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shingles without a rash
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shingles without a rash

Is it possible to be diagnosed with shingles without having an external rash?  The pain is on my left side only in a band near my waist line.  The pain is horrific - even to the touch.  All symptoms seem to be consistent with shingles but after 2 weeks of this, there is no rash.  Narcotics, vicodin and darvocet have helped some but not completely.
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Avatar_n_tn
I guess I should expound a little more - the symptoms have been going on for more than a month and getting progressively worse.  My doctor has suggested shingles but is baffled that there is no rash and is hesitant to put me on antivirals.
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Avatar_n_tn
12/2/05

I just got diagnosed with zoster sin herpete. Basically, shingles without a rash. It does exist. Please check some of
sites on the Internet. I was amazed at how many sites there
were.  I have had to do my own research. Hope your health
imporves. Carrick
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Avatar_n_tn
I have an 18 y/o daughter that breaks out in rashless shingles during every finals time at school.  Any high stress period can put her into a case of shingles.  Sometimes she gets the rash and it's a long bout, but USUALLY when the rash doesn't show up the symptoms are shorter term.  I've had 3 different doctors diagnose the rashless shingles over the years, so I guess that's what it really is.  Good Luck!
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Avatar_n_tn
have been in severe pain 5 weeks, been to e.r. 2 times both times diagnosed shingles but no real rash,dr. sent me to muscle,bone,joint center they gave me every test there is, or so they say, on 2/2/06 the doctor threw his hands up and said theres nothing more could be done,since then i have been in deep depression,mainly in bed, cry alot, its like no one believes me,they say i have some neve damage on the left side where the pain is but not enough to be this severe,they now rule out shingles because they say it has to have a rash,
I have has the fever, chills. fatigue,I basically can not do aqnything and noone can help
hopeless in Philadelphia,PA
claramcf
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Avatar_n_tn
Yes this is exactly what I have after having the zoster type one year ago , it started very very weak and 1 month later it was unbearable pain in my right hip area with no rash . I know it is related to shingles because it has moved from my back to my hip and the doctors cannot figgure it out but I convinced them to give me acyclovir and it did help. I still have pain and my skin is numb where the pain is.
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My mother went through a horrific case of shingles without a rash this July 07.  She is a healthy 61 year old woman who got the shingles vaccine Spring 07.  Its started out as a pain under her shouler blade.  She thought she pulled a muscle.  The pain got progressively worse (especially when she moved around) and she ended up in the ER thinking she was having a heart attack.  The doctors had no idea what was causing the pain (all tests, xrays etc. turned up negative).  Ironically, my 36 year old husband had just had a case of shingles with a rash in May and the intensity of the pain got me thinking that it seemed similar.  She had all the symptoms except for the rash (a band of pain that wrapped under her arm from her back, it was horrible when she moved and nothing helped).  Thankfully, her Dr. listened to what we thought it was (even though she did not have the classic rash) and put my mother on anit-virals.  She started getting better in 24 hours.  She ocassionally has strange sensations in that area, but is fully recovered.  It did take a good 4 weeks for her to get her energy back.  I contacted Merck to let them know that they may want to start looking into the vaccine causing less "severe" (althought the pain was severe) cases of shingles without the rash.  Some doctors will not think out of the box and if every classic symptom is not present they won't buy into the diagnosis.  I am convinced that more of these cases will start popping up because of the vaccine.  People think because they have had the vaccine that they will not get shingles, but that is far from the truth.  I hope people don't languish with this horrible illness because the anti-virals do help.  
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you all so much for posting this information on the web about shingles. I have been having pain and sensitivity on one side of my body and I knew if I went the doctor without having an idea about what is wrong that it would cost me a small fortune. I think I have a pretty good immune system but it needs help to fight his off. I only pray that I am not left with some of the residual pain that is sometimes a side effect of this virus. This is so nice to be able to read what everyone says and benefit from it. Peace and wellness to all of you who have suffered.
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Avatar_f_tn
I think that I had shingles about 6 months ago. I kept having a severe pain on my right side and it wrapped around to my back.  I knew it wasn't my gallbladder because I don't have one.  I couldn't stand clothes touching my body.  Went to 2 different doctors and they did all sorts of blood tests and even a CT scan with dye.  Nothing showed up and they told me I didn't have shingles because I didn't have a rash.  Now the pain is not so intense but I have weird sensation on my right side, can't explain it, sometimes it just feels like something is not right.  Does this sound familiar to anyone else????
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Avatar_n_tn
I have something odd going on too. Haven't gone to the doc coz I did not have a rash.  Lots of stress this April, then suddenly my right side starts itching, burning and hurting.  Now six weeks later I have numbness.  But no rash.  I have the worst pain in the am, and can barely get out of bed.  Once I get moving I'm better.  But by eve I'm itchy and numb and in pain.  If you get any help let me know.  I hate going to the doc to hear it is in my head.  But I think I have shingles with no rash. Is there a test.
karen1960
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Is it possible for a ten year old to have shingles without a rash??? He has been unwell for nearly a month now, but has had extremely sore neck front and back,chest and shoulders for about 2weeks. We have had two lots of blood tests all coming back normal. He is in excruiating pain mainly in the evening, he cant even stand water falling on his neck when having a shower and he definately wont let me touch it. He cries himself to sleep because he is in so much pain...painkillers arent even working. The doctors havent even brought shingles into the equation, but when I asked them, they say it is highly unlikely. I'm feeling like they think I'm making it all up...in my head or my sons head. Can I request a specific test to been done to either confirm or rule out shingles. I feel so helpless;(
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Avatar_n_tn
I have had the "flu" for over 2 1/2 weeks. I went to see a Dr., but of course there was nothing they culd do for me. The "flu" is getting progressively worse. Now I have pain on one side of my body- the right side, mostly in my hip area and in the rib area underneath my armpit. Every now and then I get chills and pain and feel cold. I am in tears as I write this because if I went to see the Dr. again, there would be nothing they could do, and I am in pain and weak and I have 3 young children to take care of. Thank you for all the information everyone wrote. It was really helpful.
Karena Lee
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Avatar_n_tn
I have been having terrible pain on my left side around my waist area.  I can't stand to have clothes on that area.  I get stabbing pain and a constant deep shooting pain all around the area.  I have been to the ER 4 times this past week and the doctor's are not listening to me.  Because I have no rash, they are ruling out shingles, but I think I have them.  I have had lots of stress lately and I believe it has come from that.  Has anyone been diagnosed with shingles that didn't have a rash and if so, what did you get to help the pain.  Nothing I have is working.

Janet C.
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Avatar_n_tn
I too have had the same pain without the rash on my upper rib area.  I am going through a lot of tests as Physician's do not seem to be educated enough on this type of out break.   My pain has be going on since Oct of 2007, I do believe I have PHN but cannot get the Doctors to understand how much pain I am in. There seems to be no test's they can do so its a process of elimination.  My primary care Physician does try and does care but is at lost so he referred me to a pain management physician from a very large hospital in Boston,  Mass General to be exact.  He is aware of Shingles without a rash but because I could touch my ribs, he does not believe its PHN.  He suggested to my primary care that I get a cat scan of my abdominal  area and perhaps go to a gastric specialist.  By the way absolutely disagreed with me that its impossible to get Shingles without a rash.  I plan on printing information about this and mailing to him.
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I had the Zostavax late Apr and then 'flu' for 2 wks starting about July 9 - I fully intend to contact Merck *AND* the CDC of FDA because no manufacturer is going to admit to any problems with their vaccine unless the Govt. steps in.....seeing someone else (Biz 1422) above mention having had the vaccine prior to a non-rash shingles virus diagnosis by a dr.  made me perk up and notice!

I had been under a lot of workload stress at work prior to this 'flu.'  
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hello everyone, my sympathy goes out to anyone having this pain. It is a pain I wish on no one. For two weeks I have had severe pain in my upper right chest area, it felt like someone took a sledgehammer to my ribs. I had an upper resp infection and was told the pain was coming from a torn muscle in my chest from the coughing. It was horrible and I wasSo  sent home with allergy medication, and two inhalers, and cough medicine with codine. Still the pain grew worse, a few laters later my husband found me passed out in our hallway and I was taken to the ER. They did a chest x-ray and lab work and found nothing wrong , and my incident was considered a mystery, and the dr had no explanation as to what may have happened. So I was sent home. The following evening I was in bed sobbing in pain. The pain felt like I had swimmer cramps in the side but multiply that by like 10. I told my husband something was seriously wrong. So again we go to the hospital on base thinking maybe they could figure it out, at first they said shingles, but then said no cause there was no rash present. They thought it was my gallbladder, but to be on the safe side they did a chest x-ray, came back normal, did an ultrasound, that to came back normal,the doc said she had no idea what could be causeing the pain, so she went ahead and had the nurse give me a small dose of morphine, and for the first time in a week  , I felt goooooood. pain free. She sends me home with mobic some anti-inflammatory medication, and zantac , and listed the condition as " heartburn". After I get home, once the morphine wore off, I was again in pain, with chills, dizziness, and nausea, but still no rash. Finally lastnight I couldnt take the pain anymore and went to the hospital. The doc took blood in order to check for lung blood clots , etc....all lab tests came back normal. But....when he touched my skin it just burned and hurt so bad. He said i had " shingles" without a rash. He sent me home with valtrex, and vicodin for pain. The vicodin works just great, however my lips have been tinglely, and my face feels like I have a sunburn, but still no rash. I have been under alot of stress as my husband is away for a six month deployment, and our daughter is in a residential treatment center getting psychiatric care, my cousin came to stay with us after my uncle passed away, it is just not fun . I hope this has helped someone. Everyone else I hope you start to feel better soon.
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I have just begun a round of famcyclovir for shingles without a rash. It began as a neuralgia type pain in a four inch band from my spine around to my belly button on the right side. I can push on the area and it does not hurt, but the lightest touch across it is excruciating. The shower hurts the area badly as well. I'm feeling slightly better after two days on the antiviral. I had shingles with a rash three years ago. I am a healthy 38 year old and my question is about how common it is for shingles to reoccur in healthy adults.
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I have had this extremly painful area on my right side at my lower rib around my back and also on the rear right hip area. So painful and wearing clothes was the worst. thought I had shingles, but no rash,  just very painful. didn't relize how much clothes rub on your skin. I have been having laser treatments from my chiropractor and they seem to be helping. Also taking 2000mg vit C 4x a day and Natrual B along with a good natural multiple vitamin. Resting after work as much as possible. The front area has been very ichy and then painful, the iching just started on the 3rd week. The back area is much better. Hoping it dosen't last much longer. Also I felt like I was coming down with something for about a week before the pain started. Good luck to everyone. Frustrating at times.
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wow you folks sure helped me look at whats going on with me
I have always had a funny little spot on my right side  under my rib cage. it itched but when i scrathed it  it never seemed to be the spot where the itch was coming from. Then i began getting severe pain in the back which would move to the front. Putting pressure on them relieved it temporarily.That pain slowely left but left areas ranging from my back to my front right side under the rib cage. that felt like sandpaper on an open wound.   Yet touching it directly does not hurt but my clothing hurts, a shower hurts. things like that. At times I experience a shooting pain, that I can only describe as electrical but radiating as if it were like a fireworks display..
anyone with any insight  NO RASH

I have no medical insurance and am broke right now
have gone twice to doc  first time when it was just pain in ribs he thought it was inflamation (inflammation) of the ribs and for a month i took an antiinflamitory drug    then he tested my urine to rule out kidney   now i am supposed to go for blood work, but have to wait tilll I can save a bit more money


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I just got back from the emergency dept suffering from pain and burning sensation on left side. The doc diagnosed "shingles" even tho there is no rash.  He prescribe anti viral and I'm off work until futher notice.  So yes shingles does happen without a rash.
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My daughter had shingles with a rash at age 10.  Now she is 17 and she came to me today complaining about her back hurting.  After questioning her, I beleive it's back with no rash right now.  I'm going to call the doctor in the morning to see what he thinks.
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We live in Montreal, Canada and my husband, at 27 years od has shingles with no rash. He has had Chemotherapy and Radiation therapy to treat Hodgkins Lymphoma this summer though as so no surprise to have shingles now. He has incredible pain on the top of his head and now starting to go down his neck. There are a few little 'pimple like' bumps on his head, but other than that, no rash yet. He is been taking VALTREX now for a week and now taking LYRICA for pain, but the Dr. said it would take weeks for the LYRICA to kick in...he has stabbing pain every 3-5 seconds with no pain meds and then with the pain meds, pain every 3 mintues instead...make it go away....
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Could someone suggest the medical specialty to have look at my neck and shoulder?  I have had burning, pain - both shooting/gripping & constant for almost two months.  My primary care doctor gave me a course of anit-viral meds and pain meds for 10 days - then one refill of the pain meds for 3 days.  I had a faint rash but was sure this was shingles.  I have shingles in the same area with an obvious rash twice before.  She did not run a test.  Said since I didn't come in within 72 hours of onset the anti-viral meds probably wouldn't help but to try them anyway.  I have tried numerous otc meds & creams but they don't help.  I just read a website that said anticonvulsants help with post shingles pain.  Has anyone tried that?  The pain is excruciating and keeps me awake.  Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
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hi yes i have all these symptoms but no rash.. my doctor told me if i got the rash it was shingles...4 days on and i still have no rash but the pain is terrible and i'm so tired..
he did give me prescription for the anti-viruals but i'm not sure if to take them or not as he said take them when the rash appears...
thank you everyone
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Avatar_n_tn
You could also look at eczema.  I had had eczema for years without even realizing I had it.  I just thought I had dry skin.  Then, I started to get an intensely sore area in the eyelid area above my eye.  It did itch a little, but most of all, it hurt a lot.  It was so sore I had to be conscious that I did not touch it when washing my face.  On my back, I had an even worse case.  For temporary relief, I got a prescription for a steroid (very small tube and I used very little), but I also went to my chiropractor who does acupuncture.  It turns out it was some response of my immune system to something.  In one session of acupuncture, she managed to correct the problem.  I suppose I could still develop an occasional rash, but I have not had anything serious in about a year.
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I'm 32, and have had the exact same symptoms for over three weeks - a burning sensation on the right side of my stomach, just below my ribs.  It feels similar to a bad sunburn - it is extremely irritating when my shirt rubs against the area when I walk or move.  No rash, or other visible symptoms.  I'm booking an appointment with the doctor this week, and expect to be prescribed antivirals - I have no idea what else could cause such strange "pain" on one side only.  I've also been extremely fatigued and feeling generally run-down.  It all seems to fit.
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I had Shingles without a Rash in 1992 and dosed up on L-Lysine. Got rid of it after 4 weeks.
I now have it again some 16 years later and still no rash. Am taking L-Lysine tablets and Cod Liver Oil tablets. Hopefully will go soon as the pain is horrible.
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I have had excrutiating pain on the left side of my face extending to the back midline of the skull on and off for about 4 years.  Not one doctor could figure out what was causing it.  I was starting to think I would just have to forget about doctors and put up with this pain.  I saw a new doctor today and he said he believes it is shingles  (even though I don't have a rash) affecting the cranial nerves.  He's the first doctor that didn't look at me like I was crazy.  He put me on antiviral and prednisone.  Hopefully this will work and I won't feel like I'm losing my mind any more.
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Avatar_f_tn
The rash usually starts about 4 days after feeling really ill with the flu. It usually only comes up in adults who are malnourished or comprimised immune systems. I had it when I was twenty. The rash was excrutiating, with the blisters causes a shooting pain in my spine, my doctor gave me a med they use fo MS patients, knocked me right out, but it worked. I was put in quarantine as well, it's highly contagious to someone who hasn't had the chicken pox. I know they have anti virals that work that are out now, but basically you just have to treat the symptoms. I had blisters around my neck, chest and stomach, even in my ears and mouth. I ended up with temporary Bell's Palsy. I couldn't feel part of my face at all. It took me 2 months to get over it, I had no appetite and lost a bunch of weight (not complaining)

