Something wasn't right.
The devastation of powerful Hurricane Iniki on the Hawaiian Island of Kauai left more than just physical damages from its 200+ mile per hour winds.
Emotional damages also claimed their share of victims.
One of the victims was my Dad.
After the hurricane, my Dad suffered and complained of burning itches, unbearable shooting pain on one side of his body, starting from his shoulder area.
This lasted a few days. We tried to keep him comfortable, but it was difficult with no electricity or running water. The skin from the lower back to his stomach bore the visible effects of his pain.
Things got worse. Within a week, my Dad's skin exploded into a whelp and cluster of blisters filled with puss. You could see blisters scattered in patches like strands of poison ivy.
Dad felt intense pain, unable to sit still or sleep. But this was just the beginning. Dad was diagnosed with a condition called shingles.
The shingles would come and go over the next 10 years.
Look, I am not a medical professional capable of providing medical advice. But when a close family member suffers, you try to find out as much medical information as you can.
Then you share your experience with others. So they can learn from your experience and hopefully better cope with their own life experiences.
But don't wait until the pain of shingles gets worse. Go and see your medical doctor quickly for help. Left alone, Shingles could get worse.
Why was this happening to my Dad?
If you've ever known someone like my Dad who suffered from shingles, you'd appreciate their suffering. You'd also feel helpless and frustrated.
Information obtained from Novartis Pharmaceuticals writes, "... approximately one million Americans suffer from this sickness every year."
They further write, "...shingles will effect 20 percent of the population at some time in their lives."
Bottom line: Shingles is a extremely painful viral infection of the nerves that can leave an unfortunate victim blistered and very sore.
Shingles originates from the same virus as chicken pox. If you've ever had chicken pox ,you may be vulnerable to developing shingles later in life.
Although there is no accurate method to predict shingles, you should try to find out as much as possible before shingles appears.
Understanding the causes of shingles helps the next steps: finding out what the symptoms are and how to get pain relief.
Shingles starts with an innocent looking skin rash. An itchy skin rash.
The rash quickly develops into blisters. The blisters are unbearably itchy. My Dad constantly scratched them and even popped a few blisters.
Then they spread over the body.
6 Helpful Self Treatment Techniques You Can Use:
From my Dad's experience, I learned of a few low-cost self treatment options.
1. Use ice packs. Ice packs bring relief to the infected area.
2. Avoid contact. To prevent the shingles from spreading, try and limit any type of skin to skin contact.
3. Try Cold Water. Cleanliness is a key ingredient to managing shingles. Simple self-treatments will help in reducing shingle's painful effects. Always use cold water and a clean washcloth to keep the shingles in check. After the gentle wash, gently pat the area with another clean cloth. Then apply a thin layer of calamine lotion, much like treating poison ivy.
4. Wear Loose Clothing. Keep the area cover with loose clothing so nothing rubs the area and cause it to spread any more than it needs it. Keep the shingles sufferer cool and dry as much as possible which helps to stop the spread of the shingles.
5. Take Cold baths. Another simple self-treatment is taking a cool bath using corn starch.
6. Apply Hydrogen peroxide. Still another simple self treatment is using hydrogen peroxide, gently applied over the blistered area.
Preventive actions worth thinking about.
Though my Dad never showed it, he suffered from the stress caused by the hurricane. I've learned since then that emotional stress can contribute to the development of shingles.
Relaxation techniques such as meditation and yoga could help relieve stress. Keeping calm has many positive side effects.
By simply keeping yourself informed and getting proper medical help, you will mitigate shingles.You will also be familiarized with the symptoms and causes and apply timely self-treatment options.And, most importantly, you will perhaps better manage and avoid shingles.
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