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Have You Had Shingles?


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#1 of 23 Johnny Angell

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Posted July 06 2009 - 05:21 AM

I don't have it, but a friend does.  He's on the west coast and I'm in Arkansas, so I'm not going to catch it from him.  I'd be interested in your experiences with this disease.  My friend has been having a very rough time as it produces a lot of pain and there doesn't seem to be an end in sight.  It's been going on for over 3 months and nothing the doctors have done have really relieved the pain.

If there is any personal knowledge here that I can pass on to my friend, please let me know.  His wife has told me there is a shingles vaccine, it doesn't really prevent shingles but will make occurrence of the disease much milder.  I'm thinking of asking my doctor about getting one.  She says anyone over 60 should get the vaccination.

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#2 of 23 Dennis Nicholls

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Posted July 06 2009 - 05:37 AM

Did you have chicken pox as a kid?  It's the same virus, which remains dormant inside you for decades.
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#3 of 23 Michael Reuben

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Posted July 06 2009 - 05:52 AM


Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Angell View Post

I don't have it, but a friend does.  He's on the west coast and I'm in Arkansas, so I'm not going to catch it from him. 
As noted, the disease is caused by a dormant chicken pox virus becoming active again; so you're not going to "catch it" from anyone. You either have it, or you don't. No one knows for certain what reactivates the virus, and, as is usually the case when no one knows, there are dozens of theories, all of them equally plausible and therefore equally useless.

The vaccination is all the rage right now, but I don't know anyone who's had it. I do know that the disease can be contained if (and it's a big "if") you get on anti-virals immediately after the appearance of symptoms. Trouble is, the symptoms frequently aren't recognized until it's too late for the anti-virals to do much good.

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#4 of 23 Yee-Ming

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Posted July 06 2009 - 07:29 PM

I had it once.  I had a splitting headache for several days, and the usual painkillers didn't seem to work, but once the doctor figured out it was shingles (the patch of blisters on my side was a giveaway) and prescribed Zovirax, it cleared up fairly quickly.  That was maybe 10 years ago, nothing since (I had chickenpox as a kid over 30 yrs ago).

#5 of 23 Mike Frezon

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Posted July 07 2009 - 01:02 AM

I had 'em.  They are awfully painful and uncomfortable.  They usually present themselves around the torso...but I had mine up near my temple.  I remember thinking when they first presented themselves that "my hair hurt really bad."  I couldn't find another way to explain it.  They're tricky there because the doctors worry it can impact your optics and screw up your vision. 

That was more than a decade ago and hardly a day goes by I don't have a tingling sensation at my right temple that makes me think of shingles.

I subscribe to the theory (and it is just a theory) that stress is involved in promoting shingles...but, then again, I've got no degree on my wall.

========================

Maybe the most famous cinematic mention of shingles was from my favorite comedy, Groundhog Day.

For some reason, the clip doessn't want to embed...so, CLICK HERE:



Quote:
Ned: Phil? Hey, Phil? Phil! Phil Connors? Phil Connors, I thought that was you!
Phil: Hi, how you doing? Thanks for watching.
[Starts to walk away]
Ned: Hey, hey! Now, don't you tell me you don't remember me because I sure as heckfire remember you.
Phil: Not a chance.
Ned: Ned... Ryerson. "Needlenose Ned"? "Ned the Head"? C'mon, buddy. Case Western High. Ned Ryerson: I did the whistling belly-button trick at the high school talent show? Bing! Ned Ryerson: got the shingles real bad senior year, almost didn't graduate? Bing, again. Ned Ryerson: I dated your sister Mary Pat a couple times until you told me not to anymore? Well?
Phil: Ned Ryerson?
Ned: Bing!
Phil: Bing.



There's Jessie the yodeling cowgirl. Bullseye, he's Woody's horse. Pete the old prospector. And, Woody, the man himself.Of course, it's time for Woody's RoundUp. He's the very best! He's the rootinest, tootinest cowboy in the wild, wild west!


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#6 of 23 mylan

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Posted July 07 2009 - 02:18 AM

Yep, I had them back in March and it took about three weeks to get rid of them, according to the doctor, I had a mild case. I took Zovorix and Loratab for the pain. Some people have excuriating pain, mine was more of a burning sensation when clothes touched the bumps. I will probably have scars on my side for a long time if not forever from the worst two places.
Like Mike,I believe that mine was caused by stress. I had been training in a different position and with a difficult person for about a month when mine started.


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#7 of 23 KevinGress

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Posted July 07 2009 - 05:51 AM

I had a very mild case a little over 10 years ago.  All I noticed was 3 bumps on my hip and a feeling a little like I'd been punched in the privates.  The doctor gave me something and I soon got better. 

