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Anyone diagnosed with shingles?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:20 AM in Chronic Pain
I was just diagnosed with shingles after a month and a half of going back & forth to doc. I am not broke out on body...just on palm of hand.

I was told by the doc that it is common for post traumatic stress patients/chronic pain and neuropathy patients to get the shingles. Very weird to me. I had the shingles as a child and was broke out around my mid section. This go around started with major infection in my neck and face. Cellulitis and infection into my glands in my neck. I have progressively gotten worse and the doc came back today and said I had full blown shingles..."under the skin" ok...I am no doc but has anyone ever heard of this.

She told me it is caused obviously from a nerve problem. I have major nerve damage in my leg...but whats the deal with the swelling in my face and a patch of shingles on the palm of my hand.

Every since surgery I have fought and fought infection...this go around almost 2 months later is still winning the battle. I feel soooo bad.

If anyone out there has had this or has ever heard of getting shingles from a nerve problem please reply to this. Thanks to all!!


  • Comes from the chicken pox virus. If you had chicken pox as a child or adult you run the risk of having shingles.
  • I get shingles in my lips and mustache area when i'm super stressed ( In alot of pain ) as well as acne breakouts.

    My brother has gotten them much worse. Lips, side of face and almost in his eyes. The right side of his face still has scaring from one of his bad out breaks. I remember he had it so bad once he had to eat through a straw for weeks.

    Best bet is to let your DR treat it and hope it does not attack your face.

    Best Of Luck

  • A few months after I had my surgery I developed Shingles all over my incision site. Ever since, I notice when I am stressed or my back is having a bad day, they will re-occur.

  • A few months after I had my surgery I developed Shingles all over my incision site. Ever since, I notice when I am stressed or my back is having a bad day, they will re-occur.

  • If you have ever had chicken pox the chicken pox virus (varicella zoster) stays in the body forever and can re surface in the form of shingles at any time, usually when our immune system is run down. For most of us this happens when we are particularly stressed. This can be physical or mental stress - recovering from a major operation would certainly place the body in a run down, stressed condition.

    Treatment with anti-viral medications, such as acyclovir or famciclovir is normally recommended to treat the virus and medications such as Lyrica or Topamax may be prescribed if nerve pain is an issue.

    I first got shingles on the cheek (face not, a**) 20 years ago when we bought our first house. I got it again last year just in front of the ear when I was particularly run down. Shingles in this location can affect the 6th cranial nerve and cause facial paralysis on that side of the face (usually only temporary if correct treatment is sought quickly), which did happen to me. This is called Ramsay Hunt Syndrome (similar to Bell's Palsey).

    Shingles can be very painful.
    Keep positive!


    ...an old timer here and ex-moderator

  • Thanks for the replies. I am currently taking Lyrica and Dicloxacill and Diazepam. What is weird is I have a patch on the palm of my right hand. Facial swelling on the left side. Very weird. Doctor said it usually focuses on one side of the body.

    Of course...I am the weird patient. If it is rare or almost impossible for things to happen...I am the one it happens to. lol I am just tired of the PAIN the STRESS of dealing with the limitations brought on by this dam disease.

    Just thankful I have you guys to reach out to when I need a friend. Thanks guys!!

    God Bless-
  • Hi Cathy,

    I have shingles, dx'd about 4-6 weeks ago. I did not break out, but they just stayed under the skin across the right side of my back (just where my bra goes across my back.) They just look like dark spots under the skin. The first time I had them, about 10 years ago, they were in a line along my waist, also the right side. But that time they broke our into blisters. This time I had pain and itch and that tingling, that if you have ever had shingles, you never forget. That, I believe is the nerve pain.

    I have a thread about shingles under the Arthritis Forum called "Methotrexate and Shingles." I blame this time on the methotrexate which I take for RA weakening my immune system. That is when shingles come back. When your immune system is compromised, and like Bruce added, under a lot of stress.

    Good luck Cathy, and please keep us posted on your progress. I feel bad for you, because you sure had enough to deal with before this. Just hang in there. Hugs and prayers, Marti
  • Marti-
    Thanks for the info. I believe some of the meds I have been on has crushed my immune system. I had the shingles as a kid and man oh man they hurt. The blisters were bad.

