Just a little update on EZ's health and some information from PubMed Health on shingles:
Expectations (prognosis) - Herpes zoster usually clears in 2 to 3 weeks and rarely recurs. If the virus affects the nerves that control movement (the motor nerves), you may have temporary or permanent weakness or paralysis. Sometimes, the pain in the area where the shingles occurred may last from months to years. See: Postherpetic neuralgia
Complications - Sometimes, the pain in the area where the shingles occurred may last for months or years. This pain is called postherpetic neuralgia. It occurs when the nerves have been damaged after an outbreak of shingles. Pain ranges from mild to very severe pain. It is more likely to occur in people over 60 years.
Well, in spite of taking prednisone to hopefully ward off any long term side effects, EZ seems to be experiencing postherpetic neuralgia in the area on his torso where the shingles were. Though he was cleared back on December 17th to be social again, he continues to experience itching, deep pain, and burning making it difficult to sleep and get comfortable. He says it feels like someone is dripping hot wax onto his side....ouch! We are trying different remedies such as Benadryl Gel and tablets for the itching, and additional oxycontin for the pain, but he is always reminded of the fact that he had shingles. As always, he continues to carry on though he is hurting, and few can detect his pain. Please pray for complete healing from this postherpetic neuralgia.
On the plus side, taking the extra oxycontin every day has enabled him to drive (reclined like a gangsta!) and sit for a bit longer than previously. Here is a picture of him driving for a total of 6 hours (really miraculous) to bring his parents to our house for Christmas:
On another note, our monthly visit to the Cancer Center for labwork and Aredia went well, with all his numbers holding steady in spite of the hit to his immune system from shingles. He is receiving the bone strengthener every other month now. He will remain off of daily Revlimid for six weeks, assuming his M spike doesn't creep up, so that his immune system can receive a boost and hopefully better fend of infections or illnesses of any kind in the future. So is life with Multiple Myeloma...