamine helps dry out the oozing effect, and my doctor gave me an RX for valtrex. I also been taking 600 mg of ibuprofen. So I hope by Thursday's this will be over and done with!

Douglas, AZ

#58 May 16, 2011
Stress is often a precursor to shingles, I was having a real time of it when i got shingles last year, as a result the cornea in my left eye is damaged. First of all think of the stress you have and find ways to lessen it, take deep breaths, meditate, find something that works. Get rid of that stress for the week you have off, forget about work and take care of yourself and the healing will be faster.

Christopher C

Santa Clara, CA

#59 May 20, 2011
I am 60, shingles got at my left auditory nerve and I've lost 70% hearing there. No rash or itching, but have had a good deal of fatigue, loss of appetite, swelling in the ear and head that has diminished. It has now been a month and still have swelling and fatigue. Wondering how long this will last????

Douglas, AZ

#60 May 20, 2011
Your immune system may be very low at this point. Perhaps see your Doc for some bloodwork? Shingles wears many different hats,but I think you should be feeling stronger by now. I'm really sorry this is happening to you.


Edgewater, MD

#61 May 21, 2011
I am so sorry for all the pain and frustration everyone is feeling....and when you look at the posts, you can see how different shingles is for each of us. I totally understand. Piper, Christopher, Jules and everyone....I wish for you healing and a solution soon. I wanted to tell you that although it has been a very tough 5 months for me, I AM still seeing's just slow. However, I am really feeling more like myself every day. I was worried that at 2-3 months that my improvement might plateau, but for me it did not. There is always hope. Anyhow, please take heart, be good to yourself and make sure your doctor is doing everything he/she can to help you.

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