Dkrainwater’s Weblog

Shingles: A Personal Account

Posted on: January 31, 2009

A person very close to me was recently diagnosed with shingles. She began to have intense pain in her left breast, a pain that was unbearable. Many times she would have to leave work early because the pain became to extreme. The pain was a mystery until one day she noticed a small pimple on her back. It became apparent that every time the pain attack came, a small acne type of bump appeared on her back, neck, or head. Being a person who thought they could deal with pain, it took her several weeks to go to the doctor. Something anyone should have done as soon as something this severe began happening to their body.


Seeing a physician’s assistant, my friend was diagnosed with shingles. She was given a medication that is usually associated to treat herpes. This and a pain medication helped her through the flair ups, but the bumps on her back still only came in a single entity and not in clusters as most shingles out breaks are. That and she was only 43 and most shingle episodes happen when a person is over sixty. The attacks came and went and still she would have attacks so bad that she could not function with daily activities. Not only quality of life but the embarrassment of not being able to deal with work and family began to toll on her.


One of the shingles precursors is stress. This lady just was promoted in a high stress job that put her on edge not only during work but after work also. The more stressful episodes that happened at work caused more pain to happen and the frequency of outbreaks increased. After a terrible bout she went back to the doctor. This time a real doctor, not a PA, reviewed her records and shook his head. He realized that she was misdiagnosed and was given a medication that not only relieved the pain, but relieved the anxiety that was associated with these types of outbreaks.


Since then my friend has been fine. The big mistake that the PA made is that the shingle sores are in a pattern along one strand of nerves. This cause pain in the tissue that is associated with that nerve cluster. If you have been diagnosed with shingles and you only have one bump that is present when pain is found, get a second opinion. My friend went through nights without sleep and missing days of work because of the misdiagnosis. Any skin problem or pain associated with a skin problem can be serious, so seek medical attention immediately.

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