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CARENOTES | Past Carenotes | Let's Talk

Carenotes

Welcome to CareNotes. In this special section we will feature a reader's letter and provide an opportunity for an interactive exchange that will help find some answers and possible solutions to concerns. If you wish to respond to this letter, simple follow the link provided at the end of the letter and add your comments and thoughts to our CareNotes Board.

This Week's Carenote - 03/19/13

My mother is 95 years old and has shingles. She has been in the PHN stage for over a month. She has pain in one area constantly and although on pain medication, the area is still painful. Does anyone have any suggestions, ideas, or home remedies that I can apply to alleviate the pain?

Grace

Note: Postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) is nerve pain caused by the shingles virus after the acute illness is over.

 

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Name: Jo Ann S
Location: Virginia
Date: 03/26/2013
Time: 05:40 PM

Comments

Prescribed "Lidocaine Patches"... I hope you're able to get them for her. All the other remedies haven't helped my mother in law. These have...


Name: Donna
Location: Florida
Date: 03/25/2013
Time: 03:41 PM

Comments

This has worked for others. Apply capsacin cream, just be careful about touching eyes after application. Preferably use a vinyl glove or even a baggie when applying.


Name: Catherine
Location: CT
Date: 03/25/2013
Time: 08:59 AM

Comments

Sorry to hear, that is really painful indeed. If you want to provide her with natural relief, you might want to try therapeutic grade essential oils, they have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiviral properties. Oregano, Tea Tree oil, Lavender and Peppermint can be very helpful. Feel free to contact me if you want more information, we use them in my family all the time for many health issues with great success. You can email me: cvlasto@hotmail.com. I hope she feels better soon.


Name: Marianne
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Date: 03/24/2013
Time: 06:34 PM

Comments

My mom, who has dementia, used Neurontin (Gabapentin) 300 mg tablet for PHN and got relief. She stopped using it after maybe 8 weeks and the pain did not return. One year later she did have PHN again in a slightly different location and again a short use of Neurontin helped control and stop it. She started at 100 mg and worked up by 100 mg to 300, the magic number. My father-in-law had tried it without success, so maybe it is not useful for all. There are side affects. My mom is mobile but the drug made her prone to stumbling/balance issues which the aids learned to anticipate. This is why I stopped it after a few weeks. PHN is horrible...get the vaccine!


Name: Kathy
Location: Maryland
Date: 03/24/2013
Time: 04:44 PM

Comments

Try alternating between tylenol and aspirin every 4 to 6 hours. Taking one or the other consistently does not usually address the pain but when alternating them it seems to be more effective than even prescription pain medication. Just be cautious if she has bleeding or liver problems. The PHN stage can vary from months up to a year. Good luck.


Name:
Location:
Date: 03/24/2013
Time: 04:33 PM

Comments

Check Dr Leonard's or Harriet Carter online. I saw a product in one of their catalogs.


Name: Anne
Location: Asheville, NC
Date: 03/24/2013
Time: 03:01 PM

Comments

I had shingles and a week later I had PHN. My doctor gave me pain meds that did nothing. I went to an acupuncturist and after ten days of pain I walked out of there pain free. I slept for 12 hours after that. The pain comes back but the treatments are making it much more comfortable.


Name: Phyllis
Location: Placerville, CA
Date: 03/24/2013
Time: 02:39 PM

Comments

My mother with dementia has had a terrible time readjusting to leaving her apartment where she lived alone, and moving in with me in another state. She misses her apartment and her friends. There is much to do here and many new friends to meet, but she says there is nothing to do here and only wants to die. She says she prays nightly that she won't wake up. She is under the care of a doctor or her dementia and we go out often to eat, or take a drive, do community sewing for the needy (something she has always loved in the past), but to no avail. Any suggestions? Has anyone had the same situation whom might have some suggestions? Thanks.


Name: Consuelo C
Location: Yonkers NY
Date: 03/24/2013
Time: 02:36 PM

Comments

Talk to your doctor again about same also speak with Pharmacist at local drug store maybe they have ideas


Name:
Location:
Date: 03/24/2013
Time: 12:43 PM

Comments

To Grace, I do have something that has worked very well for my husband. He got the Shingles and was on 3 different pain meds. One was the patch which is very addictive. And it still didn't manage the pain. He ended in the hospital for pneumonia and while there saw a neurologist. He tired the drug Learica, usually used for Fibramyalgia but he had been having good results with using this for the PHN pain. After just one pill my husband was almost completely pain free and has since dropped all pain meds. It is almost a miracle. One caution you must keep an eye on the uric acid levels. So glad I can share this with you. FYI about the Shingles vaccine, yes for sure get it, however I have heard you can still get the shingles but not so strong. Blessings to you and your mom.


