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Shingles vaccine

Old 08-06-15, 08:40 PM
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Rubble
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Shingles vaccine

Not really bike related unless you consider that it will take you off yours for a while. If the doctor suggests it, get it. Knowing what I know now, I'd have paid $10,000 for it. I had a "4 hand case" (takes 4 hands to cover it) and I was chewing pain pills like they were gummi Bears. Yes, chewing pain pills. It sucks, it's very painful, it will keep you up all night and the pain pills will keep you in a fog. It is living hell

2+ months later I'm still on the nerve pain meds but I can ride and exercise. The vaccine would have been much better.
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Old 08-06-15, 08:57 PM
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Your healthcare provider can help you decide when you can get vaccinated to help lessen your odds of another outbreak. This from the CDC:" 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. Generally, a person should make sure that the shingles rash has disappeared before getting vaccinated."

Got my vaccination when I was 60. Can lessen the chance of a shingles outbreak and can lessen the severity if you do get shingles.
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Old 08-06-15, 09:50 PM
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I've had shingles years and years ago ... it sucks for sure. Perhaps the vaccine wouldn't be a bad idea.
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Old 08-06-15, 10:23 PM
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If you do not get the vaccine and had ever chickenpox, keep your eyes open for red spots. The classic example (like I had) is in a band around the chest from back to front, like it is following a rib. But it also happens on faces and elsewhere. What you are seeing is the result of those chickenpox viri as they travel along a nerve from your spinal cord where they have been hanging out quietly the past 40 years. Tired of living in hibernation, they jump into their jalopies and set off for the coast. Along the way, they cruise through towns, pulling fire alarms and scaring the residents. Police and fire rush into action (the immune systems in your body going into overdrive). The unruly teenagers stay far in front of the authorities burning buildings. scattering farm animals, destroying a few bridges and otherwise carry on.

So, if you see those spots - go to your doctor! Get the treatment (this is an edit)! And do it within 72 ours of the first spot. After that, those kids are gone. And you will go through hell.

I saw the spots suiting up to ride home from work. Stopped at Medical on the way out. The nurse immediately told me I had shingles; that I had to make an appointment to see my doc no later than the next day. Next day, after work, I went to my doctor. He gave me the prescription for the treatment (likewise an edit), then said he didn't care what my plans for that evening were (it was Friday); that I was to go from there straight to a pharmacy, get it filled and take the first one there. I went through a miserable two and a half weeks.

When I told my mom, she told me her aunt did not go to a doctor (she had had a very bad experience with doctors who were supposed to be the best as a young woman and could never bend her knee again). She went through four months of hell. Later her sister (my mom's mom) got the spots and quickly went to the doctor, got the treatment (edit) and went through a couple of weeks like mine.

The vaccine is expensive. (~$200 as I recall.) The treatment (edit) was ~$20. But if you save that $200, you MUST stay on top of things!

Ben

Last edited by 79pmooney; 08-07-15 at 11:48 AM.
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Old 08-06-15, 11:45 PM
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My mother developed shingles a few years before she passed. It progressed into Postherpetic Neuralgia from which she never recovered. The last few years of her life was spent in constant pain from the nerve damage she suffered and their was nothing any of the doctors she visited could do to help her. Her quality of life in those last few years was very low because of the after effects of her shingles. Of course, the fact that she was in constant pain was of little to no interest to her medical providers since beyond the severe scaring and incapacitating pain she was in otherwise fine health.

Lesson learned. Next month when I turn 60 I'm going to celebrate by getting the vaccine even though it is somewhat costly and insurance won't pay for it.
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Old 08-07-15, 02:57 AM
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I know somebody that suffers from it. Suffers is the word.
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Old 08-07-15, 04:34 AM
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Yes to everything above. Had my 'attack' in the 90s; delayed before getting what was then a new/only treatment (harsh antiviral): red spots symptoms appearing over my spine on the back of my neck, tracked in a perfect line across my left shoulder/down the arm/into hand/fingers. Nerve pain is gruesome.

The antiviral stopped it, eventually, but not before I was left with permanent mild nerve damage. To this day, left arm/hand will 'burn' if I get fatigued.

Fortunately, there is a proper vaccine now; if you need it, get it.
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Old 08-07-15, 05:11 AM
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The wait till your 60 for vaccine is pure BS! Demand it from your Dr. At 50 yrs don't listen if he tries to talk you into waiting. I have 4 good friends all between 50 - 52 that got shingles this past year. One so bad he almost lost sight in one eye. This stuff is scary if you get it on your face near eyes. I saw my buddy, took one look at his face, after shivering just looking at him I called Dr. Next morning said I'm coming to see you today, had the shot next day, 51 yrs. This friend has permanent scaring on his face now. Road rash all over your face was best way to describe it. Get the shot, every cent well spent.
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Old 08-07-15, 05:30 AM
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Yup - I turn 60 this month and I'll be talking with my doc about it at my next appointment, probably next month.
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Old 08-07-15, 06:06 AM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
The vaccine is expensive. (~$200 as I recall.)
I didn't realize it was so expensive. What a racket!

The Shingles, of course, is a recurrence of the childhood chickenpox.

And.. there is some evidence that vaccinating the children makes the adults more likely to get shingles by reducing lifelong repeated exposure to the virus.

