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-   -   Any experience of Shingles? (https://www.pprune.org/medical-health/538640-any-experience-shingles.html)

misterblue 26th Apr 2014 15:51

Any experience of Shingles?
 
I am busy exploring the many, many delights of shingles. Started about 5 days ago and it apparently has wandered down the C2 spinal nerve. It is having a gentle dig at muscles around my clavicle and has also decided to make an appearance on the side of my face (most of it is at the back of my head and hidden by thin stubble).

Has anyone got any experience regarding Class 1 medical and flying? Any ideas how long it is before I would be well enough to fly? At the moment, discomfort and lack of sleep preclude it absolutely.

I have been given aciclovir, but as this was started a bit too late, it doesn't appear to have halted the merry march of my pox.

gingernut 27th Apr 2014 20:13

Ouch !

You're fit to fly......when you're fit to fly.

Best case scenario, when the lesions settle, aprox 7-21 days, (AME can advise you best.)

Post herpetic problems (usually pain) can affect patients for many months, the agents (drugs) used to control the symptoms are probably more of a problem, in terms of flying, than the pain. Sometimes the odd twinge can be controlled with regular paracetamol, which doesn't seem to cause many problems for pilots.

misterblue 29th Apr 2014 09:57

Thanks, gingernut.

It really is a voyage of discovery. I can plot the advance of the pustulance over hours, though some element of digging in rather than further gains now seems to be happening.

Of greater surprise is the neuralgia. It seems to be strolling around different districts, like a tourist, before returning to main base overnight. Yesterday, it strolled down my arm to my thumb, overnight an eyelid, then this morning, teeth!

Of greater concern to anyone else who gets this, is the undulating nature of it. Can feel fine for a few hours, then quickly deteriorate to zombie status pretty quickly. Short hair is a bugger. Lying on it in bed is like having hundreds of pins simultaneously inserted.

Who knows what's next. :ooh:

slam525i 29th Apr 2014 10:09

Oh Boy. I feel for you. I've never had it but I'm a microbiologist by trade (can I say that when I'm unemployed??) and I can only imagine what it actually feels like.

Acyclovir and the like works best if you take them early. They're significantly less effective when the pox has already taken-hold again. Not that this is useful information to you at this point I suppose. (Eh... wouldn't be the first time I've been called a "barn-door expert".)

mad_jock 29th Apr 2014 10:58

misterblue I am some sort of weirdo that has had chickenpox three times now. The last time when I was 30 was particularly not pleasant.

I am now particularly switched on about spotting kids with it before I get anywhere near them.

Some times I am legging it and the parent isn't even aware they have it yet.

I have even denied boarding to pax with it.

That was a major argument with the parent. They don't understand what it can do to adults.

slam525i 29th Apr 2014 11:12

mad_jock, You can't "catch" chickenpox a 2nd time. Shingles, which is a reappearance of chickenpox, comes from "latent" virus hiding in your cells from when you first got chickenpox.

Shingles is terribly unpleasant, but avoiding people with chickenpox doesn't help. Shingles comes back from latent virus re-emerging, so the best you can do is to keep your immune system strong, and to go on anti-virals as soon as you suspect it's coming back up.

(This is a separate issue from adults catching chickenpox for the first time. That's terribly unpleasant too, but there's a vaccine to guard against it now.)

mad_jock 29th Apr 2014 11:25

mate you bloody can cause I have


I can even give you the names of the little brats that gave it to me the last two times.

And that's exactly what the quacks said as well, "but you can't get it more than once".

Both had to admit it was chicken pox and gave me a 14 day sick line from work, I even managed to give it to a kid that was staying on the 3rd infection.

It may go completely against medical theory but if I spot chicken pox I keep well away from it. I am not having chicken pox blisters on my nuts ever again if I can help it if that means off loading pax from my aircraft so be it.

slam525i 29th Apr 2014 17:00

mad_jock, that's... weird...

You know, you can ask your doctor for a bit more information. Ask for an antibody titre test. It's just a bit of blood you have to give. It should show a normal titre for someone who's been previously exposed to chickenpox. If it's low, you're probably right in that you're still susceptible. You can discuss trying the vaccine anyway with your GP. You have no other immune issues, right?

BTW, anyone with chickenpox or shingles is infectious and can give it to children who haven't had it yet. mad_jock, you can consider it payback if you wish. :E

mad_jock 29th Apr 2014 18:50

No problems at all on that front. Very rare I get anything and when I do its sleep for 24hours and then back to normal.

Second time I got it the Doc was a bit sceptic that it was CP the first time. And the third was down right unbelieving until he read my medical records.

He was going to do more tests while it was active but the practise nurse chucked me out as soon as the receptionist told her that I was in the building with CP. He got a right mouth full from her for even taking me into his office. I had to wait outside for my doctors line which was all I was in for anyway.

gingernut 30th Apr 2014 08:01

misterblue, the post lesion pain can be a real pain for some patients.

