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Thru God’s Grace

     And now I commend you to God to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.


Acts 20:32

Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food. - Hippocrates

Shingles A New Meaning For The Word Pain

 

I know everything happens for a reason and I've been holding on to that, to the knowledge that God always has a reason and a plan for our suffering and our lives.  

 

To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

 ~Ecclesiates

 

A little over a month ago I thought i'd come down with a bug which of course awakened the slumbering Asthma Beast that resides within! :()  Anyone who lives with asthma knows that all it takes is one cold, flu, weather front etc... and you're right back in breathless territory!  Little did I know, my growing asthma issue was a blessing in disguise. ( Don't you wonder where that comes from? If I were a blessing I'd be right out there front and center LOL ).

                                                     [ Denial is real! LOL!! ]

 

I finally realized I couldn't manage my asthma flare on my own and while being treated at my local emergency the doctor told me I had Shingles.  Whaaat!!!  I was so shocked that I told the doctor that I have food allergies and that it was just probably a reaction rash, not shingles.  Yep, I decided I knew more than the doctor! :{}  I just didn't want to accept that I had this horrible condition out of the blue! LOL 

 

Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox.  Fact: You can only get shingles if you've HAD chicken pox.  The chicken pox virus always remains in your body, it lies dormant within the nervous system and can be 'reactivated' at anytime. :0

 

It isn't exactly clear as to what reactivates the virus, but a weak immune system plays a Big role.  When your immune system is left weak from fighting an illness, serious injury or stressful event it leaves a pathway for the virus to waken.  People with compromised immunes such as those who live with HIV or AIDS, or those who are going through chemotherapy, organ transplants, radiation; all of these leave one with an immune system ripe for the virus.

 [ This little guy's upset because he know's his grandma, mom and sis all had shingles which makes him a prime target for it too! :[] ]

 

It's also believed that genes play a role in shingles flare.  if someone in your family, a close blood relative has had shingles it can increase your risk as well.  You CANNOT catch shingles from someone who's had shingles, BUT, you can catch CHICKENPOX from them if you have not had it or the pox vaccine.  If you come in contact with the actual open shingles blisters, you CAN catch the virus, and that's why it's believed that shingles is much LESS contagious than having chickenpox.  If you are helping a loved one with their shingles blisters, ALWAYS wear protective gloves! ( Latex gloves can be found anywhere from your local hardware stores to the dollar stores )

 

Shingles can happen at any age no matter how healthy you may be, ( even babies and children ), in fact there is a growing number of people under 30 who have suffered with multiple episodes of shingles. It is usually thought of as a virus the people over 50 get, but that's not true.  Once you have shingles it is more likely to reoccur.

                                               [ Shingles in full effect...]

Symptoms of shingles may appear before the actual rash occurs such as, some of your skin may feel like it's burning, itchy or it may tingle.  Skin in the suspected area may become sensitive to touch.  These symptoms can last for around 1-5 days before any signs of a rash appears and some people (myself included) also experience flu like symptoms such as chills, fever, headaches and feeling run down.  

 

As the shingles rash appears, it will be on ONE side of the body and can last from two to four weeks.  Pain symptoms can range from to mild  ( or none at all ) to severe.  My pain like many others is an intense burning from the inside feeling.  Your health care provider, which you most definitely should see within 72 hours of getting the rash, ( I saw a Dermatologist ) will place you on an antiviral.  Your doctor may also prescribe depending on your pain levels prescription pain killers or a nerve block ( done by an injection ) which contains an anesthetic to numb the effected area.  There are other meds that can be prescribed after the rash has cleared ( because the pain can still persist ).  

 

One home treatment that has had a soothing effect for my shingles pain are ice packs, or a bag of frozen veggies! I've found them to be fairly pain reducing and use them often throughout the day.  I've tried a variety of topical and recommended skin creams such as colloidal oatmeal paste, Sarna anti- itch cream, Caladryl which is a combo Benadryl and Calamine lotion, and antibiotic creams.  None of these have really helped me much (but we're all different so don't write these off ).  Because of my asthma, I have to choose carefully the types of meds that will work safely for me.  Furthermore, I'm pretty susceptible to side effects of strong meds so pain killers have to tread lightly, which makes my journey through this more challenging.  It's important to know your body so that you can discuss a treatment that's right for you. :)

 

 [ This little cutie's a bit ruffled with his onslaught of shingles, but being armed with the right information and working with his health care provider will set him on the right path! :D ]

 

I hope it wasn't too confusing :^  These's a lot of misinformation even in many doctor's offices about this and that's why its important to be informed. :P

                                [ My brain on Shingles/Asthma combo! :<> ]

 

Well, obviously, the doc was right about me having come down with shingles LOL!!!  I still protested that I wasn't in any pain just a little itchy, and that I just wanted to proceed with the usual protocol ( nebulizing followed by a round of cortosteroid) for my asthma.  I can only chalk it up to my lack of oxygen to my brain cells! LOL LOL

 

[ I'm a fighter and I'll keep moving through this battle with determination, and faith. ] 

 

Once I finally accepted my reality and the fact that I was told that the shingles would 

get a LOT more painful (to say the least, they stressed this point so I'd know what to expect ) and prepared for the fact that I had two difficult physical challenges to fight through, I put on my big girl panties (or Rams horns! ) and suited up for the fight!  One big problem is that my asthma couldn't be fully treated because of the shingles as steroids makes shingles worse and more painful... yep it just got more fun as I went along!! :<>

                                       [ A body on shingles, the fire is real! ]

 

I was ok for the first couple of days aside from dealing with my asthma for which I was allowed to use my nebulizer as needed. ( usually during reoccurring asthma attacks stronger steroids are used to 'force' open the bronchial tubes to allow for easier breathing).  Lo and behold the shingles pain hit and I thought I'd been set on fire!  The shingles rash began to spread from a small area on my mid back to the entire left side where the lungs are located, ( just great! ) and spilled over around my left side and up to my chest-breast area.( I wish I'd had the foresight to take pics, but my brain was preoccupied with breathing and pain management LOL)

 [ That's me running in circles! :/  Hopefully my next visit with my Allergist will bring more light to this situation! ]

 

So here's how my days went or are going; nebulize to help with my breathing which would flare up the shingles, take pain meds for shingles roll around and pray for

death! :&  Ok, maybe not the last one but that indicates just how painful and difficult my situation is.  I feel like I'm on a hamster's wheel and without the strength of the Lord and support of my family I don't know where I'd be.  In (this life) God said there will be suffering.  I'll continue to update my progress on this post as a move further into healing. In part 2 I'll be discussing what I've been doing for my body naturally to aid in cellular strength and calm down inflammation!

 

But he said to me. "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." 

~2 Corinthians 12:9

 

Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God had promised to those who love him.

~ James 5:13

 

 

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