Reoccurring chickenpox and shingles.

heapsreal

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Im sorting of repeating myself here but have a question at the end. I had chickenpox as a kid and at 31yo as apart of cfs onset, 14 yrs later at 45 had first shingles episode on Left side of head when i stopped antivirals for a short period. Even when back on famvir i had mild reactivations for several months later. 12 months after first shingles episode again i stopped famvir and again another big shingles episode in the same area and went back on famvir and continue to have several mild episodes since every so often even though on famvir.

Fast forward to my recent crash because of a famvir shortage but did change to valtrex. There is possible cmv and ebv involved in my cfs. Not long after running out of famvir several weeks ago, i noticed what I thought was increased pimples on my chest and around my shoulders, plus a few dots on my stomache. Its not uncommon for me to have a couple of spots in these areas but not this many. Honestly thought the hot humid weather here may have contributed to increased acne. At the start of it i started using isocol on them to kill any bactetia that may cause acne and to help dry it out. It didnt really respond much. The weekend just gone i did try squeezing a couple with no success other than one on my shoulder and it just turned to water and no pimple there afterwards. Yesterday i noticed them starting to dry up.

Im now wondering if this was a chickenpox episode ??? Im abit thrown off as ive never heard of someone getting chickenpox and years later shingles and then later on chickenpox. The other thing is if it was chickenpox , ive never heard it localized to one but broad area as in mostly chest and shoulders with some on tummy. Didnt look like shingles in that it followed a particular pattern as in a nerve line which shingles commonly does. Chickenpox id have thought would be all over my torso, face, arms and legs. Unless the valtrex reduced how far it spread???

It did cross my mind it may have been a bacterial staph infection but at the start of this i was on augmentin for sinusitis, which would have sorted or prevent any staph skin infection. Its probably to late to get a swab of the area?

So i have heard of others getting chickenpox more than once as well as shingles. But never heard of anyone getting chickenpox after they have had shingles. So im interested to know if anyone has heard of anything similar.

Cheers.
 

lenora

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Hi Heapsreal.....I've had shingles four different times. The first when I was 42 and no one could figure out what it was, and the 3rd, 4th and 5th followed one right after the other when I was about 66 or so. Each case was worse than the one that preceded it. The Dr.'s couldn't decide if I should get the only available shingles vaccine at the time (I have a neurological condition that makes such things difficult), but I went ahead one day and 'went for it." I figured that I couldn't survive another bout of shingles to that extent, and the vaccine made a great deal of sense. I didn't get the illness for the duration of the five years...and I consider that some sort of record for me.

I've now had the longer lasting vaccine, given in two separate doses, and feel glad that I did. Sometimes you simply have to take your health into your own hands. Besides, my hubby who was on the forefront of my care was all in favor of me going ahead and having the new vaccine. I hope it's as good as they say it is....you've had it, so you now what a nightmare of an illness it can be. I've never heard of cases of shingles and chickenpox..I'm not saying it's impossible, I'm merely saying that I haven't heard of any. You must let me know more about it if it ever darken your doorstep again. Also, if you're thinking of getting the updated vaccine I'd go ahead and get your name of the waiting lists/ Yes, there are presently waiting lists for the vaccine and my guess is that the Coraonvrius has made the situation even harder/ I have to tell you that I'd rather live through most anything before I'd tackle a round of shingles again. Yes, I did have the antivirals, but they didn't make much diffrence in my case. The PHN afterwards was horrid, although it has lessened with time. Good luck. Yours,, Lenora
 

heapsreal

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Hi Heapsreal.....I've had shingles four different times. The first when I was 42 and no one could figure out what it was, and the 3rd, 4th and 5th followed one right after the other when I was about 66 or so. Each case was worse than the one that preceded it. The Dr.'s couldn't decide if I should get the only available shingles vaccine at the time (I have a neurological condition that makes such things difficult), but I went ahead one day and 'went for it." I figured that I couldn't survive another bout of shingles to that extent, and the vaccine made a great deal of sense. I didn't get the illness for the duration of the five years...and I consider that some sort of record for me.

