Thread: Shingles!!
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Old 02-10-19, 02:39 AM
Brad L
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Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Southeast TX
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Bikes: 1960 Fiorelli, 1969 Colnago Super, 1983 Gitane Interclub, 1990 Specialized Sirrus, 1996 Litespeed Catalyst, 2001 Colnago Dream B-Stay, 2007 Trek 1000 SL

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I've been on immunosuppressants for a kidney transplant back in 1998, and because of this, I was unable to get the previous Shingles vaccine since it's a live virus. My first bout with Shingles happened in 2014. The pain started in my lower back in the area of my right kidney. This concerned me because I'd had renal cancer in my left non-working native kidney back in 2005, so my first thought was to have the right kidney checked out. The day after the nephrologist appointment was when the rash finally showed itself. A visit to a local doc confirmed Shingles and he started me on the meds. This was the start of six agonizing weeks.

I've been told I have a high tolerance for pain, but this was worse than anything I'd experienced. I was forced to lay face-down on the sofa as it was the most comfortable position I could find. The pain lingered at around a 7-8 for most of the time, but about every 10-15 seconds I'd get the sensation that someone twisted a knife, sending the pain level to at least a 9. Then, about once a day, I'd get what I called "fire attacks". This was when, somewhere in the affected area, the sensation that my skin was on fire would start in a small area, then radiate out until it covered the entire area. The entire attack would last only 30 seconds or so, but the pain was indescribable. In the end, I'm left with neuralgia on my right hip that will sometimes itch like mad.

Then, in November of 2018, I was again diagnosed with Shingles, but this time on the back of my neck and around my right ear. I was prepared for the worst, but it ended up feeling like a bad sunburn. I was very relieved. I'll be talking to my transplant docs about the new vaccine.
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