Blisters caused by shingles have healed, but the nerve pain persists. Doc increased my Lyrica dosage to 300mg per day (4 tablets/day). My left hand continued to be painful, numb with pins & needles all day long. And when the intense shooting pain or aching pain comes, it can be so unbearable that I am reduced to tears. No painkiller seems to help too so I tried ultracet again in the night but by taking half a tablet instead of one. I was hoping that it does not cause nausea but may help in reducing the pain at night. So far, it works - while it does not completely reduce the pain, it has helped to reduce the pain intensity. I felt more tired the next day but at least I did not throw up. Doc also asked me to increase my prednisolone to 15 mg per day for a couple of days and then reduced it to 10mg for the next 5 days ( I was previously on my way to reduced prendnisolone and was taking 6mg). He was hoping that this would help to reduce the inflammation of the nerve and hence reduce my pain. We will monitor the pain and see whether the medications help. If not, the next step to manage my pain is to do a nerve block. Though it is simple procedure, but as it is carried out on the spine, it does carry some risks. So I will rather not go to this route, but hope that the nerve will heal over time and the pain will go away.
Diet wise, I am pumping myself with vitamin B complex, C and E daily. I read that celery juice is good in reducing nerve pain and I am thinking of trying too. Though Doc has given me medical leave for another week, I am thinking of slowly easing back to work by working half day. I have no idea when the nerve pain will go away and so it is better I start work now that the blisters have healed. I am hoping that work will distract me from the pain or the irritation of the pain and numbness of my hand. And since I work half day, I can at least rest in the afternoon. I also need to work to earn money to pay my medical bill! I have since spent near to $1000 on this episode of shingles. Think more will be needed if the nerve pain persists. Lupus medication and regular follow up with blood tests also cost me a few hundreds per month. And as a lupus patient now, I also wonder what will come next. So it is better to have money given I have limited medical insurance coverage now. There is a saying - "one can die but not ill". I fully understand what it means since medical costs is really an issue if you are not earning enough. If not for this reason, I think I will quit my job and take a long long long rest before I think what to do next.