I'd also attribute it to stress as I was flying home from Singapore when it first started

#8 of 23 Mike Frezon

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Posted July 07 2009 - 06:02 AM

And another thing (keeping in mind that there's still no medical degree on my wall)...I was under the impression that once you had shingles you were done with 'em.

Well, a co-worker of mine just disproved that theory a few weeks ago.  After having a mild case a year or two ago, he suffered a second round recently (which really sucked for him).  I came to find out that a lot of people were under the same misguided impression that I had been under.

I certainly hope to goodness' sake that I don't see 'em again!

There's Jessie the yodeling cowgirl. Bullseye, he's Woody's horse. Pete the old prospector. And, Woody, the man himself.Of course, it's time for Woody's RoundUp. He's the very best! He's the rootinest, tootinest cowboy in the wild, wild west!


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#9 of 23 Patrick Sun

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Posted July 07 2009 - 06:44 AM

I had them in 1996, also got the zovirax treatment.  Haven't seen them since *knock wood*.

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#10 of 23 Yee-Ming

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Posted July 07 2009 - 02:40 PM



Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinGress ">

I'd also attribute it to stress as I was flying home from Singapore when it first started
Hmmm... was leaving Singapore such a stresser?  Or were you happy to get out?  <br /></span>
<br />
But seriously, I have no idea if stress is a cause.  I don't think I was under any more stress than I had previously been under when I got it, I'm sure I've had more stressful times since, but it hasn't recurred.<br />
<br />
I believe chickenpox is the once-in-a-lifetime thing, shingles can recur if the virus flares up.  Same as herpes, the viruses are all related.  Unfortunately.<br />
<br />
As for vaccination, as I understand (I'm not a doctor), it's against chickenpox, which is a pre-requisite for shingles.  So it's really against chickenpox, but as an added bonus you can never get shingles either. 
					
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#11 of 23 Mike Frezon

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Posted July 07 2009 - 03:41 PM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Yee-Ming 


As for vaccination, as I understand (I'm not a doctor), it's against chickenpox, which is a pre-requisite for shingles.  So it's really against chickenpox, but as an added bonus you can never get shingles either. 
Then they should charge double...

/img/vbsmilies/htf/wink.gif


There's Jessie the yodeling cowgirl. Bullseye, he's Woody's horse. Pete the old prospector. And, Woody, the man himself.Of course, it's time for Woody's RoundUp. He's the very best! He's the rootinest, tootinest cowboy in the wild, wild west!


HTF Rules | HTF Mission Statement | Father of the Bride

Dieting with my Dog & Heart to Heart/Hand in Paw by Peggy Frezon


#12 of 23 Michelle Schmid

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Posted July 08 2009 - 12:00 PM

I'm not a Dr. either (but I do work for several).  The shingles vaccine is used to reduce the risk of shingles in adults over 60 who have previously had chicken pox.  It is not against chicken pox.  Although there is now a vaccine for that as well.  Notice is it to reduce the risk, not eliminate it.  Even after being vaccinated you can still get shingles--but if you do it is more likely to be a milder case that doesn't last as long.

Even if it did cover both, you would not want them to charge double--this is a $200+ vaccine here in our office and most insurances do not cover it.




#13 of 23 Johnny Angell

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Posted July 09 2009 - 04:57 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Michelle Schmid 

I'm not a Dr. either (but I do work for several).  The shingles vaccine is used to reduce the risk of shingles in adults over 60 who have previously had chicken pox.  It is not against chicken pox.  Although there is now a vaccine for that as well.  Notice is it to reduce the risk, not eliminate it.  Even after being vaccinated you can still get shingles--but if you do it is more likely to be a milder case that doesn't last as long.

Even if it did cover both, you would not want them to charge double--this is a $200+ vaccine here in our office and most insurances do not cover it.


I had an office visit yesterday and asked my doctor about the vaccine and he essentially told me what you just stated.  The vaccine will cost me $250 and even if my insurance says they will pay for it, I will have to pay the doctor up front.  This is because they've already had trouble with clients saying their insurance will cover it, the insurance doesn't, and than they have to collect from angry clients.  So I'll have to pay up front and if insurance pays, they'll refund the money to me.

The more I think about it, the more I realize the hell that my friend is going through, even if I have to pay, I'm going to get the vaccine.  It reduces my chances of getting shingles and it reduces the severity of the disease if I do get it.  He also told me that someone in my age bracket should assume he's had chicken pox.  I know as a child that I have a disease that broke-out all over my face, but I can't remember if that was chicken-pox, but it probably was.


