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Shingles - ok to call 111 or not?

(16 Posts)
Mynxie Fri 03-Feb-17 20:46:03

I've only just realised this evening what is causing me such agony after a bit of desperation googling.

I've had pain in my shoulder for 4 days now and a rash has appeared this evening over my left shoulder blade. I thought at first I'd strained it somehow but couldn't think how and the pain is getting much worse rather than better. I also feel fluey and nauseous though I don't think I've got a temperature.

I don't think there's much that can be done about the pain but I understand I should be taking anti vitals within a short time of the rash appearing. Is it ok to wait til Monday or should I call OOH? I don't want to misuse the service. If there is a GP online who could advise me I'd be very grateful. I'm 63 by the way.

Chaotica Fri 03-Feb-17 20:47:58

Call! I know someone who didn't call quickly and the pain never went. (I'm not a GP by the way, just someone with experience of what it can do.)

elvislives2012 Fri 03-Feb-17 20:48:25

Yup call 111. It's 72 hours from onset that you can take anti viral xx

BillyDaveysDaughter Fri 03-Feb-17 20:50:35

Not a GP but I have had shingles. Nasty, it does sound awfully familiar. On the plus side, once the rash is through you should start feeling less ill and just have the rash and the nerve pain (that's bad enough).

Not sure about OOH GP - it's true that you should start the antivirals soon though. Hopefully some GPs around?

IsItMeOr Fri 03-Feb-17 20:51:38

Definitely call your GP's OOH service. You would be best starting the anti-virals asap.

The NHS Choices webpage says the same.

It can be very painful, and unfortunately the symptoms seem to be worse the older you are when you get it. So definitely worth trying to see if you can have something to lessen the likelihood of more severe symptoms.

BillyDaveysDaughter Fri 03-Feb-17 20:51:40

Incidentally, when it had it the pain lingered for many weeks but didn't stay forever - although I admit I do have some numbness there.

Umblubblub Fri 03-Feb-17 20:52:37

GP here. Definitely call 111. The sooner you get antiviral medication after the rash appears, the quicker you will recover and the less your chances of getting post herpetic neuralgia (continued pain from nerve damage caused by the virus) will be. If you leave it until after the weekend it will be too late to treat you.

Hellochicken Fri 03-Feb-17 20:52:56

Yes if you are suitable for the antivirals you should start them straight away. I would definitely see OOH GP for confirmation and a prescription tonight or tomorrow.

Mynxie Fri 03-Feb-17 21:04:48

Many thanks to you all, I did call 111 who said I did the right thing. I am getting a call back in the next 2 hours - hopefully they can prescribe the anti vitals over the phone as it were, I'm not expecting a housecall!

I'd heard before that shingles is painful, but this is a different level (still assuming that's what it is!)

Thanks again

Chaotica Fri 03-Feb-17 21:53:10

Good. I hope you feel better soon. flowers

Mynxie Fri 03-Feb-17 22:13:39

Just had a call from a hcp and been told that I need to see a gp in the next 6 hours so she is arranging an appointment for me. I still feel a bit guilty at taking up their valuable time.

I've been told to take painkillers in the meantime - luckily my DH will be able to drive me wherever I need to go as I expect to be away with the fairies on co codamol very shortly.

Thanks again, and Umblubblub you were of course spot on with your advice.

sotiredbutworthit Fri 03-Feb-17 22:15:39

Shingles is bloody painful! Cold tea bags really help soothe by the way. So do cooled porridge oats. Hope you feel better soon xxxxx

Umblubblub Sat 04-Feb-17 08:16:01

Glad to hear you're getting the treatment you need. You have no reason to feel guilty, this is exactly what the OOH GP service is for. Wishing you a speedy recovery.

Mynxie Sat 04-Feb-17 09:49:06

Have to say I'm incredibly impressed with our NHS. I was called back at about 11 and told to go to the A and E dept at our local hospital - about 15 miles away. After a wait of less than an hour I had confirmation that it is indeed shingles and was given a box of antivirals that I have to take 5 times a day. The doctor said it would have been too late if I'd waited till after the weekend.

Despite taking Amitriptyline the pain kept me awake all night - I think this is something I'm going to have to live with for the next few weeks so best just get on with it!

Musicaltheatremum Sat 04-Feb-17 22:22:49

Glad you've been seen. Yes, this is what OOH is for. Perfectly reasonable. I would have been more than happy to see you. Glad you got the correct treatment too.

Hawkmoth Sat 04-Feb-17 22:24:44

Good service!

Twenty years later mine still hurt when the weather changes.

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