Ali Fedotowsky-Manno, 37, got shingles: ‘I can’t even explain how horrible the pain was’


Ali Fedotowsky-Manno was on The Bachelorette in 2010. She got engaged on the show and that relationship lasted over a year, which is longer than those tv romances typically last. She now has a five-year-old daughter, Molly, and a three-year-old son, Riley, with her husband of four years, TV host Kevin Manno. Ali has an influencer-type Instagram full of wholesome family content and some sponsored posts. We rarely hear about her and that’s usually a good thing for former reality stars. Ali was on Inside Edition this week, where she described her recent battle with shingles. She’s only 37 and didn’t realize that people her age could contract it. At first she thought it was a reaction to Botox in her forehead where the rash started. She said the pain was so bad she would wake up screaming. The good news is that she had it in August and has since recovered.

Ali Fedotowsky-Manno was in disbelief when she was diagnosed with a case of shingles at just 37 years old.

The former Bachelorette star opened up about her experience with the virus in an interview with Inside Edition on Wednesday, explaining that she did not suspect shingles at first, and instead assumed she was reacting to Botox when she felt a tingling in her forehead.

“Honestly, I couldn’t believe it … I’m only 37 years old. How could this possibly be happening?,” she said. “I always thought it happened to people in their 60s.”

Shingles, which is caused by the same virus as chickenpox and typically occurs in people over age 50, can result in a painful rash, according to the Mayo Clinic. Fedotowsky-Manno told Inside Edition her pain was so bad she compared it to “lightning bolts pulsing through my brain.”

As she teared up, Fedotowsky-Manno said, “I didn’t think I was going to get emotional talking about this, but the pain was so bad that there were times I would wake up in the middle of the night just screaming, just begging my husband to make the pain stop.”

She added, “I can’t even explain how horrible the pain was.”

[From People]

I googled “can Botox trigger shingles.” There are documented cases in medical journals of it happening just as Ali described and starting at the injection site. I’m not saying that’s what caused her shingles just that it’s possible given the circumstances.

I had chicken pox in preschool and I remember wearing mittens so that I wouldn’t scratch myself. I’m 48 and was going to wait until I was 50, as is recommended, to get the shingles shot. I’ve heard it can be rough shot to recover from, but like every other vaccination it’s much better to have some minor side effects from the vaccine than to get the actual virus. My ex’s mother got shingles and she had terrible rashes all over her body. There are so many comments on the YouTube video from people who had shingles at young ages, including when they were still in school. I’m going to see about getting the shingles shot sooner rather than later. The excellent covid vaccines have convinced me to get all the shots I need and not to put them off.

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62 Responses to “Ali Fedotowsky-Manno, 37, got shingles: ‘I can’t even explain how horrible the pain was’”

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  1. fluffybunny says:

    I’m planning on celebrating my 50th birthday by going to CVS and getting the shingles vaccine. My MIL has had it twice and still isn’t vaccinated. My husband possibly never had chicken pox and I keep pushing him to either get a test to prove he had it and they didn’t realize it or get the vaccine.

    • ME says:

      If he never had Chickenpox he doesn’t need the vaccine. I’ve heard it’s an easy blood test to confirm if he’s ever had Chickenpox. He should get tested.

      • CJ says:

        If he never got Chickenpox he can get the chickenpox vaccine

      • ME says:

        @ CJ

        Sorry, I misread fluffybunny’s comment. I thought she wanted her husband to get the Shingles vacccine without knowing if he’s ever had Chickenpox.

    • Carmen says:

      My son took the chickenpox test and to both our shock discovered he had asymptomatic chickenpox when he was four years old. It’s rare but possible to have chickenpox without the rash. He immediately got a shingles shot, and had his second shot two months later.

      I had shingles three years ago and wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. It feels like every one of your nerve endings has been lit up and set on fire. The pain was absolutely excruciating. After I recovered I got the shots to prevent a.recurrence. Once through that hell was enough. The shots weren’t bad at all. I had a sore arm for a day or two but that was it. Beats the hell out of having shingles.

