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Shingles had me sidelined

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Shingles had me sidelined

Old 11-15-21, 12:37 AM
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jlmonte
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Shingles had me sidelined

Suffered Shingles back in February (after retiring in January) resulted in bad left eye nerve damage. On top of this, cataracts was creeping before the Shingles and already hindering my vision. Depressed, I was accepting to rid myself of bicycling (a central retirement activity) for safety reasons.

Unexpectedly in October, my nephew, Matt tells me to buy a Wahoo Kickr and ride with him on Zwift. Fortunately I listened to him, and in the last 2 weeks I am safely riding in a virtual world. Additionally, with all the statistics, I think Matt enjoys outriding his old uncle.

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Old 11-15-21, 12:43 AM
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This is awesome. And sorry about the shingles. I had a mild case this summer and it still sucked. I still get the occasional jabbing pain out of nowhere. Hang in there, and see you in Watopia!
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Old 11-15-21, 03:03 AM
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My father had a case of shingles in his 60s. He thought he couldn’t get it again. Wrong. He had another case in his late 80s and it was worse.

He then got the vaccine as did I as soon as I qualified.

It was very painful for him.
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Old 11-15-21, 05:19 AM
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Virtual riding can be a lot of fun. Often more fun than a solo outdoor ride in crappy weather and of course there are no idiots to mow you down! I do about 99% of my winter riding on the trainer now.
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Old 11-15-21, 05:21 AM
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Very sorry to hear about the nerve damage. Regarding the cataracts, in the past three months I had cataracts removed from each eye and in both cases my visibility was 20-20 the morning following the surgeries. That may be of help.
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Old 11-15-21, 06:04 AM
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Bummer! I got the shingles vaccine as soon as it was available, both variants. Hope it won't be too bad if I get it anyway. Your Kickr setup looks great. Love the Krispy Kremes!
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Old 11-15-21, 08:49 AM
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Sorry about the shingles and like your using the colnago setup on Zwift with the Krispy Kremes as motivation
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Old 11-15-21, 09:27 AM
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In 2017 I had Shingles in my right eye. No special treatment other than steroid drops for the eye along with anti-virals. I don't think there was any nerve damage but it left me with floaters in the eye.
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Old 11-15-21, 09:49 AM
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Okay, I'm convinced. I'm getting the shingles vaccine.

I never knew that shingles could affect vision.


As to the OP, I've always found trainers boring, but imagined that zwift or other virtual cycling programs might give me enough interest.

I've just got too many other toys I want to buy before I earmark money for that.

Last edited by Iride01; 11-15-21 at 09:53 AM.
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Old 11-15-21, 10:42 AM
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I too would encourage everyone to get a shingles shot, why take the chance on getting them.
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Old 11-15-21, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
I too would encourage everyone to get a shingles shot, why take the chance on getting them.
My wife has tremendous and severe daily pain for 15 years from the effects of permanent nerve damage from shingles. It's called post herpetic neuralgia. Nothing can be done we've tried every single remedy possible. Get your shingles shot.

Last edited by gobicycling; 11-15-21 at 11:56 AM.
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Old 11-15-21, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
Okay, I'm convinced. I'm getting the shingles vaccine.

I never knew that shingles could affect vision
It's a different strain than the one that appears on the body. The virus affects only one eye and that quadrant of the head. I had it on the eyebrow and on my scalp under my hair. The worst part was the eye pain. The doctors gave me pain meds that knocked me out. The only way I could function was when a friend gave me THC pills. It didn't eliminate the pain but allowed me to stop concentrating on it, if that makes sense to you. I didn't go to work or drive but I could function around the house for the days when the pain was bad. I was off work for a week, I think.
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Old 11-15-21, 12:14 PM
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Colnago-Kreme... Fantastic!

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Old 11-15-21, 12:25 PM
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I finally got around to getting my shingles shot this fall after ignoring it for eight years. Guess I got lucky in not getting the shingles! My wife also sucked it up and got hers too, since it's the year of shots.

