Tuesday, July 17, 2012


A BMW riding friend has come down with a very nasty case of shingles. I got this email this morning and am sharing it as a cautionary tale to everyone who ever had chickenpox.:

To all my friends (particularly over 60 or someone you know over 60),
I want you to know how debilitating shingles is. I've had it for the last 10 days and it's got some more time before its over. I happen to have in the head area and the shooting pains in the right side of my head bring me to total incapacitation.
It started 9 days ago as some bumps on my forehead and slight flu-like symptoms for the first three days and progressed to more severe flu feelings. Then I had headaches with the flu at day 5. The flu-headaches added shooting pains in the right ear, temple along with extreme scalp sensitivity on my right side. (I couldn't brush my hair)
The only way I have felt comfortable after day 5 was to lie flat on my back. I feel good enough to get up but the "shooters" begin about 5 min after I get up and they are like I stick my finger in the light socket. But I feel the "shooters" in my head not my fingers.
I've tried to time the intervals and it seems they come every 5-7 seconds. The fear of the known pain wears me out  along with the pain experience is debilitating. Sat and Sun I spent 75% of the day in bed.
I have to go back to work in 36 hrs and I'm terrified it won't stop soon. I take Zovirax and don't know if it helps. I'd hope it does if this thing is potentially worse if I didn't take it.
The point of all this, friends, is that you want avoid what I'm going through.  I don't care that the vaccine is expensive - get it anyway. I don't know what the efficacy of the vaccine is. If it could prevent you from getting this ------

I had a milder case of shingles in June, 2008, so I have some limited appreciation for what he is going through. I also recommend the vaccine. If you can dodge this bullet, you really ought to. If you had childhood chickenpox, there is about a 50 percent chance you’ll get shingles by the time you’re 70. I was 62 at the time.

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