I have them.
I wish someone had a camera on my face when the Dr told me this. She may as well have told me I had the bubonic plague. I mean, really, wth??? Am I 90? Or do I live in the Middle Ages?? Who gets shingles???
I was working at the Dr's office today, and asked the secretary if I could sneak in for a quick visit. It just so happened someone cancelled the first appt of the day.
Saturday as I lounged around the house and played Super Mario Bros. on Wii all day, I got this weird looking "rash" spot on the top of my belly, jut under my cleavage... but then along the side of my ribcage I had this weird burning/pain sensation. Kinda itchy, but not really. Sunday it got worse, and definitely no more itching. Just all pain. I didn't sleep well at all either night, and today it's continued around to the back of my ribcage, too.
After listening to my symptoms and looking at the areas in question, my Dr said she suspected shingles. I think my exact reaction was, "OH MY GOD, WHAT??!!!" She said it's leftover from the varicella strain and can exhibit itself in times when the immune system is weak (ie suppressed with prednisone). Great.
So I'm taking an anti-viral medication which should slowly relieve the symptoms. Luckily, she said young people usually recuperate fully, whereas sometimes older people can have residual discomfort after having shingles.
And, I think in an effort to make me feel better, she added that she's seen a number of cases of young women with shingles lately. Hmmmm.
What's next? Leprosy?