Had Shingles shot and now have PMR
The shingles shot has now been replaced with a new one that is giving in two doses. I had the shingles in 2014, but since you can get them again I had the shot. Now I have been diagnosed with PMR. The original shot has PMR as a possible side effect. I was never informed of that possibility.
Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Polymyalgia Rheumatica (PMR) Support Group.
I contracted Bell’s Palsy a few months ago after successfully (I thought) tapering off Prednisone over 20 months. As you probably know, the cause of BP is thought to be either a viral attack on one or more of the facial nerves OR an autoimmune flare of the nerve. I was treated with Acyclovir (another broad spectrum antibiotic) to clear the virus and put on heavy (60 mg) but short term doses of Prednisone again. I recovered quickly and without sequelae. Since my BP showed up while off Prednisone, and went away with more Prednisone, I’m leaning towards the autoimmune theory but it could be both or either theory is correct. Links to Shingles disease or vaccine problems are reported by PMR sufferers far more than to be coincidence but I haven’t seen any definitive answer to what links them. I just got the second Shingrix shot this week as I agree with the philosophy that at my age of 72 I don’t want Shingles and I already have PMR, which at least is manageable with proper Prednisone levels.
Since my last post in August, there have been interesting developments. After receiving advice from my family doctor NOT to get the second Shingrix shot, I asked my son, an MD-PhD neuropathologist, whether he agreed, and he didn't. Confused by this conflict in opinion, sometime in the early fall I asked my doctor for a referral to a specialist in infectious diseases, and was set up for an appointment at a top Columbus, Ohio hospital in mid-December. But well before setting up this appointment, I had done a routine check of my other vaccinations and, discovering my DTaP vaccine was close to needing renewal, had scheduled a renewal shot for early December at my local health department. As I arrived for my DTaP shot, the nurse and I had a cursory exchange of information, but neither of us verified which shot I was getting. As it turned out, the nurse in perusing my chart, had seen I had had the first but not the second Shingrix shot and assumed that was why I had come in. It was only after she had administered the second Shingrix, that I realized I had been given it and not the DTaP. I braced myself for a bad reaction, but not only did that not materialize, but I didn't even have a sore arm. With more than a month having elapsed since then, I have not experienced any negative affect from the shot. Perhaps, it was suggested by another nurse at the health department, the first shot had protected me.
Interesting experience! Wow. Glad you didn’t have any negative effects!
I am glad that the new Shingles vaccine given in two doses ( Shingrix) is having better results than the original vaccine given in one dose ( Zostavax) . I received the Zostavax ( a live vaccine) and then was diagnosed with PMR. I believe MANY MANY people on this feed have also contracted PMR from that original vaccine. (Merck) Had I known that PMR was a side effect I Would have never agreed to get the vaccine. I would rather have the shingles again than to be living with PMR.
GrandmaR, your story of your shingles experience is quite stunning. I'm so sorry this happened to you. I have similar symptoms, having nothing to do with shingles.for about 12 years ago, I began having double vision, diplopia as it is referred to. I was also checked out at the hospital for serious matters, brain tumor, MS, and who knows what else. All came back negative but I do have, 6th Cranial Nerve Palsy. All the Neuro ophthalmologists say is it is "idiosyncratic", a nice word for "who knows". I live with it, and it not fun. I wear prisms in my glasses to help to reduce the double vision, but it is not 100%. I get checked every few years and still there is no further understanding of this malady.
Interestingly, I received the shingrix vaccine in summer 2019 and within a few months started becoming increasing disabled, cramps, inability to ambulate arms/legs, weight loss, extreme fatigue, and was diagnosed with PMR and the GCA. So, there you go. For me the vaccine was the trigger to the PMR (my opinion) for you the virus attacked your nerve. There are connections there no doubt.
BTW, I had shingles much earlier in life (after childbirth) around my waist, and while it was uncomfortable it wasn't horrible. Just my experience with shingles around the girdle not the head/eye region. Thank you for sharing your experience. I could not tell, do you also have PMR?
i completely agree with you terre. that is my take too, I'd take the shingles rather than living with PMR.
So sorry to hear your story. I do not have PMR, although it sounds a lot like Fibromyalgia, which I do have. I also have OA and spinal problems. It's hard to tell where my pain comes from. I had 2 spinal surgeries a couple of years ago and it helped a lot!
My vision issues were temporary, although I still have some permanent affects. The doctor who thought I had shingles was my eye doctor and he was right. He did tell me that if my eyes didn't get better I would need glasses like yours.
I've had Shingles shots since they came out.
Of course, these days, it's the COVID shot we are trying to get.
Best of luck to you!
grandmaR, so glad you recovered from the diplopia. I was hoping mine was temporary too, but alas it was not to be. It definitely impacts my life, but life goes on and we adjust. Getting older takes courage right?? I too have spinal issues, so again I relate to your statement about where pain comes from. I've avoided surgeries for 30+ years, opting for soft tissue therapy, PT, exercise and other non invasive treatments. It's not fun of course and I have come close to considering surgery, esp given the advances in recent years. But as you say, everything is on the back burner until the COVID matter is far behind us. probably a year or so. Good luck to you too.
You are certainly right that getting older takes courage and patience!
I waited for a long time for surgery, too.
I had to take an early retirement because of my lingering eye issues and the pain from my back.
I hardly walked in 3 years!
I did all the non-invasive things, too, but they didn't work.
After I retired we moved to a warm weather climate that helped, but not enough.
I had no quality of life and it was getting to me and unfair to my hubby (in MY eyes).
So, I searched out a neurosurgeon to see just how bad I was and what my options were.
Long story short, I waited so long for the surgery that I have been left with permanent nerve damage that has impacted my ability to walk like I once did. I need a cane and will not walk alone because I have fallen a couple of times and after spine surgery, last thing you want to do is fall. A fall could cause horrible results.
Anyway, I'm here and pushing along!
Enjoy your weekend!
These “disabilities” that have developed for you and me and so many others really give me the perspective of those who live with serious disabilities, humbling. Sorry that you sustained permanent nerve damage. That is the one thing that really has made me think about surgery too. A good friend warned me about ignoring it, as he did and he has to use a cane and has foot drop due to the nerve damage. I guess this is a discussion for a different site. But it does center on “inflammation” to some extent. I’m trying to lower my inflammatory foods etc that can exacerabate it true inflammation. Are you able to do water therapy, ie spa/hot tub? It is a real game changer for me, plus my son introduced us to a post workout tool called a theragun. It is basically a percussive massager that really makes you feel soooo much better, increases blood flow, and likely lymphatic flow. He’s a competitive runner and use it post work out. It’s really a great addition. Maybe it could be of help. Not inexpensive but really worth it. Hope you can get out there in whatever capacity. Trekking sticks are a wonderful way to support yourself too.