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Note to readers

This site has been inactive for a while but will soon be reactivating. After a case of shingles that began in November, I experienced a complication known as postherpetic neuralgia. Nerve pain has affected daily life, but with prescribed medications it is under control and slowly improving.

I was aware of the Shingrix vaccine that is regularly advertised. According to the American CDC, its effectiveness in preventing shingles is 90 percent or more. However, I was discouraged by the $300+ cost. British Columbia does not cover the vaccine cost, nor does our Pacific Blue Cross extended health insurance. In Ontario, if you’re between 65 and 70 years old, you can get vaccinated against shingles free of charge.

When I decided against the vaccine, what I didn’t know was that complications of a reactivated varicella zoster virus could last for months. My experience leads me to strongly recommend Shingrix to anyone 50 years and older and to all adults with weakened immune systems. Anyone who does experience the symptoms of shingles should see a doctor immediately so antiviral medicine can be started. These are most effective in the earliest stage.

Categories: Uncategorized

8 replies »

  1. My wife had this break out on June 12 of last year. She still gets pain attacks. Never one to complain, she has suffered mightily. I got the vaccine at the earliest possible date as have many friends and neighbours not wanting to share in that suffering. I would be curious to know what you’re taking for the postherpetic neuralgia. Nasty stuff, shingles. Of course, none of this is made any easier by the current state of health care. Be well.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am sorry you are going through this. For your readers’ information, if you have had chicken pox, you are at risk of shingles. If you do get shingles, the sooner you start treatment, the better. Days matter. If you feel tingling, numbness, and/or an unusual sensitivity to touch, commonly in the vicinity of your waist, see a doctor immediately.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This is good advice since antiviral medications work best at the beginning of an outbreak. In my case, the rash was preceded by headache, muscle aches, low-grade fever and vague nausea.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Just completed the second vax for shingles and encourage everyone over 50 years to do so. Most doctors and pharmacies in our town are freely doing the vaccination however our government fails to provide this medicine even though serious cases can cost thousands with hospitalization. As we all know governments that focus on preventative measures will save us taxpayers millions. Get well soon.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Sorry to hear you had an attack of that.
    Happy to hear you are recovering.

    Yes, the vaccine cost $150 a shot and you need two. Certainly surprised me, but paid it remember when I was a kid some one the parental units having it and being in a great deal of pain.

    It is “weird” the provincial government doesn’t cover it. Don’t remember it ever being covered, so its not something new.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sorry to hear of your medical issues Norm, and hope you continue to improve. One of my wife’s sisters had a bout with shingles two years ago that affected her eyes and scalp. She’s still experiencing head pain and is extremely sensitive to light.

    Shortly thereafter my wife got vaccinated and commenced reminding me to do the same. Like you, I’ve been procrastinating.

    There’s a current TV commercial that reminds me somewhat of my reaction to your post. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n1LT2ndk3ZE
    Insert “When Norm Farrell says it, it makes so much sense” instead of what “Ted” actually says, and you’ll get my point. So thank you for that.

    I’m getting the first shot next week, and incidentally our Blue Cross extended covers 70%, so anyone considering the vaccine shouldn’t just assume they aren’t covered.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. So sorry to hear, what a nightmare! Truly appalling that BC doesn’t even cover Shingrix – says a lot about Govt’s skewed priorities.. (If Greens don’t win next election(s) I’ll be V worried for BCers’ mental health.. & for our future!) Hope you feel much better & recover fully sooon: your no-BS news/views are needed more than ever in Backwater BC-!!🌿

    Like

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