The folks that don't have a rash, have lab tests been done for auto immune issues? I've never heard of shingles without some rashing or blisters.  I had a mild bout about 5 yrs back, only a few blisters, so not full blown. I thought you could only get it once! grrr
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In 2007, I was diagnosed with "a textbook case" of shingles without a rash.  I'd endured two days of burning pain in my right ear, neck, jaw, shoulder, which sometimes radiated into my back.  Right side facial paralysis was progressive.  I developed an awful taste in my mouth.  My hearing was getting worse in that ear..sounds were distorted and amplified and caused pain.  I thought I had a very bad ear infection.  I'd thought I'd slept in a bad position and had a stiff neck.  (Leading up to this episode, I'd been under a terrible amount of stress for weeks...very tired...had some cold/flu like symptoms, including loose bowel movements. )  I went to the emergency room at 2 AM because I couldnt tolerate the worsening pain and the facial paralysis had me frightened.  

Doc checked for an ear infection and there was none.  Based on all the symptoms and tests he was very confident in his diagnosis.  He prescribed Valtex and prednisone.  I progressively regained total facial control within two weeks.  Sound distortion took a little longer to completely disappear...some loud or high tones caused shooting pain for a while.

Yesterday, a Sunday, I was back in the ER again.  Same set of overwhelming stressful circumstances that confronted me back in 2007 led up to the same symptoms presenting themselves.  Additionally, I'd had cold/flu like symptoms including the loose bowel movements...fatique/exhaustion/distress...twinges in back, shoulder, and neck, jaw...and just hoped that I'd "slept the wrong way" on my neck or something.  This time, for more than a week, I was taking zinc and echinacea supplements and some Airborne occasionally, as so many co-workers were ill with colds/bronchitis/even pneumonia!  Sunday morning, the pain in the shoulder and neck were pretty bad.  There was some throbbing/burning in the ear.  Pains were getting progressively worse.  I brushed my teeth and as I rinsed, I realized my mouth was pulling to one side a bit.  The paralysis got progressively worse as the day went on.  This seemed like a repeat of the 2007 episode...but this time, the left side of my face was afflicted.

I recalled one strange...or maybe completely unrelated item...early Saturday, I had a pain on my right inner arm...at the elbow crease.  I rolled up my sleeve and noticed a small blister.  Was it a bite?  A pimple?  No, it looked like a tiny blister with some redness around it and running my finger across it was really painful for such a tiny thing.  I popped it and clear fluid came out.  It scabbed over.  There was no other blisters anywhere.

Once again, I was prescribed Valtex and prednisone.  I am also going to try some Ibuprofen and perhaps some homeopathic remedies like Acai juice for anti-inflammatory properties.  (I am concerned with the facial paralysis.)

SInce the 2007 event, I looked online for info on shingles without a rash.  I found some info back then...not much...and some interesting information on my ear problem...Ramsay-Hunt Syndrome.  Again, I had no rash...and what looked like Bells-Palsy...but was more than just that.

I am looking forward to a complete recovery again...just need to find a way to de-stress a lot better!

I'd like to hear from anyone who's had the addtional ear problem with facial paralysis...

Thanks for listening!
TheOnlyMannequin
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I have had back pain on my left side with a rash with tiny bumps,itchy,burning,numb feeling and it drives me crazy,its very annoying.And everytime I have this it seems mt stomach acts up to.constant belching.I also have a dark patch of skin were this is happening.I have this most of the time about 4years now.It seem when I am streesed it happens more.My doctor said it was shingles when I first went to him,but now he said when I went to him that they only come out one time.Does any one have this problem,too many years,I woory its something serious.Anyone with an answer.
Thank you
desperate
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I had shingles with a rash around 3 years ago. That was my first time and I was not familiar with the symptoms. I had chills on one side of the body for a few days and then the rash appeared and the associated burning pain under the skin. Now around a month back, I started getting the chills and burning pain again so I went to my doctor and asked for Valtrex. There was no rash. He gave me a prescription and I took it for 2 weeks. There are still days when I feel significant burning pain. But no rash has appeared. I had a small surgery and was stressed out going into it. May be that triggered the virus. I am hoping that it will get better now that I have already gotten my surgery done and am recovering.

I came on this forum wondering if it's possible to have shingles pain without a rash and sounds like it is!

health and happiness to all.
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I have recently had pains that were sharp, like someone sticking hot needles in my skin along the rib and into my breast on the right. This is where I had breast cancer and surgery 3 years ago. The pain was triggered by movement, and the more often it was triggered, the worse it got. So I moved very very carefully. I got on Famciclovir (antiviral med) after 4 days. 8 days later it is definitely better. My range of motion is improved and the pain is almost gone. I never got a rash. One website said the pain of shingles can show up days and even weeks before a rash. My guess is that the antiviral meds kept it from erupting. I take the pills for 2 more days. If I still have some pain left I'll take some herbs or a homeopathic remedy.  Yesterday I had an acupuncture treatment from a Classical Five-Element acupuncturist and that helped a lot!! It boosted my spirits, relaxed my body and I left feeling healthier and in less pain. I feel much much better today.
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Thank you for this information. I have had symptoms of rashless shingles show up I am now in the midst of a new bout.  I feel achy, freezing cold,headachey,  I need to cry at least once a day.  The burning sensation around my belly feels like my skin has been sandpapered down to cause a strong sensitivity.  Once I had just one blister show up on my palm but so far nothing which is good. I am going for an accupuncture treatment and I am picking up a prescription of anti viral medication.  Sometimes it feels like there is too much current or energy running through my system that's why I am hoping accupuncture will help.
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Thank you all so much for your rashless,shingles stories!!  I thought
I was going crazy, or at least my doctors thought I was. I too had
the initial diagnosis of diverticulitis. I was put on antibiotics with no
help. After going to the E.R. with severe pain in my left side into
my abdomen, the G.I. surgeon told me I most likely had shingles.
My doctor put me on an anti-viral and said call when I get the rash.
(NO RASH after 2 weeks, just pain) slightly better after the anti-
viral was prescribed. But, I can deal with all of this since I read your
stories. Thank you all so much.
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I cannot believe their are  so many of you with shingles without the rash.
I think my family thought I was nuts.  I woke up on January 15th 2009
with severe back pain on the left side.  I was put through a few test before
they, meaning my Gastro Dr. decided to take out my Gallbladder.
They sent me home three days later still in pain but softed some by
Vicodin.  Two days later the severe pain had returned.  They then sent me
to a Neurologist, who has be my saving grace.  I still had to go through
spinal taps and lots of other tests to get to the shingles.  I still have severe
pain though.   I am alot of nerve medication and pain pills, it helps some
but you still cannot touch my back in that area at all.
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I was diagnosed with shingles on my rght lower leg about 3 months ago.  I also was diagnosed approx 2 months ago with encephalitis.  I was hospitalized for 18 days due to some delirum that made me non functional.  I also was dx with neuropathy about 4 months ago.  (By the time I do my introductory people will shy away from me.) WEith numbness in feet radiating to my knees blaterally'  I have Hep C which has not responded t treatment.  Approx 4 months ago I also was told I was HIV positive.  Before jumping to conclusions I am a nurse and was expsed to the last 2 diseases via a needle stick after drawing blood from a client that was positive for both.  Now that I have given the low down this is my question.  Does anyone know what could be cusing me to loose my balance and fall.  My R leg seems to just turn to mush causing me to fall.  Alot of bruises, a 4 wheeled walker and limited activies I am surviving but it seems to be getting worse.  Yes I a in physical therapy and have pending appts with the neurologist. Just yesterday I have started getting numbness in that leg around the knee.  It is radiating up from my foot.  It is just my knee and 3inches on either side.
I have been tld to much info causes confusion so will close and wait for possible answers or suggestions.  Thank you
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About 2 weeks ago I started having pain on my right side just under my ribs.  It was very severe at times,  Difficult to get comfortable sitting or laying down or standing.  A hypersensitivity spread around to my back.  Very sensitive to touch or clothes.   I have one small lesion just below my right rib that I became aware of when the pain started.  It is very sore to the touch but also itches but scratching it doesnt help.  Like it is numb and hurts at the same time.  Went through a bunch of tests and ruled out gall bladder or other digestive disorders.  The doc diagnosed me with shingles and put me on anti viral (Zovirax) and an anti depressant (Nortriptyline) which is used to treat nerve pain.  Been on the medication about 5 days and tonight is the first night where the pain has maybe diminished 10%.  I was going nuts this last week as I couldnt sleep or get comfortable.  I am hoping I will get better soon.  Thanks to everyone who posted and I hope you all get over or have gotten over this miserable disease.
Mike
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Thank-you for the reports.  I have read about myself and glad I'm on the Acyclovir.  I went to the emergency room thinking I was having a heart attack.  After all the tests confirmed everything was fine and I was medicated and feeling out of it the Dr. said I may be coming down with shingles.  I went to our family Dr. the very next day and he prescribed the medicine and said come back if I broke out in a rash.  The pain is on the right side under my rib cage.  Touching does not hurt but sometimes there is a shooting pain like an electrical shock.
No rash has developed and the medicine will be gone tomorrow.  I take a nap but otherwise feel fine with just that once in while sharp pain.  I am 62 and will get the shot in 2 years!
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My shingles started with an earache.  Had a small rash area next to my lip (about half an inch by 3/4 of an inch--it never really looked much like a rash, only the blisters formed after a few days.) Doctor recognized the symptoms immediately and put me on Valtrex and Prednisone) Couldn't take the combo and wound up dehydrated from nausea/vomitting) Stopped the prednisone and continued the Valtrex.  Still have burning and numbness (tongue and lip).  But am on Gabapentin 900mg daily to help relieve it; but it isn't even close to being 75%.  This is now 19 months since start.  Wishing you well and good luck getting diagnosed correctly.
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I am 20 years old and i have had chicken pox when i was 5. Last month i broke out with a whelp like rash on my back and went to see my dr. He prescribe some antiviral meds to take for 6 days. Its now 4 weeks later and my breast are swollen, nipples burn, feels like a fist is imprinted on my back, and can not lift my arms over my head... Someone please help me.... Should i go to the er or what???
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I am 56 yr. old female who has a reoccurance of rashless Shingles.  I had them 5 yrs. ago and went to the ER in NYC and they diagosed me with Shingles.  Now I recently felt the same pain on my left side under my rib cages that went around to my back, it spread to my left breast and left sholder blade.  I went to an urgent care unit in Texas and they put me on Valtrex and increased my Lyrica to twice a day.  This is day 3 and I still have the pain but no rash.  Hopefully this will subside in the next few days so I can return to work.  I was lucky that both doctors knew what this was and did not go through the test some of you have experienced.  
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In Feb 2008 I started feeling very fatigued, really dragging, then pains, hard, stabbing, pressing pains,  in the heart area and left arm; it felt like pain was radiating into back. Left side of back hurt, sore.  I went to the ER, concerned I was having a heart attack. They did an ECG and tests and determined I was not having a heart attack.  I told them maybe I had pulled a muscle in my back when I carried a large carrier cage with my cat in it up and down the stairs several times and the docs agreed, gave me some Vicodin and sent me home.  The very next day I had an itch on my left side of back (which had been itching for some months before pain started).  When I felt back there it felt like a blister so I had my hubby check it out and sure enough there were about four blisters there.  Naturally this happened on the weekend so I was lucky that the blisters were still there on Monday when I went to my doctor and she said it was shingles - and when I described a similar episode in the '80 on my right side she said it,too, was probably shingles.  Now, for about two weeks I've felt that it might be coming back on the right side.  The same sequence of events is happening: fatigue, dragging; today there is pain in my body on the right side (just like it felt when I went to ER with pain on my left side).  And my back has been itching more and more on the right side.  Oh, and two weeks ago I felt a stinging itch in my right midrif (exact same spot as erupted in the '80s episode).  There was a tiny blister there. My advice is, if you think you may have shingles, have someone check out your back for you as there may not be pain in that specific area.  What I wonder is: Being this is a virus that stays in the body how does one consider an episode as being a fresh outbreak or post-herpetic pain? And is antiviral meds recommended in either case?
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At first I thought I had been bitten by a brown recluse spider.  I found a round area about the size of a half dollar behind my ear that was red with blisters.  My first symptom was a stiff, swollen neck.  I was actually relieved when the doctor said he thought it was shingles.  He prescribed two types of antibiotics and a pain reliever.  The outbreak never got any bigger on the outside, but I have been itching all over my entire body.  I don't know that this isn't my mind messing with me, but I've been taking benedril (sp?) and it seems to help.  I got the flu feeling the third day..chills but no fever, nausea,  tired, slept most of the time.  Day 4. as I write this, I'm less tired, the sore is drying up, but still itchy. I am hoping mine was an extremely mild case and I'm getting over it now.  Good luck to everyone else.
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I too have suffered from rashless shingles for two decades now with re-occurrences during times of stress both physical and work-wise, and am having a long outbreak as I write. I too have consulted with skeptical doctors, and turned to rest and Advil as my cure. Are there any doctors or alternative medicine practitioners reading who can talk to the progression of this ailment over time or ways to permanently cure this.
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My last (and only other) post was 01-12-09.  While the first bout of facial paralysis in 2007 improved 100% within a couple of weeks...the right side of my face came back to normal....this 2009 episode of zoster sine herpete with ramsay hunt hit me harder.  It has taken weeks and then months for my face to improve.  AT first, I looked like I'd had a stroke.  Ten months later, the left side of my face is still weaker.  Thankfully, I can close my eye which tears sometimes.  I also find it more difficult to get my contact lens in this eye.  Sometimes that eye appears a bit "squinty" and that side of my face and smile appear a bit higher than the normal right side!  It seems like my muscles and nerves are learning how to work together again.  My speech and ability to eat and drink is still affected, but is much improved.  I feel changes and twinges daily...it's a painfully slow process...but I am still hoping for total improvement and recovery.