      • notasugarhere says:

        I got mine in my left arm just in case, and it was muscle ache sore for a few days each time. Much better than the pain of shingles and the potential blindness from it.

      • SS says:

        I’ll be honest. Both shots were rough. I had a fever and the shakes so bad my teeth were clacking together for 24 hours each shot. But I did it.

    • Agirlandherdog says:

      My neighbor got shingles last year, and she described the pain. I was horrified and asked my doctor for a shingles vaccine at my appointment. She said insurance will not pay for the vaccine until after you turn 50. Because of course. Stories like this scare me. I’ll also be heading to the pharmacy for a shingles vaccine on my 50th.

  2. KA says:

    I am 38. I had shingles last year, in my arm. The joint pain was TERRIBLE. And then the rash was basically like my entire arm, fingers, and palm was covered in Poison Ivy. It was no joke- and I was able to get anti-virals which helped reduce the time period. When I went to the doctor they asked if I was under stress- which was laughable in the middle of a pandemic, virtual schooling 2 kids, working full time, the national politics of the time, etc. Of course I was stressed! Anyway- apparently stress can trigger Shingles. And you don’t have to be in your 60s! Side note- I asked for the Shingles vaccine and my Doctor told me I would need to get it like 3 times before they would recommend the vaccine early.

    • Hotsauceinmybag says:

      I mentioned down thread my friend had it below at 29 and it covered so much of her back, looking just like poison ivy. I’m so sorry you had to go through that.

  3. Noodle says:

    My daughter developed shingles at age 4, very soon after getting the chicken pox vaccine. It was HELL. Poor baby cried and wailed and screamed for days on end, and we had no idea what was wrong because she didn’t get the rash right away. The shingles attacked the nerve in her leg, making the pain move up and down the leg. Her pediatrician said he had only seen shingles in a patient that young one time before, and he couldn’t tell us why she was afflicted. We don’t know if it was her body’s response the CP vaccine (same virus), or just a fluke. I have deep compassion for anyone who develops shingles because it is truly a heinous condition.

  4. Oh_Hey says:

    i got shingles at age 12 – any one can get it at any point given enough stress on the body. Mine was triggered by an extreme case of the flu that saw me loose 25 pounds and 2 months out of school. My immune system was shot and the chicken pox virus (which is what shingles is) reactivated. Both myself and my parents thought it couldn’t be shingles until I responded to the treatment (for me a topical and pain meds) well.

    • Nina says:

      I got it when I was 21, back in the 80s! I got the shot as soon as they came out with the more advanced one.

  5. Nicnack says:

    I tried to get shingles vaccine but my pharmacists wouldn’t do it. Apparently 50 is the guideline. I’m 47 and I have to wait. I had a TERRIBLE case of chicken pox as a kid. I want that shot.

  6. BeanieBean says:

    I had shingles when I was 34 & I, too, didn’t realize it could hit me so young. Hit me on the top of my head, down the middle of my forehead, & across my right eyebrow. Excruciating pain, swelling along the lines of blisters & then my entire forehead, eyes nearly swollen shut, with painful nearby swollen lymph nodes. It is no joke. I was off work for three weeks. And you are contagious during that time, you can pass on chickenpox. My doc convinced me to get the vax (you get two shots, minimum four months apart); she said the antibodies I got from having the shingles were long gone from my body. The shots themselves weren’t bad at all, for me; the COVID shots were more painful.

  7. lucy2 says:

    Someone I know just got the shingles vaccine and it packs a punch, but it’s so much better than actual shingles. I know several people who have had them, and it’s brutal. One told me it was the worst pain she’s ever felt, including having her 2 kids.

  8. Twin falls says:

    Apparently the shingles vaccine study didn’t include people under the age of 50 and only lasts 5 years, hence the recommendation to wait until you’re 50 or older to get it.

    Is Gen X the last generation to have childhood chicken pox? My kids both had the vaccine.

    • Lizzie Bathory says:

      I’m a “geriatric millenial” (lol) & I had actual chicken pox, as did my younger sister. There was no vaccine at that point.

