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shingles-pain

My dad had shingles 3 years ago - it was so severe that he was in hospital 43 days...he was left with severe pain in his foot...debilitating pain.... he has tried LITERALLY everything for postn.shingles pain- tens, creams, nerve stim, opiates, lryica, neurotin.  He got the shingles shot so he wouldn't get it again...but he just got out of the hospital with shingles again - this time it attacked his good side..What can we do? do you think this is autoimmune problems? how can you get it again???? and how can doctors be so cruel to say nothing can take away the pain??
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Hello Cynthia,

Welcome to the Pain Management Forum. Your father is fortunate to have your love and concern. My heart goes out to him as Shingles can produce debilitating, lifestyle changing pain....as he has discovered.

When trying to understand your father's pain and it's severity it's important to understand Shingles. It is an inflammation of the nerves and nerve endings. Nerve pain can be one of the most difficult to treat and control. When the pain does not go away it's called PHN (postherpetic neuralgia).

Nerve blocks and tricyclic antidepressants can be helpful in some cases. If your father has not been offered either I would look into those possibilities. A PMP may have better suggestions for pain control if he has not consulted one I encourage him to do so.

I don't think any physician can say "nothing will take the pain away." I do believe that very often chronic pain (from any source) will never go away 100%. I also believe that there are treatments/medications that can control your pain to make your life easier and the pain bearable. I think that's what his physicians failed to say or address.

It's usually true that time will help ease the pain of Shingles. Your father sounds like he's had two extreme bouts of the condition. Get second and third opinions. He deserves to be as comfortable as possible. That may mean a trial and error period of a combination of medications....but I believe there is hope.

I will look forward to hearing your updates. Your support and understanding of your father's pain is imperative in his recovery and/or acceptance of whatever these bouts of Shingles may leave him with...but refuse to except that nothing can be done to control his pain.

Please keep in touch!
My best to both of you,
~Tuck
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Thankyou for suggestions....yes we have to be our own advocates and push on to other doctors..we are checking on simplier alternatives like cortisone in the foot by a different doctor (first doctor did 1 shot and oh didn't work attitude by the doctor), going to try a lydocaine patch and geez the gamma whatcha drug.... since after 3 years no one has thought to try these....I'll keep u posted.  cynthia
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