Shingles is a crippling virus that requires more tailored support for patients - Yorkshire Post Letters

From: A Howard, Tunstall, Richmond.

Responding to the article in the Yorkshire Post mag by Christa Ackroyd.

Extremely sorry to hear you are having long term effects from shingles, and fully agree with what you say about the vaccine.

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As you are in a position writing articles I applaud you for telling it just how it is, why ever were we not given a vaccine before getting this crippling virus to deal with.

An Accident and Emergency sign at a hospital. PIC: PAAn Accident and Emergency sign at a hospital. PIC: PA
An Accident and Emergency sign at a hospital. PIC: PA

Briefly I am a victim, aged 80 years, got shingles in June 2023. Every time I go to the doctors I get told that they are hopeful my pain will subside. So I’m hopeful but honestly feel my nerves are damaged. So I’m left in a zone of not knowing one way or the other. On my recent visit I was prescribed lidocaine patches. Yes they hide the pain, just giving me a mild burning. Before then I was on paracetamol, by doctor, finding a cream myself called Biofreeze which is pretty good at taking the edge off. I’m not sure lidocaine long term is healthy though. Listening to you, you seem to have tried everything at the pain clinic.

I did write to the Shingles Support Society after your article, they returned a helpful pack but one realises the scale of the problem reading through it all.

Getting back to your article on who can and cannot get the vaccine. Now I am 80 I can’t get it either.

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How ridiculous this sounds, I questioned the nurse at the clinic and she said one couldn't get it until a year after you had it. So now it appears I’m too old. However, If I do show improvement when my year is up I will indeed make a huge fuss to this age question.

I think everyone you read about has different symptoms with shingles. Surely it would be a good idea to be immediately referred to a consultant neurologist, maybe able to see by examination just what damage has been done and tell us more about sensory nerves etc.

A personal diagnosis would be reassuring to how you help yourself recover. I have had a lot of numbness and that is worrying in itself. So last visit I asked to be referred to one, and was told I certainly didn’t qualify at this stage for that. I was prepared to pay of course. Waiting lists are huge, 30 weeks plus for normal visits.

So this is just an insight into my problems and there are thousands out there all thinking and worrying like I do.

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Now I must say thank you again for that article and encourage you to write as you do on behalf of us all. No pressure.

Thanks for listening. I love all your articles, you get to the point and tell it as it is on your chosen topics.

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