      I’m hoping to get the shingles vaccine after I’m a few more weeks out from my COVID booster. A good friend had shingles around the same age as this lady & he was in agony.

      • BlinkB says:

        Same, I’m late 30s and had chicken pox when I was young. I wasn’t aware they’d developed a vaccine, I thought they were still just letting kids get it as did my generation and above!

    • Ky says:

      @Twin falls I’m an x that got chickenpox in my 30′s. My niece’s daycare was closed due to a chickenpox case and she joined my daughter at grandma’s house for the day. They had both been vaxed. No biggie! Nobody knew I’d never had the pox. Almost three weeks of hell. There was no such thing as a chickenpox vaccine when I was a kid. Trust and believe I’ll be right there for that shingles vax when I hit 50.

    • terra says:

      I’m a 34-year-old millennial and I had chicken pox when I was six and shingles when I was twenty-two. My shingles case was just a handful of months after my M.S. diagnosis when I was deep in the throws of recurrent vertigo attacks, so it hit when I was already down.

      My little brother is seventeen and despite being vaccinated for chicken pox he still came down with them when he was little. Thankfully, his case was incredibly mild because he was not happy about either calamine lotion or oatmeal baths.

      Whenever I think about chickenpox, though, I just think about my late father’s story: when he was a kid he had chickenpox and the measles AT THE SAME TIME.

      • K says:

        At age 11, I was the last of all my friends to get chickenpox and probably the first to start my period. Both fell on the same week, for the exact duration of spring break. I didn’t even get to miss school with a good excuse, it just made for an absolutely miserable and painful vacation. Because of this timing, I maintained my perfect attendance record (from K-8th grade, never enjoying a day off.) God, I put way too much pressure on myself as a kid–such a Virgo!

      • terra says:

        @K Yikes! Yeah, my first period was awful enough without being sick on top of it. That must have been terrible.

        I can certainly empathize with starting to menstruate so young. I was ten when my period arrived, just days before my grandparents took me to DisneyWorld . . . in AUGUST.

        My incredibly sensitive skin broke out in a rash from all of the sweat between my thighs causing some horrendous chafing thanks to my newest frenemy, the maxi-pad. Since I was ten there was no way I was going to use a tampon and that was my undoing. Ah, hindsight.

    • ME says:

      My relatives in the U.K. told me their government doesn’t offer the Chickenpox vaccine. I know some of their young kids have gotten Chickenpox and they are a part of the Gen Z generation. So I guess it depends where you live?

  9. Hotsauceinmybag says:

    A few summers ago, my best friend got shingles and she was only 29 at the time! Since she’s a surfer and we spend a lot of time at the beach, we initially attributed it to being a jellyfish sting, just based on her level of pain. We even went to a pharmacist who thought it might be just some irritation. Later that night, her girlfriend’s mom (who was a doctor back in Russia) casually diagnosed it as shingles and once she had that diagnosis she was able to get the care that she needed, not that there was much that could be done. I felt bad for her, she was in so so much pain.

    And no, she’s never gotten Botox before. But since it could be related to skin issues, she was on Accutane for most of our high school years. Wonder if that has any connection…

    I got a really mild case of chicken pox as a kid, and my sister never got it, despite my mom’s multiple attempts to get her to have it so she could just get it out of the way. I will definitely get the shingles vaccine once I’m eligible, though I am two decades away lol

    Seems like there are more instances of younger people getting shingles so why not make the vaccine more available and widen the eligibility, especially when you can pass shingles on as chicken pox to those are don’t have immunity?

  10. NotSoSocialB says:

    I just finished my shingles vax in early October. I’m 55. I was febrile (101.5), exhausted and my upper arm was red, hard and hot, and by god did it ever itch several days later. The discoloration lasted for 2-3 weeks. Second shot was easier than the first. That said, after reading so many comments about getting it young, I’m grateful I never experienced singles despite being 5 years late.

  11. Singtress says:

    My Rhumatologist has a friend that got shingles in her va-jay-jay.
    Oh my gawd.
    It was apparently horrific.