I love the modern version of the carrot on the stick! KK pulled out of MN a few years ago. I think there was only one location, at the Maul of America.
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Old 11-15-21, 12:45 PM
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If you haven't gotten the vaccine yet, read my story below:

I was in the company bathroom getting into riding gear for the commute home. Glanced in the mirror and saw an odd line of small red spots, seemingly following one rib from back to front. "That's odd." Decided I'd go by Medical on the way out. (My first stop every ride morning. HR told me early on at that job I was welcome to use it for my post-ride morning shower. The nurse was the first person I spoke to and had patched me up a couple of times after crashes. She took one look and in less that a minute said shingles. And that I wasn't leaving until I had an appointment with my doctor to get the medicine within 24 hours. Next afternoon I went straight to my doc from work. He diagnosed just as fast, wrote me a prescription and told me I was going straight the pharmacy to fill it and to take the first pill before I left that pharmacy, I did, I swallowed it dry. The next week was not fun and feeling of being majorly "off" lasted a fed more.

Told my mom and she told me this: Her aunt saw those spots. She had a deep distrust of doctors (they'd blown a surgery and she spent the rest of her life with a locked knee) and did nothing. She went through 3 months of pure h***. Her sis (my grandma) knew this and when she saw the spots immediately went to the doctor, got the medicine and went though a few rough weeks, just like I saw.

So, if you see spots along a line, following a nerve - go to the doctor! Get that medicine! All of us who've had chickpox has that virus hanging in hibernation in our spinal cord. With enough stress (or maybe it's spring, sun has warmed their cave and they're hungry), they come out of hibernation and travel a nerve like teenagers piled into a car, driving to the coast. At every town, they pull fire alarms, maybe set a fire or two ... If we are lucky, maybe no real damage, (I do have an odd itch in the hollow of my sternum.) If they're on the highway to the eyes, maybe a lot worse. I've heard 72 hours is the window - first symptoms to the drug no longer working. I took the drug 27 hours after first seeing the spots.

Everyone told me stress is often the triggering event. Well I had two. Tuesday I had a closed door meeting with my boss that was not fun. Like, do I still have a job. And six weeks before I'd rented a wood chipper. Starting it was hard for this skinny cyclist. By midday, I felt like I'd pulled a muscle. Eventually I couldn't start it at all. My right arm continued to hurt. I just figured I wasn't helping by sleeping on it. Thursday I saw the spots. Before I went to bed, just for the heck of it, I raised my arm and looked at my armpit in the mirror. I had a lump the size of a golf ball! I'd just watched two friends pass from cancer. Next day I showed it to the doc, He asked me if it hurt, then said "Good. Cancer doesn't hurt. That's an infection. It will probably go away as the shingles die down." (It did. I took nothing for it.)

This year I got the Shingrix. I was 58 when I got shingles, I don't think Shingrix was out yet and in any case, then I needed to be 60 before I qualified for the old vaccine. But (through pure luck) I did exactly what was needed to minimize a pre-vax case. So, all of you who have not had the shot - if you see spots, either horizontally on your chest as I did or following a nerve - go the the doc! Get the pills! And do it fast! (My spots did not hurt or itch until much later. I would never have known if I didn't see them.)
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Old 11-15-21, 01:18 PM
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I am waiting for my second Shringrix shot. Thanks for the motivation. I won’t miss it!
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Old 11-15-21, 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted by big john View Post
It's a different strain than the one that appears on the body. The virus affects only one eye and that quadrant of the head. I had it on the eyebrow and on my scalp under my hair. The worst part was the eye pain. The doctors gave me pain meds that knocked me out. The only way I could function was when a friend gave me THC pills. It didn't eliminate the pain but allowed me to stop concentrating on it, if that makes sense to you. I didn't go to work or drive but I could function around the house for the days when the pain was bad. I was off work for a week, I think.
So taking a look at Shingrix, and a site that talks about shingles infection of the eye I didn't see if the vaccine is for the strain you are talking about as well.

I still plan to get the shot after I fully recover from my COVID booster which through threw me for a loop for a full day and the better part of the next. I've got to do an eye exam soon anyway so I'll ask my ophthalmologist about it.

Last edited by Iride01; 11-15-21 at 05:42 PM.
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Old 11-15-21, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
So taking a look at Shingrix, and a site that talks about shingles infection of the eye I didn't see if the vaccine is for the strain you are talking about as well.

