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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.
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?
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.
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.
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!)
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!