The earlier thread about folks posing in front of the shingle factory got me thinking about shingles - anyone here had them? If yes, when did they flare up?
I had the chicken pox when I was a kid and I'll be 59 this coming May. My health care plan won't pay for a shingles shot until after I turn 60, should I take the chance and wait till then to get the shot?
Oh yeah, I had shingles. It was like somebody took a propane torch to the left side of my head. My shingles came about 2 years into my retirement and shortly after my Dad passed. They said it was the stress and change of life that caused the flair up. Very much like 3rd degree burns. Not fun...
Mark: I am now 81 and I had the shot but my Medicare took care of part of it. The shot would have cost me about $250.00 but I lucked out and had about $90.00 out of pocket. I was told that even if you have the shot you could still get them but they are not as bad as if you did not get the shot.
I had the chickenpox in 1946 when I was about 10 year and 11 month old. We had moved to Mansfield, Missouri where my Grandmother lived and it was in about February of 1946 when I was exposed. When I started feeling bad my Grandmother brought out her Sasfaras(spelling) roots and made a kettle or pot of tea, and the hot tea broke me out ALL OVER MY BODY, and I still have marks left by the blisters. Ofcourse I was in quarantimed(spelling) for a week or tow till I got well. You may or maybe not get them but they are bad when you do. They are not bad like the MUMPS. I got that shot when my kids were small, but might not have needed it, was playing it safe as they are bad when they go down on a man...
Best of luck on what ever you decide, as the saying goes "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure", and it is hard to ell anyone what is best. Check with your county health department and they may have a cheaper shot than a pharmacy of "Doctors office.
Good Luck Mark
I see you are south west of St Louis!
My wife got shingles about 2 years ago at age 57. I was over 60 so I didn't have any trouble with my insurance getting the shot. Obviously, the age 60 threshold benefits no one but the insurance companies.
I don't know the cost of the vaccine, but I believe it's pretty expensive. Before getting it, since you'll have to pay the full cost if you do it now, I'd shop around a little. Try the bigger chain pharmacies for the best price would be my guess.
Mark: I forgot to say that if you see the ad on TV of the fellow with them you can see the problem. My late Uncle had them around the waist area and boy he was in major pain. Hated to have to tell you, but you see what Don said. It darned if do and hell if you don't, and let's face it you might be the one to have them come on and there is nothing to ease the pain that I have heard of. Just don't get stressed out and take it one day at a time and you may luck out, as I said I just turned 81 Jan. 31 and have a had 4 way heart bypass on June 12 2013
As far as I know, the shingles vaccine is only approved for persons 60 and older. My wife was in a test program for 50 to 60, but I have not heard that it has been approved. My wife reacted quite noticeably, so we know she was not in the control group and getting a "dud" shot.
Henry: He might go to the County health department where he lives and maybe get a break, and it worth looking into. I know I got a break on my MUMPS shots, so it would worth time to check it out.
We both got the shot about 6 months ago. My wife's step mother got shingles at age 82 last year and was in tremendous pain from it.
You're certainly right Bill. I just didn't think of it.
Run, don't walk to the nearest place to get the shot! Cost be damned. Once they flare up, you are never rid of them.
One of the old bold pilots says he was shot at, bailed out of planes, etc., and nothing came close to the pain of Shingles.
Wifey and I have had our shots.
They call it Shingles because you will want to climb up on the roof and jump off!!!
Got my case at age 69. Figured it out early and the Doc gave me a prescription for an antiviral.
Because we got to it early it was very mild - almost no pain or rash at all. Just mildly annoying.
My cousin had them about a year ago, said she wouldn't wish them on her worst enemy. I think they told her too that she would have to wait for up to three years now to take the shot, motivated me to get mine. KGB
My father and my nephew both had them, if they are treated in the first few days, they are not bad, the problem is,not all doctors recognize the early symptoms. If you think you have shingles, and can not get an immediate appointment to you doctor,you should go to the emergency room. If you have to wait a few days to get into the doctor, the damage is probably already done.
I went to my doctor a couple of months ago with what looked like shingles, but after he looked at them he decided that it was shakes. He took some of the wood for a biopsy though.
I've had friends that have had the disease. Listening to their tales of pain, I "chickened out", and got the shot. (Wife, too). Insurance did not pay. Money out of my pocket, but was well worth the expense. Fewer ice cream runs and dinners out that year.
As Ricks wrote...get it if you can.
From what I was told, the shot will NOT prevent you from getting shingles. It will lessen the time and the degree of the event. In my case it started out very strangely. My shingles outbreak effected the left side of my head. Before the full blown shingles kicked in my hair hurt. I couldn't figure out how or why my hair would or could hurt but it did. The pre-shingles symptoms can be quite strange indeed. I do still today have sensations in that area that didn't exist before the outbreak. Nerve damage is slight for me, luckily. I think the worst part of the whole experience is not being able to get a good nights sleep and after about 5 or 6 weeks it can be quite draining.