Again, I'd really like to hear from anyone who's had the Ramsay Hunt/Bells Palsy problem...anyone who's had this and shingles without the rash more than once.

Thanks!
TheOnlyMannequin
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A related discussion, Shingles without Rash PHN Gabapentin is Great! was started.
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A related discussion, Rashkess Shingles was started.
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Symptoms that surfaced for myself (37yr old, no other health issues)

1)Super sensitivity in band like are that ran from front around to spine at back. Sensitivity to the slightest of touches.  ie: a water droplet from the shower running across this band.

2) Heard pressure to band produced no pain

Pain best described as
1)Terribly bruised feeling as if someone had take a bat to you.
2)Constant wind/sun burnt feeling
3)Occasional tingly on side and back as if you just experience something scary and had the cold chills running down your spine.


I have no rash evident, and no blisters.  After the first day of the supersensitivity, I googled and came up with probability of Shingles.  Dr. office next day and he felt shingles was the correct diagnosis inspite of lack for rash/blisters.

Dr. gave a prescription for Valtrex but suggested I wait till rash appears. I did not agree with this approach and so queried a dr. who specialized in this at Mayo.

My thinking was this:  If the pain is a manifestation of the re-activation of the virus and that the virus, then why not "zap" it now?

My query was answered in agreement.  Treat right away.  Don't wait for rash to appear because it may not!

I am on day 4 of pills.  Don't like wearing shirt due to pain and it seems to scare the little kids in the mall when I take it off (just kidding)

Thanks for all other posts.

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I have been diagnosed with shingles with out a rash to.     after day 4 went to dr and was put   on antiviral drugs for seven days   every four hours.     stopped them now but the pain is still there.     burns  when touched, aches deep pain , tired, temps up and down.   glad i havent got the rash . From my spine around back and to middle of stomack.
Moves occasionally but now centralised in the two places.
sympathy goes out to all those that have shingles.
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I have a burning sensation in my midriff area that also includes the middle back area. Ibuprofen is helpful but I don't know what direction to take as far as treatment or Dr. to consult. Since there is no visible signs of anything there I wouldn't think a Dermotogist is the way to go. I also notice a bit of a stomach ache as well. any help/ideas?
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To Everybody, I have read most of the comments and I also feel that I am either in early stage of getting shingles or developing rashless shingles. I have an intense pain that wraps around from just under my right shoulderblade, under my arm and ends under my right breast. I do have a small row of pink bumps developing on my side that may turn out to be the rash, but since I've never had it or seen shingles I'm not totally sure. I've had the pain,itching and a slight headache for a few days now. Can some experienced person shed some light, does the rash begin with five or six pink bumps in a row? Please email me since I found this page randomly in a search. Looking for answers before I waste time going to a dr for nothing. ***@**** Thanks.
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Reading this has helped me confirm that I probably do have shingles w/out rash.   For me, it started over a week ago just to the left of my spine... a burning, severely "bruised" feeling... but no mark at all.  The patch on my back seem to extend in pain and area, and then about 4 days ago, started on my rib cage, just under my left breast.  Now, it seems to be a band of pain around my left side... extremely irritating and painful to wear clothing (especially bras), but not really painful when I push on it.  I saw my doctor yesterday and she prescribed Valtrax.. she seems to think the rash will appear.  I was hestitate to start taking the antiviral without a rash but, after reading this, I'm going to go ahead and start taking it.    
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Shingles with a rash is called Zoster sine herpete. Defined as pain and paresthesias along the dermatome ... Acyclovir with and without prednisone for the treatment of herpes zoster....see http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/788310-overview

My husband has this five years ago and also developed PHN (postherpetic neuralgia, pain that persists for longer than 1 month following the shingles episode) He has been going to a pain clinic for five years and the Dr has tried everything he knows. I followed up on the internet and see he's been most thorough. Over the years he has tried about 30 nerve blocks, they don;t last long enough and really only one has hit the sweetspot where he was pain free for over a week. He felt so good he built me a rock sidewalk.

Has also tried Gabapentin (Neurontin), Pregabalin (Lyrica), Hydrocodone, Marinol, Lydocaine patches, Fentanyl patches, Tricyclic antidepressants (amitriptyline) and Capsaicin are a few I remember, the Fentanyl that came as a sucker was the most effective, just as we found this, my job changed insurance and Blue Cross would not cover it, as it was several hundred dollars we couldn't afford it. Better luck and best wishes to everyone who is hurting. It is had to see your family like that and there is nothing you can do
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My husband who is 61 has been in a lot of pain for 14 weeks in the area of his stomach around the naval.  We have been to 3 different doctors, has had colonoscopy, CT scan, blood work, EKG, etc. Nothing found. He has also been to the ER three times.  Why is it that doctors do not know anything about shingles with no rash?  Actually, a psychiatrist mentioned the fact that it could be shingles with no rash and I began doing a lot of research and found that it is more common that one thinks.  My husband has been using ice packs on his stomach.  It helps some.  He was given anti-inflammatory drugs, etc. - no help. It is very frustrating not to be diagnosed.  Also, if this is a problem with older adults, should the "physician" community not advise the shingles shot if it would help? Apparently, we have to research ailments to get answers. Thanks for the posts.  At least, we know that we are not alone.
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Hope someone finds this article helpful and/or reassurring - I did.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2026052/?page=1
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I am a 40 year old female.  Had a small shingles outbreak on my left leg when I was about 33-34yoa.
In JULY, on a Wednesday, I was wearing my new cuff cases (I'm an officer), when I noticed the one on the left was killing me!!  
When I got home after working a security gig, I fully expected to see a bruise or rubbed area in that one spot,but there was nothing there..at ALL.
So, I spent the next day thinking maybe I'd bruised myself there or the cuff case caused nerve damage.
Friday morning I had a brief moment of remembering that shingles-pain, but since there was no rash, I thought "That cannot be it..".
I went to the dr mid-morning & told him about my new cuff cases and that I thought I have bruised myself or something.
He checked (when he touched that area, I about came up out of my skin), asked a few questions, asked if I'd ever had shingles before (I was like..."Great..he HAD to go there..") to which I replied, "Yes." (grumble, grumble).

I thought back when this prob started and I had about 3 HIGH-stress events happen within a few weeks so I figured.....oh well.  

He said not to sweat, to avoid stress (HA!!); that I'm contagious to the elderly, children who have not been vaccinated for
chickenpox, others who are prone to shingles and generally anyone who has a weakened immune system.  
They described my every day routine at work.  And, am I supposed to ask people this stuff before I pull them over or take a report from them? LOL    
NEEDLESS to say, they sent me  home after a shot and  RX for anti-viral and PAIN.  I didn't really see the need for the pain pills till the next afternoon..................OUCH.

We caught them before they broke thru the skin & I DO thank God for that -- so, I don't have the rash, just pain,
SOMETIMES itching, nausea, and headaches.  
In the last 3+ weeks, I've only left the house maybe 3 times.  I can't dress "properly" and the heat makes them itch & the sun light HURTS like hades.

I'm not allowed to return to work until I can wear my official uniform (with duty belt and vest).
However, I did sneak up there today in civies and my personal car to take care of some paperwork & it went well, so I KNOW I'm making big time progress :)

Hope this helps someone understand from someone who has had shingles w/o a rash.  
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I was outside with my mom today getting some things out of my truck. All of the sudden i get this strange burning tingling itchy sensation across my lower back down to above my knees. I knew right away it was something with my nerves. The pain kind of felt like a belly buster( when you jump in a pool on your stomach).. Just a burning /numb/ kinda itchy, but not really  feeling ...  it lasted for  a few seconds. It has been happening on and off all day- at least 6-7 more times. I can feel it coming on too, like how you feel when you get the chills, or goose bumps. No rash or anything yet. I'm 32. Do the shingles tingle come and go like mine has? do i just need to wait a few days to see if a rash pops up? and its all across my back, not just one side.. unless they one side means front and back- not left and right.also it the past few hours , i''ve had no energy , and feel like i may be getting sick.
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Hi all.  I was diagnosed with Shingles this week after suffering with a three day headache from Saturday to Monday, and then discovering a large red mark (similar in size to a 50 pence piece) on on side of my back.  The week previous I had also experienced a couple of shooting sharp pains in my side too, and had felt a little light headed and dizzy at times.  

I was then prescribed some antivirals which I am now on day thee of... and I now feel absolutely fine!  The mark does not appear to have developed into anything more than how I initially discovered it and it has not spread. However, I am now experiencing some slight sensitivity around the mark which has spread to my side.  Is this common?  Also, is it unusual to feel fine in yourself?  I played squash light night, and was fine? Can symptoms be this mild?

Thanks in advance
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I am a generally healthy, athletic 55 year old woman who is curerntly in the sixth week of shingles without a rash (zoster sine herpete). I self-diagnosed it in the second week with help from the internet and knowing my own body. I'd had genital herpes when I was 25 and the onset of this illness felt similar-extreme skin sensitivity, an ache in my groin, tiredness.

The sensitivity turned to pain in my low back that moved down into "hot spots" on the top of my left upper and inner thigh. It really hurt to wear clothing. It hurt to have my boyfriend touch me. I told him he could only touch me above the waist. October was not a fun month for either of us!

I went to the doctor within days of beginning to feel lousy and mentioned it felt similar to genital herpes I'd had 30 years ago only with no rash. They did blood test but didn't test for shingles. Two weeks later I felt no improvement and was very discouraged. Still convinced it was shingles, I went back to gyno and had them do another blood test and check specifically for shingles. They did and it came back positive. I finally got the results last week. This time the doctor was more interested in hearing my symptoms because she'd never heard of shingles without a rash. It was good to finally have a definite diagnosis and to finally have my pain be taken seriously.

I am not a big fan of traditional medicine and only went to the doctor's because this was such a painful condition and I was worried it was something terrible. I'm about to get divorced and will lose my good health insurance when I do so I thought I should take advantage of this while I could.

From the outset of my symptoms, I treated my body with care so it could heal naturally. I began dosing myself with proteolytic enzymes, Lysine, odorless garlic, Airborne and about 7000 mg/day of Vitamin D3. I found out from a friend that you shouldn't eat peanuts or cashews or anything that contains L-arginine because that makes it worse. I also avoided alcohol and caffeine as much as possible.

The pain was intense for three weeks and worsened when I was tired or more stressed. Like other posters here, I also went through a day or two when I thought I might be having a heart attack because I had severe pain radiating in the left side of my chest and ribs. I wanted to rest but was extremely busy with work so couldn't. I stopped going to the gym for a couple of weeks because it felt like it made me feel worse. I teach yoga but had to stop that, too. The only thing I did was take walks in the woods to relieve stress and get some exercise.

By the fourth week, the areas of extreme pain and sensitivity began to shrink in size and severity. I still feel some pain on my right thigh and low back but it no longer makes me cry out in pain as it did before. At night if the pain bothers me, I take an aspirin or two. I am 85% back to where I was before I got the shingles. I still don't have much energy but try to listen to my body and not get discouraged as it takes the time and effort it needs to heal. I plan to see an accupuncturist in the near future to also assist my body towards healing completely. Today I woke up with a sore left eyelid and my whites are pink. I hope this is not related to the shingles.

