Monday, 9 May 2011

The diagnosis

After nearly two weeks of excruciating and relentless head pain, dizziness and occasional nausea I woke up on Saturday morning in a cold sweat but completely free of pain. The pain started to return later in the day but since then has never reached the levels of the last couple of weeks and today I haven't even needed any painkillers.

I met my doctor today and was told my CT scan was clear which was great news, and of course I'd been quite anxious about this for a few days - you start thinking of all sorts of things that might be wrong while waiting. The only downside to this, of course, is that since it was clear it didn't explain what's wrong.

So, my doctor's initial diagnosis when I first saw him nearly two weeks ago is the one we're going with - shingles. The only problem with that is that I have no rash but apparently this can happen on occasions plus it's possible treatment was started early enough that it prevented the rash from appearing in the first place. If that's the case, thumbs up to my doc!

I'll be returning to work later this week although I've been told to take it easy for a while, and thanks for all your comments, thoughts and prayers in the meantime, they were all very much appreciated!


Hilary said...

Tom, I'm glad to hear that it's something that will eventually heal and disappear. From what I've always heard, shingles without a rash can be more painful than the classic case. I've had the latter when I was pregnant with my younger son, and was very lucky as to the degree and duration of pain.

I hope you begin to feel much better very soon.

Anonymous said...

hmmm. Shingles is no laughing matter. My uncle first had Bell's Palsy, which was no fun, but 2 weeks after the palsy ran its course, he developed shingles. He was in agony.

But, that, too, passed. Now 79, he has to deal with diabetes and hearing loss. He still golfs 3 times a week, though!

Unknown said...

I feel encouraged, and hope you do too! I hope this is a correct diagnosis, and that before long, you are pain free, and fully functional! You are welcome, by the way!

Sending up a prayer of thanksgiving.

Keera Ann Fox said...

Glad you're feeling better, Tom!

Shingles without a rash? Why, I never... Was the pain localized on only one side of the body?

Tom said...

All - still off work although I tried going back on Weds but it didn't work out - too much pain. Today has been really bad, intense pain which even the vicodin will only take the edge off. Doc seems only interested in signing sick notes and not what's going on. The good news is that the pain isn't quite as widespread as before, it's very localised now.

Keera - yes, one side of my head and no rash (apparently you can get shingles without the rash, but it's rare). For three weeks it's felt like someone trying to remove one side of my skull with a drill. Now they've changed the bit and are concentrating on one particular part of my skull behind the right ear.

Not sure what to do next or who to turn to. Maybe it'll go away over the weekend.

Keera Ann Fox said...

Then shingles it is, since shingles tends to strike on only one side of the body. It seems you've skipped over the rash phase and gone straight to the lingering pain phase.

Avoiding stress may be the best medicine, so I say enjoy being away from work (as in, don't feel guilty or impatient) and distract yourself with pleasant activities. (She said, hoping for more gorgeous photos of Hawaii.)

Anonymous said...

HI there,my daughter here in NZ had the same symptoms. We think it was a strange 'flu' virus - without any other symptoms that what you described. Has cleared up completely now. She is otherwise healthy, cheers K

Sarah Fagents said...


You popped into my head tonight, out of the blue. (For some reason I was thinking about infant/primary school days). So I was wondering how you're doing... a quick Google and here you are! Clearly life has handed you a plateful of crap recently... I do hope you recover soon, it sounds absolutely dreadful.

I'd love to catch up sometime when you're feeling better.

Take care,

Kate said...

Recover fats mate! Have a nice rest at home and don't worry about work because health comes first rest can wait. My prayers with you .For now enjoy this not-so-serious test.
Women's Health Quiz
Are you taking care of your health?

Greg said...

My son Race whom you have met had what he doctor called "a rip roaring" case of shingles.

I had put off taking him to my dermatologist because all the things I read said that there was no cure but time.
That is BS. The Doc prescribed Valtrex and it knocked it out immediately. Also he got some Vicodin for pain.
The prescription for the valtrex was 500.00 and worth every penny.