I still plan to get the shot after I fully recover from my COVID booster which through for a loop for a full day and the better part of the next. I've got to do an eye exam soon anyway so I'll ask my ophthalmologist about it.
I think the vaccine is effective against both strains but it is a good idea to talk to your doc.
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Old 11-15-21, 05:57 PM
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I got my shingles shot a few years ago. Shingles is the risk of natural immunity from chickenpox.
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Old 11-15-21, 09:13 PM
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When you get chickenpox, you don't actually "clear" the virus but your immune system drives it to hide in your dorsal root ganglion. It basically is trapped there by your immune system until one day when you are old or tired and your immunity is reduced. The virus at that point comes out and travels along the nerve and comes out at the endings (eyes, fingers, feet, etc). The pain can be significant and the nerve damage often does not heal. Anti-viral drugs taken very early can have good results but the vaccine is a game changer. The concept was argued heavily - the vaccine does not prevent infection but rather just boosts the immunity that is there to prevent disease and many people never thought it would work. And many wondered why it would work. But it works.

I did much of my graduate work with herpes viruses and although I left the herpes field, I still love those viruses.
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Old 11-15-21, 09:31 PM
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It's surprising how immersive and satisfying Zwift can be. I'm mostly an outdoor rider who formerly hated his trainer, but now I rather enjoy it. And I've met people who are dedicated zwift riders and almost never ride outside any longer.

It seems that sharing your story is helping other people take precautions. That's a great service for which we all thank you.
I had my first Shingrix shot two weeks ago, at the prodding of my wife. Second shot will come later this winter.
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Old 11-15-21, 10:24 PM
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my sister had shingles along her eyes....yikes. I got the vaccine as I did not want to potentially suffer that pain and agony.
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Old 11-16-21, 02:21 AM
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Reminds me, I need to reschedule my shingles vaccine. It was offered last month but I got the flu shot and was on Prednisone for a month for a persistent upper respiratory inflammation and I didn't want to combine too much stuff at the same time. Usually I don't react to flu shots at all but this last one left a tiny lump and scab that didn't heal for a week or so, very unusual for me. I was a bit worried my immune system was already struggling.

But my mom went through the miseries with shingles so I'm already convinced.
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Old 11-16-21, 02:26 AM
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Originally Posted by vespasianus View Post
When you get chickenpox, you don't actually "clear" the virus but your immune system drives it to hide in your dorsal root ganglion. It basically is trapped there by your immune system until one day when you are old or tired and your immunity is reduced. The virus at that point comes out and travels along the nerve and comes out at the endings (eyes, fingers, feet, etc). The pain can be significant and the nerve damage often does not heal. Anti-viral drugs taken very early can have good results but the vaccine is a game changer. The concept was argued heavily - the vaccine does not prevent infection but rather just boosts the immunity that is there to prevent disease and many people never thought it would work. And many wondered why it would work. But it works.

I did much of my graduate work with herpes viruses and although I left the herpes field, I still love those viruses.
Back in the 1970s I was a Navy Hospital Corpsman, stationed for a year in Bethesda at the National Naval Medical Center and working with folks from Walter Reed and the NIH on a variety of immunology and transplantation related stuff. I just did grunt work, following a checklist provided, so I was far from a "researcher," and barely understood most of what we were doing. But I remember the docs and researchers saying that one day we'd be surprised to discover that many human ailments, including cancer, were probably caused or aggravated by viruses and eventually most of those miseries would be reduced or eliminated by vaccines.

Unfortunately we didn't take that seriously enough, even after the first major SARS outbreak in 2004 appeared to cause, among other complications, neurological and cognitive disorders, possibly even some forms of dementia. It took this most recent pandemic to finally get our attention and put some money into research.
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Old 11-16-21, 09:37 AM
  #25  
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Here's my shingles story. Our kid was on a competitive travelling team and we were on our way to a meet. While on the 4 hour drive, I started to become aware of a discomfort along my right lower rib cage. Didn't think twice about but mentioned it to Mrs. Altair when we got to our hotel. She immediately sent me to a local urgent care. I was examined and they saw nothing. By then the discomfort was becoming pain. I told the doctor of my suspicions and due to "evidence-based medicine," they wouldn't give me anything (no rash). By the next morning, it was excruciating and finally a bit of rash was appearing. Went back, and only then would they give me a script. I was really p!ssed about it and suffered for several weeks with it. Showers in the morning were a new experience in pain. I couldn't lean back while sitting at work. Even months later, I would sometimes get a ghost of the pain while taking a shower. I was super glad it didn't hit my eyes. My local PCP told me that I didn't have anywhere near the worst case he had seen. Can't imagine what a "bad" case would be like.

I've had the Shingrix shots since then. No way would I chance going through that again.
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