Last week I posted about my shingles on fb. Very quickly I had an abundance of comments, spanning from sympathy to recommendations to questions. I mentioned writing a blog post about it once they were healed. I promised I would title it Shingles Are From Hell. So here we go…
My first case of shingles came 1 month before we left for Uganda. They say shingles come with stress. I say YES, I agree with that theory. My second case of shingles came 2 weeks after we returned from Uganda (traveling across the world alone with a new child, returning as a mom of now 5 kids under age 7, to a husband who was out of town for work for 2 weeks). They say shingles come with stress. I say YES again, I agree with that theory.
I also have 2 other theories. Bear with me as I try to tell the short version to a very long story for Theory #2. Then I will briefly share the hell of shingles. Then share Theory #3. And lastly, I will share how I healed my body.
When The Tot was born, a medical mistake in the hospital caused a 3rd degree type burn on my entire stomach surrounding my c-section scar. The burn hurt more than the c-section. Of course the “solution” to dealing with the medical mistake/burn was to put me on a high dose of antibiotics (isn’t that the answer for everything these days?) and a boatload of other meds. Needless to say, my body had an allergic reaction to the antibiotics and I broke out into head-to-toe hives. I went home from The Tot’s delivery with a painful c-section scar, a 3rd degree burn, and hives covering my entire body. That was a lovely delivery.
My OB felt horrible, so he sent me to a very good Immunologist to try to help figure out exactly what happened in the hospital. In addition to dealing with what happened in the hospital, the Immunologist also explained to me that when the body/skin experiences something traumatic, such as I had experienced, that different viruses that typically lay dormant in the body, might be awakened. She warned me to look for different viruses that might affect my skin/body in the future.
I went home from that doctor visit (2 1/2 years ago) feeling like I was supposed to just sit around and wait for some awful skin ailment to hit me. Nothing ever happened. For the first year after The Tot’s delivery, at least.
About 1 year after The Tot was born, almost 1 year exactly to the date, I got my first case of cold sores. I had no idea what they were. My lips were burning, stinging, itching, and tingling. They became so swollen it looked like I had just received a few million injections of botox.
Back to the Immunoligist. “Yep”, she said. The herpes virus. Say what? Herpes simplex 1 was awakened? Lucky me. She calmed me down by explaining that Herpes simplex 1 is above the belt. Herpes simplex 2 is below the belt. I did not have simplex 2. Why are they called the same name if they are completely different viruses? Anyways….
Over the last 2 ½ years (since The Tot’s birth) I’ve only experienced a couple of cases of cold sores. As soon as they start appearing, I know how to deal with them and can rid/heal/clear the virus in 2 days. Thanks to L-lysine, hyssop, colloidal silver, coconut oil, honey, & garlic.
Apparently, all of these lovely viruses are in the same happy viral subfamily. It has some complicated professional/medical term name. But who cares right. In layman’s terms, it’s referred to as many different names:
Varicella Zoster (chicken pox)
Shingles (herpes zoster)
They are all one big painful blistery family.
Shingles came next. The first case (I thought at the time) was horrendous, but my 2nd case of shingles was straight from hell. The blisters were the size of grapes. I’m not kidding. I’m not willing to share a picture publicly, but trust me. They made even my sisters gasp out loud when they saw me.
The pain was intense. Imagine the feeling of being stabbed by a million tiny needles, mixed with intense burning, itching, tingling, throbbing pain, and nerve pain. That never ends. For days.
First, if you don’t know… WHAT IS SHINGLES?
“Shingles (herpes zoster) is a painful, blistering skin rash due to the varicella-zoster virus, the virus that causes chickenpox”
“The medical term for shingles is “herpes zoster”. After having chickenpox, the virus becomes dormant in nerve tissue – but can be reactivated years later as shingles. Shingles are most common in adults between 60 and 80 years old and those with weakened immune systems.
Shingles spreads through the skin as a rash or blister similar to chicken-pox. It is associated with grueling pain, itchiness, burning sensation and sometimes even numbness. Once the blisters burst open they can often be healed within a week or two, leaving behind light scars which will soon disappear”
THEORY #3: The chicken pox vaccine is now causing the largest shingles outbreak in young people. As I’ve shared: “Chickenpox and shingles are related. They are caused by similar viruses, both in the herpesvirus family. After you recover from chickenpox, the virus can remain dormant (“asleep”) in your nerve roots for many years, unless it is awakened by some triggering factor such as physical or emotional stress. When awakened, it presents itself as shingles rather than chickenpox”
Chickenpox is Nature’s Way of Protecting You from Shingles
Nature has devised an elegant plan for protecting you from the shingles virus.
After contracting and recovering from chickenpox (usually as a child), as you age, your natural immunity gets asymptomatically “boosted” by coming into contact with infected children, who are recovering from chickenpox. This natural “boosting” of natural immunity to the varicella (chickenpox) virus helps protect you from getting shingles later in life.
This is true whether you are a child, adolescent, young adult, or elderly—every time you come into contact with someone infected with chickenpox, you get a natural “booster shot” that protects you from a painful—and expensive—bout with shingles.
In other words, shingles can be prevented by ordinary contact, such as receiving a hug from a grandchild who is getting or recovering from the chickenpox. But with the advent of the chickenpox vaccine, there is less chickenpox around to provide that natural immune boost for children AND adults.
