Yesterday, in an irrational frenzy of “Pacemaker Preparation” (kinda like when I go out-of-town I make sure the bills are paid and the house painted before I leave) I got vaccines for shingles in one arm and pneumonia in the other. My arm with the pneumonia shot is sore but the shingles really stings. They shoot the live shingle virus under the skin, not in the muscle – I’ve got a huge red welt which a day later is flaming red and REALLY hurts. I’ve had shingles twice and the shot is preferable.
The first time I had shingles I had been diagnosed with fibromyalgia for a short period of time. The burning neuropathic pain in my arms and legs was excruciating. So when my lower abdomen started burning I just assumed it was the fibromyalgia. When it hit me that the burning red tracks were shingles I went to my doctor.
“Why did you wait a week to come in?” he asked. “I thought it was the fibromyalgia”, I replied. He stared at me for what seemed like eternity (Doctors aren’t suppose to stare, they are suppose to EXAMINE). “You mean to tell me THAT’S the kind of pain you’ve been in!?” he exclaimed (this is beginning to sound like a bad novela). “Yup, I replied”, both of us realizing for the first time how painful fibromyalgia really is.
The moral of this story: Think of shingles pain when someone tells you they have fibromyalgia and get yourself a shingles vaccine shot.