Friday, February 8, 2013

MORE! You are kidding, right?

Back in Oct. of 2011 (just 4 months after RHS hit) I went to the family Dr. for pain on my right side under the rib cage and traveling to the front and back. I had dealt with this pain for MONTHS, planned my rides at Disney based on what would not HURT what I thought was maybe a bone spur in my back or ribs. He kindly told me it was shingles and related to me having RHS. I thought he was nuts because I had RHS on the left and still had not seen one SIGN of a rash like you hear shingles folks have. He offered pain bills. I turned them down and went on my way. Using the heating pad to control the pain and always being super careful of what I did.

Months later I had another flare up. Went in and with the pain and other issues we thought maybe Kidney related. So had CT scan. It showed that I had enlarged kidney and had passed a kidney stone in the last few days. So it was written off as kidney pain and I was given meds for infection. It seemed to help.

Months later another huge flare up. (I have the pain every single day, but when what I call a flare up happens it is all I can do to get up BUT I do get up. I work EVERYDAY. Last time I took a sick day was in 2011! ) This was around Nov. 2012. Saw another Dr,. in our office and she felt sure it was gall bladder and sent me for U/Sound right away. Calls me and says, you have an enlarged liver caused from eating fatty fried foods. I almost laughed at her. Yes, I am a big girl, and sure I do not eat healthy. BUT fried foods happen only a few times a year. Anyway, she said she would call me in pain meds. I made it clear I WAS NOT wanting pain meds. I want to find out WHY I hurt! What on earth is causing this pain that takes my breath away. I was a bit unhappy with her and the way she treated it as my weight issue. I wish I was the size I was back in 1982! But ya know,that's not happened and I don't see it happening and I still can kick her in the head so there! So I used the heating pad for days and got the flare up under control by just taking it super easy and resting when I could.

2013 rolls around. After a wonderful Saturday spent with the family at the mall I spent all of Saturday night flat on my back moaning as I slept. James woke me and wanted to take me to hospital. I said no.. Sunday morning he had to help me get up. I screamed in pain, could not breath with each movement we made. James and Curtis spent the day taking care of me. I sat on the sofa with my heating pad 10 hours! Only getting up for a trip or two to the bath room. I decided I had to find the problem and get this taken care of. I am only 45 and can't live in that type of pain.

Saw my Doctor the next week. Again, he tells me it is shingles related. WHAT I said! I have not had a rash at all. He tells me he is pretty sure I have nerve damage and that he needs to send me to a neurologist. He gave me a script for gabapentin which is used to treat nerve pain.

So after three days of the meds (very low dose) I can tell a difference. Who would have thought a Doctor just might know what he is talking about! Two week later I am moving better than I have in years. Still can not sleep on my sides but I can get on the floor and back up with my kiddos much better so I am happy.

I saw the neurologist this week. He confirmed I have Postherpetic neuralgia which is nerve damage from shingles both in my right side and my left face. He scored my face lower than the ENT does but hey I can live with a off looking face but the PAIN is another story. He is increasing my meds in order to get it where I am able to sleep on sides and where I do not have the pain in between doses times.

So let me advice everyone who ever had chicken pox as a child.. TAKE TIME for yourself daily, keep your stress levels under control, learn how to deal with the ups and downs of life and not hold so much in. Stay as healthy as you can. My shingles outbreaks were brought on from two things. I had uncontrolled diabetes for a year or so and I was taking on to many things and did not have any down time. Shingles can and does attack anyone of any age. That commercial about over 50 is full of crap! I am guessing my first shingles attack I was 40 years old. That how long the pain in my side has flared up. It attacked my face at 43 years old. Shingles vaccine is only for people over 50! Also, DO NOT ignore pain. I have a very high pain level and just put up with it often. Well, had I gone in when it first started on my side, I would have been given the correct meds and would not have PN now.

With all that said, LIFE is good. I am overall healthy, I work, I am happy and well loved, life goes on. It's all about how you handle your journey. One day at a time and moving forward always.

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