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Hyponatremia, Shingles and Ramsay Hunt Syndrome

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Avatar for tired_momma
Written by   690
2 months ago

My mother-in-law who is 88 years old was complaining that her head down to her neck was painful. We also notice some rashes on one side of her face, ear and neck. It happened during the weekend and Bank Holiday Monday was approaching so we have to wait for Tuesday to phone the doctor. We told Mum that we're going to take her to the hospital so they can get it check. She wasn't able to sleep at night and she was pretty upset. She said maybe she will be okay tomorrow. She doesn't want to go to the hospital and keep saying "she's old, the hospital wouldn't want her there".

Tuesday. The Doctor phones back after we book for an appointment and gave Mum a prescription that didn't help her to at least deal with pain. It's not helpful if you're only talking to the doctor over the phone because some people don't know what to say and how to explain what they are going through. But still, because of covid around, you can't just see your doctor and even booking for appointment to talk to the GP is challenging. This Mum's case must be seen not heard.

The next day, she feels worst and started crying. She doesn't feel good at all, didn't sleep for 4 nights. We tried our best to persuade her to go to the hospital. She said no at first but say yes after.

More than 100 at that time waiting. No relative is allowed but Mum can have 1 as she's in her wheelchair.

It took 7 hours of waiting before Mum was able to see the doctor in the emergency department. The doctor was very good and very nice. Before she did anything she asks Mum questions:

  • regarding the pain like on a scale of 1-10 and 10 is the highest, how painful it is?

  • How long is this going on?

  • Did she have this before?

Some questions I have to meddle when I know Mum didn't say the correct answer as I know she forgets some things.

After asking her important questions, she checks Mums coordination skills first: her eyes, arms and legs. Then check her rashes from her head down to her back. She also checked the inside of her mouth and ears.

Then she said, "It looks like Shingles to me." So she wants to run a CT Scan to make sure that there's no rash on the inside of her ears as she wasn't able to have a good look at it as Mum said that it's painful whenever she put her device on her ears. For another hour we wait for her to get the scan. The doctor also said she has to discuss it with other specialists for her eyes and ears. Had the scan and while waiting for the result the doctor takes Mum inside to check her eyes further using the Snellen Chart.

The CT Scan came out fine, everything is good but the blood test shows that her sodium just like the last time that she was hospitalized drops again, which in medical terms is called Hyponatremia.

So here's the doctor's diagnosis:

  • Hyponatremia

  • Shingles with Ramsay Hunt Syndrome

Hyponatremia or low blood sodium

This is a condition wherein you don't have enough sodium in your blood. We need some sodium in our bloodstream to control how much water is in and around the cells in our body

Symptoms

Hyponatremia signs and symptoms may include:

  • Muscle weakness, spasms or cramps

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Headache

  • Confusion

  • Loss of energy, drowsiness and fatigue

  • Restlessness and irritability

So Mum lately don't have much power in her. She gets tired easily just by standing for few minutes. And at night she had cramps and her head is always light.

Shingles

Only one side of her face (left). This is very painful.

Shingle is an infection caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox and it's most common in older people, though everyone can get it. The first symptoms of shingles can be:

  • painful or tingling feeling in the area of skin, blotchy rash on 1 side of the body

  • sorehead or feeling generally unwell.

You must go to the doctor within 48 hours that the symptoms started because the doctor said they can give medicine within that time frame that can help speed up the recovery which cannot be given in Mum's case as it is more than 2 days.

How long Shingle Lasts

The doctor says it can take up to 4 weeks for the rash to heal and the skin can still be painful for weeks even after the rash has gone but eventually gets better in time.

Is Shingle Contagious?

The doctor said it's NOT contagious. You cannot pass your shingles to others but those who have not had chickenpox before could catch chickenpox from you.

When people get chickenpox, that virus remains in our body. Then it can be reactivated later and cause shingles especially if their immune system is low.

Ramsay Hunt Syndrome

Photo Credit

Ramsay Hunt syndrome (RHS) is a peripheral facial nerve palsy accompanied by an erythematous vesicular rash on the ear or in the mouth. Ear abnormalities such as tinnitus or ringing in the ear and loss of hearing are also present.

This syndrome happens when shingles affect the nerves in the face close to either one of the ears. It is a condition caused by a virus called herpes zoster oticus. Chickenpox which is common in children is caused by a general varicella-zoster virus. The virus reactivates and causes shingles if you've had chickenpox in your life.

Both shingles and chickenpox are most recognizable by a rash that appears in the affected area of the body. Unlike chickenpox, a shingles rash near the facial nerves by your ears can cause other complications, including facial paralysis and ear pain. When this happens, it’s called Ramsay Hunt syndrome.

If you get a rash on your face and also start noticing symptoms such as facial muscle weakness, see your doctor as soon as you can. Early treatment can help make sure you don’t experience any complications from Ramsay Hunt syndrome.

