My Painful Battle with Shingles

Shingles rash photo on Wikipedia
Shingles rash photo on Wikipedia

All alone and in pain . . .

I writhed in excruciating pain from my right waist radiating down my right thigh and two feet one early morning. It was 5:30 in the morning of June 9, 2009, a Tuesday. I just returned home from brisk walking, an exercise recommended by a nephrologist, my eldest daughter Pot and I consulted with, at a city hospital in Dagupan last June 1, where I was a walk-in patient with diabetic peripheral neuropathy problem.

I limped into our front door and sank into a rocking chair. Overwhelmed by the growing pain, I hugged tight my right leg where I felt the most pain. No one was in sight. When I left the house at 5:00 a.m., it was still pitch dark. Pot, my only companion in the house, was fast asleep. I knew that she needed a respite due to her tough times from a recently finished job contract in Manila and now, administering to me. This was my 9th day of work-out. The weather was bad but I was determined to complete it and I did.

I sweated profusely and within seconds I felt the dreaded onset of hypoglycemia. “Not again!” The last time this happened was last February, 2009 when I overdid my low-sugar diet and fell down semi-unconscious just I stepped out of the bathroom.

This possibility threw me in near panic, and I let out a subdued cry of distress. “Dear God, please help me”. As I tossed and turned in the chair, I saw my cell phone on a table far from my reach. I didn’t get up for fear of another fall. I remembered I set its alarm the night before at 6:00 a.m. Soon Pot would wake up and check if I already had my insulin injection. Thirty minutes after that, we would eat breakfast and it would only be after meal that I could take pain reliever. Anticipating a seeming long wait for relief, I choked back my tears.

God is full of surprises! I heard a door unlocked, saw my daughter still groggy from sleep. “Why didn’t you call me, Ma?” Pot asked. I argued “I can’t”, and added softly, “Thank God!” She admitted that she had a good night sleep. When she stirred from her sleep, she remembered that I was to have a follow-up checkup and FBS test scheduled that day so she jumped out of bed because we must be at the hospital early.

At the hospital . . .

At the hospital I followed Pot as I limped from one testing room to another. The results would be ready at 2:00 pm. My discomfort was worsening, so she suggested that we stayed at my sister-in-law’s house near the hospital. I agreed. Once there, I lied down with at least a little comfort and waited for what I called- the longest wait.

After lunch, my sister-in-law’s driver took us back to the hospital. The doctor was already there when we arrived. I was quite upbeat knowing that we would not wait any longer. The doctor was happy to see the results of my clinical chemistry, hematology, electrocardiograph, ultrasound, chest X-ray, and flourescien angiogram. He said that I didn’t need new medication because my glucose and blood lipids were under control. I was  managing my diabetes fairly well.

I could have thanked him for that but I braced myself and asked him what to do with my pain. He admitted that the pain on only one side of my body was unusual. He told me to undergo Lumbosacral Spine AP and Lateral X-ray. It was 3:00 pm. After twenty minutes we handed him two X-rays. When he read the findings, I froze when he said “degenerative osteoarthritis, palliative care if minor, or the more radical, open surgery if major. An MRI might be necessary”. He ushered us into the orthopedic section for confirmation.

My ordeal had just begun. . .

At the Physical Therapy clinic, I had a 30-minute nerve rehabilitation treatment to alleviate my extreme pain. After wards, I was scheduled to undergo a three- times a week rehab sessions for 2 to 3 weeks. I was advised that if in the days to come, I would find it cumbersome to travel that far to the hospital, I could go to a nearer hospital and would have my treatments there. Coming home after a day of a series of tests at the hospital, I knew my ordeal had just begun.

Kit, my youngest daughter who also works in Manila, came home Thursday night, June 11, to spend the long weekend vacation with us. Friday, June 12, is Philippine Independence Day, a public holiday. The following day, June 13, would have been their Dad’s 58th birthday, time for the three of us to honor him. To mention, he succumbed to cancer at age 48 in 1999. He was a good provider and a doting husband and father.

Before dinner, my pain worsened. My right thigh felt like it would explode. The pain reliever after dinner gave me only little relief. In bed, I was inconsolable. I cried bitterly. I poured out the worst in me, something I never did before even at the toughest times. That night roles were reversed. I was the consoled; Pot and Kit were the consolers. We were sleepless that night.

