Anyone who has recovered from chickenpox can develop shingles.
Most common factor in developing shingles are being older than 50, but I’m not 50 yet! However, some factors are: weak immune system and stress and those who are undergoing some treatments. This answer my case, STRESS 🙂
The pain is too much! That I couldn’t bear it! To the point I was injected with pain killers.
It all started with sharp pain on my left side chest, numbing of my left side arm and sharp and stabbing pain on my left side back below my shoulder around my left chest.
Initially, from NMC I was prescribed with pain killer capsule alone and I was wondering only this?! The following day the pain was worst, and I’ve decided to go to Prime Medical Center in Khawaneej after some work in the morning. I’ve met a Cardiologist, Dr. Mostafa, after hearing all my complaints then he did some protocol checkups. He then prescribed me with a medicine that will calm my muscle, also ECG test and chest x-ray (front chest and left side chest). The’ve asked me to wait for the result, my ECG was normal but there is some soft sound occurring in between. My x-ray showed my heart is a little bit bigger than the normal size. However, he said nothing to worry and go home, take the medicine and comeback after five days. It was Monday, so the nurse booked me for Saturday 12nn.
Day by day the pain gets worse and worse that I couldn’t sleep and in tears.
Thursday, I couldn’t stand the pain anymore, called the clinic and Dr. Mostafa will be back only by Saturday. However, I can come and see a GP, I came morning, and I was injected with pain killers. The GP said I’m sure it’s only muscle pain.
At home, keep on searching about how to relieve the muscle pain and cold compress is one of the immediate relief for pain and it does! The following day, Friday, I was coughing, and my voice is gone. OMG maybe because of cold compress I said to myself. I’m looking forward for Saturday, I really want to know what the cause of the pain is. Every day, I’m worrying that the pain is from my enlarged heart. Watching videos about heart enlargement makes me paranoid and disturbed, so I’ve decided to stop watching anything about heart failures.
Finally, it’s Saturday!
I was advised to go straight to the treatment room, I will have my 2D Echo done. Before Dr. Mostafa started the echo, I told him that I have some rashes or like a cyst where the pain is coming from (left upper back). I showed it to him and suddenly, he said you have viral infection! This is painful and always initially suspected as symptoms of heart failure. I was surprised either, and he said it is good that I’ve mentioned about this. Dr. Mostafa and the Nurse continue the echo. I really like the way this Doctor work, he will not stop until he finds the root cause of the problem. He said that my heart has soft sound and he needs to find out what it is. It takes us almost 10 minutes sliding back and forth to my left chest all the way down around my breast. He found out that I have “Bicuspid Heart Valve” which he said I was born with it. So far, it is moderate and not required any treatment or medications. The good thing is that now I know that I have this kind of heart valve. I can take care of it at this early stage and supervise from time to time.
Now let me discuss with you the unusual finding, the SHINGLES!
Pain is usually the first symptom of shingles. For some, it can be intense. Depending on the location of the pain, it can sometimes be mistaken for a symptom of problems affecting the heart, lungs or kidneys. Some people experience shingles pain without ever developing the rash.
Most commonly, the shingles rash develops as a stripe of blisters that wraps around either the left or right side of your torso. Sometimes the shingles rash occurs around one eye or on one side of the neck or face.
Shingles is a viral infection that causes a painful rash.
Shingles is caused by the varicella-zoster virus — the same virus that causes chickenpox. After you’ve had chickenpox, the virus lies inactive in nerve tissue near your spinal cord and brain. Years later, the virus may reactivate as shingles.
While it isn’t a life-threatening condition, shingles can be very painful. Vaccines can help reduce the risk of shingles, while early treatment can help shorten a shingles infection and lessen the chance of complications.
It is not possible to have shingles if you have never been exposed to chickenpox or the varicella virus that causes it.
The signs and symptoms of shingles usually affect only a small section of one side of your body. These signs and symptoms may include:
- Pain, burning, numbness or tingling
- Sensitivity to touch
- A red rash that begins a few days after the pain
- Fluid-filled blisters that break open and crust over
Some people also experience:
- Sensitivity to light
When to see a doctor
Contact your doctor promptly if you suspect shingles, but especially in the following situations:
- The pain and rash occur near an eye. If left untreated, this infection can lead to permanent eye damage.
- You’re 60 or older, because age significantly increases your risk of complications.
- You or someone in your family has a weakened immune system (due to cancer, medications or chronic illness).
- The rash is widespread and painful
Is it Contagious?
- A person with shingles can pass the varicella-zoster virus to anyone who isn’t immune to chickenpox. This usually occurs through direct contact with the open sores of the shingles rash. Once infected, the person will develop chickenpox, however, not shingles.
- Chickenpox can be dangerous for some people. Until your shingles blisters scab over, you are contagious and should avoid physical contact with anyone who hasn’t yet had chickenpox or the chickenpox vaccine, especially people with weakened immune systems, pregnant women and newborns.
The medicines for shingles are very expensive, it is good that all are covered by my health insurance. One example is VALTREZ that cost 539AED one box.
So far, Im fine but still in pain, cough and sore throat add on to my discomfort but I’m pretty sure I will be fine soon.
Very interesting treatment is to massage the opposite side of the affected area to relieve the pain – watch the videos below to understand more.