I didn’t think it was possible. After coming down with Mononucleosis, I turned the corner and found I had Shingles as well. Shingles otherwise known as Herpes Zoster broke out on the back of my head. In an incredibly agonizing period, Shingles showed itself as first discomfort, then bumps, then blisters that wept before crusting over.
Shingles tends to strike only one side of the body. It follows the path of a nerve from its root at the spine. Shingles comes from the same virus known to many as Chicken Pox. This virus lies dormant after a person heals from Chicken Pox and may retrigger due to numerous reasons such as stress or a weakened immune system.
One of the distinguishing things that help a doctor to diagnose Shingles is its nature to stay on one side of the body. Shingles rarely crosses to both sides of the body. Because of dermatomes or pain maps, each section of the body’s nerves correlate to a specific region. Shingles tends to stay in just one or two of these dermatomes.
Though Shingles tends to affect people over the age of fifty, anyone can experience Shingles if they have previously had Chicken Pox. At age 39, I was recently diagnosed with my second case of Shingles, this time on the back of one leg. It can reoccur in different locations, and sends a tingling or zapping sensation through the path of the nerve from the root until it reaches the tip.
The pain of Shingles is that of a zapping, sharp or burning sensation. The pain can be localized at the site of the blister, or it can follow the entire path of the nerve root from the top to the point of the eruption.
It is imperative to receive proper treatment and medication to help prevent further damage. The pain of Shingles can continue on after the lesions have healed if proper treatment isn’t sought. The post nerve damage may be felt for days, weeks and even years when not treated quickly.
Shingles is a trying circumstance and can be masked by early symptoms that can seem flu like, days before blisters occur. The skin may appear with red bumps and have a burning or stinging sensation to them. To the Shingles sufferer, this will be a difficult time, and finding ways to soothe your discomfort will make for an easier session. Pain medication is available to those who suffer agonizing pain. The pain of Shingles is constant, and sometimes referred to as unrelenting. There is usually no break from the discomfort until the lesions have broken through and crust over.
Many people think that this is merely an elderly condition. I’m here to tell you that at 39, and this being the second time being diagnosed with Shingles, don’t count it out, just because you haven’t reached 50!