We’re Under 50 And We Both Got Shingles [PHOTOS]
More young people are getting it nowadays, so it's important to know what you're looking for.
A couple of weeks ago, I was working outside when my face and right side started to itch and burn. I thought it was just the humidity; when I put my pajamas on that night, I had what looked like a heat rash on the right side of my tummy.
I took Benadryl and applied cream for the next couple of days...and the rash got worse. It appeared on the right side of my face and around my eye.
I sent this pic and a pic of my side to my friend, who's a registered nurse. She said, "Girl, that's shingles!" I thought she was joking - wasn't I too young to get shingles?
I couldn't get in to see my primary care doctor, so I face-timed with a doctor on an app. I mentioned shingles and he said, "No way, you're too young. It's an allergic reaction." I started on some steroids and went from there.
The next day, Pat got in the pool and I said, "OMG YOU HAVE A RASH, TOO!" He thought it was just a mosquito bite.
I washed our bed sheets twice, checked for bed bugs, etc. Pat went in for his physical yesterday and the doctor confirmed it - it's shingles.
I'm 36 and Pat is 41.
Shingles is basically the chicken pox virus, living in your system, reactivated. It can be very painful and last for months at a time.
Luckily, we both had mild cases with no pain, which is probably why it was misdiagnosed. We had just traveled to Iowa, so it's possible we picked it up in an airport or anywhere, really.
The misconception is that only the elderly can get shingles when, in fact, anybody who's had the chicken pox can get it. As soon as we mentioned it, we got phone calls and emails from people who'd had it...and they were all under 50.
Talk about something we never thought we'd get, especially at this age! Anything is possible, so it's important to watch out for the signs.