Thank you to all who posted. It helps so much to know that others out there understand and can relate to this painful disease. We may not have the rash to "prove" we are sick with shingles but if we listen to our bodies and insist that doctors test our blood for the virus, we can at least get a definitive diagnosis and go from there.
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Thank you all for posting your experiences with shingles but with no rash. I have a 21 year old daughter who was diagnosed with shingles two years ago. Her father and I were having problems, we were moving around,  and school was also stressful. One morning I had to rush her to the Dr. because her gums were severely inflamed to the point that they were cracking open. Dr. said it was shingles. Now this last weekend she was having severe headaches, dizziness, fever, and severe lower back pain.  As we were waiting in the lobby of the Radiology Dept. for a CAT scan she began to yell out that she couldn't hear, she said this about five times before she passed out. A team of nurses rushed her to ER where they did extensive tests for Meningitis, Encephalitis, and other diseases.  Everything came back normal thank God.  Unfortunatley, I had to bring her home feeling the same.  Her fever is now low grade at 99.8, (before was 102.-103.)  I've started researching and because of all of your posts I was reminded that she was diagnosed with shingles before and now I'm sure that this is another shingles flare up "without rash". I'm wondering which i the best antiviral medication for this?
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I have had shingles 4 times on the left side of my back with a minor rash.  Two weeksago  I had minor surgery and now I have pain that has all the characteristics of shingles but no rash. It is also on the right side this time, two inches below the armpit and extends to the upper arm. I haven't been able to take any pain relief until last night because of he possibility of bleeding..  600 mg ibupropen which was prescribed for arthritis pain helps and I got 5 hours of uninterupted sleep.

The pain grows more intense late in the day. If I sleep on my back it is a constant dull ache.  On either side there is a growing acute burning pain along with the deep-seated ache. Shifting from one sidr to the other the pain lessens for a few minutes then grows to unbearable. I can't nap sitting up because of sleep apnea. I have had chronic pain from the effects of polio as an infant all my life, and the limited activities from this episode is more of a concern than the pain.
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I have had the same condition for the past 5 weeks. I did have shingles about 25 years ago and I told my doctor that the pain I am having feels exactly the same. Since there is no rash he hasn't condidered this. I have x-rays and a complete body bone scan which did not indicate anything. I am going to a pain clinic in another 2 weeks and hope I can find out what's wrong as the pain is constant.
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Thankfully I had measles and chickenpox, when I was very young, then had the mumps as a teenager, and now I'm in my 50s, I haven't had a single vaccine, I've never had full blown flu, common colds only last about a day or a day and a half, then vanish as quick as it came, my children are the same.

I even survived salmonella poisoning without medication, which lasted about a week, but I fought it off easily.

If I'm given any meds for something, I always check on what it does to the body, and if it interferes with my immune system in ANY way, I refuse to take it.

CONCLUSION:
Way back in the 1950s and 1960s, vaccines were rarely needed, the common vaccines given to kids then, was BCG, and typhoid.

It's not the manufactures of current vaccines that cause people today to still get the flu, it's society that's using far to much disinfectants, hoping for a surgically clean, 100% germ/virus free environment for children, where parents are literally afraid that their children will die if they contract a common cold, and thus sweep their entire house with disinfectants.

As for vaccines, NEVER give your children any vaccines unless it's a vaccine for a virus or germ, that can cause death, such as typhoid,,, let your children develop a natural immunity.

So, my advice is,,, if you catch a cold or flu, reduce your environment temperature to between 60F and 68F, breath ice cold air from a freezer, try to get as cold as comfortably possible.

When a cold or flu virus attacks your body it tries to live longer by increasing your core temperature (known as a fever), in hopes that you feel as if it's to cold outside your body, and as a result you either turn up the heat or wear thicker cloths, by ignoring this, and keeping the ambient temperature between 60F and 68F, the virus won't life long,,,,to ask a question,,,,have you even known an Eskimo to catch a cold?,,,cold and flue viruses thrive in the heat.
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URGENT UPDATE: It has been a little over a month that I posted my last entry here.
  (by OneWorriedMom, Nov 26, 2010 10:56AM)  
Almost a month ago I was talking to my landlord who is Chinese.  She told me that she had had shingles over ten years ago, she was treated with Chinese herbs and never got them again.  She gave me the name of her Chinese Dr. and I rushed my daughter over to see Sofia Chen.  Sofia gave my daughter a jar of a sweet tasting tea and had to take a small dixie cup full every two hours.  The next day we picked up two more jars of two different kinds of teas.  One she had to take a a smaller dose every two hours and the other tea, which smells and tastes horrible, 3 times a day.  I was astounded on how my daughter began to respond more and was so much more alert the following day.  Sofia Chen said that the treatment is supposed to flush the virus out of her body and it takes a long time at least six months.  I am so happy that I found this Chinese Dr.  The treatments cost $30 a week and I don't know what the names of the teas are BUT THEY ARE WORKING!! I also suffer from fever blisters that are the Herpes virus, she said she could help me flush that virus out too! Sofia Chen's practice is in Rowland Heights, CA   Just in case anyone wants to call her and ask her how it works. If you want to know her number just message me here and I will give it to you. I won't post it because I don't know if I can do that.  Well, I want to wish you all a Happy New Year and God Bless!!!
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I have shingles and I only have a faint pink mark about the size of a dime  on my right rib, the pain is terrible but i am on pain killers which help, a cream I have to use 5 times a da on the pink  spoty and an anti viral medication, so hoping this will clear up, but have been told it could take 5 to 6 months, lol, but again this has been brought on by stress and  being run down  after a bad bout of the latest flu .
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I am 46 years old woman, and am having my third bout of Shingles.  The first time was 2004...I had the 'normal' symptoms - rash down one straight line on my left arm, lesions, (I sratched so much I would bleed), and the intense pain in my arm, upper back, and neck. The pain was the first sign, but I thought I had pulled a muscle at the gym or swimming, etc.  So I actually went to Physio - DUH.  Anyways,  a few weeks went by in excruciating pain and then the rash appearded. So by the time I had the drugs, a long time had gone by.  Got the antivirals in me, and though that would be the end of Shingles forever.    However, got it again exactly 3 years later (same month!) in 2007....but this time no rash...just woke up one morning with the same intense, mind-blowing, paralyzing pain, in my left upper arm, shoulder blade area, neck, etc.  The night before I was starting to feel something in my neck but just thought , once again, I had done something to it at the gym... but this pain is nothig like pulling a  muscle (since I have had both).    Went to the clinic and got valacyclover...which helped me within 2 days.

Fast forward to yesterday morning, woke up with the same symptoms - no rash though again. The pain takes my breath away, it's like I have a knife permanently embedded in my neck, shoulder blade, upper left arm. I am basically paralyzed on the left hand side.  I went to the doc and she was skeptical because there was no rash.....but I said this is the same symptons  have had 2x before...I know it's SHINGLES!  She did not argue and gave me valacyclovir again.     Now, while I was browsing online  tonight, I read an article that said people can hae shingles WITHOUT THE RASh and its called 'zoster sine herpete' - I am going to email my doc the article!!!   Maybe the virus is evolving in my body...and the first time I had it the rash HAD to come out but the 2nd and 4rd times it just never surfaced.....anyways, sorry for the long story.  I just wis the pills would make it stop forever.   Is there a vaccine for this????
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I can't believe how many people have posted here with the same symptom I have been having now over 10 days. It just came on as very sensitive skin on my right side over my ribs. I endured for a week or so and then it was gone. But now it's back all around my waist, front and back. It's like a sunburn and it's most reactive to very light touch. My pain is only uncomfortable, not severe. I HAVE NO RASH or redness or heat and I have an extremely strong immune system. I am not under stress and I generally feel fine but w/a bit of a jittery stomach. I did have chicken pox as a child so it sounds like it could be a mild case of shingles without the rash. People keep referring to it as 'zoster sine herpete' and I can't thank everyone enough for posting here because I know most doctors would be stumped and do nothing...or worse, run every test known to man to the tune of thousands $. Please let me know if anyone has something to add. Thanks.
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I too started with a band of pain around my left rib cage. No rash, no heat, no redness.  The sensation is like nerve pain - burning, itching, tickling feeling at times, but also uncomfortable and sore.  I am trying an oriental herbal remedy - I'll let you know how it works.  I am also going to my chinese medicine accupuncturist soon to see if she has anything that will help.  
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I have shingles without a rash also. It is around my left knee which I had a knee replacement 6 years ago so that is the weakest point of my body. SEVERE pain in a BAND..like a HOT IRON just on me! EXCRUCIATING pain! And normally..I am a toughie! Going through horrible stress! My husband had a stroke a few weeks before I got the shingles! I am 56 years old. I went to 4 doctors..they all said no..no..no...then finally my doctor did a titer to "PROVE ME WRONG"...Yea...I proved them wrong! Finally feeling relief after 8 horrible weeks. This is pure hell. Only if you have had shingles..can you understand this horror!
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sorry to hear about everyone's pain!  My husband is 53 and has just recently quit smoking (cold turkey), about 6 weeks ago a pain started on his left side (waist) then a small blister appeared.  He has been having horrible pain. We do not have insurance therefore he has not been to the dr.

description of pain.  feels like someone is ripping skin apart.  someone is stabbing from inside. skin hurts to touch, like when you have the flu x's ten.  

which i could affortd to take him to the dr.
Karen  
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I'm wondering if anything else came up about Shingles with no rash.
I'm having  major pain in my upper back, left side, burns and hurts to the touch. I went to a walk in clinic last week with severe pain in my right shoulder...they said I have a frozen shoulder....very painful. gave me a shot of Torodal. It helped but the pain moved to the left side. Now I have pain in both shoulders and down my arms. Can someone help. Deborah
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Herpes zoster, more so 'Zoster sine herpete' is never bilateral except in special occasions like immune deficiencies. You may look for other diagnosis but most unlikely this.
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I'm just getting over shingles.  I'm a 30yo male who up until this rarely got a cold or anything!  Pain started on a Sunday, felt like mike tyson had just done a workout on my kidneys, coupled with a very achey (achy) back muscle and waves of the weidest feeling every time i took a deep breath, or coughed, which started at the centre of my torso and spread out the way.  Tuesday morning saw the rash coming up and i realised what it was so went to the doc.  Antivirals and painkillers and i'm almost better now.  One thing i've only just realised is likely caused by the shingles is i have a floating rib head out of place.  My shingles went right over this rib so i guess thats why.  Its like the rib has become straighter, less curved, and the head is sticking out the side a bit.  A bit unnerving until i figured out its probably from the shingles.  Anyone else had that?  How long does it take to go back to the correct shape/place?

Iain
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After shingle shot, uneventful at first, but within an hour I started getting the feeling of burning skin ALL OVER.  It started at the bottom of my feet and slowly the legs, thighs, face skull upper arms.  It reminds me of that flushing sensation you get from taking statin drugs for cholesterol.  Niacin.  Now what?  Do I call the pharmacy or my family doctor?
Burning in NC
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I had all the same symptons with NO rash, got a prescription for Famvir... Took the whole prescription as directed and it did help me quiet alot!!! I still have some pain, burning tingling & itching but not unbearable as it was...this has been going on about 3&1/2 weeks......Just starts all of a sudden again, but not near as bad as initially....Feel better soon!!!!
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I had severe jaw, ear, neck and facial pain accompanied by electrical sensations in my brain. I visited my physician and she diagnosed me with rashless shingles. She told me that rashless shingles are less common and in rare cases the zoster virus can rest in the nerve in your c3 vertebrae. Rashless shingles can be far more dangerous because people don't seek help or they go undiagnosed for long periods of time. She said that lack in treatment would result in eventually having a rash on my face and head, and eventually facial paralysis.  
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I have not taken a test that diagnoses me with shingles, but after over five years of pain and ultimately, recently after one doctor's ER assessment and her prescription that I take Gabba-pentin, I'm counting my stars/blessings-- whatever doctine have I- that the recurrent stabbing pain has subsided and may even be competely gone.  

I've been only intermittenty pain free for 5 years.  Since Gabba-Pentin I feel less and less pain.  I'm sleeping again.  I'm maintaining a full time university teaching job (shakily but I just hope to getthrough the probation period).  I have relationships again instead of hiding my pain an frustration with it (my doctor told me it was in my head and out of anger and frustration that I reused to beieve  was 'fine', announced in his office openly and loudly, that I was psychotic.  Six months later I tested positive for mercury poisoning 17/10 and 14/10, and now that I'm back home in Canada it turns out I test high for lead too.

It's too easy for doctors to say:  It's in your head.  I've heardstories from many women who are as fraid as I was to confide in anyone what their doctor's diagnosis is:  that it's in their head and that there is nothig wrong with them.  I feel terrible knowing ANYONE has to live with those thoughts.  Me--I'm on my way to good health and finally my life is getting ok again..  

Could it truly be the case that some doctors tell patients they, the patient is crazy, an odd option over simply telling the patient that they (the doctor themselves), simply can't determine what's wong with them?


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I have had shingles pain without a rash for 4 months.  Shingles Drops (by MBi Nutraceuticals), which is a homeopathic remedy that eliminates the pain as long as I continue to take them.  I tried to stop taking the drops when I ran out of it and the pain returned.
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I am a healthy 57 year old female - good diet, exercise (although I admit to having some stress).  I developed a "burning pain" about 2 1/2 weeks ago.  My first description to my husband was that it felt like a bad sunburn.  I fully expected to see at least reddened skin (small area on left shoulder blade), but there was nothing!  It seems like it's gotten worse, still no rash.  Even a loose cotton t-shirt moving over it hurts.  Bearable, but it hurts and is quite annoying.  Before doing any research, I said to myself, "If I could describe what I know about shingles, this would be it."  Now my suspicion has pretty much been confirmed by reading about this rare occurrence.  My question is, if I can stand the pain, do I NEED TO be taking antivirals?  If I don't take the antiviral, will I be doing more damage in any way??  Thanks for all your comments and replies!
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I have been trru this for about 3 weeks now.  I had the rash for only about 4 days.  I started taken Valtrex at the 1st site of the the rash. So the rash was gone in a few days. About 3 days after the rash was gone, my Back, hips and pelvic bones hurt so bad I could not stand. Went to ER center, since I had had back surgery year and a half ago, I was told it was from my back, that shingles had nothing to do with the pain. MRI is GOOD NO Probems, so it must be a mucle srain.  

