I've been diagnosed with shingles 06/02/2012. I waiting two weeks before seeing a Dr. I thought initially I had a pimple on my back, the area was in a place I could not see. My guy looked at it, insisted there was nothing visible. The pain was so intense I drove straight to my Dr. after a business appointment and was so grateful to get someone to examine me without a scheduled office visit. I explained; I felt as if someone was putting a cigarette out on my back. I was seen by the Physicians Assistant that day and was not comfortable with her diagnosis of Shingles. She prescribed me Gabapentin 100 milligrams 2 times a day for 2 days, followed by 100 milligrams 3 times a day for three weeks and also gave me a script for vicodin 750 milligrams 14 pills. Needless to say after 3 days I felt no relief from the Gabapentin and the only relief I got was from the vicodin... which is a terrible drug for your liver however I could not stand the pain and had no choice but to take it.
I made an appointment three days later with my regular Dr. He took my blood, sent me for an x-ray and a cat scan within 24 hours (I may not have an MRI due to other issues). The Dr. asked me come back to the office three days later and he confirmed I had shingles. He said I need not worry about being contagious. My skin never got a rash. I stayed away from everyone for three weeks. I live alone and regardless of the fact the Dr. said I was not contagious I would never wish this on anyone, no less be resposible to possibly give it to anyone. I was not suprised with the diagnosis as I have been under a tremendous amount of stress, more than I have ever endured in my 56 years of life. I do not know whether or not I had chicken-pox as a child.
After one week I felt absolutely NO relief from this medication. After finishing the Gabapentin, two weeks later, my Dr. put me on Gabapentin 300 milligrams twice a day for two days and now one pill 3 times a day; 900 milligrams a day total. I have had very little improvement and find the pain much worse in the evening. He also prescribed 750 milligrams of vicodin 4 times a day, or as needed. I tried my best not to take the vicodin however by the early evening I have no choice. He also prescribed a pain patch (Lidoderm) to put over the area (the pain radiates from literally an area less than the size of a dime). It has been 11 days that I have been on the stronger medication and feel just a touch better. I walk around with no clothing on at home, as if anything touches the spot I go through the roof.
I can not take anti-inflammatories, they do not agree with me. Is there anything else a doctor might prescribe? Any suggestions would be appreciated. It is so difficult to sleep. I own my own business and took a few weeks off of work. I can not imagine how people could possibly work with this terrible condition nor have bouts with this continually for another 6 months or more. July 9th will be 2 months, I can not wear a bra as the strap lays in a place that sends me through the roof. I have good hours during the day sometimes but most I am still miserable. Grateful to find this site to know I am not alone with this dilemma.Thanking anyone who answers in advance!