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Old 11-21-17, 08:50 AM   #1
Timtruro
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Shingles!!

I was looking forward to a lot of rides this fall but early in September I contracted a severe case of shingles. Its been painful, irritating and debilitating. Consequently no riding since about September 4th. Just now feeling a bit better although I still tire easily. Of course my doctor had advised getting the vaccine but I never thought it would happen to ME. Please if you're over 50, get the shot, don't leave it to chance like I did.
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Old 11-21-17, 09:12 AM   #2
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Sorry to hear of your battle, but thanks for the PSA. I'm going to see if I can get the vaccination when I go in for my annual in January.
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Old 11-21-17, 09:19 AM   #3
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I got the vaccine a few years ago, as soon as I was old enough to get it.
I've read too many shingles horror stories here, and I wanted to do anything I could to avoid posting my own.
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Old 11-21-17, 10:23 AM   #4
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Here is another PSA (info from my doc):

My understanding is that until recently, the shingles vaccine was not terribly effective. Perhaps only 60%. My uncle had the vaccine and STILL got shingles. So don't kick yourself too hard for not getting it. It may have not made a difference.

There is a new vaccine that has just become available. It is in the order of 80-90% effective.

So if you eschewed the vaccine before because of ineffectiveness, this may be your time.

I had shingles when I was about 27 years old and it SUCKED. I intend to get the new vaccine.
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Old 11-21-17, 10:26 AM   #5
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I got the vaccine ASAP, which was last year, but I had to pay for it out of pocket (well, out of FSA). Pricey, at $250. This year my insurance company has apparently decided to cover it. Argh.
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Old 11-21-17, 10:41 AM   #6
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It's not just a "old" persons disease, my son (26) got it and it was in his eye. After a few months and many visits to the eye doctor, it went away.
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Old 11-21-17, 10:58 AM   #7
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+ 1 on the new vaccine. I just read about it and it's time to do it.
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Old 11-21-17, 11:25 AM   #8
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Yes, the new Shingrix vaccine sounds like a major improvement. I got the original shingles vaccine a few years ago and hope that'll be sufficient until the insurance companies get around to approving Shingrix. It does take two injections as opposed to the single one for the old vaccine but sounds like it's well worth it for the greater effectiveness - especially for those of us over 65.
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Old 11-21-17, 01:03 PM   #9
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I think I'm gonna eschew the vaccine, and try to concentrate on keeping my immune system strong. And avoid doctors with their syringes full of magical potions.

I like having that option open to me in a free country, while it lasts, because eventually some govt official is gonna decide this vaccine is such a great idea that anyone who doesn't get it is a drooling moron. And as we all know, drooling morons don't have any rights, so they're gonna force everyone to take it whether they want it or not.
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Old 11-21-17, 02:17 PM   #10
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CDC recommends the new vaccine for those over 50, even those who already had the first shingles vaccine, Zostavax. This will be on my list of things to do.
Just learned about Shingrix today. I'm an RN and surprised I hadn't already heard or read about this.

I, too, avoid magical potions but am a fan of science, vaccination, herd immunity, etc.
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Old 11-21-17, 03:44 PM   #11
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It's not just a "old" persons disease, my son (26) got it and it was in his eye.
My daughter got shingles when she was nine, and again when she was 26. I got the vaccine (Zostavax) and am hoping for the best.
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Old 11-21-17, 03:49 PM   #12
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I think I'm gonna eschew the vaccine, and try to concentrate on keeping my immune system strong. And avoid doctors with their syringes full of magical potions.

I like having that option open to me in a free country
Based on my own vicarious experiences (my daughter, and over 25 years as a hospital RN), I've seen shingles as one of the most miserable diseases anyone can suffer. Treatment is entirely symptomatic, and seldom completely effective. I'll take the vaccine any day.
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Old 11-21-17, 04:54 PM   #13
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It's not just a "old" persons disease, my son (26) got it and it was in his eye. After a few months and many visits to the eye doctor, it went away.
I was in my 30s when I first got it. Got the shot a couple of years ago as a precaution. Yup, don't want to go through that again for sure.

Although my wife took the vaccine a few years ago too she did get another case of shingles but her's was very mild this time around. Her scalp got all red and stuff but not too bad. Hate to have her go though with a full blown case of that, thank God...
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Old 11-21-17, 05:13 PM   #14
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I think I'm gonna eschew the vaccine, and try to concentrate on keeping my immune system strong. And avoid doctors with their syringes full of magical potions.

I like having that option open to me in a free country, while it lasts, because eventually some govt official is gonna decide this vaccine is such a great idea that anyone who doesn't get it is a drooling moron. And as we all know, drooling morons don't have any rights, so they're gonna force everyone to take it whether they want it or not.
Science would beg to differ. Don't get your health advice from "natural news" websites or guys with middle names like "Avocado". The civilized world will thank you.