The worst has come. . .

The worst was not yet over. The following day Saturday, I woke up with rashes on my right thigh. I thought it was burns from the hot compress I applied. Pot treated it with burn ointment. We celebrated Dad’s birthday simply as planned with close family friends and relatives. On Sunday, the rashes grew into very large and painful blisters. My daughters were alarmed. Kit insisted that I be confined to the hospital immediately.

The shocking revelation. . .

Monday morning, I was rushed to the hospital‘s ER. After the doctor treated my “burns” she advised us to continue the treatment at home. Back home, the blisters increased and the pain, too. The next day, I was wheeled back to the hospital’s dermatology unit because I was in too much pain. I sat frozen in the wheelchair when the dermatologist informed me that I was suffering from the highly contagious viral infection called Herpes Zoster, commonly known as “shingles” which infects the weak, elderly or diabetics, people with low immune system. I learned later that rashes from shingles appear on only one spot, which in my case I had mistaken for burns, accompanied by stabbing pain for the first 3-5 weeks. Treatment would last between 6 months- 1 year with recurring pain even under treatment. We were told that my schedules for the MRI and the rehab would be postponed indefinitely. At home, I imposed a self-quarantine in my bedroom, afraid of infecting Pot. I nursed my own wounds. I suffered in forced silence.

Managing my sorrow and pain . . .

Today, 6 months after, my wounds had healed but I am still saddened by the physical and emotional pain. I still endure the stabbing pain under these ugly scars on my thigh. My doctors, Dr. Oliver D. Ferrer (Dagupan City), Dr. Vicente S. Manuel, Jr. (Lingayen), and Dr. May F. Gonzales (Lingayen) told me on separate consultation, that I must learn to live with my pain until it lasts. For how long- only God knows when. They were one in prescribing Arcoxia for my pain and Lyrica for my shingles.

My hospital hopping in search for a more effective pain reliever led me to Dr. Jose C. Navarro (UST Hospital, Manila). He prescribed substitutes Dolcet and Calmpent which were really affordable. It was a consolation because at least I could save a lot on medicine, the fact that it would take a longer treatment for my damaged nerves, due to neuropathy aggravated by the shingles, to be able to regenerate. Dr. Navarro, a top-caliber neurologist, really knows his way around nerve pain. With him, I hope my lobbying for the right cure, ends.

My daughters have good reasons to be worried about me. Widowed at 52 and retired at 62, I choose to live alone in our house for practical reasons. I prefer a quiet self-fulfilled life, keeping house, and attending to my obligations as an active lector/commentator and choir member in our church. Acceptance is yet hard for me. But I know that in God’s own manner and time, I will understand. God will help me find my way again. With Pot and Kit ever so loving and patient with me, I will come out unscathed by these uneventful circumstances.

Comments 54 comments

cgcorey profile image

cgcorey 7 years ago from Pennsylvania

I like your hub, you are a very descriptive writer...I live with hypoglycemia and I too have a story about it, You should check it out sometime

Lita C. Malicdem profile image

Lita C. Malicdem 6 years ago from Philippines Author

I read your hub, it's a well- written one about hypoglycemia. I posted a comment there. Thank you for dropping by.

philip carey 61 6 years ago

The health agencies are now starting to recommend the vaccine for Shingles. I really need to get it. Thanks for bringing awareness to this.

Lita C. Malicdem 6 years ago

philip carey 61, please do as you said. You will be sparing others from the agony of excruciatingly stabbing pain from shingles. Good luck! Thank you for the read and the comment.

prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US

nice one Lita, dont know about this before and the picture and the description said it all, Happy New Year my friend to you and yours, Maita

averagemom profile image

averagemom 6 years ago from Paradise, Hawaii

I am 34 years old and in September of 2009 I had my first episode of shingles.

Thank God for Doctors who have the knowledge to find a cure and the medication that helps to heal faster.

My shingles lasted 2 months. If i caught it earlier it probably would have lasted a month.

The pain was on my forehead and brain. Boy did it hurt so bad. I will be posting my shingles information as well within the next 2 weeks. People need to know that it can affect people of all ages.

