You are here


Hello all,

I had the pleasure of waking up yesterday morning with shingles. I went and visited my haematologist who has prescribed me valaciclovir. To make things worse I strained my achilles tendon last week whilst training for the London marathon, so I'm out of action for a week or 2 anyway!

If you have had shingles how long did it take to heal after starting medication? It's just that I'm going snowboarding a week today and don't particularly want to be itching the whole time. Do you know when I'm more likely to pass it on to others? Some people have said before the spots come out, some have said a few days after. Does anyone know? My partner has never had chicken pox and my Dr said it can be quite nasty in adults that have never had it.

I hope your all well, thanks in advance.
Please sponsor me!

Hi Martyn
I've had two episodes of shingles since transplant. Painful experience but valacyclovir deals with it very well. First time the oral valacyclovir did the job but I was left with quite a bit of pain round my waist after but eventually it went before the next episode where it came back on my chest and back and that time I had to be admitted for IV valacyclovir and had to have heavy duty painkillers. That is to say that only you will know the severity of your attack, it can be mild and dealt with very quickly or can have more degrees of severity.
By the way it starts with the itching, progresses to the little red bits coming out and then the nerve pain.
Sorry about the achilles tendon - snowboarding isn't going to help it !! However, hope you have a good time, take some painkillers with you just in case and hope the valacyclovir has cleared it all up by the time you go.
I was told that shingles could develop in those who are overdoing things / run down / stress or if you come in contact with a child who is carrying the chicken pox virus but you would need to be under the weather to catch it. Normal healthy people would not develop shingles just on contact with chicken pox/shingles.
Good luck and let us know how you get on.

Hi Elizabeth,

Thanks for the quick reply. I didn't realise shingles could be such a painful experience. I'm hoping it doesn't get that bad, the Dr said hopefully the Valacyclovir will nip it in the bud. I don't like the sound of the IV Valacyclovir, I'm getting used to life without being a human pin cushion! Although I've got my immunisations coming up.:-(

It looks fairly mild, I have a small cluster of about 10 small spots on my stomach and a larger area of spots about 6 inchs round on my back which is itching like mad!

I was probably a little run down with my heel and trying to hobble about too much. I can't sit still for 5 minutes these days!

My haematologist said it was fine for me to go back to work Monday which I thought was strange. I phoned my boss and told him about it and he said the team were very uneasy about me returning as several of them had never had chicken pox. He has told me to have a week off which will give me a nice rest before my holiday!

Many thanks,
Please sponsor me!

Sorry to hear that you have shingles, Martin.

On a general note does anyone know if CML sufferers should steer clear of kids with chicken pox - are we more likely to catch something from them.

One of my patients at work came in with chicken pox this week. I ran out the room so quickly! Am I being over cautious?

I am seeing the specialist this week so will ask him


Hi Martyn

Haven't posted in a while. I was sorry to learn that you were suffering from Shingles. Hope the valaciclovir works effectively for you and that you get to enjoy your snowboarding trip.

Max is well, and has just returned from a Ski trip over half term. Will try and encourage him to update his site.

Best wishes


I had shingles almost exactly a year ago, and sorry to say the really acute pain lasted 2 months at least and has left peripheral nerve damage, despite immediate treatment with acyclovir.
Others I have spoken seem to have got over their shingles much faster with much less pain, so I really think it all depends on the individual. Perhaps I am more of a whimp than most!! Either way I didn't know you could get it twice.

GP told me that only people who hadn't had chicken pox could be infected by me and then only if they came in contact with the blisters, which isn't likely in work colleagues' cases.

Prof Apperly did say when I told her last year, that they had noted what was maybe a higher prevalence of shingles in patients on Glivec, probably due to low white counts etc. She also said that I should have gone back for a repeat course of antivirals when the shingles outlasted the acyclovir. Sadly I wasn't aware I could take another course, so didn't. It is worth while noting that fact in case it applies to you.