pain in the…face: part three

I will be reblogging these first person accounts of shingles as an incentive to those of us in our 50s and 60s to get the herpes zoster vaccine …


The rule of thumb is the faster you seek treatment for herpes zoster, the sooner the damaged nerves heal, and the sooner the pain subsides. I didn’t know what the mess on the right side of my face was, but thought it was a drug reaction to an antibiotic my dentist gave me after root canal surgery. This story has no happy moments! Sorry. Root canal. At least it’s something normal people have done, not one of these one in a million or 39 examples in 150 years of records (or whatever it was) deals!

The chain of events is a blur. All I know is I made an appointment to see my doctor, the veteran MD who’d never seen a worse case of herpes zoster in all his years practicing medicine. It was a week or more after onset before I saw my doctor, plenty of time for the…

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3 thoughts on “pain in the…face: part three

  1. Thanks! It is something to avoid if possible.

    I can’t speak to the efficacy of the vaccine. It came out too late for me. There was an issue about whether it is a live or killed virus in the vaccine, and whether I, as an immunosuppressed individual because of Wegener’s granulomatosis treatments at the time, would benefit or take too big a risk if I had it.

    People should discuss the benefits and possible risks of the vaccine with their doctors if they are in the high risk category, i.e. had chickenpox as a child.


  2. In my case, no one remembers my having chickenpox as a child, yet when chickenpox swept through Cat Beard Manor when my two sons were babies … I didn’t get it. My wife got it, but I didn’t.


    1. If you had a mild case of chickenpox, it may not have been obvious. I’m no doctor, though. You might want to talk with your doctor for his opinion about the vaccine anyway.

      Because of the Wegener’s granulomatosis issue, the benefit of the vaccine to me was a bit muddied. The rule of thumb is I won’t die from WG, but some condition the WG left me vulnerable to.

      The pulmonologist who treated me for WG and I think the mandible necrosis is more likely related to Prednisone and the fact that WG affects the small and medium sized blood vessels, i.e. kills their @$$ dead!

      The herpes zoster just took a weakened vascular system and completed the job started by the earlier disease and treatment. That’s what we think. The dentists (regular dentist, orthodontist and oral surgeon) want to believe one scenario, and my pulmonologist and rheumatologists have their version of the truth. I’m just there for the medical journals and interns to ponder.


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