Chicken pox vaccine associated with shingles epidemic
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Old 08-07-15, 06:15 AM
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I had shingles got the shot afterwords, supposed to help preventing or getting a milder case the 2nd time around. First time no fun
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Old 08-07-15, 06:15 AM
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The insurance companies having us wait until 60 to get coverage is just wrong. There have been a number of 50+ members here that had, or had to care for a family member, with shingles. If it gets in the eyes it as a big time problem, too. It will be single sided since it is a brain related virus, (in the Herpes family,) You'll have it on either side of the body part(s) effected, but not both. Next primary care visit mine gets done, I'll pay the $250.00 our provider charges and not take a chance on one more year being alright.

Do a search here for some of the discussions we have had over the years about shingles vaccines. Some interesting reading, and the posts here are what made me decide that my letting the insurance provider talk me out of getting it 2 years ago, was my big mistake.

Bill
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Old 08-07-15, 06:22 AM
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Mrs. Grouch and I have both had the vaccine but it didn't keep her from getting shingles. Everybody says it would have been a worse case if she hadn't had the vaccine and, in truth, her case wasn't too bad. My "natural medicine" practitioner sister-in-law suggested using raw honey topically which gave Mrs. Grouch immediate relief.
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Old 08-07-15, 06:48 AM
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This thread shows why all kids should be vaccinated against chickenpox: No chickenpox in young people will result in no shingles in older folks.
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Old 08-07-15, 07:09 AM
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My neighbor had it and permanently lost her sight in one eye. As if that wasn't enough motivation, after reading this thread, I'm going to get the shot.
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Old 08-07-15, 07:30 AM
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My Doctor recently insisted we both (wife) get the shingles vaccine. The issue was the Insurance Co. balked at paying. I called our Insurance Administrator and told her what the Doc wanted to do. She did some research and was able to get it approved. In Northern NJ the bill to the Ins. Company was about $1100.00 each. The Immunologist explained it has to be kept very cold and has a short expiration date. I hope it works, Shingles seems to be a terrible illness to get and I would like me and the wife to avoid it.

To folks who suffer, G-D Speed.
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Old 08-07-15, 07:37 AM
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On top of the pain, I had to stay away from my grand daughter who I play with several times each week. Her very pregnant mother, my daughter in law, had to be avoided at all costs which meant I had to miss the birth of my second grand daughter. Didn't get to hold her until she was a month old which was Mom being overly cautious but I fully understood. It was just the icing on a crap cake.
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Old 08-07-15, 07:54 AM
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My insurance said they would cover the shot after age 60, but if received at a pharmacy it would be something like $400, got it at the Dr's office labeled as a vaccination and the insurance covered it all. Check your options if any of you decide to get it done, where you receive it and how it is coded for insurance purposes can make a huge difference.
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Old 08-07-15, 09:07 AM
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If you use the VA for health care you can get the vaccine for free. I got one a couple of years ago.
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Old 08-07-15, 09:23 AM
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So is there any side affects to the vaccine? Outside of finances, why wouldn't anyone who had chicken pox as a child get the shingles vaccine?

Just trying to learn.
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Old 08-07-15, 10:11 AM
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Many health insurance policies will cover the shingles vaccine. Mine does if you're over 50. My daughter has had shingles twice already, but at age 25 she doesn't qualify for the coverage, and the out-of-pocket cost is ~$300.
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Old 08-07-15, 11:28 AM
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I had a very mild case about 4 years ago. During the night in my sleep I reached around my waist to scratch and it lit me up. Wow, that was no mosquito or bug bite. Had a script and that was it. Kept me off the wrestling mats for a few days.
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Old 08-07-15, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
This thread shows why all kids should be vaccinated against chickenpox: No chickenpox in young people will result in no shingles in older folks.
NOT QUITE.

No chicken pox in the kids means that those kids will not develop shingles when they get older.

The problem with the older folks is that they are carriers of the virus that they were exposed to decades earlier. So they can still get shingles any time in their life.

And every generation of children have to be vaccinated because until al the old people die off, the virus can resurface, and reinfect the children.

And, based on the article I linked to earlier, the problem may be getting worse because say you had chicken pox at age 5.

Then had children at age 30. When those children would get their chickenpox at age 5, it would be like giving you a vaccine booster at age 35. Then, later, if you get exposed to more kids with the virus... another booster.

Without the young kids getting sick, one doesn't get the natural immune boosters, and thus more, and younger people may get the shingles.
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Old 08-07-15, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Rubble View Post
Not really bike related unless you consider that it will take you off yours for a while. If the doctor suggests it, get it. Knowing what I know now, I'd have paid $10,000 for it. I had a "4 hand case" (takes 4 hands to cover it) and I was chewing pain pills like they were gummi Bears. Yes, chewing pain pills. It sucks, it's very painful, it will keep you up all night and the pain pills will keep you in a fog. It is living hell

2+ months later I'm still on the nerve pain meds but I can ride and exercise. The vaccine would have been much better.
Amen!

I wound up with Shingles a few years ago. "Very painful" doesn't begin to cover it. It's a pain like you're on fire and it won't stop for anything. Vaccine? No-brainer. I did't know there was one until I had it. Every education has it's tuition....

J.
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Old 08-08-15, 06:02 AM
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I got shingles in my mid-20s. I was on prednisone seemingly forever. They finally went away, although I have some permanent but minor nerve damage. Not fun at all. I finally got the vaccine a few years ago at work (free).
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