We're not allowed to give specific advice on here, and of course, see the doc ame blah blah, but generally speaking, don't forget the simple stuff, paracetamol etc. Paracetamol is an extremely underrated drug, we use it very successfully in cancer care - the key is to get patients to have faith in it, and to use it regularly.

However, nerve pain often requires a different approach - the nerve pain agents, (amitriptyline, gabapentin etc) seem to work extremely well, but I'm guessing would mean a no no to flying. Having said that, would have thought uncontrolled pain would be a no no too, guess it's something you'll have to chat with your ame about.

I've heard that capsaicin cream (chilli) has been used, but I have no experience of it's use. I'm guessing it works by forming a counter irritant to the pain, 'bit like accupuncture and TENS. May be worth ago, certainly less invasive than the other agents.

Wishing you a speedy and uneventful recovery. :)

mad_jock 30th Apr 2014 09:18

paracetamol dosage to be effective needs to be prescribed by someone that knows what they are doing.

I helped out a friend doing her Phd on it as a lab rat . And its dosage is quite sensitive to get a max effect but not overdose.

Most people that take it never overload the liver and for it to be any use. But its quite a fine band between beneficial and overdose with damage.

The dosage on me was upped on a series of weeks and tests and there was a tip point when it actually started working in the manner intended. This dosage to me seemed remarkably high. I am not going to give numbers because its all linked to body mass. But it was significantly different to the dosage on the retail packets.

She was definitely in the mind that it should be a prescribed drug.

I must admit I haven't taken it since those tests, but apart from prescribed post op pain killers I haven't take anything else either.

ShyTorque 30th Apr 2014 10:50

I thought this was a slightly dyslexic thread about how many engines....

gingernut 30th Apr 2014 22:48

Playing the odds with paracetamol is an extremely dangerous game, that involves no-return, mad-jock.

I wouldn't advocate playing around with the dose. Unfortunately, have seen death in as little as 7.5gms/24 hrs.

And it's not a particularly good way to go :-(

Could I respectfully suggest that you delete your post mad jock ?

slam525i 30th Apr 2014 23:36

gingernut, if anything, I think most people are unaware of the liver damage that can be caused by paracetamol/acetaminophen. I don't think it's a bad thing to point it out.

gingernut 30th Apr 2014 23:43

My concern is that people may tip the balance.

mad_jock 1st May 2014 09:52

come on my advice was to consulate a doctor before taking it.

I Also warned that the dosage of it is particularly individual.

I didn't give any numbers which people might think would work for them but are particular to a 100kg rugby player.

The fact is until you over load the liver paracetamol just gets metabolised then there is a very fine individual band when its full effects come into play. Screw that up and you 3-5 days in agony dying.

But you really need to be in the hands of a knowledgeable professional for it to be of any real use. And that doesn't include most of the doctors and dentists who advise people to take it.

Personally I consider it to be a high risk pharmaceutical to have in the house and I just don't process it. And I avoid any over the counter medications that contain it for colds etc.

So to me advising anyone to take the stuff without warning them of the potential overdose issues is a bit naughty.

I will admit I might have just been scared away from the stuff by a highly intelligent Pharmacologist and consultant Anaesthetist but even to a thick engineer for the little I saw of the data its bloody nasty stuff to get the dosage right on and self administered via over the counter medicines its a bit of a Russian roulette in respect to accidently overdosing. Which if you do its either a liver transplant or death.

misterblue 1st May 2014 10:03

Thanks again, gingernut for the concerns.

So far, codeine, aspirin, paracetomol (at the packet suggested dose) and naproxen, all taken on different days I hasten to add, have had no effect.

Haven't tried alcohol yet. I don't think it would dull the pain, but maybe I would care less about it. Bring on the 'two-hat' cure.

mad_jock 1st May 2014 10:44

go speak to your doctor and see if he thinks co-dynomol would help.

Buy its then into the no-fly range of drugs.

Strangely enough I was using a anti dandruff shampoo called selsun for a skin fungus infection at the time of the last time I got CP. And it seemed to help with the itching.

But I will bow to those that know if this was just a random fact that my nuts stopped itching after I used it.

Rocket2 1st May 2014 10:49

Misterblue - you have my deepest sympathy. I had a full on "half moon" attack around my chest in 2003, the scars are still visible & the resulting pain was horrendous - I reckon I slept for about 30mins in 2 weeks. Thank heavens I have a loving & understanding wife.
Initially my doc just prescribed over the counter drugs, but after 2 days when I was screaming in agony I was prescribed some really whacky opiate based pain killers & other drugs to kill the virus. I also attended a pain clinic & was given an industrial sized TENS machine (note to self - be careful with the power control - I knocked the control accidentally once to full power & was jumping around the room as if I was getting jolts from the electric chair before I could turn it down :uhoh:
Although not a commercial pilot, I was off work for a month & off (private) flying for 3 months while the drugs dispersed out of my body. Even now there are times when the itching returns (I liken it to having ants crawling around my body then suddenly stinging en-mass).
Good luck

misterblue 1st May 2014 15:20

Thanks chaps.

Rocket, don't worry about the ants for the moment - I seem to be looking after them for you.


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