Friday morning I woke up with itchy bumps on the left side of my lower back above the waist. The area was also inflamed. That evening I ran a low-grade fever and felt like I was trying to get the flu. I called my doctors’ offices and set up an appointment for Monday following instructions to go to the emergency room if my symptoms worsened in the meantime.
Today at my appointment, running another low-grade fever, my internist prescribed an antibiotic for shingles. If the rash fails to clear up, I will see a dermatologist. I don’t have the burning discomfort that characteristically accompanies shingles, but my doctor said that is not uncommon. This would be my third case, the second and last bout being in December 2009, which cropped up on the upper inside of my right thigh.
Interestingly, when I asked about my getting the shingles vaccine, my doctor said it is contraindicated for anyone with suppressed immune systems because it is a live virus vaccine. Along with the seven days of antibiotic, I am drinking lots of water (again) and taking it easy.