What’s it like to get shingles?


Marilynn Knapp: I learned I had shingles about two weeks after I really started having shingles. I thought it was first a stomach bug and
then I thought it was a dental problem so I went to the dentist and it took
about four weeks before my kids, both my daughter and daughter-in-law, said you
need to go to the emergency room. I had extreme pain in my gum area and I
thought it was a dental problem but eventually all of that became blisters
going up the side of my face and on my eyelid and my ear so by the time I
finally had it totally diagnosed I was pretty far into it. The pain was terrible.
When it first started the pain was like shooting pains going through your gums
and my ear and the side of my face and I couldn’t touch any of it. It just hurt so bad.
It affected my quality of life because I didn’t go outside I couldn’t take the
pain on my face so for about one entire season– the summer, the fall and the winter– I was inside which then of course depresses you. It wasn’t until I went
to a pain specialist that that subsided. Two years and it’s still not gone but
little by little it’s starting to decrease. I will be getting the shingles
shot the new one as soon as it comes out. I’ll run to get it because this had to
be the worst thing that I really have experienced. It affects everything. It
affects the quality of your life because you don’t want to go out. It drains you
with the medications you have to take. You don’t eat right because it hurts to
eat. I mean I still drink out of straw everything I drink because half my lip
doesn’t function. So definitely I would tell people to get
a shot.

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