I've now had the longer lasting vaccine, given in two separate doses, and feel glad that I did. Sometimes you simply have to take your health into your own hands. Besides, my hubby who was on the forefront of my care was all in favor of me going ahead and having the new vaccine. I hope it's as good as they say it is....you've had it, so you now what a nightmare of an illness it can be. I've never heard of cases of shingles and chickenpox..I'm not saying it's impossible, I'm merely saying that I haven't heard of any. You must let me know more about it if it ever darken your doorstep again. Also, if you're thinking of getting the updated vaccine I'd go ahead and get your name of the waiting lists/ Yes, there are presently waiting lists for the vaccine and my guess is that the Coraonvrius has made the situation even harder/ I have to tell you that I'd rather live through most anything before I'd tackle a round of shingles again. Yes, I did have the antivirals, but they didn't make much diffrence in my case. The PHN afterwards was horrid, although it has lessened with time. Good luck. Yours,, Lenora
Thanks for replying. Im really not sure if the recent episode is chickenpox or not. It was a strange case of acne if it was. I definitely have viral symptoms but which herpes virus it is could be any of them. I wish id picked up on it earlier and got a biopsie.

Vaccine here in australia is quite expensive but free if over 75 or something rediculous like that. If i could get it i would. But also the logic behind it in my situation doesnt make sense. When i originally stopped famvir in 2015 we were under the impression my viral issues were ebv/cmv but i did get tested for varicella before i decided to stop famvir. My blood work came back saying i had excellent immunity to varicella. No titre level given, must be some steange policy here as all virus are either igm or igg negative or positive and thsts it. Within days of stopping famvir the shingles landed on my head and put me out of action for 3 months.

When i saw my dr, he said its possible the excellent immunity was just showing high viral titres and it was a chronic active infection not actually immunity. When we spoke about the vaccine, we both came to the logic that i basically had plenty of antibodies so the vaccine wouldnt be of much use. The reason shingles reactivated wasnt the antibodies but other parts of my immune system that are down like nk function and neutrophils that let these infections take a foot hold.

But this was just trying to problem solve the issue with an educated guess and trying to justify the expense of the vaccine that may not work in my situation. Dont get me wrong, if i could afford it id throw it in the mix. I think it was $500-$700 here and it was a coin toss if it worked. Plus i was doing well on famvir.

Viral testing is so far behind and Australia which is quite innovative in many aspects of medicine are just hopeless in this area for us mecfsers.

I appreciate your response and will accept any spare vaccines you may have 😉🤣
 

lenora

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Dear Scott.....I'm sorry to hear that Australia is so backwards in not supplying and paying for the flu vaccine in people like us. That's an outrageous sum to have to pay, although it's probably not too much less for us, if we can't qualify. I think the age for this one is 50 yrs., which makes a lot of sense.

Of course I can't talk to someone from Australia without mentioning how heartbreaking the fires must have been for all of you. We watch a lot of Australian films, Asher Keddie, is a particular favorite, so feel that we "know" the country even though we haven't been there. We have a daughter who lives in N. Calif. (San Francisco area) and, of course, the problems are similar. My husband went out for a drive on his own during a solitary visit a couple of years ago after a lot of the vineyards had burned and was surprised at how little damage there was. I hope that's the same true of Australia, although I know that your fires were much worse to begin with. Personally, I believe that something's going on in the environment and it's past time for us to get involved. Just my opinion, though.

You're awfully young to have cycled through so many times of having shingles. Horrible things, aren't they? I'm not on any of the anti-virals, so hope that will hold me...who knows?

I wish you well. Yours, Lenora
 

Pyrrhus

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If you're taking Valtrex to prevent shingles, be aware that the standard dosage of 1 gram 3 times per day is sometimes insufficient.

When I took the standard dosage of 1 gram 3 times per day, I continued to see shingles rashes, although they were much smaller than usual. When I increased the dosage to 1 gram 4 times per day, the shingles rashes disappeared completely.

Hope this helps.
 

ljimbo423

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The reason shingles reactivated wasnt the antibodies but other parts of my immune system that are down like nk function and neutrophils that let these infections take a foot hold.
I would just like to share my experience with shingles. I had them for the first and only time a couple of years ago. I had some of the herb echinacea on hand.

If I remember right, it's suppose to boost NK cell function as well as other parts of the immune system. The shingles started with just 1-2 blisters and I got another one each day for a couple of days. I also felt miserable from the reactivation.

I started taking 1,000-1,200 mg a day of an echinacea extract, in capsules. Within 24 hours the blisters stopped forming and within 2-3 days, the ones I had were almost gone and I felt almost 100% again. Echinacea is known to work very fast but I didn't think it would work that fast and be that effective!

There are many other herbs that are very effective immune boosters too and can be safely taken long term. Medicinal mushrooms are very good, long term, to keep your immune system strong.
 

lenora

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Hi Rufous.....Lucky you that echinacea worked. Even luckier that you remembered that bit of advice. I think I'd lose my mind if I encountered shingles again. Funny isn't it....I've been through some pretty rotten things, and above all I remember those shingles bouts as being the worst. It is true that each successive break-out is worse than the one prior to it.

