Patient Comments: Shingles - Symptoms

What were your shingles symptoms?

Comment from: Kathy, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 12

I am 52. For about a week my left arm was bothering me. The bottom of my forearm was very tender, had pain that came and went in different places in my arm. Wondered if I was having a heart problem...stupidly never went to have it checked out. Then got a rash on the bottom side, at the top of my arm. The next day, while describing my symptoms to a co-worker she knew right away that it was shingles. Left work and got on antiviral. Looking back I was very tired in the week leading up. But have not experienced the pain everyone seems to have. It's more itchy and annoying than painful.

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Comment from: David, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: May 24

I was in the yard working and found several ticks on me. I had my wife make sure we got them all and thought I was good. Over the next few days, I got what I thought were tick bites on the back of my head. They itched, and then hurt terribly. Apparently, there were blisters, but I just figured they were tick bites and ignored them. This went on for a week and when I finally had my wife take a look she said, "You have shingles." My doctor confirmed this, but told me I was too far along for anything to help as far as medication, so that I should just keep the area clean, don't share towels, and take an antibiotic for what appears to be a secondary bacterial infection of the skin. If you feel these painful little “bites,” get to the doctor fast!

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Comment from: nancy, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 15

I first noticed "bites" on my right side, just under my armpit. By the next day they had spread all over my right breast and along my right side to my right upper back. I knew something was up, so I went to the ER and was told I had shingles. I was prescribed Valtrex and painkillers. The pain and itching are horrible and it's hard to sleep at night. I would not wish this on anyone.

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Comment from: SUE, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 11

I never had a rash with my shingles. The pain started in my lower back and came shooting around to the front of my stomach. It was highly painful. I went to the ER and they thought I had kidney stones. They sent me home, and within 12 hours I returned with "out of my mind" pain. I could not stand straight, sit, kneel, or lay down. The second ER doctor figured it out quickly. Thank goodness.

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Comment from: pixiejo59, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 10

This is my second time with shingles. Both times were mild with little pain. Both my grown sons had the chicken pox along with the other kids in the neighborhood. But with my kids, you could count their pox marks, while the other kids were completely covered. I wonder if we have some kind of immunity, with such mild cases of both.

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Comment from: Revwin, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: April 03

About four weeks ago, I woke up with shooting pains on the right side of my neck, going up to the crown of my head. I was concerned I was having a stroke. The emergency room doctor diagnosed a form of a migraine. Symptoms persisted, and then two weeks ago, a scabbing appeared in my right ear. The doctor diagnosed my symptoms as shingles. Medications include acyclovir, Lyrica, and a strong pain killer similar to extra-strength Tylenol. The blisters have cleared up, but I have pain on the right side of my head, neck, and on the cartilage of my right ear. Painkillers help, but I am weak, easily confused, and tired.

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Comment from: Satinclaret, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 06

Charlie horse like pain beneath my left rib cage. Itchy skin, sensitive skin (can't stand anything to touch it). Red rash on my back. Pain radiated from middle of my back to middle of my front around my upper abdomen. I caught it quickly so I'm praying that I have no unpleasant side effects that last for years like nerve pain. I'm on pain and antiviral meds. Don't wait to get checked out. You'll regret it.

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Comment from: Dee, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: February 19

I had a small red rash over my eye brow. It didn't blister of hurt or even itch. It looked like a simple rash that was the exact shape and length of my eyebrow. I did, however have a splitting headache worse that any migraine I have ever experienced. It lasted three weeks even with the gabapentin (for nerve pain) and acyclovir (for virus) meds prescribed.

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Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Shingles - Effective Treatments Question: What kinds of treatments have been effective for your shingles?
Shingles - Experience Question: Please describe your experience with shingles.
Shingles - Pain Question: Please discuss your experience with pain caused by shingles.
Shingles - Vaccine Question: What was your experience with getting the shingles vaccine?

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