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AFIB. Stress and Shingles
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My identified triggers 98% of the time have been alcohol and eating situations.On 2 occassions I have had episodes at home and at the airport prior to early flights that terminated by the time we took off. i think of these episodes as being triggered by stress.

Last Tuesday after experiencing shooting pains and a rash on my left side Sunday night and Monday, I saw my PCP's nurse assistant. She immediately diagnosed the rash as Shingles. She called in a prescription
For both an anti-viral and nerve pain medication. I started the meds at once and googled "SHINGLES". For me,That was a mistake. The pictures and description of excruciating pain, possibly lasting for months and years afterwards plus the first hand horror stories in forums really set me off.
I envisioned an infection settling in my hip replacement needing revision surgery, the ending of my volunteer ushering and on and on.
I went to bed early but was awaken with AF at 10:30pm. The irregular HB lasted until 2am Weds. This 28 hours was the longest time with AF before converting to NSR. I believe it was triggered by self induced stress. I had been advised by friend and the media to get the flu vaccine.
the end of Sept. I got a script to have the vaccine. Because of the $95 co-pay and reluctance to have the shot at Safeway or Wahgreens I put it off. I WAS STUPID!

i advise all, over the age of 60 who have had chickenpox,to have the vaccine. I've read that 1 in 3 will be affected.

I've been very fortunate. I started the anti-viral early, within 72 hours, and have had just a little pain but no itching. SO FAR , SO GOOD !

I hope my post will be helpful to others.
Posted on 11/26/12, 06:04 pm
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Reply #1 - 11/26/12  8:18pm
" Hope you are feeling better Annette. Thinking of you and sending good thoughts your way. Lisa "
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Reply #2 - 11/26/12  9:11pm
" I'm so sorry that this has happened to you! My mom got shingles a few years ago and it was really terrible for her, but she has so many other things going on that I think that is why it was even worse for her. I hope you caught it early enough that it is gone before you know it!

Kelly "
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Reply #3 - 11/26/12  9:13pm
" A flu vaccine prevents shingles? There is a shingles vaccine:


What does the shingles vaccine do?
The vaccine, called Zostavax®, reduces the risk of getting shingles in people 60 years of age and older.

How well does the shingles vaccine work?
In studies, the vaccine reduced the risk of developing shingles by about 50 percent. People who were vaccinated but still developed shingles had pain for fewer days than people who were not vaccinated. Probably of most importance is that vaccinated people also experienced shorter periods of PHN (post-herpetic neuralgia), a severe pain that can last long after the shingles rash has disappeared.

Read this about people getting shingles from the "flu" vaccine:


I have never had a flu or shingles vaccine.

petey "
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Reply #4 - 11/27/12  1:53pm
" petey
-a typo error- The line should've read "I had been advised by friends and the media to get the shingles vaccine".
I had a flu shot 9/11 at my PCP's office.
I got the prescription for Zostavax on 9/27 but didn't follow through getting the vaccine.
On your recommendation I read the very interesting comments of individuals feeling they got shingles from the flu vaccine. I believe it's possible but in my case the time in between was 11+weeks.?
The reaction I did get immediately after the flu shot was leg pain making walking after sitting a period of time unbearable until I walked it off. I'm still dealing with that pain. Not sure what it has to do with; back problems, hip replacement problems or just another part of aging.
No more flu shots for me.
Re: the shingles- I have a mild case with little pain and so far no itching.
AF under control. Even managed 2 glasses of champagne at a neighbors get together with no AF effect.
My problem now is the pain of getting up and walking after sitting for a period of time. I'm OK standing and once up and walking around. It's a busy week of ushering for me, Tonight it"s "Tosca" at the SF Opera House.. Fortunately the opera is only 2 1/2 hours. Maybe I'll just stand for most of it. It's important to me to keep my volunteer commitments.
Venting helps. Though I think I'm somewhat off topic. Thanks to all for you comments and support. "
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Reply #5 - 11/27/12  1:57pm
" Hi Annette- So sorry you are going through all this :) I hope the anti-viral kicks the shingles. I have heard they can be very painful. I hope AF stays away- 28 hours straight is a long time :( Take care friend, Carrie "
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Reply #6 - 11/27/12  2:31pm
" Hi Annette, I am so sorry for your pain. I am glad that you won't let that dissuade you from volunteering. I volunteer a lot and really enjoy doing so. I am so glad you can still convert on your own, sorry the last episode lasted so long.

Take care sweetie! "
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Reply #7 - 11/27/12  2:33pm
" Thanks Carrie. Lisa and Kelly and as always petey.
The anti-viral has definitely worked. One more pill to go.

Annette "
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Reply #8 - 11/27/12  5:12pm
" I have also heard of people taking the shingles vaccine before they are 60. Anyone know why there is a cutoff at 60? "
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Reply #9 - 11/27/12  5:57pm
" Merck, the drug’s manufacturer, couldn’t produce enough of it. Although the FDA has approved the vaccine for people 50-59, the CDC has held back on its recommendation because it is not convinced that Merck has solved their supply problems and they want to make sure there is adequate supply for elderly.

I contracted shingles in my 50's so it is possible.

opsyn "
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Reply #10 - 11/27/12  7:25pm
" Shingles and A Fib at the same time? That's not fair!
Hoping that you get through this quickly, and can continue your volunteer work.
D. "

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