How long Ramsay Hunt Syndrome Last

You will get better completely within a few weeks if there's not much damage to your nerve. And you may not fully recover if the damage is more severe.

That is why it's very important to see the doctor immediately if you have the symptoms and get treatment within 3 days for your chance of recovery is better.

Source:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/ramsay-hunt-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20351783

Mum was admitted to the hospital. After 25 hours she was discharged and given prescriptions which she has to take for a week.

She was prescribed steroids, Aciclovir and Lansoprazole on top of her other medications. It's her 3rd day of treatment and she is still sore and generally unwell. If you're in the UK make sure that you get the Shingle Vaccine. Shingle vaccine is available for the '70s and over. It's just that Mum didn't know about it. For those in other countries and worried for your beloved elders do check your local health centre or ask your doctor regarding the vaccine for shingles to make sure they don't get through this horrible experience. It's really that painful and especially for old people.

Remember

If you know someone experiencing the symptoms, let them see the doctor immediately. The early treatment you get, the chance of recovery is better and to avoid further complications.

Thank you for reading!

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Written by   690
2 months ago
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Comments

Sending hugs to your MIL, sis.

$ 0.00
2 months ago

Thanks for sharing this valuable information on Hyponatremia.. And "get well soon to your mother in law" 💗

$ 0.10
2 months ago

Thank you for reading it dead and thank you for your well wishes to Mum.

$ 0.00
2 months ago

Thank God you were observant and noticed the development in Grandma. I guess the medication given to her has been of help, can she now sleep well, and has the pain reduced or gone finally. I begin to reason it was almost the same complaint my grandmother made, and I fought my parents back then to take her to the hospital but I was told there is no medication for old people than to eat and sleep regularly, we lost last year July after a year of staying indoor

$ 0.10
2 months ago

Sadly, dear, she feels bad today but I understand that's part of this shingles. It's very painful. She can sleep in the daytime on her chair but can hardly sleep at night.

I'm sorry to hear about your Mum. It's sad how the old treated that way. 😓

$ 0.00
2 months ago

It's my grandma and she is of blessed memories

$ 0.03
2 months ago

Sorry I mean your grandma. I know what you mean they are beautiful souls. They have loads of stories. The kindest I know. They will give you anything to make you happy. I'm missing my grandma now. 😢

$ 0.00
2 months ago

Thanks for this awareness ma'am. I really feel fir granny. Please instead of going through the long process of queuing call an ambulance. Its stress free.

I must say here that you are one strong woman because its not easy taking care of the children plus an elderly one. I pray she recovers fully because I feel her pain.

$ 0.10
2 months ago

Yes dear, I should do that next time. Thank you. And thank you for your nice words and well wishes for Mum. I appreciate that. ❤

$ 0.00
2 months ago

You are really passing a great information to the world... Keep it up!

$ 0.10
2 months ago

Hoping it will awareness. Thank you!

$ 0.00
2 months ago

Sorry for the stress you undergo and may God grant her quick discovery. This article is really helpful,had to save it to inform my parent too. God bless you for sharing.

$ 0.10
2 months ago

And thank you for your time reading it. If only I knew about this earlier we could have had an early treatment so I hope others will learn that lesson.

$ 0.00
2 months ago

I know you are facing a very stress condition ...... IAM still learning about these symptoms and then how to recoverr the patient... But this article also helps me a lot to know about these disease and then how to recover them

$ 0.10
2 months ago

Yeah hopefully it helps for others and to avoid further complications it must be treated urgently.

$ 0.00
2 months ago

You did a very good research about the affectation with this virus. Hyponatremia is also associated with infection with Herpes Zoster. Generally in 15 days it can lead to complete improvement.

$ 0.10
2 months ago

Aha! That one I didn't know and thank you gertu for sharing. So what happens is the infection leads to complications when not treated immediately. I didn't even think that was shingles. So I just have to share what I learn so many others who don't know about it can be aware of these all. It's really painful.

$ 0.00
2 months ago

Yes, it is painful because this virus lodges in the nerves. It remains inactive and then it manifests itself again and it will always be painful. Although it can appear in a milder form in any part of the body.

$ 0.00
2 months ago

Thanks for this informative content. Atleast we have now an idea of this kind of disease. Btw, praying for your mother-in-law's fast recovery.

$ 0.10
2 months ago

Yes July that's why I'm sharing this info. And thank you for your prayers dear. God bless you.

$ 0.00
2 months ago

Hoping for the fast recovery of your Mum.

$ 0.10
2 months ago

Thank you Gracee. ❤

$ 0.00
2 months ago

Para pala syang sugat madam ano. Then yung Ramsay Hunt Syndrome ay parang bells palsy rin. May nerve na di nag fufunction kaya mag part sa body na stagnant.

