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Has anyone else had reoccurring Shingles episodes?

I had my first attack of Shingles at age 58. I had blisters in my mouth on the left side only, and my primary said it was canker sores. Three days later I went to minor care where they told me that I had Shingles. They started me on Valtrex and sent me home. Three hours later I was on my bed vomiting for 14 hours.  I had Vertigo from hell! I could not move my head or the room would spin violently. Finally I asked my husband to call an ambulance- I couldn’t take anymore. I remember screaming when they pulled me from the bed and on to the stretcher. They gave me Zofran in the IV and it did nothing to stop the vomiting. In the ER the doctor had no idea what was wrong. Finally after what seemed, like hours, he came in and told me that I had Ramsey Hunt disorder. This occurs when the Herpes Zoster Virus attacks the facial nerve and the Vestibular nerve in the ear.  That is what caused the Vertigo which affected my balance. They gave me Valium and Promethazine and finally the vomiting and Vertigo stopped.  I was admitted and spent 8 days in the hospital. I had an infectious disease doctor, and a neurologist. My tongue, throat, lips and face on my left side were covered in blisters.  I got out of bed and fell - so they alarmed my bed. After about the third day the neurologist would ask me to smile and close my eye. I discovered I could do neither as the left side of my face was paralyzed. This case of Shingles had  morphed into Ramsey Hunt Disorder and now into Bells Palsy.  I could not walk without a walker.  My taste was altered with a terrible metallic taste and my lips were numb. I missed 3 months of work. I looked like I had suffered a stroke.  The nerve pain in my ear was severe and they gave me 400 mg of Gabapenten for the pain. My neurologist kept testing my facial nerves and told me that eventually I should have a 90-95 % recovery  which I did. I  am now in my third reoccurrence of the Shingles - all in my mouth, lips and face. I got it twice before each of my two hip replacement surgeries. Each time it was brought on by stress!  I keep a prescription of Valtrex and Promethazine on hand at all times as I get nauseous every time. With every episode I lose a little more control of my face. have hearing loss, balance issues and my eye doesn’t close all the way.  Most people don’t notice-but I know. I tell this story to anyone who will listen. I preach relentlessly about getting a Shingles shot. It was a nightmare.  I don’t minimize at all the pain and suffering of those that have it somewhere on their body. However I will tell you, that when it is in the facial nerve it can cause severe and permanent hearing and vision loss; paralysis of the face, loss of balance and, coordination. Thank God I recovered as well as I did. After all of this my neurologist told me I didn’t need to get vaccinated as I was now immune to getting them again. NOT§!! Amazing the misconception surrounding reoccurrence of this virus. Thankfully  my primary gets it. Shingles are no joke as you well know. Wishing you all well. I hope my story helps create a better understanding of how much people with Shingles suffer.
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