I found on Web MD that after shingles, you can have so type of nerver damage that can stay with you for a few days, weeks, months, years or the rest of your life.  The name of this is called "Postherpetic Neuralgia"  

Good luck
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I have come full circle with the pain in one week. Started on my right side, went around my back, so I thought I slept wrong and pinched a nerve. Went to Dr. on Monday, mentioned shingles, gave me muscle relaxers and the viral anti bod aclovir? Couldn't stay at work and sit, stayed home crying in pain all last week. Today is my last day of the meds. Woke up with excruciating lower back pain. I am 54, feel like 80.. All week, the pains moved.. now back to where it started... AM I DONE YET????
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I had excruciating pain in my left lower abdomen on 12/27/11 and went to the ER.  They did a CT scan and blood tests. All normal. No fever, no rash, just severe pain.  They gave me Percocet for pain.  They told me to follow up with a gastroenterologist. While waiting for the GE appt. I continued to experience severe pain but no rash developed.  I ran out of pain meds while waiting for the colonoscopy appt. so had to go back to the ER in the middle of the night.  ER did another CT Scan with contrast, a vaginal ultrasound, and called in a Surgical Consult.  They still couldn't diagnose my problem.  I went to the Gastroentorologist and had a colonoscopy.  All tests were normal but the severe pain continued but with no rash.  I brought up the possibility of Shingles???  All the doctors (4 of the 5 I'd seen for this all said "no" there must be a rash)  One doc said "well you may develop a rash eventually."  So after all the tests came back normal, they sent me to a Gynecologist.  GYN said "no" to the possibility of Shingles and recommended a laparoscopy.  I asked him to at least run a test for Shingles before cutting on me.  He placated me and ran the test.  It came back as Positive for the titer but not active at the time.  So he said "well you may have had Shingles but it is not active now."  Of course, by this time it was already 4 weeks into the episode that started 12/27 but I was still having pain and by this time I had developed numbness of the skin over my left hip and tingling and itching of that area but the skin was also sore to touch and elastic from underwear was painful  Another IM doctor agreed to put me on antiviral meds, maybe to shut me up or at least give it the old college try.  Two days after taking Acyclovir, the pain subsided but I still had the numbness and tingling and itchy feeling that traveled from my abdomen to my left hip.  As of today (1/25/12) I have no pain.  Very mild numbness on the skin over the hip area but no pain, tingling or itching.  I am so happy to be pain free.  The main side affect I seem to be experiencing now is fatigue.  I can hardly drag myself to work.  I understand the fatigue may last for a few weeks.  Sorry to say all of this did not give me confidence in the medical community.  I am supposed to follow up with the GYN in a couple days.  I wonder if he will consider that what I had was indeed Shingles without the rash or if he will still want to do a laparoscopy.  
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I too have been suffering with back pain for over a week now. Initially I thought it had to be my kidneys because that's where I felt the pain was coming from. The next day my skin started to hurt from about the middle of my back wrapping around the front of my torso to my belly button. I too do not have a rash. My doctor diagnosed me with shingles and said a rash would develop soon, but a week later, that has yet to happen. She did put me on Valtrex and pain meds, but the pain meds really don't seem to help. Clothing is very uncomfortable and I feel as though every organ in my body is about to explode. That's how deep rooted the pain is. I can sympathize with each and every one of you. I wonder how much longer I can take this!?
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Hello, this is my second episode of what I think is shingles without a rash,and after reading the same symptoms as mine on this site, I am positive.I suffer from an arthritis called Anklylosing Spondilitis causing pain in my neck and spine. I started off last week with what I thought was a flare up of my usual back pain but then had severe stiffness in my neck and a headache that would not lift. Then followed goosebumps and a sunburnt feeling from my left shoulder, around my left side and across the front. I couldnt bear the feeling of clothing on my skin and it even hurt just to walk.This new pain is added to my already suffering body, I am 51 and like you feel 81. I have never had chicken pox but am a carrier of the varicella virus and Im wondering what has triggered off this episode. just wondering whether to go and see my GP or let it take its course. I sympathise with everyone who has tried to explain this strange feeling of pain as it is one of the worst I have ever experienced.
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I went to the hospital 3x in 3 days and finally got in to see my Dr. today. I was told at first that my pain was my appendix, but I don't have one so they said it was constipation and sent me home with a Rx for stool softeners. I know that was not the problem. I have had 2 c-sections and an appendectomy so I have no feeling on my skin on the right side of my stomach in the skin. When I told my doctor today about the pain and how just touching one spot on my skin sends shooting/burning pain throughout my entire right side, he consulted with his colleagues and did a little research for me. He said it was a 60% chance it was a rare type of shingles that has no rash. He also said it could be possible that the rash has developed under the skin in the muscle.
It is extremely painful and oxycodone does nothing to help ease the pain I'm experiencing. I was given 2 medications today. One is called valacyclovir and is used to treat the shingles virus and the other one is called gabapentin and is used for pain. Specifically pain in the nerves. I go back in a week to talk to my doctor about the condition and see if the medication is working.
I wish all of you luck in finding solutions to your pain and suffering. I know how extreme the pain is and hope that the information I've shared is helpful to you.
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thank you I AM also 61 just getting over phneumonia and thought the pain only on my left side was from lung irriatation but exrays showed nothing, but the pain is unbairable. no rash, but my dr said if he didnt know better he would think it was shingles, but while i hospital no rash appeared, so pain was pushed to soreness from all the coughing, now 2 months later, the pain is still here, still on left side. have dr app. tomorrow and now that i have read from others who had them without the rash im going to talk to him about possibly being what i have. thank you very much. frani crani, burlington, iowa
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I guess in order to be convinced of SHNGLES when no rash, I'd like some kind of test to prove this.   I've just been diagnosed with Shingles on my head (following the cranial nerve).  I've had NO rash or break out but my doctor (without tests) said I have Shingles.   Because I have headache, dizzyness, nausea and stuffiness, it feels more like a sinus problem.  I'm on the third day of an antibiotic.  When I woke this morning, I felt almost normal, then by noon the headache, dizzyness and nausea is back.  
Is it really possible to diagnose Shingles when no there's no sign of rash??
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I have had pain for over a year now after what my Doctor said was shingles but I never did break out in a rash, but I still have all the symtoms (symptoms) burning, back pain and rib pain what is going on I have had almost every test except for my stomach but I go for that next week please help if you can
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I am 24 (Young to have shingles) and I ended up with it on my left shoulder blade area and had no rash. Went a three and a half weeks before realizing what was wrong (rash is usually the indicator, and since there wasn't one...had no reason to suspect shingles) and ended up with post-herpetic neuralgia. That was in October. It is now April and still dealing with the pain. Doc has me on Norcos, Neurontin, Acyclovir, and Lidocaine patches to help deal with it. And because of the location, showers and even the simple act of wearing a bra is PAINFUL. So yes, it is definitely possible to have shingles with no rash. I wouldn't wish it upon anyone. I'm sorry for anyone else dealing with this.
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I have had shingles without the rash. If I had not had shingles previously with the rash, I would not have recognized the shingles the second time.

The first time I had stabbing pains in my side and an odd sensation when touching the skin. By the next day the pains stopped but the odd sensation turned to obvious pain. With that pain the rash appeared.

The second time I had shingles I had, again, the pains in the side for over 24 hours and the strange sensation when touching my skin. The stabbing pains stopped but the topical skin pain continued only this time I did not get a rash.
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18 months ago i went to docs with pain accross my middle he said thougt i had shingles few days later i was laid up with a pain in left leg that came every few hours and then every couple of minutes it lasted 2 weeks with no sleep hardly then it went and 2 days later couldnt see out of left eye had biopsy at eye clinic and was diagnosed with optic neuritis still got impaired vision i now have had pain in left leg and back for 14 weeks i am on gabapentin but its doing nothing  
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For all the zoster junkies out there, make some sense out of this one!

I've had four confirmed bouts of chicken pox (the full deal) over the past 20 years, and one case of shingles with the rash around my waist.

No, I don't suffer from any immune disorders or other diseases. I'm in otherwise perfect health.

After my first bout of chicken pox at 16, I began suffering from neuralgic attacks on the right side of my face every 12 to 18 months, occurring at random. That pain is an absolute killer, and absolutely nothing works to allieviate it. Fortunately the attacks only last an hour or two, leaving me utterly spent afterwards, and a telltale calling card in the form of a small painful lump on my palate that goes away after a week or so.

Added to that, whenever I am very stressed, or I'm about to come down with another illness (compromised immune system), I get a moderate shingles type pain in a particular area - sometimes inner right leg, other times waist or back. No rash. It just feels like the skin has been badly burned and moderate pain when clothes brush against the skin. The deeper pain isn't all that strong. It lasts about two weeks and serves as a good indicator that something's not right.

Although my doctor said it's not zoster, I'm convinced it is. I've been tested to the hilt , at great personal expense, and there is no sign of anything else.

The same doctor was telling me by phone that I didn't have chicken pox for the fourth time, until he saw it for himself.

Different people are susceptible to certain bugs more than others.

Fortunately this rashless shingles isn't especially severe when it hits, about once or twice a year.

I've theorised that the zoster virus is embedded somewhere in my CNS and pops up when opportunity allows it (run down, or coming down with another bug), after which my very experienced immune system takes action and prevents the virus from causing too much damage before it's banished again to some nerve cluster somewhere...

Thoughts?
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Hi Karen

I have had this pain for the past 4 weeks. There is no rash but all the symptoms of shingles. I am a homeopath and in discussion with a colleague I am now on a homeopathic remedy and for the first time have relief.
Joan
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Same thing happened to me. It's been happenin for 3 months. I just got diagnosed with rashless shingles. SAME pain, SAME spot, all the same tests, all normal. Went to pain management and that doc spotted right away. Going in for a steriod shot and a nerve block tomorrow, may 10.  
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I started feeling numbness in my left side around waist line going around to my back during the  night  time.  Thought I slept on it too long and  it caused this numb asleep type feeling in my skin??  My husband mentioned shingles.  I also have no rash.  It has only been a few days but I also don't have severe pain,  Now I also notice that I am  a little numb around left side of my lips??  Can shingles be in two totally separate locations?
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You probably have Shingles without a rash. Are you on anti-viral medication?
Have you seen a Rheumatologist? If not, talk to your doctor about those it.
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I have Shingles with no rash. Have your doctor put you on antiviral medication.
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I had stomach surgery 4 weeks ago, I have since had huge amounts of stress ..I first started with pains in my side & thought I had been sitting at the hospital in a funny position ( my mum had been very ill)..Then numbness, like a local from a dentist..The pain is on my left side & under the shoulder blade.. It radiatiates across to the stomach region..I went to the Drs who said it was Shingles and rash would follow..Now a week later and still no rash ..I have had blood tests done, urine samples etc and nothing shows up..Now I today I have got these "lumps" under my skin along my spine...Sort of like a mosquito bite ..My skin goes from aching, to numbness, to tingling, to burning .....I'm So confused.....
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I am unsure about what is happening with me. After reading all the posts I am concerned about the people feeling pain below their ribs. I have only heard about shingles, but it seems that rashless shingles may be what I am experiencing. I have a quarter size 7 of 10 pain on my flesh above the rib 3" sw of my nipple. No rash or other signs but sensitive to the touch and worst in the mornings. I tried a piece of lidocaine patch and immediate relief. 3 days of this and it imho is not a muscle pull or tear.
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I had that once, attributed it to ex wife trying to poison me. It worked itself out in a few days.
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For me, a 55 year old woman, my "shingles" started with itching and pain in my left breast.  Then pain radiated around to directly on my back behind my left breast and under my left arm.  No rash.  Dr. said pain sounded like shingles and gave me acyclovir (sp?) an anti-viral med.  Still have the pain.  If this is a mild case, I feel so sorry for anyone with a bad case.  I read that there's been a 90% increase in cases for adults because of the chicken pox vaccine for children.  Apparently, as adults who had chicken pox would be around children with chicken pox, children's chicken pox would act as a natural "booster" for adults.  But, since Merck created the chicken pox vaccine, there are no children getting chicken pox, therefore no natural "booster" for adults.  And, guess who has created the shingles for vaccines for adults...you guessed it:  Merck!  Pharmacy manufacturers and the government need to back off.  They are creating havoc with our health!  We all need to live with fewer drugs!!!
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I am 42 years old, I had a bad case of chicken pox when I was 16.  I have had tingling, burning, and pain in a band on the right side of my face. Sometimes it's on the right side of my scalp and in my ear, the worst is that my lips and even the tip of my tongue hurt.  The doctor thinks it may be shingles or Bells Palsy but said to wait to go on antiviral meds until a rash breaks out.  Almost on day 7 and no rash, I'm taking my mom's Vicoden so I can sleep at night.  After reading other's comments, it sounds like some people get Shingles without a rash and antiviral meds help so I think I'll go back to the doctor!
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Thank you so much for your comment.  It describes exactly what I am going through.  Thankfully my doctor does think out of the box and even though I only have one red spot, started treating me right away!  I am only one week into the pain, started acyclovir yessterday and hoping this won't drag out too long. Rachel
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INTERESTING!! I'M A MEDICAL DOCTOR, AND MY WIFE JUST GOT OVER A PRETTY BAD CASE OF SHINGLES (WITH RESIDUAL SCARRING). NOW, A MONTH LATER, I HAVE THIS RASHLESS SHINGLES. WHAT'S MORE REMARKABLE IS THAT IT'S IN THE SAME DERMATOMAL (SPECIFIC BAND) DISTRIBUTION SHE HAD, BUT ON THE OTHER SIDE, FOLLOWING THE RIBS WITH GREATEST SENSITIVITY TO LIGHT TOUGH, BUT LESS/MINIMAL TENDERNESS TO APPLIES PRESSURE. LIKE EVERYONE'S STORY, CLOTHING REALLY HURTS IT. I'VE READ EVERYONE'S GREAT POSTS HERE, BUT, I WANT TO KNOW HOW MANY OF THESE CASES  WERE POSSIBLY RELATED TO EXPOSURE.