The history of vaccination in America is as old as the United States itself. It isn't new. It isn't some plot to deprive patriots of their precious bodily fluids or turn them into commies.

If you want to risk your own health by declining vaccines for diseases with low communicable risk, knock yourself out. Please quarantine yourself and notify family, friends and authorities where your body can be found for safe disposal. If you must go out after contracting a communicable disease that could have been prevented by taking vaccines that have been overwhelmingly proven safe, take precautions to avoid spreading it to others -- wear surgical masks in public, etc.

But refusing to cooperate with the herd immunity program is not an admirably defiant demonstration of being the Last True American. Quite the opposite. It's unAmerican, unpatriotic, unscientific, antisocial and selfish. You're putting at risk the lives of innocent children and adults who cannot participate in the immunity program because of immunological disorders, who must take immuno-suppressant meds following organ transplants.

And if my tone seems harsh, good. It seems to be the only way to penetrate the fog of fake news that has suckered an entire generation. I don't mind if someone gets angry at me because I'm blunt. As long as it provokes them to reconsider their sources for bad advice based on zero scientific credibility.

And if it's not persuasive, it was a lost cause anyway. Frankly, I've never seen anyone who clings to superstition persuaded by facts, logic or reason... until they or their loved ones suffer the consequences of bad decisions.
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Old 11-21-17, 05:37 PM   #15
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Hey, I'm not calling anyone names here, just asking to be left alone. Apparently it's MY fault the OP got shingles. Sorry, Timtruro

I forgot about the part of the US Constitution where the Founding Fathers lined up all the colonists and forcibly opened up their veins and bled them, since that was considered cutting edge medical treatment back then, and they were all too dumb to understand that it was for their own good.
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Old 11-21-17, 06:04 PM   #16
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Hey, I'm not calling anyone names here, just asking to be left alone. Apparently it's MY fault the OP got shingles. Sorry, Timtruro

I forgot about the part of the US Constitution where the Founding Fathers lined up all the colonists and forcibly opened up their veins and bled them, since that was considered cutting edge medical treatment back then, and they were all too dumb to understand that it was for their own good.
My wife freely chose to get a shingles shot, but unfortunately I am pretty sure it was Zostavax. I plan to get Shingrix as soon as available and suggest she get re-shot with it, even if we have to pay out-of-pocket. Shingles is not a herd immunity issue, like vaccination of schoolchildren, so I fully support anyone's personal decision to get the vaccination or not.
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Old 11-21-17, 06:13 PM   #17
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Hey, I'm not calling anyone names here, just asking to be left alone. Apparently it's MY fault the OP got shingles. Sorry, Timtruro

I forgot about the part of the US Constitution where the Founding Fathers lined up all the colonists and forcibly opened up their veins and bled them, since that was considered cutting edge medical treatment back then, and they were all too dumb to understand that it was for their own good.
Nobody is calling you names or insulting you. I'm saying you're wrong about vaccines. Being wrong about facts isn't a permanent condition.

What you're forgetting about the U.S. Constitution is that that US Supreme Court long ago ruled that a public vaccination program is constitutional. See Jacobson v. Massachusetts, among others.

Personal liberty does not extend to endangering the public.
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Old 11-21-17, 06:30 PM   #18
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My wife freely chose to get a shingles shot, but unfortunately I am pretty sure it was Zostavax. I plan to get Shingrix as soon as available and suggest she get re-shot with it, even if we have to pay out-of-pocket. Shingles is not a herd immunity issue, like vaccination of schoolchildren, so I fully support anyone's personal decision to get the vaccination or not.
Shingles is a herd immunity issue. It is related to chickenpox, and the varicella-zoster virus is contagious during active outbreaks of shingles.

However the health risks are relatively low compared with other communicable diseases. It's really more of a personal choice issue since the only people likely to be affected are immediate family. Wearing gloves while applying ointments, etc., to the skin of an affected person, and good hand washing, will reduce the risks. I took care of my mom during her shingles outbreak and haven't suffered any ill effects -- so far. I'm 60 now and sometimes it doesn't appear until later in life.

During my childhood in the late 1950s-'60s, conventional wisdom promoted the notion of children deliberately contracting chickenpox in hopes of achieving lifetime immunity. Researchers are continually re-evaluating that theory. My brother and cousin all had chickenpox together in the early '60s, as did just about everyone in our school.

