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Shingles shot for someone under 50
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An_207698 posted:
Hello, I am currently going through my second bout of shingles. I am 32 years old. This time isn't has bad as the first time except for the pain. I am in good health otherwise (I had recently had a physical exam with blood work about a month ago). I was wondering if there were any studies/off label uses for the vaccine in someone my age. What would be the complications if someone my age received the vaccine. I read that a study in Minn. found that recurrence of shingles is 1 of 3 in those that had lasting pain associated with the shingles (thats me) but it never discussed age. I am nervous of getting this AGAIN after this bout is over. Can you provide any insight/websites/studies that can ease my mind a bit? Thanks.
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Annie_WebMD_Staff responded:
Hi Anon_158620,

Please visit our Shingles Health Center and talk to your doctor about the shingles vaccine.

Dr Evans has some post replies discussing shingles, try putting shingles into the board's search engine and then sort them by Expert and you'll find them.

Read this article about the shingles vaccine and then talk to your doctor about it.

Take care!

- Annie
Take a look at the announcement area for links to the various WebMD skin related health centers!
 
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im_not_painkiller_seeking responded:
wow. i know this is a year old so i don't know if you will see this An, but i completely know where you are coming from. I was only 27 when i experienced my second bout of shingles. ive never in my life felt something so unbelievably painful, and i was nearly killed in a car accident, suffered skullfractures/brain injury resulting in 25 or so staples to the head, had my lip torn off, 4 teeth knocked out, facial bones shattered, 3 bone grafts from my own "harvested bone."
my first bout was diagnosed by a hospital, but without insurance it cost me 1500$ at least, and they didnt even give me any medication of pain killers even though every nerve in my body was screaming like a demented banshie. They suggested "tylenol" (that should "ease" the pain right? almost lol, if it wasnt the worst thing ever to happen to me). i completely admit to using drugs recreationally in my past, but when someone is actually in serious pain, that is what the drugs are for. for some reason scrips for xanax are a dime a dozen and can be tremendously more dangerous and addiction to benzodiazapines can very easily be deadly, even with monitored medical care. But now doctors are unbelievably reluctant to necessary pain medication to anyone under 50 in my experience. i'm well connected, i can get any drug on the planet with very little leg work and a phone call or two, but the point is, i dont want to be forced into felonious activities when i'm honestly sick out of my mind. i wasnt looking to get "high" i was just looking to not blow my head off to stop the pain.
the second time i got shingles things were even more complicated. I came down with exactly the same symptoms, but this time i could feel the itchy/tingling/burning spot where i fully expected the rash to break out, but it never actually became obviously indicative as most, but not by any meals all, shingles cases present. I was scared that perhaps the first time i had been incorrectly diagnosed, it is unusual for someone so young to get shingles, in pretty good health (yes i have a drug history can effect the immune system, but i've never had any major medical problems besides things like recurring pneumonia and colds, no cancer, genetic diseases, exotic, basically i get run of the mill infections rather often, but not "in bad health,") its rare to not have the rash, and really rare to get it again and so soon. But it was a very very tough few years in my life and i was under insurmountable stress and already had an anxiety disorder and ive gotten sick from stress pretty often so i'm pretty sure that is what cased it to re-emerge.
the real problem was i still had no insurance. i knew that it felt exactly the same, but what if it was not shingles to begin with but a nerve disorder that could get worse? fibramialgia? an auto-immune disorder? i wasnt just in need of pain killers, i needed to know what was wrong with me. so i went to an urgent care caz i knew it would only be like 150 for the visit, since hospital was out of question. but the doctor blew me off right off the bat. he diagnosed me with "a sinus infection.: i was livid. the only thing in my body NOT effected was my nose, no snot, not inflammation, no sinus head ache, no stuffed ears, no sinus infection, but he refused to listen to me. he gave me antibiotics that i didnt need and no regard to the fact that giving out antibiotics like candy is a building public health nightmare creating superbugs and becoming more and more ineffective. DO NOT get me wrong. antibiotics are a miricle and anyone who NEEDS them should get them (saddly often the cant, i honestly know of places you can trade antibiotics for heroin. strait up heroin. thats how hard they are to get for some people, others get them shoved down their throat.)
the problem is because i wasnt a typical case, didnt have insurance, and lack of connections i was unable to get ANY help for such a horrible dangerous disease.
i totally feel your pain man.
 
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im_not_painkiller_seeking responded:
While i feel terrible for you and very sympathetic of what you are going through, what i am glad to see is that someone else understands what i went through. i wish more, hell all, doctors knew that someone as young as us can get this disease, and get it multiple times. They should know that not all cases present with ALL of the symptoms. Sometimes cases present differently, that is what "unusual presentation" means and should be looked at and taken seriously. I couldnt afford a good doctor, or obviously even a competent one, but the care i got was unacceptable. not only was i not taken seriously, even though i have a BS from a top ten school in biological fields, im happily married to a Dr. of biological physics, had no drug charges or history of drug seeking from doctors, my only problem was that we cant afford insurance and without, in this country, medical care is virtually impossible.
the doctor wouldnt listen to me at all. i was adamant, this was not a "sinus infection," not even the most uncommon of the uncommon sinus infections as he suggested that a sinus infection can present in many mysterious ways. i have no idea what on earth would suggest to him that it was at all related to a sinus infection. why he was so eagerly willing to accept the most uncommon "sinus infection" diagnosis, but overly ready to dismiss the shingles hypothesis because it was missing just one symptom (obvious rash) is far and beyond me. i wasnt married to the idea of it being shingles mind you, i really wanted to make sure that it wasnt misdiagnosed to begin with, but this was most assuredly the very same disease as the first time i experienced shingles. i also would have greatly appreciated ANY prescription at all to help ease the pain, it was most assuredly warrented.

my real reason for responding to your post, which i admit i have a problem with achieving brevity, is that people in our age group have virtually no information at all with anything to do with shingles. no one i knew my age or plus or minus a decade knew what shingles was when i was diagnosed, including myself and my husband (as i previously stated i have a biological science degree from UofMich and my husband a Phd in another biologically related field so we are both quite educated and knowledgeable about a plethora of medical matters) I learned about shingles briefly at the hospital while my mind was barely able to think in a linear fashion from the pain. i was not informed or given ANY medications, including antivirals to lessen the effect of the disease and minimize other complications. I just now found out about the vaccine and now really wonder why it is only indicated for people over 50.

People and even MORE importantly DOCTORS need to be educated that people in their twenties and thirties can very well get the disease and whats worse, they absolutely can get the disease again and very soon.

No one shoule ever have to go through the absolute horrendous pain that shingles causes it can in any way be avoided. I'm not religious, bu the closest thing i can even come close to comparing it to would be burning in hell for several weeks. it never lessens and never eases for weeks and in some cases months. no sleep. cant eat. just laying is excutiating. i havent even mentioned everything that my husband had to deal with while i was sick. he did everything he could to take care of me, but obviously it was really hard on him and i was in no way an easy patient. how could i be with all the pain.

if there is a vaccine, even if it does efficacy over time and needs to be re administered later in life, we and doctors should be fully informed and given the choice. This is a horrible disease and possibly one of the most painful possible. More awareness is key.

I'm happy to have heard from you An, but only because i felt alone and unbelieved. I felt everyone just thought i was making it up because there was no or - urine stick test showing definitive results.


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