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  1. #1
    Senior Member DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Relief from Postherpetic Neuralgia

    As many of you know, my wife has suffered for 6 years from extreme postherpetic neuralgia, a terrible pain which is caused by Shingles. Shingles especially hits and is hard on older people. Anyone who has ever had Chicken Pox is a candidate for Shingles, and no one is quite sure what causes the Chicken Pox - which remains in your body, even after recovery - into Shingles.

    In any event, both Shingles and PHN are painful. Most folks have the pain go away after a period of time.

    We have consulted specialist after specialist for a cure or at least relief. We have tried all the standard remedies (Capsaicin, etc.and the internal drugs caused such a reaction they were intolerable), and were on the verge of traveling to a specialized pain clinic in California, when our PCP called us in a couple of weeks ago with a possible new treatment.

    We tried it, and it has been great. Two weeks ago se was crying from the pain, today she had no pain.

    There are pharmacies called compounding pharmacies, which mix special concoctions. In her case, they put six different drugs into a cream which I rub on her back and side 3-4 times per day. So far, it has been just great.

    I share this because if there is anyone else out there suffering from this, they need to know about this solution.

    Also, EVERYONE - please get your Shingles vaccine shot. Medicare now covers it. You cn get Shingles more than once. Both my wife and I have recently had the vaccine, and both of us have had Shingles 20 years in the past. I still have numbness in my face from the Shingles.

    PM me for specifics - there is a compounding Pharmacy in Alabama specializing in these medicines. They also have different concoctions for other types of pains.
    Last edited by DnvrFox; 04-08-11 at 10:19 PM.

  2. #2
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    There are obstacles to getting vaccinated against shingles. Insurance can be an obstacle. Our current coverage covers it, but only from a 'network provider'. Last time I check, my PCP's large university-affiliated family practice group didn't carry it. Too difficult to store, thaw and administer, I guess. Has to be given within 30 minutes of thawing. I could check with my local Walgreen's to see if they have it, as they advertise, and run down there but that would cost about $200. With no reimbursement because they are not a 'network provider'. I am sure that I will eventually get vaccinated, even if it means paying cash.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/10/health/10chen.html

    Glad to hear the compounded concoction is helping.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
    There are obstacles to getting vaccinated against shingles. Insurance can be an obstacle. Our current coverage covers it, but only from a 'network provider'. Last time I check, my PCP's large university-affiliated family practice group didn't carry it. Too difficult to store, thaw and administer, I guess. Has to be given within 30 minutes of thawing. I could check with my local Walgreen's to see if they have it, as they advertise, and run down there but that would cost about $200. With no reimbursement because they are not a 'network provider'. I am sure that I will eventually get vaccinated, even if it means paying cash.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/10/health/10chen.html


    Glad to hear the compounded concoction is helping.
    We paid cash, getting the coverage from our PCP, who ordered the vaccine especially for us - it cost about $165 each. This was before Medicare covered the cost.

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    Check with your Public Health Office/Department. Often they will vaccinate anyone and worry about the money lately. We get most of our immunizations from our local office. They bill whatever insurance there is, or none if that is the case.
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  5. #5
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    A couple of years ago I was in my son's dermatologist's office and since she had some extra time I showed her a couple of things that had popped up. First there was the contact dermatitis from the old mineral insulation I came in contact with while remodeling my house. Then there was the little non-malignant skin cancer that I thought was a fungus. She almost laughed when I showed her my shingles. She said she had never seen a case that looked so much like the picture in the textbook. My laugh came later that day when I went to fill the prescription for the nucleotide analog that is supposed to reduce the duration of PHN. The very young female pharmacist went into her spiel on genital herpes (same drug) and got quite flustered when I told her it was for shingles. I ended up skipping the drug since it looked like a cancer promoter to me. Luckily I was one of the lucky ones (no PHN). That looks like a big bag of no fun.

