Shingles: Once you pop, you can’t stop

No, I’m not popping shingles blisters, but I thought that was clever.

I’ve spent way too much of the last two days googling shingles to find out if my symptoms are normal. The pain I’ve been having has been more of the seemingly deep tissue variety rather than from the surface blisters/rash. I don’t know if this is because the rash hasn’t fully blistered yet or because I’m just fortunate not to have blistering pain. It’s certainly very irritating. What was excruciating was putting capsaicin on Sunday. It’s supposed to help with the pain, though it’s supposed to burn a bit. (Capsaicin is what gives chili peppers its heat.) If you can tolerate the burn initially, it’s supposed to ease up after a few days. But I had the severe burning that I assume the label is referring to when it says to discontinue if you experience it. So I discontinued it. And nothing has felt nearly as bad as that.

What has been extremely uncomfortable has been the feeling that I’m severely bruised internally. Everything between my rib cage and spine on my left side feels like it’s been punched repeatedly. But this is a description I’m not quite finding.

Then again, any article from a reliable source prefaces almost every description with “may”.

So the location of the lesions vary. The characteristics of the pain varies. And then the duration of the outbreak varies. I don’t really know if this is going to go on for three more days or three more weeks.

Oh, and after this is over, I can’t just go and get the vaccine. (You probably can. Go get it.) Immunosuppressed people can’t have live vaccines, since the trace amounts of the live bacteria or virus or whatever may be too much, whereas most people handle them. So, I could get this again. Honestly, I’m not thinking about this at all. Just a point of information in case anyone was wondering.

But shingles is supposedly triggered by stress. As long as I avoid stress, I’ll be be just fine!


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