    I remember years ago David Letterman had it and was out of his show for weeks.
    I’ve heard it’s awful.

    • Cessily says:

      Omg.. I am scheduling my vaccine today.

    • NotSoSocialB says:

      Awful…when I was in nursing school. a fellow student got chicken pox and had some lesions there, too. She horrified many of us with the story!

    • Lex says:

      My partnet got it last year… in between and all over the buttocks… and even onto his genitals. He couldn’t sit down for weeks

  12. Cathy says:

    The first time I had shingles I got it under my right boob, right where an underwire on a bra sits. It blistered and that was nasty…

    The next time it was on my neck… no blisters this time which was a blessing, sort of.

    It seems that, for me, everytime I get really run down it’s going to come back. I will be getting the vaccine next time I visit my doctor.

  13. teehee says:

    My mom had shingles, just before turning 60. She was in tears despite pain medication and heavy treatment to subdue the virus. I would visit her and she would be weeping…
    She said the pain was worse than childbirth, worse than any pain she has ever experienced- it attacks the nerve sheath directly.

    It is triggered by stress- if you are on burnout and undergoing a lot, or carrying a lot of ordeals in life at that time, then zoster will take advantage of your compromised state and come out of hibernation.
    Remember stress is many kinds: emotional, psychological, physical– and definitely combinations. And you can be compromised by many things, like other illnesses or lacking nutrition etc.
    For my mom it was the passing of her mom and dealing with her cruel father after her passing, that collapsed her immunity.

  14. AMA1977 says:

    I had shingles at 28, a couple of weeks before my wedding. My doctor said the stress of planning probably set it off. I thought I was cool, calm, and collected, but my body said otherwise. It was in a band around my waist (I remember my doctor also asking if that would be an issue with my wedding dress, lol, which, no, it was not a cut-out gown!) and it felt like FIRE if anything touched it, I can remember walking around at work holding my cotton blouse away from my waistline because if it brushed against me I wanted to die. Absolutely awful. If you’re eligible for the vaccine, get it! You don’t want shingles.

  15. Jamie says:

    My son (who is now 25) got shingles when he was 2 right after he got the chicken pox vaccine and it was awful. He gets it in the same spot every so often and they will not give him the vaccine because not enough research has been done on younger people to ensure its safety. Thank God for Zovirax and GSK because it’s no picnic.

  16. Ann says:

    My husband got chicken pox as an adult. He got it from our son, who caught it from his classmates just about a year before the vaccine was approved. My son had a mild case, but it can be particularly dangerous in adult men.

    At the time, a medicine had just been developed that, if taken early in the disease, could lessen its symptoms. I don’t even know how I heard about it, but I asked my SIL who is a doctor to prescribe it (she had never heard of it). I think he would have gotten so much sicker if he hadn’t taken it.

    Anyway, he got shingles about ten years later, and it was bad. Not as bad as it is for some people, but I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. I keep telling him to get the vaccine but he hasn’t done it yet! I’m going to talk to him about it again today. A friend got it about a year ago and it was horrible for her too.

    I’m going to talk to my doctor about getting it myself. I have a severe Aspirin allergy (can’t take Tylenol either) and have had weird reactions to the flu shot so I need to weigh the risk/benefit. My case of Chicken Pox (I was a teen) wasn’t too bad.

  17. TigerMcQueen says:

    I had shingles on my face/around my eye about 10 years ago (totally due to stress at work, my boss was horrible!). I figured out what I had mainly because I have an aunt who had it, and she talked about it over and over and over again over the years, so I recognized the symptoms lol. But I was “young” and the first two clinics I went to diagnosed me with an allergic reaction to a bug bite (despite the classic half moon rash around my eye) and tried to give me prednisone. I finally went to an ER that sees a lot of HIV patients, and they recognized it as shingles right away. I was able to get an antiviral in time that stopped it in its tracks.

    So if you think you might have shingles and you’re younger than 50, remember you have a three day window from symptoms to get antiviral meds for be most effective. Press your doc if they waffle because of your age… you do not want to go through it without proper meds!