I DID SOME RESEARCH ON FDA.ORG AND CDC.GOV AND HERE'S WHAT I FOUND ABOUT THE SHINGLES VACCINE:

Zostavax is an FDA licensed vaccine that helps to reduce the risk of getting herpes zoster (shingles) in individuals 50 years of age and older. Zostavax is the only US licensed vaccine that reduces the risk of reactivation of the varicella zoster virus, the same one that causes chicken pox, and remains dormant in the body after recovering from chicken pox.

FDA.gov shares:

“At the conclusion of the studies, researchers found that overall (in persons age 60 years and older) the vaccine reduced the occurrence of herpes zoster (shingles) by about 50%. The vaccine effect was highest at 64% in people between the ages 60-69, but its effectiveness declined with increasing age; to 41% for the 70-79 age group, and 18% for those 80 years of age and older.”

HOWEVER, it then goes on to say,

“For people 50-59 years of age … Zostavax reduced the risk of developing shingles by approximately 70 percent.

Well, I’m UNDER 50 (46 and not immunocompromised etc), so MY POINT IS THE VACCINE SHOULD ALSO BE OFFERED TO ADULTS UNDER 50.

CDC.gov says,

“At this time, CDC does not have a recommendation for routine use of shingles vaccine in persons 50 through 59 years old. However, the vaccine is approved by FDA for people 50 and older.”

In all honesty, though, CDC.gov does on to say,

“It is available by prescription from a health care provider. Talk with your health care provider if you have questions about shingles vaccine.
Even if you have had shingles, you can still receive the shingles vaccine to help prevent future occurrences of the disease. There is no specific time that you must wait after having shingles before receiving the shingles vaccine. The decision on when to get vaccinated should be made with your health care provider.”

HOPE THIS HELPS ENCOURAGE MERCK & GOVERNMENTAL AGENCIES TO LOWER THE AGE RECOMMENDED FOR SHINGLES VACCINE. I MEAN, YOU CAN SEE FROM THE ABOVE STATS, THAT "For people 50-59 years of age … Zostavax reduced the risk of developing shingles by approximately 70 percent." SO IT DOESN'T TAKE MUCH OF AN IMAGINATION TO SAY "GIVE IT TO THEM", and IT'S HARDLY AN ADDITIONAL LEAP TO IMAGINE "40s TOO!!" (cuz obviously there's not some magical increase in incidence at the magical age of 50). IN SUMMARY:

1.  A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE SUFFERING RASHLESS SHINGLES.
2.  I FEEL EXPOSURE TO OTHERS WITH ACTUAL SHINGLES DOES (SOMEHOW) TRIGGER IT;
3. AND ITS OBVIOUS THAT THEY SHOULD REQUIRE THE VACCINE FOR PEOPLE IN THEIR 50S (70% REDUCTION IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH??) AND THEREFORE, OBVIOUSLY, YOUNGER GROUPS.
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I am a 56 yr old female and last week while in class I started developing this painful burning feeling on my neck into the hairline.  I have never felt this before.  It continued until 4 days later I contacted my dr.  She said it sounded like shingles and to call her for the antiviral when I broke out.  NO breakout.  I read online that some people don't break out so I called her back, she couldn't see me so she sent me to an Urgent Care.  they said there is no way to prove shingles without the rash but treated me for it anyway with the antiviral.  they also gave me a low sedative muscle relaxant and IBUprofen for pain.  As long as I take the muscle relaxant it is bearable but today I forgot it at home and my neck is burning and my hair hurts where it touches my skin. I've also had the feeling like it is going into to my ear off and on and jaw line.  After reading these posts I realized that what I thought was loose bowels brought on by stress was probably the precurser to the virus.  Here's my questions.  Does no rash mean I am not contagious?  My husband has never had chicken pox and is in his mid 50's, so now I'm worried I will give it to him. Our young daughter has been vacinnated for chicken pox.  
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I full-on agree with you!  I think they should offer the shingles vaccine to people in their 40s.  I, too, had rashless shingles when I was 43.  I got my symptoms right after my daughter had a "wild form" of chicken pox.  I say "wild" form because she had received both the original vaccine and the booster prior to age 5.  The pox was contained to her face only.  Shortly after her pox went away, I got these unbelievable pains in my left knee area.  The pain felt like a knife was being stabbed into my knee over and over.  It went on for weeks.  My husband felt helpless.  I went to my doctor and they said it was peripheral neuropathy due to my being borderline Type 2 diabetic.  She also insinuated that the pain was in my head, which really frustrated me!  One day the pain was so intense I went to my local ER.  After presenting my symptoms to the ER doctor, she immediately said she believed me to have shingles.  I, too, was concerned about the diagnosis without the rash, but the doctor said that shingles can be present without the rash.  She prescribed me Valtrex and within a week my pain was nearly gone.  I had residual "nerve pain" here and there, but it eventually went away altogether.  It's now three years later and my daughter started getting chicken pox-like lesions on her face.  After seeing her pediatrician, she said my daughter has shingles.  I never knew children could get shingles.  Of course, I've been taking care of her and I believe that my exposure to her is the cause of this burning sensation I'm now feeling on my upper back near my hair line.  Ugh!  Not again!!!  This time around though I feel more certain about how to proceed.  I will give it a day or two to subside, but if not, I'll be at the doctor telling them what to prescribe ASAP!  I'm 46 and I really think I need to get the shingle vaccine shot immediately.  Perhaps I can get my doctor to prescribe it to me given my history.  We'll see!
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8-18-12 -- My no-rash shingles started with a sharp pain in my right ribs for several days.  As always I consulted the internet first and concluded I had gallbladder problems.  Finally went to my naturopathic MD who doubted it was gall bladder and thought I had a rib out of place.  With Dolorox and naproxen, the symptoms died down in a couple of weeks and stayed dormant for five months.  But in July the pain suddenly returned with a vengeance along with a bright red splotchy rash along the bra line on my right side.  Back on the internet I learned it was definitely shingles and that I should get acyclovir ASAP.  Of course it was the weekend when doctors are unavailable, but thanks to the Walgreen's Take Care Clinic I was able to get sympathy and prescriptions for acyclovir and strong ibuprofen. A month later the pain has abated somewhat but I still take 220 mg. naproxen at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and 1000 mg L-lysine morning and evening.  Doctors depress me and those who can diagnose strange pains correctly are rare, but as I'm 79, I'm trying to find a competent internist.  Good luck to my fellow shingles survivors!
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what is the proper treatment plan for getting rid of symptoms ? what pill is most effective and how much and how often do you take the meds?  I have had stabbing pain in my back .when I wake up in the morning.  Thought my rib was out.  I was exposed to some one who had shingles no rash in june and my back pain started two weeks later.
I have had herpes chicken pox and herpes in my face eye  and ears before
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Almost 4 years now that i have been dealing with the worst pain of my life. I had test after test done, blood, urine, mri with and without contrast, ct scans, breathing test and even a biopsy of my lungs. After 2 years of no answers or diagnosis and with pain that had progressed into debilitating, i was at the end of my rope. I felt like a prisoner in my own body. At 36 years old i could no longer work, the pain had become constant and had evolved in such a way that words could no longer describe it. I couldnt sleep, trying to get comfortable sitting, standing or laying down was out of the question, showering became a dreaded hardship. I gave up on the so called "specialist", especially after one had insinuated that maybe it was all in my head. I hadnt seen my primary care physician as my husband was working out of state and we had moved, but it was through him that i was able to get the testing done as most of it was by referral only. I made the decision to make an appt. with him, and even though it meant buying a plane ticket for the thousand mile trip it was well worth it.

My appt. lasted 2 and a half hours, but it was within the first 15 minutes that my Dr. had diagnosed it as Shingles with no rash, and unfortunately at this point PHN. (Post Herpatic Neuralgia) That was October 2011. He prescribed an anti-viral, gabapentin, and morphine for the pain. Morphine has never really worked for me, so we decided to try Fentanyl patches.

9 months later and i can sleep at night. (usually) I can bring in the newspaper, cook meals, do the grocery shopping etc. The pain has by no means left and there are times when i feel like someone ran a broom handle through me, but it is much more manageable on a day to day basis. I dont know how long i will need the medications, but am grateful for having some sort of quality back in my life.

I had heard of shingles before, but didnt know anything about it really. I do know that i have never presented with a rash, not then not now. But the symptoms, the burning, shooting, piercing, excruciating stabbing pain as well as the intense fiery itching. All scream Shingles.

It gives me a great sense of relief, having a diagnosis and knowing that im not crazy. Its funny that after all the time, energy and money spent on these so called "specialist" that it only took my pcp 15 minutes to figure it out and all he did was listen to me.

I fly back and see him every 3 months and consult with him monthly. He has never promised a complete recovery and i wouldnt expect it. But i feel that progress has been made and at least i have some kind of answer to what has plagued me the last 4 years. For now, im hopeful. I take one day at a time. Shingles with no rash? Yeah it exists, and knowing this has taken unnecessary stress out of my life.

My sympathies go out to everyone suffering from this debilitating affliction. Thank you for letting me share my story, and i hope that someone can take something positive from my experience.
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I am a little late in my comments, but maybe it will be useful for others searching.  I was diagnosed with shingles just this week.  I really knew nothing about shingles so I did a lot of research while laid up in bed.  I now believe that I had my first symptoms well over a month before any rash appeared.  About 6 weeks ago I felt a horrible burning sensation on the left side of my chest that showed absolutely no outer rash, redness, nothing.  I couldnt even wear a simple chain necklace.  Could not touch it.  This lasted about 3 weeks.  I never had it checked and eventually the burning sensation went away, but I was left with a dry, leathery spot in the same area.  About 4 weeks after that patch disappeared, I started getting spots on my forehead and scalp.  I also believe that unexplainable pain in my left foot about a week prior to the outbreak was also a sympton.  All of this was on my left side.  I feel for anyone with this type of pain.  I always thought shingles was an irritating skin condition.  UGH...the discomfort of the actual spots on the skin are NOTHING compared to the pain coursing through my body.
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I am wondering if I also have rash less shingles!! I am only 45 and for about 8 years now I will get pain as described by others in this feed. I can say that it usually hits me on my left side of my scalp and sometimes into my temple.  I have also had the same feeling on the outer of my upper left leg. For my second day I have had it on the top of my head to my right side about the size of a soft ball! These pains are only slightly reduced with Advil. The strange thing is they do not last more than 3-4 days each time. Could I be getting 'zoster sine herpete' -???
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I am a 29 yo male.  I was having a bruised sensation over my ribs on my right side for a couple of days starting a week ago.  It felt like I was punch in the ribs, and I could not remember doing anything that would have caused this.  There was no actual bruise either, but there are 4 bumps that look like bug bites.

I was having other symptoms as well, such as headache, fatigue, pains in my sides, and now some on and off again burning in my chest but on the opposite site of my body, probably due to stress.  My was was diagnosed with a rare illness a few months back and have been under so much stress, which is probably what triggered this all.

Anyway, a week after the sore ribs started and 4 bumps, I went to urgent care.  I told them I was worried it might be my kidneys or shingle but I don't have a rash.  Dr said he thought it was shingles and that I would either get a rash soon, or not get one at all.  He put me on valtrex and the next day after starting the meds my stomach started getting itchy and now the band on my right side over my ribs is getting much itchier, but still not a rash.  

I am only two days into my meds, so we will see what happens.  I am not in a ton of pain, but I do get sharp twinges in my side every once in a while, that feels like a swimmers cramp. My skin is itchy and burns a little.  And little pains in my back and joints.  I am pretty tired as well.

