Jul 18, 2022

My Battle With Shingles. The Painful Process Of Recovery.

Everyday I ask myself - when is this going to end?


This write-up serves as a mini documentary of what I went through in the past 14 days with Shingles - the painful process of recovery. For those who stumbled upon this write-up on google, or is currently experiencing Shingles, I hope my experience will help ease the confusion and pain - the pictures are as raw as it can get.


For all these days I'm home, I'm glad that The Big Bang Theory kept me company. Sheldon, you are a trooper.


My Battle With Shingles. The Painful Process Of Recovery.




A SUMMARY

Symptoms : Nerve pulses & pain, Soreness, Blisters, Rashes
Infection duration : 10 - 14 days
Recovery duration : 14 days + 14 days (1 month) 


Day 1 : Appearance of first onset symptom.

Day 4 - 6 : Condition worsens exponentially. Nerve pulses & pain, rashes spreading and turning in painful blisters, soreness throughout the left side of my chest upwards to my ears and scalp.

Day 5 : Started taking anti-viral medication (5 day dose).

Day 6 - 8 : Peak discomfort - painful, itchy, sore. The worse of the entire cycle.

Day 9 - 14 : Discomfort level gradually decreases. Blisters starts to turn into scabs. The of marks will take another 2 more weeks to heal.



I'm no doctor but from the most layman pov - Shingles is like an adult version of chicken pox. There's a lot of hearsay of what caused it, but tbh - you wouldn't know when, how and what triggered it. It's a viral infection that causes a painful rash with blisters on the outside, and affects ones' neuro ability inside.


Shingles is NOT your stereotypical flu, where it takes only 3 days of antibiotics and you're up and running again. Shingles typically only clears up in 2-4 weeks. It's a hella long process if you'd ask me.


Just a quick rundown of my health status. My lifestyle habits are relatively healthy (I think) - I workout, I eat well, I take regular health supplements, I havn't had fever or any major sickness that requires antibiotics in the past couple of years. I do have a bad habit of sleeping late however. I have not gotten covid before, though I have been told by a doctor friend of mine that he has seen a spike in uncommon illnesses, post covid vaccination. I've no idea what caused my immunity to go down or go off.


Day 1


I first noticed a dark large blister close to the nape of my neck - I have never had this, ever before. I intitally thought that it was a mysterious bug bite, so like most people, I just changed my bedsheets. There was no pain nor any itchiness on the rash. 


This was the first onset symptom of Shingles.


shingles


Day 3


The blister did not go away, in fact I started developing patches of rash on my chest. The weirdest thing about this was that I also started feeling nerve-twitching pulses, particularly along the lymph nodes of my neck. The best way I can probably describe this feeling - continuous twitching of tiny electric shocks from my chest upwards.


I knew something was not right by now. I HAVE NEVER FELT LIKE THIS BEFORE.


At this point, I was doing a hell load of self diagnosis - with the help of uncle google - of course. Is this hives? Is this covid rash (fyi, I've not gotten covid before)? What is this? IF YOU'RE DOING THIS RIGHT NOW - PLEASE STOP (yes, I became an uncertified doctor overnight). You're just scaring yourself and wasting essential time.


Thinking that it was a mere skin allergy, on day 3 & 4, I started applying Fobancort Cream, a topical steroid cream on the rashes & blisters. I also took 1 tablet of Claritine, an anti-histamine, with an intention to calm the allergy down. Both did nothing. 


Also, it DOES GET WORSE AT NIGHT. I was twitching and turning so much so that no sleeping position was comfortable. It was tiring.



Day 5


AM. I went to the doctors first thing in the morning. The doctor took one look at it and told me straight up that it was Shingles - wtf was I even doing self diagnosing earlier.


I was told that normally Shingles would only appear on ONE SIDE OF THE BODY. This is a VITAL TELL TALE SIGN, if you're STILL doing that bit of self diagnosis in the beginning. =.=


For viral infection like Shingles, it is VITAL to start taking anti-viral medications EARLY, because day 3 and day 5 make a HELL LOAD of difference. The optimum frame to surpress shingles is on the FIRST 3 DAYS from the appearance of the first onset symptom. Since I'm already hitting day 5, the anti-viral medication would not be as effective, but will act to reduce the symptoms and hopefully shorten the painful process.


It is also worthy to note here that there is VACCINE for this type of virus, responsible for immuno infections like chicken pox and shingles. It is called the Zoster Vaccine. Too late for me - but there's still a chance for you - please get jabbed.


I was prescribed with Virless Acyclovir 800gm, a blue tablet, to be taken 5 times a day for 5 days. There is also a newer Acyclovir medication, meant to be taken twice a day.


In terms of health supplements - since Vitamin B is known to help with cell recovery, I started taking Blackmores Executive B (also because I have this at home), alongside my usual Blackmores Vitamin C 500mg, which I take twice a day now, knowing that my immunity was low. The best supplement for shingles is neuro-related ones.


Day 1 of Anti-Viral Medication.

Virless Acyclovir shingles
















Day 6

Today was painful, very painful.


I have very high tolerance for pain and even then I felt - painful, and an awful lot of discomfort.


Everything became bad REAL QUICK from day 4 to day 6. It gets worse exponentially. The blisters spread to my ears and scalp - it also grew larger; the rashes became inflammed and itchy; the nerve pulses and twitchings were painful. 


