Early Shingles?

jennApril 12, 2011

Last evening I noticed a small welt (a little smaller than a dime) on my lower back toward my right side, just above my waist. I noticed a few other small red bumps in the general area. They were slightly itchy but not a lot, and I was surprised they didn't itch profusely so I left them alone.

When I went to bed last night, I immediately noticed some mild pain in the general area around the base of my rib cage, also on my right side, but a little toward the front and not in just one small spot. When I pressed on the general area, it felt sensitive and tender to the touch, but not extremely uncomfortable.

This morning, I noticed a small rash on the front at the base of my rib cage, also toward my right side. When I press on the rash and on the welt and spots on my back, they hurt rather than itch --- that's odd, I thought... why would this area be tender but not itching? I do feel some very mild itching at times, but mostly I feel tenderness of the skin in the whole area.

As the morning wore on (and still as I write this) the skin around the base of my rib cage (on my right side) is sensitive to touch, mostly toward the front. The welt, other small bumps, and small rash are still there. The skin sensitivity is a little more noticeable than this morning. I have a fairly high pain tolerance, but this is uncomfortable enough to distract my attention off my work.

I'm 54 years old, in (otherwise) excellent health, but have been under stress since late last year and starting to see subtle signs of that (recent bad cold, sores around my mouth). I did have chicken pox as a kid.

Could this be the start of Shingles? I have never noticed anything like this before. I don't take any medications and don't want to take something "just in case" ... mostly, now, just wondering if this sounds familiar to any of you sufferers of Shingles. ,

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michelle_phxaz

That sounds exactly like shingles. Get to your doctor before the skin scabs, the only way to diagnose it is to take a sample of the liquid in the welts.

I take Valcyclovir daily and I haven't had them since. They are very uncomfortable and make you ache all over when they get bad, so get some help now.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 7:51PM
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jenn

Thank you.

I still have only a few bumps, maybe 5 or 6, but the skin around my right side is sensitive to touch. The bumps don't look like they have any liquid.

I'm wondering what showering will feel like in the morning, with water running on the sensitive skin. The sensitivity is only slightly worse this evening than it was this morning, so onset must be pretty slow.

I'll keep an eye on it and if it's worse tomorrow I'll probably definitely call the doctor.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 9:36PM
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jenn

I'm sure it's Shingles. This evening my doctor called in a prescription for Valtrex and I'll call his office tomorrow to see him in person. Hope I caught it in time --- I still have only a handful of bumps, no more than yesterday morning, but now they are sore, one has a blister, and the whole area is more sensitive.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 11:18PM
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michelle_phxaz

The Valtrex (I take the generic version) helps tremendously. I get a breakout when I am stressed, and when I do feel them coming on I take an extra pill that day but haven't had any outbreaks since I started taking them daily.

I used to take the pills only after the breakout happened, but knowing how miserable you are during those few days made me decide to prevent them, not just heal them.

Best of luck to you, and post back with any questions.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2011 at 6:13AM
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jenn

Thank you, Michelle. Wow, I wonder why some are so susceptible to repeat outbreaks.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2011 at 10:48AM
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