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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Pay Now or Pay Later

When it comes to your health, there is no shortcut. Actually, deferring paying now might cost you more later. Last night, I was vaccinated against something I really have always feared:

Shingles

I knew that if a person had shingles as a child, she is in danger of developing shingles. One  person I know lost her sight when the shingles settled above her eyes and eventually into her eyes. Yesterday, my friend told me she is losing her hearing because shingles on the side of her neck went into her hair behind her ear. Everyone who has had Singles, claims it is extremely painful and involves pustules, oozing, redness, and scabs. Lovely.

I was vaccinated against shingles tonight at Rite Aid. The vaccine is between $190 and $220. My "insurance" covered the vaccine, so it cost me $3.50. Even at $200, it is a bargain considering the pain I have heard accompanies shingles. Plus, anyone with shingles must see a physician and fill prescriptions, neither of which is exactly cheap.

Anyone over 60 does not have to have a doctor's prescription. Just go to an immunizing pharmacy and present your insurance if you have insurance. I used Medicare. At first, the tech said my insurance would not cover it. The pharmacist showed her how to "get it to work."

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/shingles.html

http://www.cdc.gov/shingles/about/overview.html

So far: shingles vaccine, flu vaccine, pap smear
Next: mammogram, pneumonia vaccine

Update: Last night, the injection site felt like someone was pinching me. It throbbed a bit after that. Tonight, while I was driving, I made a scratching motion across the injection site, not realizing what I was doing. That HURT! I stopped by the pharmacy because I could not see it while out of the house. He said it was a red place about four inches across that is hot. I could feel it was hard about 1 inch across. One in three people has a reaction. Lucky me.

Your turn
Have you had shingles? Are you over 60? Have you had your shingles vaccine yet?

15 comments:

  1. There is something everyone can do to avoid shingles when immunized or not. Almost always, people who develop shingles have some type of a blood dyscrasia which allowed them to develop shingles after exposure to varicella zoster virus at some point in their lives. One can't necessarily prevent leukemia or lymphoma, but one may be able to prevent many of the anemias, which are also blood dyscrasias which predispose to shingles.

    See my article:

    http://survivalweekly.com/downloadable-files/chicken-pox-and-shingles/


    Glad you got protected.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Jane,
    Thanks for the link. But, I am dense or something. How can a person prevent getting shingles? Make sure you aren't anemic? You said "anemias." I only know of one anemia.

    I am going to post an update now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Linda,
      There are many different types of anemias, and different types of blood dyscrasias. Many people have these all their lives and although they may work to control them when they are younger, often as they age, they become less attentive, or perhaps more frustrated. Addressing any types of blood dyscrasia, ESPECIALLY anemias will go a long way to closing the gap and preventing a full blown episode of shingles, both with and without the immunization for varicella zoster.
      This is a post on general anemia:

      http://rationalpreparedness.blogspot.com/2011/12/address-anemia-now.html

      There may be multiple causations and types of anemia. A physician needs to diagnose and treat persistent anemia, and then if it does not resolve, a patient needs to return for additional testing. Iron deficiency anemia is the one most people think of, but there are hemolytic anemias, and anemias which occur because in the presence of an autoimmune illness, the patient may simple not make sufficient red blood cells on the level of the marrow. Anemias predispose to shingles. In fact, every patient I have ever had in the hospital or the ICU with full blown shingles either had anemia or another blood dyscrasia. Hope this clarifies.

      Delete
    2. Jane,
      Thanks for all the information. I called my friend is hoping to regain her hearing that she lost from shingles. I told her about the anemia connection. She was surprised. It seems no one tells us patients these things.

      Now, I have reading to do.

      Delete
    3. Linda, I don't know that correcting anemia will repair nerve deafness which occurred as a result of post shingles deafness, however anemia should be corrected if it exists, for everyone because it is a co-factor in mortality for so many other illnesses.
      We were all taught that anemia and blood dyscrasias are predisposing factors to shingles, and most of us avoided it with heavy exposures long before the immunization. Best wishes to your friend.

      http://treato.com/Anemia,Shingles/?a=s

      Jane

      Delete
    4. Jane,
      She is not hoping to cure the anemia to regain her hearing. It is a miracle she is alive. She was in end stage renal failure for years, going blind, and all that reversed. However, she is ill and confined to a wheelchair, so shingles was just one more worry. Thanks.

      Delete
  3. Shingles can be miserable! I've never had it, but I have a friend who had it in his 20's! He was studying for finals and apparently stress can make them pop up earlier in some people. Lucky him, he didn't have any long-term complications. One thing that I think is fascinating is that you can't give someone shingles, but you can give a child who's never been vaccinated (or had them!) chicken pox. People with Shingles should be upfront about having it, especially if they work with children or are around them. Trust me...their parents will appreciate that! Jane, your insurance sounds great. I wonder if you can get vaccinated at any age?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jefferson,
      Or, Michelle? Anyone over 60 can walk in and get a shingles vaccination. However, a trip to the doctor is required for anyone under 60. Yes, I had to hear that twice to understand I heard right about giving chicken pox but not shingles.

      Delete
  4. Oh whoops! I accidentally called you Jane! Sorry about that, Linda! Also, this is Michelle, not Jefferson! *blush*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Michelle,
      It's okay about the name.

      Delete
  5. Shingles can be miserable! I've never had it, but I have a friend who had it in his 20's! He was studying for finals and apparently stress can make them pop up earlier in some people. Lucky him, he didn't have any long-term complications. One thing that I think is fascinating is that you can't give someone shingles, but you can give a child who's never been vaccinated (or had them!) chicken pox. People with Shingles should be upfront about having it, especially if they work with children or are around them. Trust me...their parents will appreciate that! Jane, your insurance sounds great. I wonder if you can get vaccinated at any age?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jefferson,
      I am glad my stress has not led me have shingles. Oh, I think it would be so irresponsible not to stay away from vulnerable people.

      I would think a person could be vaccinated at any time.

      Delete
  6. For days I kept lifting my shirt and asking family members "Are you SURE you don't see anything?"

    I was in the first stage of shingles and already it was HURTING. I went to the doctor and had already diagnosed myself. Luckily he agreed. AND, if it returns, it always returns in the same place. So, I'm glad mine was around my waist, because I don't think I could have stood it, if it had been anywhere else.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I think if you've contracted chicken pox in the past, it can reemerge as shingles later in life.

    ReplyDelete
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