I also had a bit of sorethroat on day 4, at night.


I took the medication on 4.5 hour intervals and yes - I set 5 alarms throughout the day to take my medication on time, and even woke up in the middle of the night. I also took a stronger anti-histamine before I slept, Zyrtec. 


Day 2 of Anti-Viral Medication.


shingles recovery




Day 7


By now, any form of neck movements was very painful. Again, I felt that the blisters grew larger and it'd looked like was spreading. Idk.


Tbh, I was more concern about what I CAN'T SEE - the nerve damage that has a longer term downside. I was also pre-informed by my doctor that if the blisters spread to my ears, there is a chance of nerve damage to my hearing and I may to see an ENT specialist after. It has spread to my ear, but hard to tell the after effects, STILL.


I also felt tired all the time. Not sure if it's from the medication or simply because I was just tired of dealing with what seemed like a 24/7 ordeal.


Like the night before, I took 1 tablet of Zyrtec before I slept. I was still diligently taking my Vitamin B & C supplements.


Day 3 of Anti-Viral Medication.


shingles



Day 8


Sleep was impossible. 


I woke up almost every hour or so and sat myself in a seating position - it was the least painful of all positions. The pulsating pain was the worse I've felt throughout the past 8 days.


The most layman way I can describe the discomfort is - pulsating pain that runs from my chest all the way up to the back of my ear, tightness at the nape of my neck, itchiness and pain on the blisters/rash area. Basically the entire left side from my chest upwards was fcking uncomfortable.


I was also praying that it will not spread to my face. The aftermath would have been horrendous, and not to mention the amount of nerves that was connected to my eyes - omg. I did feel a bit of tingling sensations on the left side of my face on certain days, but thankfully, for now, the blisters and rashes stopped at my ears.


On a slightly more positive note, I did see that some blisters flattening out and the rashes looked less inflammed than the days before. I continued taking the same amount of supplements like I did in the previous days..


Day 4 of Anti-Viral Medication.


shingles



Day 9


I woke up this morning to see that 70% of the blisters have started to dry-up, some have turned into scabs.


IS THIS THE FIRST SIGN OF RECOVERY?


The discomfort and tightness along my neck area is still there, but the painful nerve pulses is slowly diminishing.


That siad, I woke up to a tingling sensation on the left side of my face, probably affected from the facial nerve near my ears. There is also a bit of buzzing sound in my left ear. Nevertheless, its not painful nor restrictive, will see how things recover in due time. 


Day 5 of Anti-Viral Medication.


shingles cure



Day 10


Almost 90% of the blisters have dried up, apart from a few larger ones. The rashes also looked a little less inflammed.


The blisters/scabs are still painful to touch and I still feel a lot of soreness on my neck and back. But of course in comparison with the past couple days, the discomfort level is probably just 2/10.


I THINK I ALMOST FEEL LIKE A HUMAN BEING AGAIN.   


The soft ringing in my ear persists. 


In terms of my practice of cleanliness - I try to keep the blisters/rashes dry at most times, because I realised it does get a bit itchier after I shower. I do not use soap on the area, just water. I avoided the sun and stayed indoors the entire time. Apart from the fobancort cream that I used in the initial days, I did not apply any other cream throughout. As much as I want to speed up the recovery process, I don't think it's wise to be applying anything on raw skin yet, especially if it's not prescribed. Perhaps in the next week or so, when the scabs have completely dried up, I will start applying aloe vera, vitamin E cream on it.


 I've also decided to half my dose of Executive B. B almost always make me pee-yellow, probably from the excess of B2 in my body. This is normal however.


shingles natural remedy



Day 14


By now, I no longer feel pain though the discomfort is still there, especially when my clothes brush on the after-rashes and marks. Hopefully in the next 1-2 weeks it will heal completely.


There was a load of natural remedies online on how to surpress the rashes from turning into painful blisters, frome white vinegar to baking soda, etc. I DID NOT KNOW WHAT TO BELIEVE, because really, all I wanted was not to exacerbate the already dire condition and to just to let it run its course and heal properly.


I honestly do know YET, what are the longer term consequence of shingles, but I do know that my body's immunity have been compromised and hence I would NEED to take better care of myself. Also, neuro and pain management is something that I would probably want to think about in the future.


shingles experience


***** Edited for further updates ***


Day 18


I'm healing well. By now the scabs have all fallen off - with the help of my itchy fingers nevertheless =.=. The reddish marks are still a tad itchy however. Hopefully everything will heal nicely in the next week or so.


I have been applying on-and-off, a vaseline-like soothing gel on the marks.



I hope this write-up - my experience, will help those dealing with the ordeal. Please take care of yourselves. If you've any advise that you'd liked to share with our fellow readers, do drop a note at the comment section below.


Till then.

2 comments:

  1. I recommend reading up on Geert Vanden Bossche's articles. He's a vaccinologist and virologist. Everything that happened with covid-19 so far is in line with his expectations. Many people do not understand immunology and are easily coerced and misinformed by politicians and dishonest doctors and scientists. Meanwhile, you need to stop taking the covid-19 jabs. It's creating obsolete antibodies that outcompetes your other antibodies, suppressing them and one of the classic signs are shingles because covid-19 antibodies are blocking others from doing their job. Read up on immunology and follow Geert Vanden Bossche's site.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for sharing this information!

    ReplyDelete

 
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