Joan’s Story (Shingles)

I had shingles recently and I just need to say—the pain from shingles was the worst I’ve ever felt. The pain was in my back and at first, I figured it was sciatica. But the pain kept getting worse until one day I had to go to the emergency room.

The doctor told me to get an MRI to see if there was a back problem. I said to him that if I didn’t know better I would think that it was shingles because nothing alleviated the pain. He said that it might very well be and that in some cases the rash comes out after the pain – and sometimes never. We were right – the rash appeared about five days later and my own physician confirmed that I had shingles. I’m an active and healthy woman. I work full-time as a special education teacher, I travel a lot and spend time at the theater. I didn’t want to let shingles slow me down. But the truth is, the pain was just awful. At night, in particular, it was so bad that I couldn’t sleep.

If I had known that a vaccine is recommended for everyone my age, I would have gotten it. Believe me, if you could understand the pain of shingles, you’d get the vaccine, too.

  Play Joan’s Story

(1-minute audio)

New York, NY