    This time very weird. I have dark spots across my face and just today have a place on my neck that has started to blister. I am tired and just would love to be normal. That is as normal as normal could be for me. lol Thanks for all the prayers and Bless you!

    God Bless-
  • i had a a case on my face right before my back operation last year. it covered my left side and i had a cortisone injection. right after my surgery, it cleared up and have not had a case since. is there a corolation to back problems and shingles? i don't know. all i know is that nerves are responsible in both of them. some weird sex problems cleared up after my surgery also
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • Hi Cathy,

    How are you feeling now? I hope that the Lyrica you are taking is helping you now with the pain. That nerve pain can be really nasty from these. And I can't imagine it on your face. Ouch! Did you also take an anti-viral? The one I took was Valtrex. And i think I got it started soon enough to keep them from getting so bad. I normally take Neurotin for nerve pain in my neck. But it really did help me with the shingles pain.

    I really can sympathize with you for the pain of this. And someone told me that the ones that stay under the skin hurt worse than the ones that break out in blisters. (I couldn't tell the difference, both hurt, in my opinion.) This time I tried to down-play the shingles pain with my PCP dr and also my Rheumy. Because I was afraid they would make me postpone the foot surgery I had on the 21st. Now the shingles pain is letting off and the foot pain is bad (really bad!)

    I hope by now you are doing much better, please keep us posted. Marti
  • I just found your posting while desperately searching Google. I was wondering the same/ similar thing, "is there any correlation between nerve damage caused by hernieated discs leading to outbreaks or symptoms of Shingles". Currently tortured with leg pain from L4 L5 bulging discs pinching nerve, but pain becomming more like Shingles???? I thought I might be crazy. What have you discovered specifically about any findings of a correlation between disc neuropathy and Shingles. (please folks, no more generic info on shingles or discs...just any data linking the two)
    In advance, Thanks so much!...and I hope you are feeling better since last year.

  • Parker, you are asking "only" for a correlation between disc rupture and shingles. If it is any help whatsoever, I can tell you a little bit about what has happened to me over the last three months. Simultaneously to a fall and a ruptured disk showing up on MRIs and x-rays, L5 and S1, I developed shingles. Why did I develop shingles? Four specialists are not even positive as to the "why" at this time, but my own theory is a series of issues brought mine out--stress, the ruptured disk and four series of rituxan (a type of chemo), along with steroid and antibodies IVs. My point here is that it's kind of a "which came first, the chicken or the egg," e.g., the ruptured disk or the shingles, which is the only explanation, if you will, the doctors can give me. A fall came first (ruptured disk), two days later, the leg pain for one week, until I then developed shingles. My right leg pain continues to this day, but worse yet, a few days after the rash showed up (it eventually ran to my right foot, top and bottom), my right foot became paralyzed. It is paralyzed to this day, and the needles and pins pain runs from below the knee to my toes. This is anything but fun, and I continue to take Lyrica, neurontin and percocet (at least, I have finally been able to get off the oxycontin and vicodin). Also, I am doing my best to research this paralysis effect from shingles and to find specialists in this area. Take care, and I hope anyone out there who is enduring the pain and long-lasting effects from shingles will get better soon. You are all in my thoughts. Pat
  • I have never had shingles(knock on wood) but my ex did and he was in agony with them.
    I do hope you recover very soon.
    Sending you a gentle hug... >:D<
    Sorry but that is all I can offer along with a very speedy recovery.
    Patsy W :H
  • Very interesting post :? . I had shingles as a child. Started at bra line between my breasts and wrapped around to my back -- painful blisters.

    I've never heard of shingles not presenting as blisters but instead under the skin. That's interesting. What peaked my interest about your post was the cellulitus you developed in your neck.

    My whole sciatica problem started in Oct 08 after have foot surgery for morton's neuroma. Nine months after surgery I developed an infection at the incision site. I have a post here called Deltalady's Foot Saga Continues. It's been five months and the infection is just now starting to heal. When it first started, it was diaganosed as cellulitus or a seroma.

    I just think that somehow my infections and, maybe yours, is linked to surgery and a compromised immune system.

    I do hope for your sake that they get your shingles under control asap.

    Keep us posted and we're here for you to vent anytime.