  18. Astrid says:

    I had shingles at 55. It started on my face around my left eye like a bad case of acne. I was also in and out of my eye doctors office getting ready for cataract and glaucoma surgery. Even the eye doctor didn’t recognize what it was after poking around my eye. I finally went to my GP who diagnosed it as shingles. Eye surgery was delayed. I should have cancelled it all together seeing as how the ophthalmologist didn’t think anything of it.

  19. Chris says:

    I got shingles at 25! It was truly awful, and at the time, I also had no idea that I was at risk so young. It was all down the side of my neck and started out as an ache. I used icy-hot, then the next day, the spot felt burned, so I thought it was a reaction for days until the nerve pain (and sores) started. I didn’t know there was a vaccine, I’ll definitely be looking into it.

  20. DeeSea says:

    I had shingles in my mid-30s, and it was truly the worst pain I’ve ever experienced (even worse than a tumor at the end of my ulnar nerve, which was also a nightmare until it was surgically removed). The shingles was on my inner thigh, and I still get phantom nerve pain in and around that spot many years later. I wouldn’t wish shingles on anyone. Vaccines are a gift.

  21. thaisajs says:

    My mom got shingles on her face and it was horrible. She’s going to have lasting nerve damage. I’m turning 50 next week and planning to go get my vaccine for it. I’ve had several friends who’ve had it and some get it worse than others, but it sounds awful. I’ve been COVID boosted so I’m ready to get the Shingrx asap.

  22. Gemgirlaaa says:

    Ahhhhhhh!!!!! I have the shingles right now. It is h*ll. Tons of ladies getting this before they are 50 OMG. So if your doctor (or insurance) says yes, get the vaccine sooner than later. (If you had the chickenpox as a kid)

    I figured mine out after 6 days of excruciating bone pain, aka, my bone marrow working desperately to try and pump out white blood cells to counteract this mess. I assumed my back was somehow out and had made a doctor’s appointment, TTL. 2 red dots appeared on my back and I was able to tell the office that I had the shingles.

    Seriously, do not wait if you even suspect it. You only have about 72 hours after the rash/bumps appear to stop it with antivirals. Fortunately, our doc even got my hubs in the same day for the shingles vaccination. I still have some rash, so no vaccine for me yet. I am getting it as soon as possible. Believe.

  23. Angela says:

    I got shingles at 35. I remember feeling really ill the day before the rash popped up and then I got this itchy painful rash on my waist. I texted my BFF who is a pediatrician and sent her the picture and she was like “shingles. Go to urgent care NOW.” So I did, which meant a I got an antiviral within 24 hours of symptoms starting and that’s key. If you ever have symptoms and can’t get in with your regular doc don’t wait. Go to urgent care because the faster you get that antiviral, the more likely you can arrest it early. Mine never got too bad. It itched and burned around my waist but the antiviral made a huge difference.

  24. jferber says:

    Shingles pain was worse than Caesarian section pain. For real! The most pain I’ve ever experienced in my life.

  25. Anna says:

    Fist ever comment here! My husband had shingles in his eye. We were stuck out of the country, didn’t know that was the cause of his unbearable headaches (so bad we thought it was a brain aneurysm) and couldn’t get healthcare for nearly a week. His face swelled like he had been beaten. It caused permanent scarring on his eye and he will probably be on some kind of meds for it forever. So please, if you or a loved one ever have extreme pain on only one side of your body, especially a severe headache right behind your eye, get help right away! It’s scary how it can affect the rest of your life if it isn’t treated quickly.

  26. Paisley25 says:

    Shingles at 48 on the right side of my face and head. Initially thought it was a makeup allergy. Rash for three months. Blinding pain for six months. Had to go to the eye doctor to make sure the virus didn’t spread to my optic nerve which can cause blindness. Didn’t sleep well for months because if I turned in my sleep, the right side of my head would touch my pillow and set off the pain. Still have some lingering dull pain and itchiness. Recently old enough to get my vaccine so hopefully I won’t have to go through it again.