I will try to update after I finish the valtrex in a week.
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I take 400 mgs acyclovir, twice a day. Keeps me from breaking out but does not help phn.
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I know exactly what you mean, Carol. I also do not have a gallbladder, but this pain is worse in the gallbladder area, so it made me think that it was involving the ducts from my liver. But this weird stuff has traveled within me. It started out in my right side, wrapping around from back to front. Then after some chiropractic adjustments it settled down, so I assumed it had been a subluxation of my spine. But then I had it around my middle, about a 4-inch band around me at the navel area. There was pain, but also the severe sensitivity to my skin where it hurt for my clothes to touch there. But I could place my hand there and push hard, which would NOT hurt - so weird. It was like the pain was in the nerves under my skin. I went to a manual therapist who told me that he couldn't help me and that it sounded like a neuro-toxin such as shingles to him. I told him that there was no rash there, and he said that there didn't have to be. I also had a radionics expert tell me that she detected neuro-toxins within me, which are the result of chemtrails dumped on us in our area. I am presently enduring the pain and over-sensitivity and have tried all the natural remedies I am aware of. I have also done extensive electronic zapping to kill the viruses, bacteria, parasites and other vermin. It seems to help me some, but then it comes back with a vengeance. I am having to spend too much time on myself and just wish that there would be an answer once and for all to this problem. I personally believe that this is a man-made neuro-toxin that has bombarded us, in line with other made-in-the-lab pathogens, such as the LYME spirochete and the bacteria that accompanies it (which my son has contracted). We are definitely under attack. I am so sorry for all of you who are going through this pain, as I can truly sympathize. I pray that the Lord will supply a solution for us all very soon.
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thanks for your comments and experiences being told to me. this week starting sometime on saturday december the 8th this year 2012 I was so full of pain. yes it began on me also. can we laugh? wow, on my left side from my seat down my left leg to the left side of my foot, thinking it was only a pinched nerve, after going this week to my chiropractor, having put it off in case the pain would just go away and didn't, I did go to my doctor of chiropractic. he did adjust me after the machine massage was finished. did the usual acupuncture. everything was done. all the adjustments were completed. everything was in order functionally via the spine. but the pain still persisted. take another night of wait and see. decided to go to another clinic. they don't have a medical doctor. got their list for the saban clinic. called them up and they don't have any open appointments till january 10th! i could try and go in the morning at beverly or another one in los angeles route but the next step was go by the chiropractor and let him know what i felt like last evening and this morning. as soon as i got to his office and spoke before his person of my situation he said to come in and realized it was the same as other of his clients experiences. he said that i had a form of shingles. he said there is a vaccine that costs 350 or so dollars that one of his other clients did not have money to get either. so others said they took antivirals to get rid of what only pain for a while or forever? I can hardly be comforted. i haven't really a family to care for me and i am without assistance. i hope that something good happens for us and wish there comes an end to this neuro toxin development upon us making both old and young and middle aged and poor and rich and inbetween folk hurt like this be cured.
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have u had a mri of your knee, could be a torn or injured maniscus?
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I have had many bouts with pain under my left shoulder blade and will suffer for about a week and then it goes away.  Last October (2011) I also went to ER thinking it was something more serious.  In the past I thought it may have been a muscle pull or cold in the back. The hospital found everything negative and sent me home. I get this at least once a year.  This passed Friday I woke up with the beginning of the pain, it has gotten prgressively worse and has not subsided at all.  I called my doctor, got checked...did some blood work but could not find any specific reason or cause.  He referred me to an orthopedic man, thinking possible bursitis but orthopedis couldn't explain it traveling down to my right elbow.  Today I go to a neurologist!  I too am thinking shingles without a rash.   I am a 56 year-old female who is not a smoker, excersises regularly and is not overweight.  I eat well too and I am so frustrated that no one can tell me why I am in such pain and why is comes and how to get relief!
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Howdy new community,
Can't believe I have ended up here after all my 40 year old body has been through! 2 major accidents that have left me with lifelong problems 20 and 21 years ago. Since the past four years, 2 knee surgeries, wrist surgery, 2 major abdominal surgeries... all while caring for three 3 little ones 7and a half, 4 and a half, and 2 and a half.  While pregnant with the two and a half year old I got the swine flu that ended up an ear infection that went so deep it got into my ear bones and went systemic!  Thankfully we survived and his only damage that we can tell are the white stains on his teeth from the antibiotics he received while in utero.  After years of stress and an occasional excruciating stabbing pain behind my right ear (the one with the worse of the infections) I was suddenly brought down HARD yesterday while caring for the four of us with the flu. Two days ago I was sweating and freezing within moments of each other. Yesterday I was just plain freezing.  Under three blankets all day on the couch alternating babies snuggling me for their warmth during our all day movie watching, though truth be told I just lay there with my eyes closed until someone whined for popsicles, juice or a toy swiped by a sibling. The pain behind my ear was excruciating for about 36 hours, it would come and go every few seconds or minutes depending on if I was lying in a hot bath with the lights out.  After realizing I was making the same sounds I had made while delivering three 9 pound babies with no medication I knew I needed to go to Urgent Care this morning.  A very long 45 minute drive and a two hour wait once there and the doctor surprised me.  No ear infection!  I had just seen my ear doc last week for a follow up from a dizzy fall I had in the night when I cracked my ear on the edge of the dresser as I went down hard in the dark.  He had drained the fluid from the cartilage so I hopefully don't end up looking like a kickboxer with Cauliflower ear. He also cleaned my ears out so I knew they would be squeaky clean for the doc today although with no pain in the actual ear canal I was just assuming the nerves were doing something weird.  They were, the doc this morning told me Shingles!  He looked for a rash under my hair and found none and said he hopes we started the antivirals in time to prevent them. I had chicken pox at 6 months old and what do you know...so now I am taking 2 different antivirals, an antibiotic and cough syrup with codeine.  Aiyiyi! I have learned three major things today... 1) I hope I am one of the lucky ones to have this be my ONLY experience with Shingles.  2) Like preventing cauliflower ear, immediate attention is mandatory when shingles is in question.  3) I will definitely be getting my kids the chicken pox vaccine when they are all better from this flu.  It seemed like a silly one but after this experience I couldn't let them face it.  I do have fear about introducing to their perfect bodies this little creep of a virus and I read on this post about the 61 year old that developed shingles months after her vaccine...  Hang on people, this is what they call the human experience ;)
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Hi, last night the hospital in Saskatchewan told me that I have shingle's and gave me a prescription to fill if the rash appears. I did have some redness on my left side mid back, but this morning that redness is gone. Right now I am just watching it closely.
I'm in severe pain in my lower spine and a burning sensation into my left groin.
It's extreme pain and I received muscle spasm meds and nerve meds.
They are not working very well yet, but I am hoping still. This is my Fourth day of extreme pain in my spine.
All of my family claim that I have "never" had chicken-pox so this is really baffling me.
Please let me and other's know how everything turned out for you.

Thank you everyone.
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chezza1968……………….

Hi, last night the hospital in Saskatchewan told me that I have shingle's and gave me a prescription to fill if the rash appears. I did have some redness on my left side mid back, but this morning that redness is gone. Right now I am just watching it closely.
I'm in severe pain in my lower spine and a burning sensation into my left groin.
It's extreme pain and I received muscle spasm meds and nerve meds.
They are not working very well yet, but I am hoping still. This is my Fourth day of extreme pain in my spine.
All of my family claim that I have "never" had chicken-pox so this is really baffling me.
Please let me and other's know how everything turned out for you.

Thank you everyone.
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Hi there...I'm not sure how long ago you posted this, but I am experiencing the EXACT symptoms. It started out as excruciating ear pain leading me to my family Dr with him telling me that I had an outer and middle ear infection. He put me on strong antibiotics and it just kept getting worse! It was unbearable and had me in tears constantly. I ended up at the emergency room where they changed my antibiotic again to biaxin and after 4 days on that garbage it was still getting worse, that's when the facial paralysis started. Terrified me!  I couldn't hear anything out of my ear except a loud muffled ringing sound. I ended up at the emergency room again SO sick and they admitted me. I had tons of tests ran with no real results pointing to a diagnosis. The ENT specialist finally said he was going to treat me for shingles with the Ramsey Hunt syndrome. I was in the hospital for 5 days. I was put on valtrex, prednisone pack and keflex. He has me taking 1000 mg of the valtrex 3 times a day but the EXTREME fatigue and shortness of breath has me on a break. Please respond back
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I, too, have been suffering it seems all year long!  Mine started with 3 week case of bronchitis....ok for 2 weeks...then major sore throat , fever over 105 and hospitalized for a week. Had tons of tests done and saw (its felt like) every specialist in town)!  
1 week later came home and 5 days later started feeling terrible pressure/pain in chest thru to my back (right side).  Went emergency room (they knew me well by then) as thought it was a heart attack.  They sent me home with Vicodin. Started rounds of doctors again and pain began to burn - terribly under right breast around side and to back.  Skin leathery feeling and tender spots on bones around area.  It was not until this past Monday (april fools day) that my brilliant dermatologist ( whom I should have seen weeks ago) diagnosed this as shingles with no rash!  I had a miscarriage as an adult having chickenpox I got from someone with shingles.
I ended up having an epidural block today ...also lucky enough to know the best pain doctor in town...wish I could put names down...but don't think I am allowed to.  Started Valtrex on Monday...not sure if helping, but for the first time tonight, didn't need my Vicodin!  Also forgot to mention my PCP started me on gabapentin about 3 weeks ago...it has done nothing!  He was convinced it was not shingles......AS THERE WAS NO RASH!!!
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I have been having the same symptoms on my right side upper rib cage and the pain and discomfort spreads from one half of my back to the front under the breast bone, feels like I have been punched! No rash has appeared. My rash appeared on the same side but on the bridge of my nose and scalp. This started last Summer and then I ended up with the pain in the lower jaw which was tremendous. Went to see the Doctor who thought it might be shingles but wasn't too sure and I am still going back to see him. He also put me on anti seasure meds for the itching and anti-viral meds plus creams and Tramadol for the pain. I must admit the anti-viral med worked a little but I heard that the virus can stay dormant in your system and once triggered by stress can re-appear so I guess keeping the stress to minimal helps but I will let him know about the rib pain as I did think it was not the same. Nice to talk with people who have the same symptoms.
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Middle of March I started getting pains on my right side just under the rib cage. The pains got worse and seemed to move down and around the hip area. Ultrasound and X-rays did not show any problem. The sensitivity on the skin in the area seemed to change and was like a numbness (over quite a large area). The pain was like a severe burning sensation near the surface, Eventually my doctor referred me to the ED at the hospital where after several tests the doctor there diagnosed shingles - but without the rash. After about six weeks the pain had disappeared, but even now the skin sensitivity in the area is still strange - like a numbness.
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Actually, this sounds like Lyme Disease. My son, mother and I have all had it and the Specialist we saw in Connecticut explained that the Lyme info out there is mostly wrong. The majority of people that contract Lyme Disease never get the telltale rash. Many never see the tick that bit them. The tick can transfer the virus within 4 hours of biting, not the 24 hours many claim. I had excruciating pain in my neck and back. Nothing helped. Exhausted. The common "Western Blot" Lyme Disease test is 50% accurate only. There are 50% false negatives but no false positives. My specialist took four vials of blood for four separate Western Blot tests. Two came back negative and two positive! Also, most ticks transmit secondary viruses at the same time. Some of these are deadly. Find a specialist to test him properly. Good info at LymeDisease.org
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Hello.  I had shingles too and the post-herpatic pain. (after shingles pain)  I only had one pimple and at that time Acyclovir was not available.  Needless to say, I suffered with terrific pain.

Now when that pain flares up I take  APIS MELLIFICA 30 x.    It is available at the health food store and it is a remedy derived from the whole honeybee.  

Three pellets every 15 minutes to start.  The see if it helps - then 3 pellets twice a day for three to five days.

I sincerely hope this remedy helps all of you - shingles is no laughing matter and without the pimples, I think the pain is at least 10 times worse!
The doctor told me my shingles had "gone inside".  
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My heart goes out to all of you fellow sufferers - I have been experiencing exactly what you, each, have described - zoster sine herpete...which means shingles WITHOUT RASH.  It is not commonly known by doctors, in general, but is documented in ongoing research.  You can "google" zoster sine herpete and will find extensive articles.  I was hospitalized with this, my 8th documented episode!  I received an  antiviral (but too far into the illness to do any good) plus Tylenol 3 (Tylenol + Codeine) every 4 hours for severe pain (around the clock), Ultram every 6 hours for moderate pain (around the clock), Flexeril 3 times a day for relaxing muscles + pain.  I continued these meds until I no longer felt the pain...6-8 weeks.  I had excruciating pain in my right hip - the virus had settled in my S1 area, near the sciatic nerve and it would spasm and send electric shock type pain down the length of my leg. I made the mistake of applying the Lidocaine patches right on the area of pain and only made it 10x worse.  In the hospital, I was on IV pain meds + Flexeril until my muscles stopped spasming (2 days).  This was the worse pain I have ever experienced and I hope this information will be helpful to those of you who can't get your docs to listen and investigate this rare form of shingles.  There is help out there.  Thank God I have a doc who thinks outside the box.  Good luck.  
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hello my name Chrystal Montgomery... ive been having all  the same symptoms.. but my eye site.. its blury at times.. did this happen to you... i finely dont feel crazy.. ever test that they have done on me came back good.. ive been telling my husband over a year now that something wrong.. and everyone look at me like im crazy... finely my doctor told me she thinks i have shingles.. im really praying thats what it is .. so i can go back to having a life.. thank you for sureing your story it really gave me hope... hope to here from you.. have a good day