Right now I'm wandering around (and definitely not leaving the house) with a rash on my chest and upper back. The itching is driving me nuts, but I think the culprit is an ingredient added to a compound cream which helps a lot with the residual pain left from my first surgery. I think the ketamine added to the original cream is drying things out and leaving me with this terrible rash. If I put on the anti-itch cream that has been recommended for it, I'm then greasy and itchy. I've been trying to go without the cream but the pain is just too much and I'm forever grateful to that cream. Ketamine given this way, with the other creams, isn't as absorbed by the skin, thus doesn't cause the side-effects that ketamine alone would do. (Or so I've been told by my neurologist and I don't know how many pharmacists). If anyone has any advice apart from this, I'd be glad to know. I do know that I'm tired of always being in pain and having to put some slimy substance all over my upper body. It was working very well until new meds were added to my regimen. I think they overwhelmed my system...and I had the exact same thing occur when I had shingles and new meds were added. I can remember buying a washing detergent for hyper-sensitive skin and rinsing my clothes for three times. It finally abated on its own but I don't know how long it took. I can remember that I had to wash my hair with Ivory soap...and that was it. And I have such small, skinny shoulders....at the very least, I should have been born with larger ones!

I do have echinacea in my arsenal of drugs & could try it. I just may if this continues over the weekend. The cream was working very well until I began to add it more than twice/day b/c of increased pain. I may just have to cut back. I do wish my neurologist would return, but he has some pretty heavy problems of his own and I hate to bother the poor man. He called Rod very early one a.m. this past week. Both know each other very well, so I know the problem was properly explained. Yuck!! I'm just lucky that I don't imagine things easily or I'd be in a state hospital fairly close to Dallas!

I hope you've rested up after your days with your very proud daughter and the baby. I know that Rod used to do a lot of the chasing and bathing at that age. Of course when I say bathing, I should add that Maggie's hair was saturated, but it didn't take me too long to figure out he hadn't bother with shampooing it. Mind you, she was our youngest but a real handful until she was about 4. She's the most delightful child ever at this age...but I can see change once again looming. Off I go....you too, for a nap! Love, Lenora.
 

heapsreal

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If you're taking Valtrex to prevent shingles, be aware that the standard dosage of 1 gram 3 times per day is sometimes insufficient.

When I took the standard dosage of 1 gram 3 times per day, I continued to see shingles rashes, although they were much smaller than usual. When I increased the dosage to 1 gram 4 times per day, the shingles rashes disappeared completely.

Hope this helps.
When famvir was running out, my dr put me on valtrex and 500mg a day is supposedly a suppressive dose, as i wasnt having major varicella issues yet. But like in the past when i have changed from famvir to valtrex, the viral stuff starts to come out again. Im seeing him soon so will mention higher doses.
 

lenora

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Yes, there was a a time when it seems that every child was given Cod Liver Oil at least once if not twice/wk. My mother was a firm believer in many of these homemade and store-bought manner of giving "good things" to their children. I do believe they worked in counteracting the many bugs that were around and were responsible for stopping the signs of Contagious. Actually, I could use some good old-fashioned Cod Liver Oil now....I just don't know if my kidneys, liver, etc., could take the extra load at the moment. (Ibuprofen & Acetamephoen (?) can damage the liver, kidneys, etc.). This can get to be a scary old world, can't it? Yours, Lenora
 

Crux

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HI @heapsreal ,

I'll take a 'stab' at part of this question.
I don't know about recurring chicken pox, but I've had chronic shingles for more than 15 yrs. now.

I tried a lot of supplements but nothing worked for long, so I began to avoid triggers. The list grew and became almost impossible to follow. It was mostly acidic foods, fermented, etc.

I've not had an outbreak for 3 months now, and it appears to be from taking a calcium chelate supplement.
Hard to believe, but I've even been eating lots of yogurt and foods that used to cause outbreaks and neuropathy within hours sometimes.

I don't believe the calcium chelate is antiviral. It's probably because it's protective of nerves that it works.

Calcium chelate has improved my sleep too. (I recall that you have insomnia.)
 

vision blue

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Im sorting of repeating myself here but have a question at the end. I had chickenpox as a kid and at 31yo as apart of cfs onset, 14 yrs later at 45 had first shingles episode on Left side of head when i stopped antivirals for a short period. Even when back on famvir i had mild reactivations for several months later. 12 months after first shingles episode again i stopped famvir and again another big shingles episode in the same area and went back on famvir and continue to have several mild episodes since every so often even though on famvir.