  27. Tangerinetree says:

    For anyone who has never had shingles, Ali and everyone who has commented above is telling the truth – get vaccinated. I had Shingles and when I finally went to the doctor for it, he said Chandler style, “How Old are you?” because I was maybe 41. My life was incredibly stressful at the time and even going to the doctor was difficult to manage. The thing is the pain does not ebb and flow – it is constant. It is horrifying. It was too late for the doctor to help me so I suffered a few more weeks. Seriously, get the 2-part vax. Nobody wants this.

  28. Stephanie says:

    My mom had shingles in her 20s, and she def didn’t have botox in the 80s lol. It can happen to younger people.

  29. MsIam says:

    Omg these stories! I actually got the first dose of the shingles vaccine but then I had surgery and completely forgot to get the second one. After reading the stories here I am definitely calling my doctor right away. I don’t know if I have to start over again but man shingles sounds like a horror show.

  30. Jaded says:

    I got shingles on my butt and back of my thigh about 8 years ago and I couldn’t sit comfortably for weeks. I did get anti-viral medication as soon as I realized what it was and it worked well but jeez the pain is like having a bad burn. I was going through a very stressful time as my 92 year old mother was in palliative care. Interestingly, I started getting shingles again in the very same spot a couple of years ago so the same day the blisters started appearing I got the anti-viral meds and it never did develop into anything more than a few polka-dots. The key is to get it treated immediately.

    • Scarlet Vixen says:

      @Jaded: I also got shingles on my leg/butt several years ago. I was in my mid-30s, and I don’t know if I was overly stressed (I have anxiety & 3 kids so everyday is ‘stressful’ for me-lol) , but had been feeling like I was fighting the flu or something for a few days.

      I was VERY fortunate in that I somehow knew it was shingles immediately–before I had any rash or blisters, and even though I’d never researched symptoms. My leg was really tingly all day–like when it’s starting to fall asleep. I remember I kept shaking it to try to ‘wake’ it up. I thought maybe it was a pinched nerve, but somehow in the back of my brain I thought it was shingles. Sure enough, I woke up the next morning with a 2″x2″ rash on my upper thigh. I was able to start antivirals less than 24hrs after that, but even with antivirals the rash spread up my thigh, wrapped around to my right butt cheek, and even up my lower back. It felt like people were holding dozens of matches to my skin. And it wasn’t just the pain, but the FATIGUE… I couldn’t do much more than lay on my left side with my maxi dress pulled up past my waist with a ceiling fan on for over 2 weeks.

      Supposedly research says that people who have had a shingles outbreak are not any more likely to have another outbreak, so I cannot get the vaccine until I turn 50 (I’m 42). Butn I constantly worry about having another outbreak, because it was so awful.

      • Jaded says:

        Yikes…mine started with these funny shooting pains running from my groin down the back of my leg. I thought I’d just pulled something exercising. Although rare, it is possible to get it more than once, in my case it was stress-induced by dealing with breast cancer. However it’s been 5 years and all seems quiet on the western front! Wishing you a shingles-free 8 years until you can get the vaccine!

  31. Sandra says:

    My niece got shingles at about 6 or 7 years old.
    I just got my first shingles vaccine in August and getting the second in two weeks..(2shot vaccine)
    I did have a reaction for the first time ever but not feeling well for 36 hours is definitely better than getting Shingles

  32. Bonnie Anne says:

    When I was in my mid to late teens (around 1980) my aunt had shingles and she said it was the worst pain she’d ever had. I recall her being wiped out for a couple of months due to the pain and raw blisters. I think she had it on her abdomen and back. I had chicken pox as a kid (back in the days when my brother, me, and our cousin went to a “pox party” organized by our parents). At the time, it was thought it would be better for all the kids to have ut at once instead of getting infected in a sequence. I just remember being miserable for weeks, and I still have the scars on my face. I was chomping at the bit when I learned the new Shingrix vaccine was available to people 50 and older. With the first dose my arm was sore for about 3 days. With the second dose, it felt like someone hit me with a baseball bat in the deltoid, and I couldn’t lift my arm. I felt a bit achy and tired as well. It was gone in a couple of days.