Johnny
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#14 of 23 KevinGress

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Posted July 09 2009 - 05:51 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Yee-Ming ">

Hmmm... was leaving Singapore such a stresser?  Or were you happy to get out?  <br /></span>
<br />
But seriously, I have no idea if stress is a cause.  I don't think I was under any more stress than I had previously been under when I got it, I'm sure I've had more stressful times since, but it hasn't recurred.<br />
 </div>
Actually, I had a great time in Singapore - would love to go back if the opportunity arose.  I was speaking more of the stress on my body making a trip from the Midwest to Singapore and back again in a week and a half's time around Christmas - (on the way back my leg from Japan to CA was first class!)  <br />
<br />
But, I did know that people can get shingles again, so while I was lucky the first time around, I also know that I might not be so lucky if there's a next time.</div>
					
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#15 of 23 Michelle Schmid

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Posted July 09 2009 - 11:04 AM

Johnny--I don't know what kind of other places you have in your area, but here we have a Bi-Mart & a Safeway that both offer vaccinations, and the shingles vaccine is one of them.  Our office actually advises patients to have this done there as it is MUCH cheaper than having it done here.  The vaccine itself is most of the cost as we only charge around $17.50 for the lab to give the injection.  I do not know why there is such a large discrepency in cost for the patient as I do not work in claims.  As an added bonus some insurances will pay for it if it is not done in a physician's office.  I don't know why that is, either.

#16 of 23 Dennis Nicholls

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Posted July 09 2009 - 11:27 AM

Sometimes ad-hoc "clinics" charge less because a vaccine is delivered in bulk - say 20 dosages - and they have to use it up quickly since it goes bad in a few days.  A doctor's office may have to charge you for the whole bottle since they are less likely to use it up during office visits.  Getting a flu shot at Costco is cheaper than at your doctor's office.


This is certainly true in the vet business.

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#17 of 23 Yee-Ming

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Posted July 09 2009 - 02:51 PM



Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinGress View Post

Actually, I had a great time in Singapore - would love to go back if the opportunity arose.  I was speaking more of the stress on my body making a trip from the Midwest to Singapore and back again in a week and a half's time around Christmas - (on the way back my leg from Japan to CA was first class!) 

 
I never thought air travel was really that stressful; after all I've flown SG-USA-SG each year for the last 3 years, and while I wouldn't say it's a picnic, it's tolerable.  Then again, this was for annual vacations, and the mind is a lot more relaxed when you know you're going on holiday -- although the trip back (to reality and work) is a bit depressing... 


#18 of 23 Johnny Angell

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Posted July 10 2009 - 08:41 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Michelle Schmid 
Our office actually advises patients to have this done there as it is MUCH cheaper than having it done here.  The vaccine itself is most of the cost as we only charge around $17.50 for the lab to give the injection.  I do not know why there is such a large discrepency in cost for the patient as I do not work in claims.  As an added bonus some insurances will pay for it if it is not done in a physician's office.  I don't know why that is, either.
I called my insurance company yesterday and they said I was covered.  To be covered I needed to be over 60 (check) and have the wellness benefit (check).  They will cover it for one vaccination per lifetime.  It will cost me the office copay ($20).  The gal told me on the phone to be sure the physician supplied the vaccine.  She said that some  physicians have the patient get the vaccine from a pharmacy and and bring it to the office to be administered.  In that case it would not be covered.  So I'm in the opposite position that you wrote about.

Oddly, when I went to the cashier I was not even asked to pay for the office call or the vaccination.  They would file the insurance and bill me for what they don't pay.  I asked are you sure?  I had been told I would have to pay upfront and she had a policy statement tacked up on the wall telling her what to do.  I had signed a form promising to pay if the insurance did not.


Johnny
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But a family cat is not replaceable like a wornout coat or a set of tires. Each new kitten becomes its own cat, and none is repeated. I am four cats old, measuring out my life in friends that have succeeded but not replaced one another.--Irving Townsend


#19 of 23 Johnny Angell

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Posted November 19 2010 - 12:47 AM

Time to revive this thread.  A co-worker at my wife's office has come down with shingles.  She is staying home and is on a "large dose of meds", whatever that means and hopes to return to the office on Monday.  Here doctor told here that "I'm only contagious to people who have not had chicken pox or been vaccinated, like babies."


My wife has not had chicken pox.  Anyone have any idea at what risk she will be?  She's in her 50's.  Should she be getting the vaccine for shingles?


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But a family cat is not replaceable like a wornout coat or a set of tires. Each new kitten becomes its own cat, and none is repeated. I am four cats old, measuring out my life in friends that have succeeded but not replaced one another.--Irving Townsend


#20 of 23 Sumnernor

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Posted November 21 2010 - 08:53 AM

My mother had shingles when she was circa 40-50. I got chicken pox as a result. Don't remember any real details except there wasn't any great problems.