Hi I have suffered for years with numbness to my legs, feet. Family doctors all said it is in your head and you don't handle stress well. My symtoms got worse, involving my face arms, dizziness, vertigo, tightness around the waist.
I had had very minor flareups, about the size of a quarter on my hip starting in '95 , 6 smaller ones in the same spot, last one 3 yrs ago. After that I noticed numbness in the calf of the leg (same side the shingles presented). Through the next 3 years it spread to both calves and then recently my feet.My feet felt like I was wearing leather socks. It also spread through my body in two incidents with electrical shock feelings. I finally found a new family doctor that sent me straight away to a neurologist. It was thought I had Trigemenal neuralgia effecting all three branches of my face. He started me on gabapentin 300 mgs a day and sent me to USF to rule out MS or any other neurological disease.The gabapentin was increased to 800mgs, I functioned well but still had numbness in my feet and pain in the lower jaw.
I had tests and MRIs done including a skin/nerve biopsy done.The day before the skin biopsy was done I discovered an outbreak on my left shoulder in three places, very surprising after not having a physically outbreak in three years and it was extremely painful even on 800mgs of gabapentin a day. The doctor told me it was shingles and this could give them a hint as to why all my symptoms.We kept saying possibly internal shingles but it was not acknowledged by some of the family doctors.
All my tests came back negative, no nerve damage. The neurologist suggested that I see a Infectious Disease speacialist to have my immune system checked (test run the year before all came back negative). She feels the shingles (internal as well) could be causing my symptoms and that the ganglias are irritated and could be causing my symptoms and the stress did not help.
I had been under a huge amount of stress within the last 5 years. It was just starting to let up and my husband and I were enjoying our empty nest and each other when this took hold hard. Numbeness, waist pain, chilled even out in 80 degrees, wind blows across me and I get chilled and it lasts a while, feet ans legs numb and cold, body aches, itchy skin, severe facial pain.
The neurologist kept me on the 800mgs gabapentin, added 1 cymbalta a day and a course of Valtrex once a day as prevention. I added a host of vitamins to my regime including B12. It has been 4 days on the Cymbalta and it has helped take the edge off the pain.I am functioning better.Hoping to get back out road biking and doing what I love.
Is a ID specialist the one to consult or can the tests be run by your family doctor?
It was suggested to see if after an outbreak or having had an outbreak in the past....is it safe to have the vaccine, will it stop or lessen future outbreaks? Are there side effects if you get the vaccine and have shingles?
Thank you, thank you, thank you. I thought I was loosing my mind. After 6 months of feeling horrible internally feeling as if I was being electrocuted in small sections of my body,,,,after 6 years of life changing traumatic events every 7-8 months and multiple life threatening issues with myself and family, the shingles outbreak finally surfaced its ugly face on my body. Now someone believed me......oh please I so want the shot and asked for it 6 months ago and was told the CDC only approved it thru Medicare for age 60. I am 55 and due to an ankle injury on the job, I am disabled and on Medicare. So now what? Did you get the shot? Did it help? Do you feel better? Oh I hope so....Thank you for your post and anything you might contribute back to me. SLW1959
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