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Living With Shingles Pt 2

It's been a minute in between my first blog post on Shingles A New Meaning For The Word For Pain, as I've been attempting to manage the pain from the shingles virus and bring my asthma under control. Ive been healing in layers and it's been more than challenging! :()

Finally, my asthma is 'normalizing' as much as it will be and I'm so thankful for it. Unfortunately, I've now developed a pinched nerve in my lower back! Nerve pain called Postherpetic Neuralgia is a symptom that's common in some people that can continue for three to six months after the shingles rash had cleared. It's unclear why some people suffer so greatly with this post nerve pain and others do not. Since the pinched nerve is located along my lower spine, it's very likely the shingles (post nerve symptoms) could be the cause, though it's not definitive.

[ God is always with us, he's our resource, our friend, father, our redeemer...]

It just gets more and more fun as this whole thing moves along! LOL However, I'm equipped for these setbacks and challenges by the Lord Christ. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. ~2 Corinthians 12:9 Whenever I get to feeling sorry for myself I reflect upon this scripture (along with so many others ) to snap me out of my funk! I also have a great support system filled with love, a tonic that can't be imitated. :{}

[ The itching struggle is real folks! ]

The shingles virus can be much more than the actual shingles itself, unfortunately it can bring with it many complications that may last for a few months or years. As I pointed out above post herpetic neuralgia (PHN) is one of the most common complications. PHN involves numbness where the shingles rash occurred, tingling, pain, and itching. (When they say itching, it's a deep burning itch and scratching only makes it worse!). Skin sensitivity often follows these PIN symptoms. For me it's uncomfortable to be hugged as the shingles occurred on my chest/breast area and upper back. Other PIN troubles can include insomia (yep! right over here...what's sleep again?..), being run down and tired, and poor appetite. Most commonly, people over the age of 60 are more likely to develop these complications but I'm walking proof that they can occur before the age marker.

[ This little guy isn't happy with this news! ]

The eyes can too fall victim to the shingle virus it's referred to as Ocular Shingles or Herpes Zoster Ophthalmicus (that's a mouth full!) Eyes can become light sensitive, or experience blurred vision or feel as if there's something in the eye. Without proper treatment, ocular shingles can lead to glaucoma, eye scarring or blindness. People who experience ocular shingles have a much higher risk for stroke.

[ While I haven't been able to work out obviously, because of my asthma I have been stretching, especially with the pinched nerve. Keeping the muscles stretched allows the joints to remain lubricated and flexible! ]

The sooner you get treatment the less likely it is for future complications. It's imperative if you are experiencing ANY of these symptoms to obtain medical help immediately. The more I learn about shingles the more I'll share as I wouldn't want anyone to have to go through this. I'm still healing and though it often feels like I'm not making much progress, I know that in time my body will heal. Since my asthma decided to come along for the ride, I'm making sure I give my body the support it needs while attempting to manage my stress. Stress can worsen a shingles episode.

[ Spices and herbs all have wonderful healing properties and it's beneficial to add them to meals and drinks. ]

On a more joyful note, I've been able to get my asthma under control by consistently taking my prescribed inhalers (I couldn't be treated with anything more drastic because of the shingles) and by making and drinking a steeped Ginger Root and Turmeric Root tea. This miracle 'tonic' has helped to keep my bronchial tubes open for longer periods of time so that I eventually didn't need to use my nebulizer anymore! Woo Hoo!!! Using my nebulizer also fired up the shingles pain because the nebulizer medicine is still a dose of steroids. So I've been thrilled with the effects of these healing root spices. :()

[ I often tossed healing herbs into my ginger-turmeric tea such as dill, parsley, and cilantro ]

The steeped ginger-turmeric tea I made was a simple mixture of 3-4 large washed and peeled and chopped (if not organic) ginger root and if you can find 3-4 pieces of turmeric root. Turmeric root may be found at local ethnic markets if your can't locate them at your everyday or farmers market. If you can't find any turmeric root using ground turmeric that you'd find in the spice isle is just fine too.

I fill a medium size pot (I made this in batches because I wasn't always able to be mobile) with filtered water and the spices ( I also added whole cloves which are full of antioxidants, digestive benefits and anti inflammatory properties) and let come to a low boil then lower and let simmer for about 15-20 minutes. I loaded this tea into mason jars and stored in the fridge and simply warmed some up in a pot (microwaves can zap out nutrients and healing properties of foods).

[ Leafy greens the superstars of nutrition and the base for my smoothies and meals. Leafy's are full of fiber, vitamins minerals and disease fighting phytochemicals ]

[ Using LOTS of healing garlic jam packed with antioxidants and it's a powerful microbal, it's antiviral and has antibiotic properties. That's good eatin'!!! ]

[Green smoothies have been my trusted staple for regaining health for years and I'm ever grateful for them... Kermit the frog was wrong, it easy being green!! :) ]

Thought many times on this journey I haven't had a good appetite, I've made sure to supplement my healing with plenty of whole foods filled with cellular supporting, immune boosting nutrients. Having foreign substances like the meds use to treat the shingles virus, asthma meds, and mild pain killers can override the bodies system. Eating a healthy diet with supportive foods such as lots of green leafy's vegetables, fruits, herbs and other whole natural foods flood it with the weapons ( loaded with antioxidants) to combat the craziness going on in the bodies environment.

I am attempting to manage stress, though it's NOT been a easy road because my husband and I are also dealing with a n impending death of a loved one. I realize how important it is for keep stress from impeding my health. Time with God in prayer and some meditation has been imperative in stress management. I've been in too much pain to do other things that i'd normally engage in to relax so it's one moment, one day at a time with heavy leaning on the Lord!

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. ~Psalms 46:1-1

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