Shingles AGAIN!

Well I was only saying to a friend last week that I hadn’t had a spell in hospital since last December… but here I am. Started last Saturday when I started scratching an itch on my right trunk to the side and it was quite sore. I had been feeling vaguely unwell for a couple of days – very tired. So when I looked a saw a small patch of shingle I knew I had to act fast.

I had been taken off aciclovir tablets only a couple of months ago, having been on them for years, so I was probably vulnerable. As it was I immediately took one of my remaining tablets and got myself off to hospital – I was lucky as Northampton had a bed available in the cancer ward.

As I’m immunocompromised I have to have IV aciclovir for maybe 5 to 7 days – a really hefty dose 3 times a day. Also I’m in isolation, as I could infect a patient who hasn’t had chicken pox. The med is very strong and sometimes it hurts as it goes in. The flushing afterwards is really painful. Apparently local inflammation is common in up to 10% of cases. I had to have the first cannula out when the back of my hand swelled up and I started to leak aciclovir!

Apart from that my spots have not spread and there hasn’t been too much pain. It’s in the same area as before. Last time I was in agony, but I have more of a generalised aching this time. The drug has made me a bit queasy. Just beware that in big doses it can damage the kidneys and liver, so drink plenty if you have to take it. Also, rarely it can cause mental problems like hallucinations, so if you start feeling a bit weird, then tell somebody straight away.

I have taken the opportunity to get the place where my line was to be checked. It was dug out hurriedly when I had an infection before Xmas (though it probably wasn’t the cause) and left a scar which seemed to heal OK. But for some weeks it has been red and a bit sore and lumpy round the site. So off to x-ray at some stage to make sure nothing was left in there, like the cuff.

Will update again when I’m let out!