Shingles, she said.

I’m pretty good at this self-diagnosing thing, nothwithstanding my assumption that the pain I’ve been dealing with for the past week is sciatica.  But when I discovered a rash on the sole of my right foot last night, and coupled it with the stabbing pain that’s been tormenting the underside of my right leg & foot, I deduced straightaway, “Shingles.” 

On one hand, I’m relieved to know what it is, because I was feeling like a whiner, limping around, doing all the things you’re supposed to do for sciatica and none of it helping.  That “Aha!” moment did nothing to relieve the pain, but nothing cures what ails you like feeling vindicated.

 Of course, my husband doesn’t agree with my diagnosis, so I have a doctor’s appointment after work today to confirm.  Which is almost a waste of a co-pay in my book, because there’s no real treatment for shingles, just, “Buck up & deal.”  But, and I think you’ll agree:

Co-pay:  $25.

Being proven right & possibly prescribed good pain meds:  Priceless.

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9 thoughts on “Shingles, she said.

  1. This may be coming too late but there IS a treatment if you get it within the first 72 hours of the rash – antiviral medications. I took Valtrex. It may or may not have shortened the duration of my shingles but at least it was something….

  2. Yes, I remember you had it, Sara–and on your face! Actually, besides pain meds, my doc did give me a scrip for acyclovir–I have to take it 5 times a day. 5 times a day! But hopefully it’ll cut the bugger short.

  3. I’m glad you got something. Another interesting piece of information is that the main side effect of antivirals is depression. So it’s not just the debilitating pain that’s bringing you down! I hope you are feeling a little better today!

  4. Well yes, but 5 times a day! I’m glad you wrote, b/c I just realized I forgot to take today’s dose#2, and #3 is fast approaching.

    Thank you!–I was just telling L. that I forgot to find out what the side effects are–you can never be too nervous, er, cautious…

  5. I thought I was one of the few self-diagnosing junkies out there. After feeling like I had the worst flu and sleeping 15 – 20 hours a day, I scratched my back and declared shingles. My doctor laughed when I paged her at 9:00pm and stated “I am 100% sure I have the shingles. Here’s my walgreen #, I need the medicine, NOW.” Sure enough, after dragging my body into the Doctor’s for a 7:00am appointment, I was right. I am still in horrible pain, and feel like I’m living in a big fog. It’s hard to work, and hard to do anything.

  6. I’m so sorry! If it’s any help, it took about 5 days of taking 5 antiviral pills a day before I felt any significant improvement in the pain, and now, 9 days after beginning the medication, I’m MUCH better. But those first 5 days after diagnosis were just as awful as the ones prior.

    I hope this bears out for you, too!

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