Name: HENRY
Location: IOWA
Date: 03/24/2013
Time: 10:22 AM

Comments

Dear Grace, Have both you & your mother accepted Jesus Christ? I suggest that you read the following scriptures from the Holy Bible. After reading the Bible, close your eyes and call on the name of the Lord in the name of Jesus Christ and ask God to heal your mother pain in Jesus' name. I know if you do that today your mother is going to be healed in Jesus' Mighty name. The scripture are as folllows: Jeremiah 17:14, Matthew 10:1 and Joel 2:32. Please let me know after praying for your mother. I am also in prayers with you in Jesus' name. In Christ, Pastor Henry


Name: Sherri
Location: Orlando, FL
Date: 03/24/2013
Time: 08:33 AM

Comments

I can personally recommend a homeopathic topical ointment that I got at my local CVS store that I applied to the shingles area, per its directions, called Nerve Pain Relief made by CVS. It worked on my shingles which was not quite full-blown, and was recommended by the pharmacist. It says on box that it's for diabetic neuropathy. Hope it helps, but since your mother is elderly, I would ask the pharmacist to make sure that he/she thinks it's safe for her. Seems to me it was about $12-$15 when I bought it a few months ago, and you don't need a prescripton. I've had shingles before 30 years ago (I'm 60 years old), so I knew what was coming.


Name: Roberta
Location: Banning,Ca.
Date: 03/24/2013
Time: 08:29 AM

Comments

My friend found the greatist relief from a dermatologist.


Name: Jenny
Location: Alabama
Date: 03/24/2013
Time: 07:53 AM

Comments

Try using preperation H I have found it to work well in the past


Name: SUSAN HOVERSON
Location: SCOTTSDALE, AZ
Date: 03/24/2013
Time: 07:02 AM

Comments

Hi Grace. This will work wonders. Go to your local health food store and buy coconut oil. You can use as much as you want, massage into the shingles area. The stinging and itching will stop. Best of luck to you both. Bye, Susan


Name: Jennifer
Location: NC
Date: 03/24/2013
Time: 06:42 AM

Comments

A co-worker's mother got shingles in her 80's and was really bothered by the pain. Her dr prescribed Lyricia and that got her through the worst of itl


Name: Jane
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Date: 03/24/2013
Time: 06:09 AM

Comments

I myself have PHN after having shingles 8 months ago. I too have been desperate for some relief and am trying some therapeutic yoga and have an appointment with an acupuncturist next week. The only thing that helps me is staying on top of my gabapentin, which I take every 6 hours and cold compresses. Did I mention that I am 59 years old? GET YOUR SHINGLES SHOT EVERYONE OVER 50 !!!!!!


Name: Joy Davidson
Location: Denver, CO
Date: 03/24/2013
Time: 05:25 AM

Comments

I would contact a Nauturopathic Doctor or a knowledgeable, Chinese trained acupuncturist. While doing acupuncture on someone with Dementia is not highly practical, the naturopathic doctor should be able to recommend homeopathic remedies or the acupuncturist might have Chinese herbal remedies that would help.


Name: Doris Cartolano
Location: Danbury CT
Date: 03/24/2013
Time: 04:39 AM

Comments

My mother had shingles June of last year. In the beginning she had no pain but a month or so later she did. It was so hard for the doctor to prescribe something but he finally allowed the patch. It helped a little. But after time the pain got worst. I am sorry to say I do not have any suggestions other than prayer. Now mama is in a better place and no more suffering.


Name: April
Location: Maryland
Date: 03/24/2013
Time: 04:26 AM

Comments

I had shingles recently, and two things helped; Valtrex and 4% lidocaine topical cream. The cream is OTC but not in the shelf, I had to ask the pharmacist.


Name: Rita
Location: Daytona Beach, Fl
Date: 03/24/2013
Time: 04:13 AM

Comments

My mother had the shingles vaccine and just had an outbreak of shingles. Lysine is good for shingles, and can be taken on a regular basis. There is also a lysine ointment you can get at the health food store.


Name: Ginger McClure
Location: San Jose, CA
Date: 03/21/2013
Time: 05:02 PM

Comments

I have a homopathic Chiropractor that helped me. She gave me a remedy and also an adjustment. Within 24 hours the pain was almost gone, and I continued to feel better and free of pain. I don't know if it was the remedy, or the adjustment or both, or perhaps just timing. But I would do it again, the pain I will never forget. Good luck. If it was my parent I would do it.


Name: Lauri
Location: frankfort illinois
Date: 03/20/2013
Time: 06:30 AM

Comments

My mother had phn for 7 years and nothing really helped sorry to have to tell you. although when her dementia got worse the phn went away.


Name: Diane E.
Location: Fredonia, NY
Date: 03/20/2013
Time: 06:27 AM

Comments

I learned this trick to help with PHN pain from a physical therapist: gather a few fabric scraps with different textures such as velvet, burlap, fleece, satin, etc. When the pain starts, rub the area briskly with each of the fabric pieces. The different textures "confuse" the nerve endings and the pain lessens. It worked great for me when I had this after shingles. Good luck!


Name: Bette
Location: Delaware County, PA
Date: 03/20/2013
Time: 06:18 AM

Comments

A note to Grace: Since your mother is 95, it's likely you are over 60 years old. I hope you, yourself, have gotten the shingles vaccine, to make it less likely that you will also get shingles. Although the shot is expensive, some insurances cover part of it, and there are some programs which provide free shots to those without insurance or inadequate insurance. Check with your county health department!


 







 

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