Lita C. Malicdem profile image

Lita C. Malicdem 6 years ago from Philippines Author

Goodness, good for you it lasted for only 2 months. It should be because it affects your brain. Yes, I want to hear from you, too. Thank you for connecting, we can both help others who will be unfortunate to catch the virus. The earlier they detect, the better for their early recovery.

Lita C. Malicdem profile image

Lita C. Malicdem 6 years ago from Philippines Author

I could have photoed my own left thigh, but it is screaming in protest, not a way to present myself in public's eye with an ugly-looking scar-filled thigh. Still feel some pain now and then. A horrible disease, this is, Maita. Thanks for your comment. My apology for my late moderation. Never too late than never, right?

dyesebel10 profile image

dyesebel10 6 years ago from USA

Lita, sad to hear that you're dealing with shingles aside from diabetes.. I hope you're feeling better now.. it's good we have hubpages and blogspots where you can let out your feelings and you have family and friends to comfort you.

Lita C. Malicdem profile image

Lita C. Malicdem 6 years ago from Philippines Author

I'm on and off with my medicine for the nerve pain but I'm now okay. Thanks for your concern. Yes, I find hubpages and blogspots a great venue for airing our personal feelings. Right now I'm typing this by my elder brother's coffin. He passed away yesterday from heart attack after a good fight for 1 week. He was comatose 4 only 3 days. He died of multiple organ failure. He was diabetic on schedule for heart bypass and later kidney transplant.

He went to the Heart Center for his regular checkup. He waited for 7 hours for a private room. He contacted pneumonia right in the ER. What a waste of life by this unfair negligence. I feel all right sending you this. Thanks.

dyesebel10 profile image

dyesebel10 6 years ago from USA

Sorry to hear that. Condolence to you and loved ones.

Lita C. Malicdem profile image

Lita C. Malicdem 6 years ago from Philippines Author


Thanks for compassion, dearie.

EpicNoob profile image

EpicNoob 6 years ago

Not to sound offensive in any way, but that story really got me on the edge of my seat! I was hoping the doctor would provide a better response than "no worries, you'll get used to the searing pain eventually!"

It's good to know you're recovering slowly but surely though Lita.

Lita C. Malicdem profile image

Lita C. Malicdem 6 years ago from Philippines Author


Your comment is well-taken. That was exactly how I reacted at first. It's been a year now and he was just telling me the truth. I now understand. Rather than my doctor giving me false hope, he prepared me for the inevitable. Yes, I'm on my way to slow recovery. Thank you.

KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

KoffeeKlatch Gals 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

I don't think most people understand just how painful shingles is and how it lingers on and on. You are a very gifted storyteller. I love reading your hubs. I am sorry that you have had to endure all of this.

Lita C. Malicdem profile image

Lita C. Malicdem 6 years ago from Philippines Author

KoffeeKlatch Gals,

It was indeed a very descriptive story written at the height of all my physical and emotional pains. This was my first hub. My daughters helped me weather my pains thru writing. And it worked!

One year after, I still feel the nagging pain in my thigh and buttocks especially during cold weather. I've withdrawn from my medicine, Lyrica for nerve pains, but I take Celebrex when the pain turns unbearable. My condition is aggravated by my neuropathy down my lower limbs. People must really be warned about shingles. They may not bear its pain if unchecked early. Thank you for your rejoinder.

sonam 6 years ago

really sad to know.... medical negligence is getting worse...


brightforyou profile image

brightforyou 6 years ago from Florida

Hi Lita - what an ordeal eh! I get shingles on a regular basis if I do anything physically extreme, or go through upsets. Shingles can come on almost any part of the body, including the brain and eyes. It is always on one side of the body and the worst part is the pain before the onset of the blister rash. I take Valtrex. It can be taken daily as a preventative measure, or taken when you feel an outbreak coming on. Shingles remains in the nerves of the spine and cannot be cured. Anyone who has had Chickenpox as a child can get Shingles. It is a nasty syndrome in the same family as Herpes simplex (cold sores and also Genital Herpes HSV Type 1 & Type 2).

Thanks for sharing your painful story and glad to hear you are better now!

Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 6 years ago from East Coast, United States

Poor Lita! That sounds so awful. I know people who have had shingles and it sounds just terrible. The idea that it still hurts after the sores have gone is the worst. I think that they have a vaccination for shingles now. I hope you are feeling better.

