Out and About After Shingles

I was freed from hospital on Monday after what proved a light bout of shingles. I have been given a short course of valaciclovir and will then return to probably 3 months of aciclovir. Valaciclovir has some advantages – see http://www.medicinenet.com/valacyclovir-oral/article.htm. Today I discussed the whole thing with my consultant. She said that when people have been taken off prophylactic aciclovir about 40% will get shingles in the next couple of months. Nobody knows quite why this happens. But if I take another course and then come off it in a few months it shouldn’t happen again.

As it stands it wasn’t much of an issue for me, except the fact I endured 8 days of isolation. Maybe people need to be warned though, as it can be nasty for people who are immunocompromised and the more quickly it can be caught the better.

I paced about a lot trying to keep my muscles fit, and it seems to have worked fairly well as yesterday and today I have done my usual walking, although am very tired afterwards. I do think that all patients on visits of more than a few days and who aren’t immobilised should be given suggestions for gentle exercises, some of which can be done seated. We had a small foot pedal machine at Leicester, which was helpful.

I had a new round of blood tests today, including a free light chain one (shows my disease level) and also my immune system levels. I won’t know the results for a while, unless there is a problem. My next immunoglobulin drip will be here in Northampton next Monday, instead of Leicester, which will be very helpful.

Not sure if anyone from Northampton reads my blog, but I have to say that the staff were all great while I was in – from cleaners to consultants. They are working under tremendous pressure and staff shortages, but are always cheerful and helpful.