                                          Chrystal Montgomery
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So sorry this is happening to you, too.  Shingles is called exquisite pain by the doctors as it is past the 10 stage of pain.  
       L-Lysine helps to heal Shingles and Lutein and Bilberry help with the eyesight.
      So glad your doctor was smart enough to diagnose you.  Hope you don't get Shingles again.
      Doctors tell you that once you have it, you are immune... sorry that isn't true.
      I have the Post Herpetic Neuralgia (shingles pain after shingles are gone).  Gets bad at times and have been to the ER where the doctors gave me Acyclovir.  (Bless their hearts)
        Take care and try not to stress too much.
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Thank you for sharing your experience with shingles without the rash. I am currently experiencing the pain and numbness on my left side. My doctor has prescribed pain medication and an antiviral,but nothing has brought me much relief. I continue to go to work and take care of my family, but I don't know how much more of this I can take. I am truly looking forward to this coming to an end soon.  
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I've had something similar my left side of my face feels itchy but like I burned it at the same time, my eye feels itchy and irritated. My head hurts on the same side I'm scared :/... I'm 23 can I get shingles??
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YES!  It really does.  And my gall bladder was removed years ago.  Several Dr.s also checked me, saying I did NOT have shingles either.
I too, have had that strange, odd feeling in abs. area for months.  Approximately 1 month ago I began feeling dizzy.  Dr. said it was nothing.
I then had an earache which led to headaches.  Again saw Dr.  Again it was
nothing.  I found a knot on head, (as though I had been hit) and it DID break open into Shingles rash.  I have finally been diagnosed with Shingles
and given the medication for it.  Am still healing.
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You and I have exactly the same symtoms (symptoms), the pain is horrific. three weeks with no rash, three doctors, emergency rooms,exrays, misdiagnosis no insurance so the cost has run about $10,000. finally because I was told I had a kidney stone I applied a heating pad hoping to get some relief from the back pain the next day I got a rash. T I went to a wo days later I went to a urologist office and a nurse took one look at me and said."You have shingles" Doctors should be trained to look at shingles for a solution if anyone tells them they have severe pain or tingling sensation even if there is no rash. Is there no blood test for this disease? Now I am on anti viral medication but the pain in my kidney area is still really bad how long does this last? And I am so relieved to have found this discussion group, I was begining to think I was going crazy.
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   Sweetie, I am sorry that you have shingles.  It can last for a very long time or a very short time.  Sorry. We can't know how long.  It's different for every person.  It is especially sad when you see a little kid with it.... how can they tell you how badly they hurt?  
   it is so frustrating when you don't have a rash and the doctors can't diagnose you.  I was very fortunate to have doctors that recognized it before my first "pimple".  But that was so many years ago that there wasn't anything except NSAIDs they could give me.
No anti-viral meds.
     I have since been to the urgent care at least twice and because I had shingles before, they gave me Acyclovir for my pain - just in case I was getting them again.  Thankfully it worked for me.
     L-Lysine works against Herpes Simplex and does afford some relief.  And the Apis helps with the pain.  Available at a health food store.
     Hope this info helps you.
Wishing you the best outcome
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  At 25 years of age I had chicken pox, a week later after the sores healed I had burning pain over 20% of my body mostly the upper . It even hurt to have my shirt touch my skin. I worked out side in construction it was almost unbearable. I now am 49 years old I have dealt with it so long that I am now accustomed to it's frequent appearances. early on it came on aprox. 6-7 times a yr ,4-5 days at a time now I have dealing with many work injuries, and the shingles seems to attack areas that are stressed. I will also wake with an ear ache that will grow to feel like an ear infection , it will even hurt when I swallow. A day later no pain at all.this lasts about 4 days.  I have a lot of nerve pain from pinched disks, so I take a narcotic which doesn't do anything for the shingles. but my doctor prescribed me Lyrica which has stopped it completely. I had stopped taking it because I was taking to many meds and the attacks came back, now I am back on the Lyrica and it has stopped it.
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  If a doctor suspects you have shingles with no rash and he gives you the anti-virus meds - take them immediately!  Don't wait to see if you will break out with the rash.  The pain is immediate - so take the meds and don't wait.
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This information has been very helpful, though, saddening to hear about how painful most are when afflicted with shingles. I was told I have shingles under my eye this past Friday, but I was not in the kind of pain many have described. It started after a very stressful event with stinging pain, prickly to touch, and radiating stings, swelling soon started under my eyelid. I took Ibuprofen to sleep, but it was not excruciating. My doctor sent me right away to an ophthalmologist, and he said it could be early shingles, but my eye itself was great. He said not take the anti viral Valtrex my Internist prescribed unless another vesicles erupted. I developed a low grade fever and more swelling. My husband a dentist suggested I start the Veltrex, I started it on the third day of these symptoms and finally today after five days, the virus feeling is waning as well as the facial and eye swelling. I am perplexed if I do have a mild shingles, but caught it before it worsened. Any thoughts or insights would greatly be appreciated. I am 56 years-old. I am thinking I should get the vaccine???
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     Whether the vaccine helps or doesn't is the question.  At first we were told that once you get shingles you never get them again.  That was a lie.
    The shingles shot can cost anywhere from $250 to $500 depending on where you live and what is available.  it it not covered by insurance, not even by the military or Medicare nor Medicaid as we found out.
     My mother got the shingles shot but I didn't.  I have post herpetic neuralgia ( pain after shingles)  - when it gets bad I go to Urgent care and they give me Acyclovir to prevent getting the shingles again.  Usually works right away. (and it is covered by my insurance.)  
  So , there you have it.  Your decision.  

      Hope this helps you decide which way to go.
Wishing you the best.
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I personally don't get any swelling or blistering, I simply get a field of pain similar to having a steam burn with no visible effects and no way to curb the pain.My attacks usually sneak up and I don't realize what the real cause of the pain is until the 2nd or 3rd day when it starts to peak. I can't imagine having blisters or swelling on to of it. Did the doctor say weather you would be susceptible to infection during an attack.
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I just read your post and wanted to respond.  In October 2013 I started having back pain and extrem fatigue.  My lymph glad above my right ear started swelling. By that night I had a headache with sharp shooting pains on the right side of my hear. My ear was also hurting and had a muffled sets.....like an ear block. I took hydro codeine that I had been given when my tonsils were removed and I was able to sleep that night. The next day I went to the dr and was diagnosed with shingles .....no rash...just raised area all near my ear. I was put on steroid and valtrex 3000mg a day. One day I would feel good next day exhausted and headache for over a week. Within 2 weeks, I again came down with exact symptoms this time with one pock raised near my ear on right side of my face. There was a rash looking like it was developing but got back on steroids and antiviral valtrex at 3000mg per day. I finally got back to work...trying to make up days missed from these two shingles attack. Thanksgiving night I had a dull headache and my ear once again started getting that miuffeled congested feeling with pain shooting through it. I also has a pock pop up under my chin on right side with several raised areas near my right ear again. I immediately started valtrex and back to my family dr. Who is baffled. She sent me to ent who referred me to an infectious disease dr. They took 6 tubes of blood to check my immunity system. All came back good. As of today dec. 15 I still have not returned to work as I came down with an upper respitory infection as well. The drs do not know why I have had 3 outbreaks within 2 months. No one can give me answers or help. I will start taking 500mg of valtrex a day to see if it will keep me from getting another outbreak. I have been under stress for over a year and personally think it was more then I could handle maybe as I was feeling so overwhelmed by the time this shingles kicked in the 2nd time I asked to be given something to help with my anxiety. Started taking Zoloft and has helped tremendously. The Zoloft calmed my anxiety which felt like a constant adrinaline rush that wouldn't shut down.

I am a flight attendant and plan on returning to the air next week. Hoping my ear doesn't start again. I still am getting headaches and shooting dull pains in that ear.

Hope this helps....
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     When I get the pain in my ear or near it I find that Gabapentin (Neurontin) helps.  It is nerve pain and it sometimes feels like neuralgia or neuritis.
    Hope this helps someone.
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I have this right now.  I had the shingles vaccine in June on Fathers Day just so I wouldn't get this. Now I have the symptoms but no rash.  It's not as bad as others are explaining but it is bad enough that I don't really want clothes touching that area of my skin.  
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I went to a doctor, I have been diagnosed  herpes zoster ophthalmicus, and still have til now (6 months). though the blister and "excruciating pain" was gone in one week time, by  megadosing vit B-12 and vit- C. but still i can feel there are still viruses in my brain. The incompetent doctor just gave me expensive pain relievers, and just advised me to eat plenty and rest. but it's herpes zoster ophthalmicus, and a very serious disease. so had to do something and me being a reasearcher, i searched google, and found b-12 and vit-c for herpes virus.

now im trying hulda zapper for 3 days now, but still the same, i am not fully healed yet. but this zapper is 15hz and is not tuned to kill the zoster virus, which should be 418hz - according to hulda clark. I just don't know if it will work though. Though in the past i successfully treated my tuberculosis with 34khz zapper. I can really attest to that.


So for those of you that still have this virus, it will help you to megadose with b-12 (sublingual),
and vit c.

you may want to supplement with L-lysine too.

Goodluck to everyone and be well.
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418khz i mean
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Hello, Ive just read your post about your son's suspected shingles, posted in 2008.  I'm desperately trying to find help for my 8 year-old niece, who is currently suffering extremely similar symptoms.  In early autumn she was diagnosed with 'some form of the herpes virus, maybe shingles', and after treatment, it seemed to go away.  In November, however, she was given the flu vaccination, and since then, she has had unexplained "scratches" appearing on her body - mainly arms and legs, but also on tummy and back, now on her face - which bleedand cause her great distress.  she also is in great pain - like your son - and cant stand baths or showers.  Please, was your son ever diagnosed?  Was there some medicine that helped him?  I am certain that the flu jab has triggered the herpes virus to react in her body, but no doctors or specialists appear to know what this condition is, and no-one will help us..  I wonder if you have any advice for us?
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    Thank you so much for the info.  I am fighting Zoster sine Herpete (Shingles without the rash) right now.  Doctor prescribed Acyclovir and it made me so dizzy and nauseous that I can't take it.  
    Fortunately I do have Vit. C and Vit. B 12!  Going to take that now.  

    
  
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    I am so sorry that your niece is suffering in this way.  Have you tried putting oatmeal or milk in her bath.  It is quite soothing for chicken pox and possibly for shingles, too.
    Amlactin lotion comes to mind as it has healing properties that help children with several kinds of skin conditions.
     Please let us know if this helps and keep us posted on how she is doing.  Poor baby.
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I had severe shingles pain around my bra line on my right side only. After a few days of severe pain with no relief I started to get nauseous and vomit. I got very dehydrated and finally went to the E.R. Luckily I had a good Dr. who diagnosed me as having shingles with NO rash. I was treated with 3 liters of I.V. solution for the dehydration, acyclovir, gabapentin, and tramadol for pain. It helped a lot. A few months later I started to have the awful pain return around the right side of my waist. Still no rash. I kept on the above treatment but the post herpetic neuralgia lasted a little over a year. I am pain free and hopes that pain will never return. For some reason hot soaks in the bath helped too.
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I am nearly 84 - have HAD metastatic Prostate Cancer (from 2001) and severe AF (from 2005) Got over my cancer 2009 (literally) and last year had 2 Ablations (AVnRT & AF). So I was looking forward to a new life-span ahead. Suffered with Herpes Simplex from late teens and more recently from Zoster - including recurring bouts of shingles over the last 40 years. At first I used to have a mild rash with the shingles bouts - and which lasted actively up to about 6 days (maximum) each time. Then from about 30 years ago, even the rash hasn't appeared. My Shingles tended to take second place to the more serious maladies I was enduring.   But now - at a time I was feeling better every single day since my last Ablation in August 2013 - I have been suddenly blighted with Shingles attacks where the sort of incessant 'ambushing' stabbing pains become difficult to ignore - even though I have a very high pain threshold.
However 2 weeks ago, "The Daddy" of all Shingles attacks suddenly began - seemingly within the region of my Prostate (firstly even making me wonder if there was a recurrence of my Carcinoma) but which moved, first towards the inside of my thigh and finally settling at a place on the femur region - Midway between Hip and knee.
I have tried Gabapentin and Tramadol. Co-Dydramol - as well as 800 mg Ibuprofen (always on a full stomach - due to being on Warfarin)
I have had 5 sleepless nights and completely ruined my sleep pattern.
I am still very active and deeply involved in advising and comforting fellow Cancer sufferers.
I walk a minimum of 3 miles per day and also exercise on my treatmil and Cycle/rowing machine - a further hour every day.
So, I would say that for a man of my age, I am quite fit.
Now this stupid seemingly inexplicable Shingles Syndrome has blighted me; it is even painful at some times during exercise (the soreness of the local skin/tissue/muscle area is very tender)
Acyclovir is available here in the UK - but only people of age 70 OR 79 are eligible. I have asked if I can get vaccinated privately but the Manufacturers told me this was impossible at the moment because the whole production has been directed to the NHS (National Health Service!
So my options seem to be limited and at this stage, I am trying to find out just what the Physiology of this terrible blight is made of.
I will then research the subject (Just as I did for Cancer) and hope I come up with some relief for me - and then - for whoever wants to benefit.
I will never give up!
Ernstuk777
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   Wow!  I am so sorry that Acyclovir is not available to you.  That seems so cruel to me.  (I found it makes me sick, so I can't take it).  I take Apis Mellifica and lemon water with cayenne to help me with the pain.  So far it is helping.
     Lachesis and rhus toxicodendron are also recommended for shingles.

  I hope this information was helpful.
Wishing you the best.
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I can't understand why Acyclovir is not available to you in the U.K. It is an anti-viral drug that seems to help. There seems to be no rhyme or reason why some people get the rash or not and some people have more pain than others. We know it's a reactivation of the chicken pox virus and the virus is in the nerve roots of the spine. I'm beginning to wonder if it depends on the immune system as to whether we get a rash or not, severe pain, or recurring episodes of rash and pain. I hope you can get acyclovir to see if it helps you!
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I know it has been a long time since you posted this, but I think I had similar symptoms and no rash.  Last fall, for about a month, I had migrating pain in my left leg.  It was terrible and doctors could not give me an explanation.  I could sleep maybe an hour even after taking a sleeping pill, and then the pain would wake me up again.  It was only in my left leg and hip and the pain was migrating, changing locations.  I have had the shingles shot, and cannot imagine what the pain would have been like if I had not had it.
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Did your pain finally go away? That is the exact thing I am experiencing! Stopped taking the anti-viral because I never got a rash but the pain is just getting worse!  I would love to know if yours went away!
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How were you diagnosed with zoster sin herpete? Blood test? or some other lab test.
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How were you diagnosed with zoster sin herpete? Blood test? or some other lab test.
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Currently it is a self diagnosis. I mentioned it to my doctor at my initial visit and he laughed it off. I have since done some research and got more info on Zoster Sine Herpete. I called my doctor to see about a blood test an he said it doesn't work. I have a follow up visit with him tomorrow to tell him nothing has improved, if anything the tenderness and burning is worse. I am sure he'll be real helpful, NOT!!
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Absolutely! I had undiagnosed shingles for 25 years. I never broke out. I finally had a doctor do a herpes zoster test. I had shingles bilaterally in every nerve bundle at the same time. The were so severe my spine was pulled 90 degrees to the left from scar tissue, for about 28 years. My diaphragm was entrapped in my chest, the lower floating rib on my right side was pulled inside the rib cage. I had scar tissue in every place on my body. I started on this oath when I was 27. My doctors expected me to commit suicide before I was 30 because of the pain. God helped me through this difficult time. I am now 61. Pain free with the exception of some post hermetic neruragia around my right knee.

I finally have the scar tissue broken down and with the help of a medical massage therapist I am almost recovered.

Here is the good news after 20-30 cases of shingles I had ten shingles vaccine. I have been shingles free for 3 1/2 years with no medication.

Run as fasr as you can and get the vaccine. Stop the possibility of reacurrance. Live and learn to be happy.
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