Lita C. Malicdem profile image

Lita C. Malicdem 6 years ago from Philippines Author


When I had the shingles, I was surprised how the doctors seemed to have no idea about what was coming. It could have been averted in time if someone was able to identify it and not treated it as "burns" puncturing and pulling out the outer skin while the blisters kept on coming.

I waned myself from Lyrica after a year of medication and tempered the recurring pain with pain relievers. I guess the virus got deep in my sciatic nerve by my right thigh and buttocks because I still feel the pain even up to my spine. I'll try Valtrex the next time I have those flares! I'll do anything to save me from another of my ordeal. Thank you. I learned a lot from your comment.

Lita C. Malicdem profile image

Lita C. Malicdem 6 years ago from Philippines Author


Yes, for now, I have won my battle with shingles, with moderate recurring pain that I can now tolerate. Our good friend brightforyou's insightful comment is something I appreciate much because it warns me of a possibility of another remission if I strain myself physically and/or allow myself to be stressed and depressed.

I think that if my doctors had any idea about the vaccine, I could have been treated and saved from the terrible pain. Thank you, too, for your added information. Hoping that our testimonies will help others when necessity arrives.

Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago

Lita I am so sorry. God bless you Dear. I send all the warmest wishes I can. I'm praying for you. God bless Lita!

Lita C. Malicdem profile image

Lita C. Malicdem 6 years ago from Philippines Author

One year after my shingles, I still feel occasional sharp pain along my right thigh crawling up my buttocks. It has combined with my diabetic peripheral neorupathy. The nerve damage is so deep that I'm advised by my diabetologist to do light brisk walks in the hope of coaxing my sciatic nerve to function normally and with less pain. Thank you for your prayers. God Bless you, too.

vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn.

Lita - I wish I could take all your pain and discomfort away. You have been through so much! Very brave of you to share your story with others. My beautiful son had shingles while going through chmo therapy for cancer just before he died. He was in terrible pain. I will pray for you and God Bless and Heal You!

Lita C. Malicdem profile image

Lita C. Malicdem 5 years ago from Philippines Author


You're so kind and compassionate. I understand why you easily warm up to people who suffer because you had suffered a lot of trials, too. Am so sorry for your son. Cancer pain and shingles combined are unthinkable! He's now free from it all. I'll pray for him as much as I do for you and your family. Healing is possible if we trust in the Lord. God bless you.

CMCastro profile image

CMCastro 5 years ago from Baltimore,MD USA

I actually suffered from shingles at the early age of 13. At that time the treatments for this condition were not as plentiful as they are now. I still get a stinging in the same area of my back once in a while, almost 40 years later. I hope the after effects of it are not too severe. My Dad who just turned 80, just got over them two months ago, but he has not complained too much since the lesions cleared up. My suggestion, as a nurse, is to increase your intake of antioxidants and eat a healthy balanced diet. I hope you continue to feel better!

P.S. I have a sensitivity towards other Filipinas; my Dad is from Manila. Take care, Christina

Lita C. Malicdem profile image

Lita C. Malicdem 5 years ago from Philippines Author


After all, my doctors were right- that I have to live with the pain until it's over. It's not over yet, after one year, I still feel the throbbing pain in my right thigh up to my buttocks. It's coming back this cold season.

Thanks for the tips. Yes, I'm always looking for anti-oxidant foods. In fact my diabetic diet plan is full of these fruits and vegetables. Regards to your Dad and the rest of the family! Take care, too.

lanealanea profile image

lanealanea 5 years ago from Orange County, California

You have a great spirit, I wish for you no pain. Great hub and thank you for sharing it with others. Also, Lita, I am writing more hubs with anti-oxidant foods and they will come up shortly. Have you had organic honey before?

Lita C. Malicdem profile image

Lita C. Malicdem 5 years ago from Philippines Author


May your wish be done by the Lord unto me. Thank you. I'll look forward to those hubs. I haven't tried organic honey because I take precautions due to my diabetes. And besides down in my country, I really can't tell which honey bee product is organically pure. You are a kind spirit, lanealanea. Take care.

duffsmom profile image

duffsmom 5 years ago from Pacific Northwest, USA

Shingles is one of the (many) things I fear as I grow older. Such a nasty, cruel ailment--but your Hub was very informative and helpful. Excellent Lita!

