So back at the end of October I was blessed with a shingles outbreak on my arm. At first I thought it was just a typical rash from an allergy, poison ivy, etc. so it was a week before I finally broke down and went to the doctor since none of the usual remedies were working on it. Of course by that time the rash of clusters of tiny blisters had spread from just two quarter-sized spots on my forearm to covering the length of my whole right arm from my shoulder to my knuckles.

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Pic from 3-days in and it got much worse.

Oddly enough, in my case it never really itched at all. On the other hand, after about the 4th day my whole arm felt like someone had worked it over with a meat tenderizer for several hours and then lit it on fire. As uncomfortable as that was, it was the nerve pain in my right hand that was (and continues to be) the worst part of it as I'm just now getting to where I can do some minor things with that hand again. Even something as simple as clicking the tv remote with my thumb was an adventure in relentless pain. I used to think the pain from a pinched sciatic nerve in my lower back due to a herniated disc was bad - this made that comparable to the prick of getting a shot!

Even now some 3 weeks into being on med's the use of my right hand is fairly limited. Even just putting the slightest bit of pressure on certain spots will result in a sharp and intense pain that will endure for a couple minutes. Suffice to say my sailor vocabulary comes out several times a day as I make the mistake of using my right hand to do simple things like turning a door knob, grabbing a plate out of the cubbord, etc.

Fortunately I'm on the mend and my arm is looking normal again aside from a couple scars near my elbow where it was really concentrated. Just hoping my hand gets back to normal before too long as I have two guns here from Savage that I need to get out and review but there's no chance in hell I'm going to subject my hand to recoil given it's current state.

So all that said, if you ever had chicken pox and are over 40 I would highly recommend get the shingles vaccine even though your doctor probably won't even mention getting it until you're over 50. From a few articles I've read it seems the Covid19 vaccines have a tendency of increasing your chances of having a shingles outbreak by around 3-5%, so if you've been fully or partially vaccinated I would strongly urge getting the shingles shot which is 90-95% effective for people under 70 with a good immune system. I was lucky in that the outbreak was on my arm, but most people have outbreaks on their face, back or the side of their torso where the skin is often much more sensitive making the pain that much more intense. If the outbreak is on your face and around your eye it can potentially cause blindness or even be fatal if it migrates into the brain.