Monday, April 22, 2013


I had previously considered putting this subject on my blog but it is not a very pleasant one and yet one that does exist and Delores on 'the feathered nest' used it in her aging A-Z series so instead of writing reams about it on her page I decided I'd use it here.

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.


  1. Poor girl. The hubs had it on the other side of his face. Just imagine a golf ball inserted under the opper and lower eye lids plus that line of blisters that ran from his eyebrow up over the top of his head. Fortunately he got the medication in time and now there is only one little mark on his forehead left. I'm going to check up on the vaccine myself.

    1. Seems your hubs and I were both fortunate not to have an infection in our eye. It is a horrible disease. Phil's poor mum had shingles on her face back in the 1950s (in the UK) when there was no medication available for it. You just had to sit it out.
      I have about 5 quite visible very white scars on my forehead and yet I didn't scratch at all.

  2. Oh Mimsie that is horrible and you look lovely well except for the rash.
    I have never had chicken pox but my best friend NDF has had shingles a few times and tells me it is very painful. I think she has gotten the shot since and is hoping it works but the shot here is very expensive.
    About the antibiotics and the resulting infections I have a soluting that has worked for me. I pick up the drugs at the drugstore and pick up yogurt at the grocery store and always take them together. It works. Take care B

    1. Actually I have a round face, not a long one but the swelling sort of changed the face shape a lot.
      We have yoghurt on our breakfast every day and if I am on antibiotics I always eat extra. Diabetics are susceptible to urinary and thrush infections so probably just par for the course.
      NO Buttons I don't look lovely in that photo but thanks for saying so. x

  3. As I mentioned at 'the feathered nest', a work colleague of mine developed shingles and was very sick indeed. She got blisters ON her eye and spent weeks in hospital. And yes, the unlucky woman also developed neuralaga. Awful.

    And you look sore and sorry, but not ugly at all.

    1. Oh the poor lady. I feel so fortunate that I have only minor problems left. I can hide the scars with a fringe and the other feeling are little to worry about.
      You are being so sweet but I do look pretty grotty in that photo.

  4. I've heard that shingles can recur, so I'd suggest getting the vaccine if you can. I heard about a friend's father who got shingles and had the blisters all down one side of his body from underarm to hip. He was most uncomfortable when trying to sleep.
    You're not at all ugly.

  5. Years ago my sister-in-law had shingles on both sides of her waist and was in fact bedridden for several days. The old story used to be that if the blisters joined from one side to the other you would die but I am sure this really was an old wives' tale.
    I can't help thinking how wonderful you all are saying I don't look ugly but I know I did and I tried to avoid mirrors for weeks. Just had to take that snap of myself to keep for a souvenir.