Lita C. Malicdem profile image

Lita C. Malicdem 5 years ago from Philippines Author


If you had measles when you were young, be careful. There might be virus left dormant inside you. When this gains in strength, result is shingles. Even the young population is now threatened by this ailment. Glad to hear that my hub helps. Take care, duffsmom!

carrie450 profile image

carrie450 5 years ago from Winnipeg, Canada

God bless you Lita, you've suffered so much. I hope it's getting better for you now.

Lita C. Malicdem profile image

Lita C. Malicdem 5 years ago from Philippines Author


The pain still throbs on my right thigh and buttocks and I take celebrex only when necessary, otherwise, it's now tolerable. Physical suffering is a gift- it warns us to be more careful with our body and therefore allows us longer quality life.

Carrie, your own sufferings due to cancer is incomparable with mine but you carry yourself with grace. I'm proud to have you as my friend although through this distance. May God keep you well always.

Arian Rey profile image

Arian Rey 5 years ago from Pearl of the Orient Seas (PHILIPPINES)

Measles? Oh my!!! Thanks for sharing this hub, Madam. I know what I'll do once I experience such ailment!!!

Lita C. Malicdem profile image

Lita C. Malicdem 5 years ago from Philippines Author

Arian Rey,

Shingles is actually herpes zoster, somehow related to chickenpox. Thanks for visiting my hubs and for your comments, too.

Sharon 5 years ago

I have now Shingles and i have terrible pain in my lower back on left side.Thankfully i can sleep now without a painkiller but by day it is very painful.I take Advil or Motrin 800mg.When will this go away????????

Lita C. Malicdem profile image

Lita C. Malicdem 5 years ago from Philippines Author


"When will this pain go away????" I asked that too, myself! May I refer you to CMCastro's comment. She had it when she was 13 when medication for shingles wasn't this popular yet. And she still feels the stinging once in a while after 40 years now! So I refrain from asking that question because I only have 2 years suffering. I still take Celebrex 400 when I can't tolerate the pain.

Brightforyou and Dolores Monet have very valuable information about shingles that you can consider, too. As for my advice, turn your pain into joy by engaging yourself with worthwhile activities. Have a mission of charity. Start with yourself doing good to the underprivileged and needy in your immediate neighborhood. It works for me! It will do the same healing for you, I know it will work wonders for you, too!

Sun-Girl profile image

Sun-Girl 5 years ago from Nigeria

Nice hub which i enjoyed reading from and thanks for sharing this with us in here.

Lita C. Malicdem profile image

Lita C. Malicdem 5 years ago from Philippines Author


I love to hear from you. I just had a good read in one of your hubs. I love true relationships, too. Thanks.

DREAM ON profile image

DREAM ON 5 years ago

I feel so bad for what you went through.I am so glad you are feeling better.I think if you had chicken pox as a child you can't get shingles?My mother experienced shingles with her head itchy and painful.She also had shinges on her stomach.I can only imagine how painful it was.Very detailed hub.

Lita C. Malicdem profile image

Lita C. Malicdem 5 years ago from Philippines Author


Read this from brightforyou's comment- "Anyone who had Chickenpox as a child can get Shingles". Sounds true because our old folks tell us that once you had chickenpox, it's likely to recur especially if the virus hadn't been wiped out entirely from your body. And these two are of the same family. I hope your Mom has learned to live with her pains like I do. Take care!

BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

I hope you are feeling some relief now. What a hub. Thanks for sharing this with us. It helps that you can answer questions too based on personal experiences.

My elder cousin went through this and I cannot believe the suffering.

Take care of yourself.


Lita C. Malicdem profile image

Lita C. Malicdem 5 years ago from Philippines Author

I'm not giving this ailment another chance anymore, that's why I love to read personal experiences to add to mine and at the same time be of help to others. I won't take the risk so I must maintain good health and a safe level of immune for as long as I can. I know what your cousin went through. God bless you, Carolyn! Thank you.

Debby Bruck profile image

Debby Bruck 5 years ago

Dear Lita ~ Very sorry to hear of your pain. You may want to consider homeopathic care in the future. Blessings, Debby

Lita C. Malicdem profile image

Lita C. Malicdem 5 years ago from Philippines Author

I just checked your homeopathy site. I'll be glad to read more about homeopathic care for my pain in particular. Thanks, Debby!

