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About 8 years ago I broke out with shingles on my right side from my hip to my knee. Since then about 3 times a year I go through the pain, tinking and itching, but do not break out with the blisters. Two weeks ago I began to experience the pain on my left side. It is not only on the opposite side but on my lower back and my stomach. The pain is also much more entense this time. Still no blisters. I also am experiencing gas pain and bloating this time and I am experiencing flu like symptoms. No fever. My question is, could this be something other than shingles? The pain is no different than before. Just more entense with more symptoms. If it is shingles what can I do to keep from having to go through this 3 or 4 times a year? I have also noticed that it seems to come when I have had some exposure to the sun. My stress level has been high the last three months. I had a hemmroidectomy and my son was in a near fatal car accident. I am also getting ready to start nursing school.

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I just went through the exact same thing! I've had shingles several times, the first time being 9 years ago. I have a lot of stress and tend to bury it rather than find a healthy way to release it (which I will now work on changing!) and this time I not only had pain and blisters around the left side of my rib cage I also had blisters on my scalp and forehead, in my ears, pain & tingling in my eyes, migraines, an entire night of (violent, for lack of a better word) vomiting and all the symptoms you listed including the gas pains. 2 of my very young grand children who were vacationing here at my house for the whole week prior to me realizing the almost flu like symptoms & sores on my scalp were shingles ( I did not have the blisters on my side yet at that point ) came down with the chicken pox 11 & 12 days after the 1st day they got to my house. Each had only had 1 dose of the chicken pox vaccine so far. I have noticed a coralation between my shingles & sun exposer also. Now whether it is coincidence or not I have no clue, maybe sitting in the hot sun makes the blisters worse??? I'm not 60 yet (soon turning 57) but I am going to get the shingles vaccine this week, it has been a month since this episode and I don't want another one if I can avoid it. I am not sure I am completely recovered yet, I still have very tender areas on my scalp, even some newer blisters still healing, very frequent recurring migraines & occular migraines and very tender stiff neck that seems worse now then it was 2-3 weeks ago. NOT FUN!!!!! I am wondering how long I am actually contagious to an infant and if anyone else ever had lingering effects like this. I did get put on the anti viral medication as soon as I realized what was going on and went in to my doctor for confirmation. Anyone else out there experience any of this?
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