There are some risks of side effects related to meds commonly prescribed for shingles. My mom had a bad reaction to valacyclovir, but she's prone to suffering side effects from all meds -- if there's a remote risk of a side effect, she'll get it. I've withheld information about side effects from her to minimize the risk of psychosomatic symptoms, but even when she knows nothing about the side effects she often displays the exact symptoms described in the literature. I've joked that she could make a fortunate volunteering as a human guinea pig for the pharmaceutical industry.
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Old 11-21-17, 06:38 PM   #19
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I had a bad case of it several years ago, and missed about 2 weeks from work. I would not wish that nerve pain on anyone. I still occasionally feel some neuralgia after effects on my right side to this day, but it's very mild.
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Old 11-21-17, 06:44 PM   #20
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My wife freely chose to get a shingles shot, but unfortunately I am pretty sure it was Zostavax. I plan to get Shingrix as soon as available and suggest she get re-shot with it, even if we have to pay out-of-pocket. Shingles is not a herd immunity issue, like vaccination of schoolchildren, so I fully support anyone's personal decision to get the vaccination or not.
Correct that shingles is not a herd immunity thing - herd immunity only applies to contagious illnesses.
Perhaps someday if, because of childhood immunization, chickpox becomes uncommon, then so too will shingles. The only folks who are at risk of shingles are those who have had chickenpox. Which includes almost all of us here.
Correction: Shingles is a low level herd immunity thing because someone who has not had chickenpox and who has not been vaccinated against it (chickenpox) can catch it if exposed to an open shingles lesion. Not aware that happens very often.
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Old 11-21-17, 09:15 PM   #21
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Age 50 now? I looked into it last year but was told age 60.
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Old 11-21-17, 09:42 PM   #22
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Age 50 now? I looked into it last year but was told age 60.
The first shingles vaccine, zostavax, was recommended for 60+.
The new one, shingrix, is recommended for 50+. Including those who already got zostavax.
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Old 11-21-17, 10:15 PM   #23
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I got shingles before I was old enough for the vaccine (by three years). Got very lucky. And have advice to pass on. If you see the shingles rash - go to a doctor! Now! You have 72 hours to get the medication that will make the experience just miserable, not a visit to hell.

I saw my first symptoms dressing to ride home after work. Saw the band of spots around my chest. Had no idea what I was looking at but figured I'd go by Medical on the way out. (My first human contact most mornings was that nurse; I'd use their shower after my ride.) The nurse instantly diagnosed me with shingles and told me to make an appointment now! Drove straight to my doctor after work the next day. Same diagnosis. The prescription. And the order "fill this and take the first one before you go anywhere." The next two weeks were miserable. I went to work and did my best because I would have been just as miserable at home. Symptoms gradually lifted over the next 3 weeks.

The other story: My mom's mother and aunt. My mom's aunt had a botched surgery as a young woman that left her knee locked straight for the rest of her life. After that she didn't trust doctors. Got shingles but did not go for the medicine. Went through living hell; for many months. My grandmother later got shingles. Very aware of what her sister went through, she promptly saw the doctor and took the medicine. A few weeks of misery and it passed.

I have heard both stories a few times since. Get the medicine and get it fast!

Also be aware the major stresses can bring shingle on (assuming you had chickenpox sometime in your life). I had a very uncomfortable conversation behind closed doors with my boss 2 days before. I also had a pain running down my arm that I thought was a lingering muscle pull but turned out to be an infection of the lymph node in my armpit.

My anecdote as to what shingles is like - imagine a small town with an unusually large number of teenagers the same age (the virus). (The town is deep in your chest along the spine where the virus lies dormant for often decades.) THe teenagers all problem kids. Some one gives them a car. They jump in and drive to the coast. (The direct route to the coast is along a rib.) At every town, the kids get out, pull fire alarms, shoot guns, tip over trash barrels, jump back in the car and take off. (More spots and sometimes permanent damage.) The medicine? Phone calls down the road alerting towns these kids are coming. Police, fire and the town vigilantes are waiting. The kids still cause havoc, but it is far less and they do get caught.

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Old 11-21-17, 10:44 PM   #24
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Despite seeing the doc ASAP, my wife has had Post Herpetic Neuralgia from Shingles for 13 years - INTENSE pain every afternoon for all those years. No advice needed - we have been everywhere and done everything EXCEPT MJ, and that is in the pipeline right now. GET YOUR SHINGLES VACCINE. TODAY. They did not have it 13 years ago.
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Old 11-22-17, 12:02 AM   #25
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Despite seeing the doc ASAP, my wife has had Post Herpetic Neuralgia from Shingles for 13 years - INTENSE pain every afternoon for all those years. No advice needed - we have been everywhere and done everything EXCEPT MJ, and that is in the pipeline right now. GET YOUR SHINGLES VACCINE. TODAY. They did not have it 13 years ago.
Try gabapentin/Neurontin, if she hasn't already, or consider asking to increase the dosage. It's very effective with neuropathic pain in some folks, and appears to be quite safe for most patients.
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