Sunday, September 15, 2013

Five years of shingles

On the eve of my fifth anniversary of contracting shingles, I woke yesterday morning with the most intense ache around my left eye in months along with a headache. I swung into my current solution: I put drops in the eye, took a Motrin, and applied an ice pack for five minutes. In about half an hour, the serious ache reduced to my normal unpleasant sensation around the eye and the headache was gone. At one point in my journey with postherpetic neuralgia (PHN), the medical term for the aftermath of shingles, I applied heat, but I have determined that ice packs work better. I have been taking Nutrigold Turmeric twice a day for the past four months with no discernible impact on my postherpetic neuralgia. I have gotten a pleasant side effect from the Turmeric: an ache in the back of my right thigh that had tortured me for at least a decade each night as I tried to go to sleep disappeared. As a result, I am going to continue taking this Indian spice, Turmeric, in pill form for the foreseeable future in hopes of a cure or at least an easing of my aches and itches. Turmeric has a reputation for reducing pain and inflammations along with easing the loss of memory that afflicts the old.


lmikkel said...

I have had phn for the last eight years and understand so well your plight. After nerve blocks, anti-depressants, Botox, acupuncture, laser therapy, anti-seizure drugs, Lyrica, and a host of other recommended treatments I found that the only thing that helped was an inordinate amount of physical exercise that ultimately helps break through the pain barrier. I would certainly appreciate hearing your thoughts and approaches to this affliction.

Kenneth Crowe said...

Dear Imikkel,
I have come to realize that the only end in sight for our affliction is the end of this life. As a result, I treat the symptoms with a three-step formula:
1. I apply an ice bag for 10 minutes to the area of the eye, forehead and sometime scalp.
2. I take a Motrin.
3. I meditate for 10 to 20 minutes. I breathe in and out, aware of my breath going and going out.
I only apply the three steps when the unpleasantness is intense as it has been this morning. This approach softens the symptoms; nothing ever takes them away.
As for exercise. I have exercised all my life, intensely when I was younger and more moderately in recent years. Beginning in 1971, I have mediated on a daily basis. I recommend exercise and meditation every day.
All the best,
Ken Crowe