Since my surgery last month, I have been having lots of trouble sleeping. For the first few days post-op I was waking up, literally 15 times a night because it felt like I needed to empty my bladder, but I never really had to. I've dealt with this before and part of the issue is the endo on my bladder. I think the other issue is the large ovarian cyst I have crowding things down there and causing something to press on my bladder. So I called the doctor and she prescribed Ditropan- for overactive bladder. It cured the constant urge to pee, but I was still wide awake at night. I call again. Now they prescribe Visteral- a prescription antihistamine commonly used to treat anxiety and help promote sleep. I had literally 0 response to the medicine. I call again (the doctor's cell phone this time because it's a Saturday- I'm very blessed to have such an accessible doctor!). He tells me to double the Visteral dose. Again, my body doesn't respond. Wide awake. Thinking. Staring. Planning my escape from the padded room they will likely lock me in soon, if I continue down this path a day longer... so finally, I give in to my own rules about xanax and I take the darned .25mg the doctor prescribed me awhile back for acute anxiety. I know it helps me sleep, but I hate taking it because it has the potential to be habit forming. So for the past few nights, after clearing the plan with my doctor, I've been taking 100mg of Visteral along with 0.25-0.50 mg of Xanax.
Then I notice a creepy red, itchy rash right under my bra line on the side of my torso. I don't think much of it and put hydrocortisone on it to help the itching. When it seems to be getting worse the next day, I decide I better go see the doctor. I'm scheduled to have major surgery in 7 days, and I assume a rash all over my abdomen would be problematic. On the way to the doctor, I worked myself into a frenzy that I had scabies- creepy little bugs that burrow under your skin. To my great relief- the rash was not a bug infestation, but it was Shingles. It seems very odd considering this is common in the elderly. What's with my body?
The doctor said it was likely triggered by stress. Anyone that has had chickenpox can develop shingles. It has something to do with the old viral cells staying in your body. She thought the insomnia episode was likely what sent my immune system over the edge. She gave me Lunesta to take for sleep instead of the Xanax. The Lunesta worked yesterday and now today it is not working which is I am typing the monotous details of this ordeal at 12:30 am.
Have any of you had shingles? Any tips? Praise God, I have no pain! Only itching and discomfort.
Dr. P says this should not interfere with my surgery next week, since I started anti-viral meds yesterday. I am worried that my healing from surgery may be compromised because of my already overloaded immune system. Does anyone have any immune boosting tips? Tips on promoting optimal healing after surgery?
Or tips on sleep???? FYI I already take LDN, magnesium, valerian, tried benedryl, tried melatonin, tried 5-htp...