Barbsbitsnpieces profile image

Barbsbitsnpieces 5 years ago from Napoleon, Henry County, Ohio, USA

@Lita C. Malicdem...You are very brave for sharing this ordeal and for continuing to fight your way through it.

I had a friend who contracted Shingles, but we don't see each other that often, and, until reading this Hub, I didn't really realize the suffering that occurs with this unforgiving disease. Neither had I been aware that those who suffered Chicken Pox in childhood were most susceptible to Shingles.

The other thing you pointed out that is becoming an epidemic in America is poor doctor care, doctors who don't do enough investigating, doctors who don't tell you enough about your ailments. (I had to learn about mine -- severe COPD -- mostly on my own by reading about it.)

I'm sorry you lost your brother to what sounds like a case of "don't be impatient, we'll get to you" -- that's nonsense that no ill individual should have to suffer.

Prayers for you and your family!

Lita C. Malicdem profile image

Lita C. Malicdem 5 years ago from Philippines Author


Oh, you're such a wonderful lady! Your comment is well-appreciated. I'm sad though to hear about your COPD. I clicked on Google to learn more about your ailment. I learned that it ranks as one of the major causes of sufferings in my country. Please take care of yourself.

The internet has everything in it. Had it not been due to my shingles which urged my daughters to buy me a laptop so I could read about it, I would probably be still in the dark. The comments here more than did what I intended to do in joining HubPages. I've known people and friends who are ready to share their thoughts, their wisdom. Somehow, my anxiety about my recurring pain is lessened.

Yes, poor doctor care is an epidemic even in my country. I just let my belief sank in that maybe, my doctors aren't knowledgeable about my ailment. It was too bad that my brother and I became sufferers because of their inefficiency.

In the case of my dead brother, he had to wait for 7 hours to get to one of those private rooms in the hospital sitting in a chair in the emergency room. From there, he contacted pneumonia that aggravated his heart for a by-pass operation. He put up a battle against pneumonia, not against his heart condition.

Thank you for your kind words. God bless you and your family!

teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

My husband had shingles when inhis 30's and he was in intense pain. He had the rash all over his body. At the time the meds were expensive and not covered by insurance. He did recover well. Thank God there are new treatments and increased knowledge on how to treat this. Great hub.

Lita C. Malicdem profile image

Lita C. Malicdem 4 years ago from Philippines Author


Shingles is lateral, meaning, it affects only a site on one side of the body that doesn't spread to the other side. If your husband had rashes all over his body, I'm afraid it would have qualified as chicken pox? Just the same, let him take care because chicken pox is related to shingles. Thanks for sharing.

nancynurse profile image

nancynurse 4 years ago from Southeast USA

Thanks for sharing . My husband had a small bout with shingles at 54. I am now considering the vaccine at 60. I will link this to my hub on chronic pain.

Lita C. Malicdem profile image

Lita C. Malicdem 4 years ago from Philippines Author


I'm glad to know from you that there's vaccine for shingles. Your sharing will be a very useful information to me and others. Thanks for the link. I'll jump from here to yours. Thank you!

Barti 2 years ago

My mother in law has had shingle twice now. Once in her leg and recently in her neck and has now almost lost use of her right hand due to the nerve damage. My question is what can be done for the pain as she is now 75years old and is suffering with a lot of pain. Also are there any natural products that can be used to strenghten nerves?

please respond to me on

Thanks for an informative forum.

Teacher in pain 2 years ago

Dear Ma'am Lita,

I'm in my mid-30's and just on my 4th day battling with pain caused by Shingles. I have high tolerance for pain, and even gave birth to my last son without anaesthesia through normal delivery, but when I had my follow up check up this afternoon, I asked my doctor to give me prescription for strong pain relievers because the pain is indescribable! Since my blisters are up on my forehead and around my eye, the pain seems like electric shocks running through my brain! I sure hope the pain ends really soon...

Cynda 2 years ago

I, too, have long term shingles sciatic pain. I'm touched by your story but do want to make some corrections. Shingles IS NOT contagious. If you have not had chickenpox, you might get chickenpox from close contact with someone in an active outbreak. Antivirals taken soon after symptoms develop may help.

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