Shingles?

The body is a incredible subject matter, the most unusual things can occur within it.

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What Are Shingles

Shingles requires a medical diagnosis. Shingles is a painful viral infection, that resembles a rash, that may appear as a cluster of blisters on the trunk of the body. The pain can persist even after the rash is gone (this is called postherpetic neuralgia).

1. Risk Factors

The reactivation process of the shingles virus is not fully understood. However, research has suggested that the natural weakening of the immune system due to older age is a significant risk factor. For younger, healthy people, extreme stress can play a big part in weakening the immune system, that can lead to reactivation. Which also means those with immune-compromising conditions such as HIV and cancer are at a higher risk of developing shingles. I have learned that people on long-term steroid medication may also have increased risk of shingles, which is what happened to me. Note that being on steroids can also make your bones brittle. So be very careful not to over take steroids for long periods of time.

2. Systemic Symptoms

Generally, several days before shingles physically manifests, the infected person experiences systemic symptoms such a fever, chills, fatigue, headache, and a burning sensation at the site of the shingles rash. Its possible that numbing or itching sensations and hypersensitivity can also develop. Some people become very sick, while others do not suffer any symptoms at all. I became slightly sick and the pain was out of this world.

Causes

  • Shingles affects the nervous system

Shingles are caused by the varicella-zoster virus — which is the same virus that causes chickenpox. If you have experienced chickenpox, you may develop shingles. After you recover from chickenpox, the virus can enter your nervous system and lie dormant for many years.

It can eventually reactivate and travel along nerve pathways to your skin — producing shingles. Fortunately, not everyone who’s had chickenpox will develop shingles.

Shingles remain a mystery, but there is the possibility that it is due to lowered immunity to infections as you grow older. Shingles are more common in older adults and in people who might have a weakened immune systems.

Varicella-zoster is part of a group of viruses called herpes viruses, that includes the viruses that cause cold sores and the possibility of genital herpes. Because of this, shingles are also known as herpes zoster. But the virus that causes chickenpox and shingles is not the same virus responsible for cold sores or genital herpes, that is a sexually transmitted infection.

Shingles vaccine

There are two options for people looking to receive the shingles vaccine: 1.) Zostavax 2.)Shingrix.

Zostavax was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2006, has been shown to offer protection against shingles for about five years. Zostavax is an active vaccine given as a single injection, usually in the upper fatty part of the arm.

Shingrix was approved by the FDA in 2017 which is the preferred alternative to Zostavax. Studies suggest Shingrix offers protection against shingles beyond five years. Zostavax is a non-active vaccine made of a virus component, and is given in two doses, with 2-6 months between each dose.

Shingrix was approved and recommended for people age 50 and older, including those who’ve previously received Zostavax. Zostavax isn’t recommended until age 60.

The most common side effects of either shingles vaccine are tenderness, redness, pain, swelling and even itching at the point of the injection site, as well as headaches.

Along with the chickenpox vaccine, the shingles vaccine doesn’t necessarily guarantee that you won’t get shingles. Th vaccine will likely reduce the length and severity of the disease or reduce the risk of postherpetic neuralgia.

The shingles vaccine is used only as a prevention strategy. It’s not intended to treat people who currently have the disease. So be sure to speak to your doctor regarding what options are right for you.

Kate’s Personal Story

Hey guys, It’s me.  You won’t believe this, it’s Thursday October 17, 2019  I went to work as usually.  But was feeling the worse pain across my back.  A little rash that resembled little bubbles about to burst; across the lower part of my back, spreading around the waistline area.  I’m thinking to myself, “What in the world now?  Since I work at the hospital, I decided to go to the emergency room.  Low and behold, I have Shingles.  All I can think at that point is heaven help.  Really? Could anything else happen?  No! I say, nothing else could possibly happen.  I began to think the joke is on me, it has to be.  God is sitting high and looking low,  “thinking let’s mess with Kate for a few months”.  Lol.

Well I believe now is a good time to take off from work.  I don’t want to be there anymore, the place that I once loved so much.  Too much is going on in my life, with my body, and in my mind.  Maybe it’s stress.  Maybe it’s like that movie with Jim Carrey where everyone knows what’s going on except him.  His life is being recorded without his knowledge.  He is basically living his life in a massive TV set.  “The Truman Show”.  So mine’s is “The Kate Show” orchestrated by GOD.  With that being said, GOD is in control.  I will take these next few days to rest.

Night All

Kate

ENCOURAGE YOURSELF:  I am currently dealing with issues concerning my lungs(Sarcoidosis), Pulmonary Hypertension, Diabetes, I am oxygen dependent and have been since I was 41yrs. old, and now I have Shingles.  With all that said, GOD is still my ROCK in a weary land, my COMFORTER, my FRIEND, my FORTRESS.  I love GOD for who HE is, and what HE is going to do.  Just like Daniel in the Lion’s Den; If HE don’t, I KNOW HE CAN!