  6. #6
    Senior Member OldsCOOL's Avatar
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    I got a case of the shingles this winter. Started out as nausea for 3-4 days and then the fiery, itchy lesions started in on my right side and back. Caught it in time for it to be a light case. Nasty stuff.
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  7. #7
    bobkat
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    Well worth the cost if the alternative is increased possibility of getting shingles. Not very uncommon and like Denvr F says, it can be a horrible debilitating (and expensive) disease. Yes, you can still get shingles having had the vaccine, but the odds are greatly diminished.
    For $200.00, the price of a brand new Wal Mart top of the line Huffy bike, its a no brainer!
    We have a couple of pharmacies do tit all here in town - easier for them to stock it, thaw it, give it, etc. than everyone having it in their offices - expensive inventory that could outdate, etc. Most insurance companies that I'm aware of cover it, so you can get the vaccine AND a new Huffy! LOL .

  8. #8
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    If my insurer won't do the right thing, I'll probably end up paying for it from a drugstore. I understand the reasons that most physician practices aren't able to keep it on hand.
    The vaccine does indeed have a good track record of either preventing shingles or lessening the severity of on outbreak.
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  9. #9
    Yen
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    How timely. In addition to my recalcitrant form of tennis elbow, on top of the rotator cuff pain in my shoulder (both right arm), I believe I am in the early stages of..................... ready for this? ...................... Shingles. I noticed a couple of small welts on my back Monday evening, and a new one on the front (same side) Tuesday morning along with the sensitivity to touch around my whole right side. The pain isn't much worse today, but there is 1 little blister on one of the small welts. Had the chicken pox as a child, and have been under a lot of stress w/ poor sleep + very early mornings (I leave for work at 5:30) the past several months --- all the ingredients for a nice case of Shingles. Hoping my case will be mild and short-lasting.
    Last edited by Yen; 04-13-11 at 02:02 PM.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yen View Post
    How timely. In addition to my recalcitrant form of tennis elbow, on top of the rotator cuff pain in my shoulder (both right arm), I believe I am in the early stages of..................... ready for this? ...................... Shingles. I noticed a couple of small welts on my back Monday evening, and a new one on the front (same side) Tuesday morning along with the sensitivity to touch around my whole right side. The pain isn't much worse today, but there is 1 little blister on one of the small welts. Had the chicken pox as a child, and have been under a lot of stress w/ poor sleep + very early mornings (I leave for work at 5:30) the past several months --- all the ingredients for a nice case of Shingles. Hoping my case will be mild and short-lasting.
    As fast as you can, GET to the Doctor. There are pills/shots that need to be taken within the first 24 hours or less or as soon as possible. DO IT - to relieve the severity.

    Also, the formulation is using ins helping my tennis elbow pain.

  11. #11
    Yen
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    Denver - sorry, I don't understand the last sentence about the formulation.
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  12. #12
    Senior Member DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yen View Post
    Denver - sorry, I don't understand the last sentence about the formulation.

    Oops!! Guess my computer has a flaw.

    I am using Nora's formulation on various drugs on my tennis elbow and it is helping pain at night.

  13. #13
    Climbing Above It All BikeWNC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yen View Post
    How timely. In addition to my recalcitrant form of tennis elbow, on top of the rotator cuff pain in my shoulder (both right arm), I believe I am in the early stages of..................... ready for this? ...................... Shingles. I noticed a couple of small welts on my back Monday evening, and a new one on the front (same side) Tuesday morning along with the sensitivity to touch around my whole right side. The pain isn't much worse today, but there is 1 little blister on one of the small welts. Had the chicken pox as a child, and have been under a lot of stress w/ poor sleep + very early mornings (I leave for work at 5:30) the past several months --- all the ingredients for a nice case of Shingles. Hoping my case will be mild and short-lasting.
    Most people don't realize how nasty the virus that causes chicken pox can be. It lasts after infection, usually dormant in our body, the rest of our lives and as you know can resurface when we get stressed. It is not uncommon for women to experience shingles during pregnancy but any stress can bring it on. I hope you get over it soon.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikeWNC View Post
    Most people don't realize how nasty the virus that causes chicken pox can be. It lasts after infection, usually dormant in our body, the rest of our lives and as you know can resurface when we get stressed. It is not uncommon for women to experience shingles during pregnancy but any stress can bring it on. I hope you get over it soon.
    Stress is not the only causative factor. Others include aging, cancer and lowered immune system. Then there are cases that "just happen." Other causative factors are possible.
    Last edited by DnvrFox; 04-14-11 at 07:06 PM.