  33. The Recluse says:

    I had chicken pox as a kid and got the shingles shot a year ago. The first one left me feeling not so great, but the second one kicked my butt. I woke up in the middle of the night with chills and feeling feverish. It only lasted about 12 hours or so, but it’s a small price to pay to avoid shingles.

  34. Songhye says:

    Water

  35. TeeMajor says:

    Yeah I got a bad case in my early 40′s, I’ll never forget because I was at work. I was not myself and thought it was an allergic reaction. I went to urgent care, thank god my doctor was on call that day. They thought it was a spider bite but she called it. I was surprised, I had it bad on my neck and earlobe. When I showed my boss, (in secret) she almost screamed and demanded that I go immediately to the doctor. I was in so much pain and was so uncomfortable I could not really work and concentrate on my work. It had bubbled and blistered so bad and the blisters were weeping and crusting over. VERY painful.

    I was shocked, in urgent care they treated me like I had HIV or something incurable, I was crying, again thank god for my Primary care doctor being the attending physician that day because I would have been misdiagnosed. I’ll never forget my old boss bringing me my things to the clinic, because i had to be off work due to all of the pain and sores. She had tears in her eyes and so did I.

    I am going to get the vaccination at my next annual, I’m so glad that CB reminded me.
    I have not had it again and I admit I was under a lot of stress at work, we were moving to a new location and getting a new mean/quick to fire folks Mgr.

    Thanks CB, I needed this reminder because the pain was horrible, I remember being embarrassed about having it–everyone associates it w/it being an elderly affliction.

    I too had to wear gloves to avoid the scratching as a kid.

  36. Veronica S. says:

    It can flare up anytime if you’re unlucky enough to have a period of reduced immune response. My doctor suspects I had a break out along my chin under my bottom lip about two years back, but I was fortunate it didn’t really camp on the nerve and cleared up relatively easily. I got varicella as a kid before the vaccine came out, and I was more or less told it was inevitable I’d get it since I have autoimmune disease.

    My coworker though…this poor woman had the entire right side of her face flare up and break out. She thought it was an allergic response until the pain set in, and then she went to her doctor and got the verification it was shingles. Because she was a middle school teacher, she had to be out for two weeks, and then got to spend another MONTH with a face full of scabs and healing skin since it heals ugly, too. I felt terrible for her. She fortunately came out of it without any facial scarring, but man did she look rough there for awhile.

  37. april says:

    I got shingles after a breakup with my ex-fiance and I also suffered a nasty and serious broken arm after a fall. The breakup and the fall both happened the same night so the shingles erupted shortly thereafter due to severe stress. My shingles case was the breakout that went 1/2 way around your waist like you see on the tv ad. It was horrible and the pain lasted for eight months. I did get vaxed later so I don’t get it again. I advise everyone to get the shingles vaccine. People don’t realize they can get severe complications with shingles.

  38. GandalfTheMeh says:

    I got shingles after I caught swine flu in university 12 years ago. I still get the occasional sharp nerve pain where I had it.

  39. Nibbi says:

    Holy crap. I didn’t even know there was a vaccine for shingles. I guess I’m too young to get it, but these stories are kinda scary and I’ll definitely be investigating. Thank you CB for this sort of post. My grandmother had it several years ago and at any age, it is clearly NO JOKE.

  40. ncboudicca says:

    Wow all these stories about Shingles are making me very happy that I got vaccinated last year.

    I felt a little wiped out by the first one, but not too terribly, and only for a day. The second one barely had any effect on me at all. My friend was fine after the first one, but ran a fever after the second one for 24 hrs. Everyone is different, of course.

    PSA: My sister the nurse finally explained to me a couple of years ago that if you get vaccinated in your DOMINANT arm it might hurt a little more at first, but the extra movement will help work the vaccine into your muscle faster and dissipate the pain/swelling faster. It’s made a huge difference for me (especially with all the extra damn shots I’ve had to get in the last year).