    Sending you comforting and healing thoughts,

    Take care :D ,

  • MebmarcMMebmarc Posts: 1
    edited 06/22/2012 - 12:48 PM
    I had back surgery 9 months ago. Two weeks ago I felt like I had stomach flu but didn't have a fever a few days later my lower back around my incision where I have 4 screws from surgery became very sore, tingling and numbness and sharp pain and itching on and off and at times unbearable. I thought here we go again I am going to need surgery again. Now I have broken out with blister around incision scar area and traveling to the left hip area from lower back spine area. I have not gone to my doctor yet but from my readings really think now that I have Shingles. Before this started my back was feeling great and I was walking 5 miles a day. Now since this has started I have not been able to even walk more than 10 15 minutes at a time without it flaring up. Everytime I push it and starts to really itch and tingling needle pain sensation and at times feels like incision is ripping as blisters are around scar. Now I hope this doesn't last to long.
    Marc Rankin
  • Hi, just yesterday I worked with my doctor to diagnose a case of shingles which manifested itself as numbness along the L5 dermatome (distal big left toe numbness, back outside of left knee, left hip, top of left (descending) colon in continual spasm, lower back pain). This has happened several times over the last 20 years and given as bursitis or diverticulitis. Turns out that it starts from heavy lifting, which bulges the disk, compressing the L5 nerve. I had chicken pox as a child. Add to this chronic stress and sleep deprivation due to the back pain and viola! - the pox returns. Initially it is low back pain which doesn't go away. Then it causes problems with your digestive system- bowel paralysis, then it travels down the nerve to your legs and toe. Then ultimately the rash comes out in the characteristic pattern. Valtrex is working miracles within just a day- sensation returning, pain going away, things working again. Hope this helps someone find relief. Talk to your doctor!
  • Julie ShriveJJulie Shrive Posts: 8
    edited 06/20/2014 - 9:54 PM
    I am Julie from UK love this site.
    Only just had an MRI which cost an arm & a leg ! Apparently pain can be INFECTION referred,the main one being bronchopneumonia which had as a chid age 5 .
    Check out private site of EDIT it even lists them but doesn't ask your history or refers to a GP using an internet site set up by people who have shortened the medical records. However if the MRI scan stops me getting worse very happy. I also get temporary bouts of extreme spasticity bent into two hardly able to move .
    Most people in UK of my age have been & are smokers as facts were not known then so to punish by no further investigation doesn't make sense .EDIT .Consequently surgeon I saw did not ask history needed to investigate infection . Or did he? !!!Trouble is was it correct ?
    I had shingles diagnosed by an A&E Dept 2 years ago I didn't think it was right but took the medication which appeared to work.
    I think quite a lot of problems are caused by medical interactions such as aspirin .Check out your Medicare . I also think time of day matters as I also have had a heart attack & wear a mask at night .A nurse told me stopped breathing 11 times which is horrific the A&E now saying weight when have no stamina , energy & gastric band having to employ assistance.
    My mother had severe multi infart dementia & was hoisted everywhere..There could be a problem with me even though have had gastric band & eat half portions.You can now see how I am a retired teacher & pharmacist's daughter & granddaughter .I am also recently graduated artist BA & MA & Know medicine is more of an art than a science .The art is in how the knowledge is used ! Case studies are part of way forward. But some of the Doctors from abroad have said " Their hands are tied ! "

    Post edited to remove name of specific hospitals and political content. by Liz The Spine-Health Moderator Team
  • I am now 3 1/2 months status post spinal fusion of L5/s1 for spondylithesis. I have continued to have sciatica radiating down left leg and daily pain. Almost as bad as before the surgery. Only seeing PA every post op visit that has continued to say X-rays look good. Continue Norco as needed, diazepam and lyrica at bedtime. Sometimes I feel they think everyone is just drug seeking! But anyway, I went to see my PCP a couple of weeks ago and discussed this. I also mentioned I had warmth over my incision area that is completely healed, no fever or other signs of infection. I told her I had shingles about 8 years ago with back pain and rash finally developed in left leg. Could she do lab work to see if that had reoccurred since there was no obvious rash, she did and started Valtrex. I do have shingles again per lab work which helps explain the severe pain and leg issues that have continued. Haven't seen the ortho doctor yet, have an appointment again in a couple of weeks. Still having some pain, so I am hoping this improves soon. Has anyone else had this problem?
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