Just to add to my pity ... the heat was so intense I ended up shaving my head. It did relieve some of the pain but not much. But it proved to me that I will be in the market for a head piece should I grow bald. MAN! I'm one ugly dude without hair to cover up some of this face! I envy the guys that can get away with a bald head but my Lord I'm not one of them. The weird thing after shaving was I could still feel my hair hurting. Who the heck ever heard of hair hurting..I never thought hair had nerves. It doesn't hurt when you are at the barbers getting it cut. But it did freak'n hurt! Ok I feel better now.
Buba went to the Docter and said he had shingles. The nurse had him undress and he waited about 45 minutes, the doctor came in looked him over and said I don't see any. Buba said yes
I got a whole truck full of them for your new office
I was unlucky enough to get last fall just before hunting season at 60 yrs. old. It started on the lower left thigh and then migrated north. After that, some of it migrated to the right torso but not as bad as the left side. It was kinda like having a case of severe poison ivy that burns as well as itches and drains continuously. It took about six weeks for the lesions to go away, but now there's some nerve ending damage that periodically makes me itch and welt up like crazy. That may take years to get over, but I'm not letting it slow me down any. There's no guarantees when we are born that life will be smooth sailing. Just grin and bear it.
Thanks everyone for the advice, I think I'll pony up for the shot out of my own pocket. Even if the shot doesn't prevent it, from the description of the symptoms just reducing it sounds worthwhile.
If anyone does get shingles, they should see their Doctor immediately and get an antiviral shot. The shot will help you get over the shingles faster. My Dad got shingles at 89. He didn't realize what he had until it was too late for the antiviral shot. Dad had long term pain from shingles. The last three years of his life was miserable.
My Mom also got shingles, last summer. She had the vaccine, but got shingles anyway. We did get her to the doctor right away, and she did get the antiviral shot. Her shingles was over in a month, and is now pain free.
If you can't afford a shingles shot, you sure can't afford a Model T.
Mark..my dad had 'em and he was miserable. Same as all the posts above. Wife and I got the shot going on 3 years ago now, I was 57. Insurance paid full. Don't know why yours makes you wait. I did have to pay for my wife's first (separate insurances) but they reimbursed us fully. Next year--Pnuemonia shot.
Just a word of caution: If you have any reaction to a steroid medication or were recently treated with one, be aware. I had rotator cuff/tendon repair in 2010. Within 2 weeks, developed RSD/CRPS ('Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy/Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome') swelling & pain in my arm. In the summer of 2013, I received some steroid meds for my arthritis. The Zoster ('Shingles') vaccine in December of 2013 caused the nerve endings on the entire right side of my head & arm to flare-up again, similar to the RSD/CRPS. After reading the 'side effects' info of the Zoster vaccine, they do cite steroid usage as causing 'side effects' with the vaccine. The CDC is still tracking this information if problems arise. Talk with your Doctor!
The reason for the vaccine not being recommended before age 60 is that the length of time the immunity is boosted is still somewhat uncertain. If given early, the immunity to the varicella virus may wane and you could get a worse case of shingles at 85-90. Some insurance companies cover it at 50, some at 55, but current CDC recommendations are to get it at 60. I got mine last year and Teresa will get hers this spring. Young folks recover better from shingles than older folks. The older you are when you get them, the greater the chance of long lasting or permanent nerve pain in the area you had them. They are not nice!! There are a couple of antivirals that are helpful to decrease the severity and chance of "post herpetic neuralgia" (long lasting pain in the site of the shingles outbreak). The antivirals need to be given as early in the disease course as possible. They don't work if given over 48-72 hours from onset of the rash.
I had a small line of them just about my belt, on my side. I had chicken pox around age four, and shingles at 30. Mine were painful, and looked like pimples. A good friend had them on his manly bits. Not knowing what they were, he popped a couple of them, and spent two weeks in the hospital, and was very sick.
I had the shingles shot last winter. Went to the doctor for back pain and was put on steroids for a week 6 months after the shingles shot. Doctor told me to be careful not to get the flue cause the steroids will tear down the immune system. The next day after I completed the steroid medication, I broke out with shingles on my face. Started on my upper lip, up my left cheek, through the corner of my left eye and across the left side of my head. No burning, itching or blisters, just swelling and bumps and painful to touch. The doctor I went to sent me to the hospital, they sent me to an eye doctor to watch me as I progressed with the disease. They all said it would have been 10 times worst if I hadn't had the shot. You can loose your sight from shingles in the eyes. It took 2 weeks to clear up. Bob
I had the shingles at age 75 in the groin. GET THE SHOT AT ANY COST!! its 5 yrs later and the whole pkg. is still painful 24-7.
