Hi, @azbarb – sounds like you've been going through a lot of pain and discomfort with your shingles. As my colleague, @JustinMcClanahan, mentioned, I also had shingles. Mine actually was discovered in its very early stages by my doctor when I went in for problems I was having with an epidermoid cyst on my back. Finding a rash from shingles when she went to look at the cyst really surprised my doctor and me.
The experience of having shingles was no fun at all. I didn't end up with extensive rashing since mine was caught early and medicated with acyclovir, but it did hurt, quite a lot. I did some soothing baths, too.
I can relate to what you said about being worried you'll never get rid of the pain. My husband had a work colleague who never did get rid of his shingles pain completely (technically, postherpetic neuralgia following shingles — see https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/postherpetic-neuralgia/symptoms-causes/syc-20376588). So, that made me quite concerned when I developed postherpetic neuralgia and my pain went on after my rashing disappeared. I ended up taking gabapentin for that and using lidocaine patches, I believe, and the pain finally subsided after about 10 weeks after I started the treatments.
How is the burning and the crusted blisters in your armpit?