  15. #15
    "Chooch" ciocc_cat's Avatar
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    I must be weird. I'm 56 and suffered a bout of Shingles back in 2001 (which I attributed to stress associated with new job). Other than the visible symptoms and the concern expressed by my eye doctor at the time, I didn't experience much in the way of discomfort. However, I seem to recall that my bout with Chicken Pox at age four was mild, too.
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  16. #16
    Senior Member DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ciocc_cat View Post
    I must be weird. I'm 56 and suffered a bout of Shingles back in 2001 (which I attributed to stress associated with new job). Other than the visible symptoms and the concern expressed by my eye doctor at the time, I didn't experience much in the way of discomfort. However, I seem to recall that my bout with Chicken Pox at age four was mild, too.
    You're not weird, you are lucky. It affects (as do most diseases) everyone differently, as does cancer, flu, arthritis, heart disease, etc., etc.

  17. #17
    Council of the Elders billydonn's Avatar
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    Had my shingles shot in January and paid the $200 knowing it would not be covered by my insurance provider. I did get it covered by my HC reimbursement account though, so at least it was paid for with before tax dollars. Those still working who have access to a HC reimbursement plan can plan ahead and withhold money in anticipation of getting the expensive vaccination.

    The shot was somewhat painful. I hope you shingles sufferers get well soon. Others.... get the shot, IMO.

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  18. #18
    Yen
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    Denver - trying to send you a PM but BF is acting up. I'm wondering if you (and the others here) had any relief from OTC pain meds such as Advil for the nerve pain during the Shingles outbreak. My doc prescribed the anti-viral Valtrex (for treatment of the Shingles itself) which seems to be drying up the spots but one spot still has blisters and the skin is still very sensitive to touch so I think rubbing anything on it (including the a pain-relieving compound) might shoot me through the roof. I also still have exquisite nerve pain that comes and goes but is there to some degree most of the time. I am not taking any pain meds because I am sensitive to side effects and the anti-viral horse pill has its own set of side effects.

    Has anyone tried OTC pain meds for relief from the excruciating pain of Shingles? At times it feels like needles poking in me, other times like a hot branding iron, other times like a large raw burn. And, sometimes (but usually not) it barely hurts at all. The Shingles is around my waist on my right side.

    I'm off work until I can bear the pain while driving or riding in the car and working, and they are understanding, but if I can safely take something for pain to enable me to go to work, then I will try that.
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  19. #19
    Senior Member DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yen View Post
    Denver - trying to send you a PM but BF is acting up. I'm wondering if you (and the others here) had any relief from OTC pain meds such as Advil for the nerve pain during the Shingles outbreak. My doc prescribed the anti-viral Valtrex (for treatment of the Shingles itself) which seems to be drying up the spots but one spot still has blisters and the skin is still very sensitive to touch so I think rubbing anything on it (including the a pain-relieving compound) might shoot me through the roof. I also still have exquisite nerve pain that comes and goes but is there to some degree most of the time. I am not taking any pain meds because I am sensitive to side effects and the anti-viral horse pill has its own set of side effects.

    Has anyone tried OTC pain meds for relief from the excruciating pain of Shingles? At times it feels like needles poking in me, other times like a hot branding iron, other times like a large raw burn. And, sometimes (but usually not) it barely hurts at all. The Shingles is around my waist on my right side.

    I'm off work until I can bear the pain while driving or riding in the car and working, and they are understanding, but if I can safely take something for pain to enable me to go to work, then I will try that.
    Sorry, nothing she tried topically worked.

  20. #20
    Yen
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    Sorry, nothing she tried topically worked.
    What about internally? Advil, Alleve, anything?
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  21. #21
    Senior Member DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Could you send your email address to Nora. She wants to share some stuff with you.
    Last edited by DnvrFox; 04-18-11 at 05:13 PM.

  22. #22
    Yen
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    OK, will do... thanks Denver.
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