Mark: After reading all the posts about SHINGLES what is your thought??????? Bad would you say???
I would think that the cost of a SHINGLE shot would better than the listing of all the pain that these people have gone thru.
Good luck my friend!!!!!!!!!!!
This is kind of scary, all you folks telling your stories.
My mother had them at about age 90 or a little less. No biggie. My wife had them twice a couple of years apart. It wasn't pleasant, but she got over them with out much problem. She had the shot, but they said it was to late. Me?? I had chickenpox as a kid - still have a scar on my nose. Me and shingles? I haven't had the shot and haven't worried much about it. Maybe I should, but I haven't seen a doctor for years for anything but a DOT Physical for my CDL.
Question: How many folks actually contract shingles. From what I've seen, not many. They all seem to be here.
I had them when I was 23 down my right side including my eye. I was exposed to baby that had chicken pox. So I got shingles.
What's the problem with being covered with open sores ?
Some people have no sense of adventure !
Maybe not many have had shingles, but I'll bet that those who have had it and did not have a shot, wish that they had received the vaccine.
Slight drift here:
Some have died from prostate cancer - again, perhaps not many, but I'll bet that those who did, wished that they had seen their doctor more frequently.
Used to be that folks died young...some have accidents & others are careless & reckless and die young....BUT with today's medicines and ability to diagnose life threatening ailments, it sure would seem prudent to become a patient of a Medical Doctor and get regular physicals.
Nip a disease in the bud and live longer to drive your T more miles!
I'm going to make getting a shot top priority this week. I had a small breakout of something on my upper arm that drove me crazy several months ago and the little red spots are still visible.
I couldn't help but see this post. I had shingles over 25 years ago and treated it with BHT and Vitamin C and it was gone in short order. After about three weeks of taking the BHT my doctor did another blood test and could find NO herpes virus. I have attached links to three random articles about BHT. There are many more on the web.. Note in one the reference to medical researchers Durk Pearson and Sandy Shaw. I know them personally and they turned me onto it back then. I believe that taking a maintenance dose, maybe 250-500 mg a day will do you far more good preventing shingles than taking the "vaccine of the year" I have advised several friends over the years to do the same and they had the same results. I am not an MD, I just believe in looking before I leap. Just research it and make up your own mind.
And, YES, it is a living hell to have them.
Got the shot at Albertson's last year. $39.00 out the door. My insurance paid the difference of $210.00. I asked the pharmacist this year if I needed a booster, he told me this was good for the rest of my life. Kinda wondered if he had the inside on how long I was going to live.
Anybody had prostate cancer and shingles at the same time? I DID!
After prostate surgery and the 2nd day in the hospital recuperating from it I began to feel a itch and burning under my arm and around my back.
The next day the burning and patches got worse.
I hadn't had the shingles shot and the Dr. thought it could have been caused by the stress of the surgery.
After recovering from the prostate surgery it took another month to finally get over the shingles. I later got the shingles shot and hopefully I wont have to go through that again.
I have some Toluene out in the shop. I wonder if a couple of sniffs or a little in my morning coffee would work?
Be careful, Gene...it is rumored that this fella did that
(yes, it is an indoor day here is South Central NH!)
I guess airport metal detectors are out of the question for that guy.....
Problem with shingles is they are somewhat like a Model T! No two are exactly alike. No two persons with shingles react the same way. Some are worse than others. So take the vaccination. It has a lot to do with your personal immune system. If it is strong, you might not get shingles, but when run down by other illnesses, lack of sleep, anxiety, surgery etc. Your immune system can drop and then you can get the shingles.
(Dr. Kling) My advice is not always correct, but you can't beat the price.
I had shingles in 2007-2008.
Started as an innocuous "pimple" on the left side of my chest but the little devil hurt........and went on to full blown shingles which covered the lower half of my chest from left side front and went around to part of my back.
It was horrible........it looked like a bumpy sea of red jelly.
The first month was quite painful but I relieved the itching with Solarcaine sunburn gel which contains lidocaine, a topical anesthetic.
I owned the shop at that time so took Tylox for pain during the day which didn't make me drowsy and
Vicodin at night because that did make me drowsy.
It was months before the visible part disappeared but well over 2 years before infrequent "reminder twinges" stopped.
When I read in a newspaper a shingles vaccine had just been released I went for it immediately.
It cost me $200 out of pocket which is the best $200 I ever spent.
$200 worth of Valtrex at $5 a pop doesn't go very far and I can't place a value on pain.
If you've had chicken pox and NOT gotten a shingles vaccine DO IT NOW no matter WHAT your age.
Update - I called my doctor this morning to schedule an appointment to get a shot and was told they won't give the shot to anyone under 60 years of age, even if they're willing to pay the full cost.
So, I called a couple of local clinics and got the same answer, maybe it's a Missouri thing.
Mark......I don't know what's going on down there.
This is from 2011 .