$ 0.10
2 months ago

Yes para syang bells palsy na walang rash. Eto talaga masakit kasi under the skin makikita mo my mga pus sya. So yung kay nanay shingles na umabot sa ramsay hunt kasi umabot hanggang tenga nya yung infection.

$ 0.00
2 months ago

Parang tusok2 madam?

$ 0.00
2 months ago

Uu madam

$ 0.00
2 months ago

Naku, ang hirap siguro nyan for your mom. I hope she gets well soon. :(

$ 0.10
2 months ago

Thank you Michelle and sobra dumadaing sa sakit. Thank you. ❤

$ 0.00
2 months ago

Ayos lang po. Godbless po. ♥️

$ 0.00
2 months ago

ngayon ko lang nalaman na bawal pala kulangin sa sodium yung dugo ma, akala ko before okay lang yun basta wag lang dumami white blood cells. jusko mali pala ako

$ 0.10
2 months ago

Dahil lang din kay nanay kaya ko nalaman yan.

$ 0.00
2 months ago

Painful tlga madam lalo na sa matatanda.sana maging okay na in law mo.. Yung RHS pla, sa mamatanda lng b yun dumadapo?

$ 0.10
2 months ago

Madam yung RHS pag shingles na nagkacomplication. Kaya dapat symptoms plang ng shingles kailangan matreat na bago umabot sa RHS. Si Shingles most common sa matatanda pero pwede ring kahit sino at kahit anong edad lalo na pag mababa eimmune system specially nagkichemo.

$ 0.00
2 months ago

Parang nastroke yung hitsura.

$ 0.00
2 months ago

I hope your mom will be fine, she really can't endure the pain I think because she cries a lot when she was not brought to the hospital.Nowadays it's too hard to consult a doctor even here in Ph because we have to undergo a lot of protocols.I hope that someone will take care of her until she will be fine.

$ 0.10
2 months ago

Yes I know, my sister told me you have to pay for PPE too. Then my other friends, masakit lang paa covid na agad 🙄. Thank you and yes I will also no nmn rating mga pivot mapagmahal.

$ 0.00
2 months ago

Kaya nga , kadalasan dito nagtitiis na lang sa bahay kaysa oumubta sa ospital kasi macovid na agad eh. I never close to my biyanan,and its a good thing that you do close to your biyanan.

$ 0.00
2 months ago

Mabait si nanay kahit ibang lahi ako, pare pareho lang daw tayong tao. :)

$ 0.00
2 months ago

Grandma must be passing through a lot of pain right now. I wish her a quick recovery. Thank God she has Tia to keep her entertained (I saw your noisecash post) 🤣

Thank for the information by the way.

$ 0.10
2 months ago

Haha, yes she's trying so hard keep lola smiling even she's not feeling well. 😁

$ 0.05
2 months ago

Oh!😔 I wish her quick recovery too

$ 0.00
2 months ago

The illness is new to me I mean I have not heard of that ever since but regardless, we should take care of our loved ones especially the elders. We should not treat them less important. Without them, we would not be here. Thank you for this awareness, maam.

$ 0.10
2 months ago

Thank you for your time reading but as well. Just raising awareness because I myself don't know about it. We could have brought her straight to the hospital to get the treatment if I knew it was shingles.

$ 0.00
2 months ago

True!

$ 0.00
2 months ago

I hope your mother-in-law recovers soon. I remember my dad had a shingling one time, and it was quite painful.

$ 0.10
2 months ago

Really, how long did it last, do you remember? Coz the symptoms seems not any getting better after 3 days of treatment. It's really painful

$ 0.00
2 months ago

It was a long time ago, but I remember it was a few weeks to get completely well. I hope your mother-in-law begins to feel better soon.

$ 0.00
2 months ago

Uwu, thanks sa pag share nito madam, aguyy. Ang dami rin talagang sakit na maaaring masagap ng mga oldies natin pag nagkaka edad na talaga no aguyy. Wishing for your Mum's fast recover madam, mas fast pa sana kay the flash para mag bond pa sila ni bebe Tia 🙏💙💙💙🤗

$ 0.10
2 months ago

Tandaan mo yang shingles uso rin yan saten. Kawawa talaga pag matanda na nanghihina talaga. 😢

$ 0.00
2 months ago

Oo nga madam, pero sana naman wag tayong magka ganyan aguyy. 🤦

$ 0.00
2 months ago

Thank you so much for sharing this Ma'am. This could help a lot of people in here, like me who don't have any idea about this one..☺️

$ 0.10
2 months ago

Yes Ren kasi kung Alan ko lang din noon di na umabot sana sa complication. Thank you for reading.

$ 0.00
2 months ago

Waoo a lot of faith and strength thanks for sharing this a hug my sweetheart

$ 0.10
2 months ago

Thank you dear appreciate it my friend.

$ 0.00
2 months ago

You're welcome ando thank you my loved

$ 0.00
2 months ago