So as chickenpox rates have declined, shingles rates have begun to rise, and there is mounting evidence that an epidemic of shingles is developing in America from the mass, mandatory use of the chickenpox vaccine by all children.
As hard as scientists try to come up with ways to “improve” human biology, they just can’t outsmart Mother Nature.. In trying to tinker with the natural order of things, we tend to destroy processes that nature has masterfully orchestrated to keep us healthy.
This dance between chickenpox and shingles is a perfect example.
The above information comes from a Dr. Mercola article written in 2010 titled “Why a Shingles Epidemic is Bolting Straight at the U.S”. You can read the entire article here. That was written 3 years ago. And just on cue, the epidemic is here. Ever notice all the shingles shot signs at the entrance of every Walgreens?
This theory I’m sure, will be met with controversy. Don’t write to me about it. Do your own research and come up with your own conclusion. I know mine.
Regardless of what caused my shingles….
HOW DID I TREAT Shingles?
First, never underestimate the power of prayer. There was a lot of prayers going on, as I needed to heal my shingles in 3 days in order to stand in my sisters wedding. Our prayers were answered. Our God truly is the great physician. My shingles were healed and I was pain free last Saturday as I stood my sisters wedding.
I also treated my shingles both conventionally and naturally.
I’ve always said there is a time and place for conventional medicine. This is one of those times. I also believe a medical mistake is what caused this, so I feel like I’m caught in a viscous cycle where I need conventional medicine to fix a conventional medicine mistake. But that’s just my theory #2: If everyone has the shingles virus living in them, and for most people the virus stays dormant, and I am not an adult in between 60 -80 years old, but am instead a very healthy 36 year old, then I believe that these viruses did not stay dormant in my body for the very reason why/how an Immunologist explained to me 2 ½ years ago. Or my theory #3: the fact that an entire generation of children have never contracted chicken pox naturally and every 5 year old just received their umpteenth varicella booster shot to enter Kindergarten, so that young adults like me can get shingles. I don’t really buy into theory #1. Everyone experiences stress. But who knows…
CONVENTIONAL TREATMENT PLAN:
*steroid dose pack
*antiviral medication (Valtrex)
*pain medicine (because of the addictive nature and my personal story shared here on this blog, I will only take ¼ of a pain pill every 6-8 hours just to take the edge off)
*2 ½ HOUR Raindrop Technique (performed by my 3 sisters)
*Young Living essential oils put on blisters: mostly lavender, lemon, peppermint, frankincense, & tea tree around the clock. In all, I probably used about 30 different oils; valor, thyme, oregano, cypress, wintergreen, basil, thieves, etc…
*Hyssop: taken internally. Good for herpes virus.
*L Lysine: Both in tincture form to put on blisters and taken internally in capsule form and liquid form.
*Astragulus Root: as an immune builder
*Colloidal Silver: my go to anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal wonder drug. Used externally and internally.
*Herbal teas: made and drank around the clock: tons of different herbs, lemon balm is especially good
*Water with lemon and honey: constant drinking of water
*3 day fast of only fruits and veggies
*Apple Cider Vinegar
*Olive Leaf Extract: An autism mom (love those mommas) suggested taking Olive Leaf Extract to help rid the body of the shingles virus. After more research, I’ve learned that people who suffered from shingles, after two months on Olive Leaf Extract, rid themselves of the virus, never to have it return again. You can read more about that treatment plan (HERE) where it is recommended to take colloidal silver, probiotics, & olive leaf extract, specifically for shingles.
Although this last case of shingles was excruciating, from start to finish, the virus only lasted 6 days. I truly believe it was because of my proactive approach to both conventional and natural treatments.
“Every year, millions of people suffer from outbreaks of shingles, a viral infection caused by the varicella-zoster virus (the same virus that causes chickenpox). Mainstream medical science tells us that there are no cures for shingles and that only mainstream drugs can effectively manage symptoms. In actuality, there are a number of natural remedies which can help manage and relieve shingles and possibly even eliminate the virus…” -Natural News
I am very thankful for my Immunologist doctor who sat with me in her office for two days straight this last time around, trying to figure out why a healthy 36 year old female is suffering from shingles for the 2nd time in 3 months. As of today, she has different DNA tests ordered for me to take in the hospital, testing for Varicella Zoster Virus. DNA, Qualitative, Real-Time PCR. Pretty much we are trying to figure out if Herpes Zoster, Zoster, Varicella, VZV is living in my nerves.
When I went for a follow up visit after my first case of shingles, my doctor was shocked at how quickly I had healed. When I layed out all of my oils and herbs and natural remedies, she called her nurse practioner into the office to take pictures and make photo copies of my natural remedies. I appreciate my doctor so much for being willing to explore a different side of medicine that she was not taught in medical school. This doctor only knows how to treat with manmade pharmaceuticals, and while I was/am very thankful for those during those intense days of pain, I do not believe for a minute that I need to stay on Valtrex (the antiviral medicine) for the rest of my life (as this doctor has suggested). I believe that I will continue to research and learn how to rid this virus from my body and not rear it’s ugly head again.
Now if we could just make that pesky ole chicken pox vaccine go away….and go back to how God created our bodies to work. Chicken pox as a child served a purpose. It was to help people like me not experience shingles from hell…