Discussions By Condition: Medical Errors

Adult ChickenPox went straight to Shingles

Posted In: Medical Errors 0 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • November 28, 2006
  • 04:23 AM

When I was in my mid-30s I got chicken pox, but I never suspected Chicken Pox because I thought I had had it as a child.

I had only a few sores on my torso and they tingled and itched like mosquito bites, but the peculiar thing was that not long after I got these I began to manifest some strange symptoms. I cannot remember the order in which the symptoms appeared, but I had:

extreme sensitivity to light; had to pull all the shades closed
intense headaches
intense very deep shooting, seering pains in my arms and legs that felt like lightning running the length of my legs and arms.
chills and fever

Later I developed several very nasty sores on the roof of my mouth that were very deep and hurt so much I could barely eat. They broke open and oozed blood. I was really scared when I saw these because I had never seen anything like it before. (Later I learned that my lungs could have become infected from these sores, but I was lucky they didn't as that would have been much more serious.)

I went to a doctor and she was new out of medical school and she decided I had AIDS and that my sores were folliculitis. This seemed unlikely as I had been involved with one partner. (Though we weren't married we had been together for over 10 years and we had been involved before the AIDS crisis began.) But she was convinced it was AIDS. And then she started implying to me that I had a loose lifestyle, which I didn't. It was upsetting, but I got a test for it (which later came back negative).

I went home practically in tears and then when I got home I thought about it and decided to call the AIDS hotline because I figured if anyone knew what the symptoms were, those folks would. So I called and described my symptoms and the guy said, "These don't sound like symptoms of AIDS, but get yourself tested anyway, just to get peace of mind."

In the meantime I was feeling pretty sick and didn't know who to turn to as my partner was away. I figured that my nerves were involved and that the myelin sheaths could damaged by whatever was happening so I got out my copy of the Nutrition Almanac, which back in those days was only a half inch thick. And I read about what I could do to protect my nerves. I started doing lots of Vitamin E and B vitamins plus vitamin C.

Eventually the symptoms disappeared and for several years I was mystified. Then several years later I went to a homeopath and he was asking if I ever had had any weird symptoms or diseases and I described my symptoms and he said that I had had a mild case of chicken pox that went into shingles right away. He said it was kind of rare for this to happen, but it does sometimes happen.

I called my mother and she said one of us had had chicken pox, but it was not a very strong case of it. I learned that if you don't get a good dose of it, your immunity to it can wear off later.

Taking vitamins to protect my nerves was purely an intuitive move on my part. I later learned that you can get something called postherpetic neuralgia from it and the pain can be quite crippling. I am grateful to my father for inspiring an interest in health and well-being in me and for sending me that book. When I had mentioned my symptoms to him on the phone at the time I was sick he said it sounded somewhat like shingles, but I didn't have the band of blisters so typical of people with shingles.

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