Fast forward to my recent crash because of a famvir shortage but did change to valtrex. There is possible cmv and ebv involved in my cfs. Not long after running out of famvir several weeks ago, i noticed what I thought was increased pimples on my chest and around my shoulders, plus a few dots on my stomache. Its not uncommon for me to have a couple of spots in these areas but not this many. Honestly thought the hot humid weather here may have contributed to increased acne. At the start of it i started using isocol on them to kill any bactetia that may cause acne and to help dry it out. It didnt really respond much. The weekend just gone i did try squeezing a couple with no success other than one on my shoulder and it just turned to water and no pimple there afterwards. Yesterday i noticed them starting to dry up.

Im now wondering if this was a chickenpox episode ??? Im abit thrown off as ive never heard of someone getting chickenpox and years later shingles and then later on chickenpox. The other thing is if it was chickenpox , ive never heard it localized to one but broad area as in mostly chest and shoulders with some on tummy. Didnt look like shingles in that it followed a particular pattern as in a nerve line which shingles commonly does. Chickenpox id have thought would be all over my torso, face, arms and legs. Unless the valtrex reduced how far it spread???

It did cross my mind it may have been a bacterial staph infection but at the start of this i was on augmentin for sinusitis, which would have sorted or prevent any staph skin infection. Its probably to late to get a swab of the area?

So i have heard of others getting chickenpox more than once as well as shingles. But never heard of anyone getting chickenpox after they have had shingles. So im interested to know if anyone has heard of anything similar.

Cheers.
I havent read thru others replies yet, but have posted becore that ive had a recurrent herpes virus in two placed i wasnt sure if was shibgles or herpes simplex 1

Were any of your shingle recurrences confurmed as shingles? One of the arguments on mine were that tge frequent recurrences argued for hsv1 rather than shingles. Mine have not been confirmed.

When you got the spots in seceral plaves, did you also have nerve pain?

I am unqble to take either valtrex or acyclovir because of side effects. Do yku think famvir worked better than tge valtrex? I have been reluctant to try because i figured its just snotger prodrug. That converts into the exact same active ingredient in the body. And since I reacted badly to both Val tracks and a cycle of ear I figured it was the active ingredient that I could not tolerate. I also have a couple of tablets of fountain Villa but I find that they have a very strong smell and so on those grounds to I’ve just been reluctant to try it. I have a massive sale issue and a lot of big Pharma does me in.

Have your MD said anything interesting about your recurrent virus? Most mine will do is prescribe the same antivirals in the matter how many times I told him I can’t take them. They are of course dis interested in finding another solution even though I get pretty sick from my recurrences and think it is producing neural degeneration. And Even less interested in any solutions that I bring
 

vision blue

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@Crux that is very i teresting on the calcium chelate. I wonder if I could tolerate that as I always figured calcium is too hard on my esophagus. I cannot for example take Tums or any ant acid that has calcium carbonate in it. Hearing about calcium supplements depositing in vessels also is in back pf mind

Like you, a lot of food will trigger it for me as well. For many many of them ate arginine foods- nuts and chocolate. Had to give up having my blended walnut drink and at least my recurrences reduced. Then reduced further when I gave up the small amount of dairy free chocolate crackers I was eating. Interesting on fermented food since those bother me in other ways but I don’t think triggers virus. Lysine has never done anything for me and I think the powder bothers my throat when I try it

What brand do you use? I’m curious to look up the ingredients.

I’m in a recurrence now, I’m feeling pretty miserable. I think this one was set up by that one they typically warm sunny day we had and I was sitting outside. Not that I need a reason. I think the OP’s comment that her doctor thought she had chronic active shingles is interesting because I feel like I never really get rid of this herpes virus now.

To the op: what was your igm? Positive or negative.

Australia has had the absolute best info on tyramine sensitivity ive ever seen so iim a believer in your guys med system more than ours in the US. Maybe you can visit the US and get a vaccine for it? Spend 500-700 on a plane ticket And at least get a vacation out of it too
 

heapsreal

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I havent read thru others replies yet, but have posted becore that ive had a recurrent herpes virus in two placed i wasnt sure if was shibgles or herpes simplex 1

Were any of your shingle recurrences confurmed as shingles? One of the arguments on mine were that tge frequent recurrences argued for hsv1 rather than shingles. Mine have not been confirmed.

When you got the spots in seceral plaves, did you also have nerve pain?

