It’s true. I am over 50. In fact, I am over 60. And I had the unfortunate displeasure of coming down a case of the shingles. That is the chicken pox virus that has lays dormant for decades after an individual has chicken pox as a child.
The symptoms started back towards the end of February. My back suddenly ached like it did before I had my hip replacement back in 2015 (yeah I know – I’m falling apart)… but seriously this really was painful.
Then my chest on the left side felt like I had a bad sunburn. There was a tingling session of a thousand needles. It hurt to put a shirt on or to even walk around with a shirt on. And walking around half naked is not an option at my age!
I couldn’t figure out what was happening. Then I awoke on February 28th with a rash on the left side of my chest and wrapping around to my back. AHHH! I know what this is: SHINGLES!
I immediately called my doctor and got in to see him the same day the rash appeared. And that is important. If you wait even 24 hours, the medication (antibiotics) would have minimal if no impact. Because I caught it early and got medicated early, the medicine worked in minimizing my pain in the week I took the medication (that small amount of relief was very welcomed).
Shingles can be contagious if someone comes in contact with the rash. Small children, even if vaccinated for chicken pox, can get chicken pox if they come in contact with the rash. So it is important to keep the rash covered if at all possible and to wash your hands frequently.
Now I have spent the last 17 days in pain. Hardly able to move my left arm. The rash is now receding, but there is still some pain and discomfort.
Once this is over, I plan on getting the shingles vaccine as it will ease or prevent a recurrence of the virus. I recommend you talk to your doctor and see if this is right for you.
You can read more about the virus at: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/shingles/basics/definition/con-20019574