I contracted chicken pox in 1957 when my daughter was nearly two and I was pregnant with my son. I could not go to bed as I had a husband (the first one who was no help at all but we won't go into that), a toddler and a house to look after but I recovered quite well and thought no more about it....until:
I contracted shingles in July, 2010. It began with a few small blistery type lumps on my forehead from which my GP took a few swabs and sent them off to pathology. He put me on antibiotics because he was uncertain what the problem was and I feel he may have been thinking of one of the golden staph infections.
I suggested shingles so on the 2nd day he put me on the medication to help prevent them progressing too far. We may have left it a tad late because the rash spread down the right side of my face and although this photo is disgusting it will give you some idea of how bad I looked.
Sorry to do that to you and I made the picture as small as I could. I may not be a raving beauty at the best of times but I was not a pretty sight at all and yet my wonderful other half treated me as though my face didn't look like something out of a horror move and he helped as much as he could to make me feel 'normal'.
The rash spread down the side of my face and there was even one spot just above my mouth. I didn't scratch and yet I have white scars on my forehead so now have to make sure I have a fringe to cover them. My right eye fortunately didn't get an infection in it (the medication may have helped there) but that side of my face swelled so much the doctor put me on cortisone tablets to help take the swelling down. It didn't go down completely so now one side of my face is permanently puffier than the other.
I am very fortunate that I don't have continuing neuralgia which apparently can go on being painful for years after the rash has gone. I do have some strange little sensations at times on the right side of my forehead and there is a rough area where I think there should have been blisters which never eventuated. That area sometimes feels a bit tight and uncomfortable but fortunately is not really painful.
Although I believe it is not 100% reliable, I am wondering should I suggest having the vaccine that is available as my dermatologist told me recently his mother had had shingles twice. That is something I could well do without so I may mention the vaccine next time I visit my GP. Perhaps I did ask him back in 2010 and was told 'no'?
Unfortunately the double lot of antibiotics caused other problems even though I didn't take the full course of either once the problem was confirmed as shingles. I just needed an attack of thrush following on the above but that's what antibiotics can do to us. I also had a bladder infection which seemed linked to the shingles as well so more antibiotics. 2010...a year to forget until 2011 when I dislocated my left shoulder.....another story there? No. I think I'll leave it for now.