I am unqble to take either valtrex or acyclovir because of side effects. Do yku think famvir worked better than tge valtrex? I have been reluctant to try because i figured its just snotger prodrug. That converts into the exact same active ingredient in the body. And since I reacted badly to both Val tracks and a cycle of ear I figured it was the active ingredient that I could not tolerate. I also have a couple of tablets of fountain Villa but I find that they have a very strong smell and so on those grounds to I’ve just been reluctant to try it. I have a massive sale issue and a lot of big Pharma does me in.

Have your MD said anything interesting about your recurrent virus? Most mine will do is prescribe the same antivirals in the matter how many times I told him I can’t take them. They are of course dis interested in finding another solution even though I get pretty sick from my recurrences and think it is producing neural degeneration. And Even less interested in any solutions that I bring
The 2 big episode of shingles i had were confirmed by my dr. Im neg to herpes 1 and 2 on blood tests. I was originally taking famvir for cmv and came off antivirals to see how id function. Because chickenpox was one of the 3 herpes infections along with ebv and cmv that started my cfs, i had a blood test to check my immunity to varicella virus. The test came back saying i had excellent immunity to varicella. With less than a week of being off antivirals was when i got the shingles outbreak on the side of my head. My dr said maybe the blood test saying i had excellent immunity was showing i had high active antibody titres that may have indicated a high viral load instead of high immunity.

Previous outbreaks ive had while on famvir and while not as severe still cause increased fatigue and headaches similar to a cfs crash. Its not until a few days later that my wife or I notice the shingles as it is amongst my hair and hard to see. I usually notice it gets itchy as it scabs up over the shingles area. Ive had several swabs and skin scrappings but they arent able to identify anything more than inflammation, maybe because i get to it too late and or im on famvir. The pain i get from it cause an all over type of headache and other times it will just be on the left side of my head where shingles were or are. Had some photos taken during these less severe shingles episodes and when my hair is short, my dr said it looks like shingles.

My previous and current dr dont do anymore than antivirals and medication for nerve pain, not that there is anything else they can do for virus reactivating. My blood work always shows my neutrophils are low and the cfs study i was in over 10yrs ago showed i had low nk function tracked over an 18month period.

Famvir is different to valtrex. It is the pro drug of penciclovir. Famvir supposedly has less side effects and has longer intracellular half life than valtrex. Famvir may be more active against ebv, cmv and co.
 

heapsreal

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HI @heapsreal ,

I'll take a 'stab' at part of this question.
I don't know about recurring chicken pox, but I've had chronic shingles for more than 15 yrs. now.

I tried a lot of supplements but nothing worked for long, so I began to avoid triggers. The list grew and became almost impossible to follow. It was mostly acidic foods, fermented, etc.

I've not had an outbreak for 3 months now, and it appears to be from taking a calcium chelate supplement.
Hard to believe, but I've even been eating lots of yogurt and foods that used to cause outbreaks and neuropathy within hours sometimes.

I don't believe the calcium chelate is antiviral. It's probably because it's protective of nerves that it works.

Calcium chelate has improved my sleep too. (I recall that you have insomnia.)
Chickenpox and shingles are the same virus, varicella. Ive had 2 cases of chickenpox, once as a child and the other in 2002 age 31yo when cfs started. First shingles episode was 2015 and had many episodes since. Each episode has mostly been less severe.
 

Crux

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Chickenpox and shingles are the same virus, varicella. Ive had 2 cases of chickenpox, once as a child and the other in 2002 age 31yo when cfs started. First shingles episode was 2015 and had many episodes since. Each episode has mostly been less severe.
Yes, but shingles neuropathy took me to my knees, where as chicken pox made me want to claw myself !
 

Crux

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@vision blue ,

I was also intolerant of other forms of calcium, but this "Source Naturals", calcium chelate was fine.
The label doesn't state which amino acid is used, The tablets are big and have 200 mg, of elemental calcium.
They don't taste great, but not too bad. I take in divided doses, and not too much daily. ~ 400 -500 mg.

I've ordered "Carlson's" calcium glycinate to try. The tablets are 250 mg.

I've learned that when there's a calcium deficiency, phosphorus can accumulate and bind with calcium causing organ damage, even all cause mortality. Calcium gets the blame but often it's the excess phosphorus that's suspect.

I believe some of the intolerances I've had were from the excess phosphorus, For instance, I couldn't tolerate vitamin D. It enhances calcium and phosphorus uptake. Now I can tolerate small amounts.

My neuropathy is much better, but it will take time for the nerves to heal.

No more shingles .
 
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