Two years ago I was moving at a breakneck speed and surviving shingles wasn’t on my mind, in fact, I had no idea what shingles were!  I had accepted a new job, closed on new a house, decided to LIVE in that house while it was renovated, and was generally an emotionally stressed-out mess.

Then, shingles happened.

I had no idea what shingles were before I got it.  Shingles is a form of chicken pox, and is called herpes zoster (no, not that type of herpes.)  The zoster virus lays dormant on your nerves until something triggers them.  My particular kind of horror was called Zoster Opthalmicus as it eventually affected my eye. Read on to find out how I survived shingles.

This post contains affiliate links.  I earn a small commission for items purchased.

Disclaimer: As always please check with your doctor for guidance if you think you have shingles.

Why Me?

So.  At the time I really thought that shingles snuck up on me.  One day I went from feeling fine to the next day having a slight rash on my face.  On the third day, I was in pain, and lethargic, and knew that something bad was happening to my body.  Looking back, I now know that stress coupled with a weak immune system triggered a shingles attack on my body.

At the time I had JUST started a new job and we had just closed on a new house.  I was stressed out to the max.  I wasn’t taking care of myself, I was eating badly, not exercising, and arguing with the people I loved. 

I was miserable. 

When a minor cold struck, I knew that I needed to slow down but then when the face rash came reality set in.  A trip to the doctors confirmed that had shingles and that it was on the nerve that travels past my eye right up to my head.

The pain was unbearable.  It felt like needles sticking in my face and eye.  I cried every. single. day.  Antivirals helped immensely, and I supplemented them with a high dosage of vitamins. 

Within two weeks I was feeling better but I was left with a horrible scar right between my eyebrows.  Apparently, my two weeks of hell were a vacation compared to people who have attacks lasting months. 


  • The major cause of shingles is old age. As you age, your immunity may decrease, and shingles most commonly occur in people over 70 years old.
  • I’m not 70 but I know exactly why my shingles were caused.  Physical and emotional stress is what I was dealing with when shingles popped up. The chemicals released by your body when you’re stressed can prevent your immune system from working properly.
  • Other factors like chemotherapy, organ transplants, bone marrow transplants, and HIV/AIDS can also cause shingles.
how to survive shingles

How I Succeeded at Surviving Shingles

1.  Vitamins! 

After doing research I immediately started taking Lysine supplements (an amino acid that combats the zoster virus) and a high dosage of Vitamin C.  I also took a doctor-prescribed antiviral to speed up my healing.

2.  Rest and Hydration

I mostly just slept most of the day after telling work I was a mess and I would be back when I wasn’t in so much pain.  To pass the time I binge-watched Netflix.  I listened to my body which was screaming for me to slow down.  I drank almost a gallon of water per day and took Epsom salt baths

For those particularly itchy days, Calamine lotion helped!  Calamine lotion has a soothing, cooling effect on the skin and can be used to relieve itching.

I also applied a cold compress to my affected area. It actually helped alleviate the pain associated with shingles. Cold therapy can help numb the area, reduce inflammation, and provide temporary relief from discomfort. It’s recommended to wrap the cold compress or ice pack in a thin cloth or towel before applying it to the skin to avoid direct contact and potential damage. It’s important to remember that cold compresses are primarily used to manage symptoms and provide temporary relief.

3.  ACV 

I dabbed apple cider vinegar on my rash which really helped to dry it out and help it heal faster.  I smelled totally gross but it worked! 

4.  Cut out the Arginine! 

The key to surviving shingles is to clean up your diet. I cut nuts and chocolate completely out of my diet.  Looking back my diet was high in Arginine which is found in nuts.  Arginine feeds the virus, while Lysine helps get your system balanced.

Here’s a list of foods to avoid if you have shingles!

5. Work to curb future attacks

I continue to take Vitamin C and B12 daily to prevent another shingles attack.  I also started watching my diet and started running again.  Self-care is the key to not getting another zoster attack.

Every day I’m reminded of what happened due to the scar on my face.  While laser treatments have helped I think I’ll always have this reminder of what can happen when I’m not taking care of myself. 

6. Mental Health Care

I found that dealing with shingles can be emotionally challenging as well as physically painful. It’s ok to seek out emotional support if you’re struggling to cope. Some options for emotional support during this time include:

  • Talking to a therapist or counselor
  • Joining a support group for people with shingles
  • Connecting with loved ones and letting them know how they can help
  • Practicing relaxation techniques like meditation or deep breathing

For the longest time, I didn’t want to talk about my scar or what I went through.  You see, this blog/Instagram world seems to thrive on people putting their most perfect side forward.  Who has time to talk about shingles when they have a perfect cup of coffee to photograph?  For me, it’s important to show that we all have bad days and need to be reminded to take care of ourselves.

Other Shingles Articles

Foods to Avoid When You Have The Shingles Virus!

Tips for Shingles Pain Management and Treatment

Major Causes of Shingles Virus!

How Shingles Changed My Life

Similar Posts


  1. My husband had shingles on one side of his body mostly on his neck, head and into his ear. It was absolutely horrible and he still talks about it being the worst pain of his life. He now gets migraines which he never had until shingles. Such a nasty disease.

    1. Oh yes, I forgot to mention the residual nerve pain!! It’s terrible!

  2. Ugh! I am at the beginning stages of shingles. It is not fun at all going to try every remedy I can get my hands on for sure. So glad to find info from people who have been thru this. I am a 4th stage cancer survivor from. And if it wasn’t for my LORD AND SAVIOUR, and all natural remedies I wouldn’t be here now.

    1. Feel better soon!!!

    2. Thank you Amen. I am in this and glad to hear you. Your comment gives me hope.

  3. My shingles seems to be from stress related, Restaurant Manager. My shingles are getting bigger with ever out break. I take high doses on L-LYSINE 1000mg twice a day, 1000mg of vitamin C with rosehip twice a day and then I have my own way of drying it up and healing it quickly. I use comfrey tincture on a compress and apply to the rash. Sorry it burns at first then it starts calming down. Now if there is anybody that doesn’t think comfrey is suitable for this application please, let me know. Thank you

    1. Sending healing vibes!!

    2. I use 1000mg Tincture with CBD daily to help with the inflammation and I put Intense Relief Rub on the rash once I could stand to touch it. It stop the intense fever I felt under my rash. Yes it feels like the nerves have come through the skin. Do not eat anything sweet unless you want more pain. Do rest when your body says rest. Don’t aggregate the nerve at all.

  4. Thank you all for posting this, I have shingles on the right side of my torso going
    Round my armpit and back. I’ve never been in so much pain and borderline depression from this sudden disease. I am 21 weeks pregnant so that’s what’s weakened my immunity. Can I still take lysine in my condition ?

    1. I would check with your doctor to make sure. I hope you feel better soon and I’m sending all the healing vibes your way!

      1. Loraine Schoenfield says:

        Thank you SO much for posting this!!! I am recovering from my second bout of Shingles…and have not been given much advice by my PCP whatsoever, unfortunately.
        This time Shingles inflamed a nerve (one or more?) in the C2 section of the scalp. I am so glad to know that Lysine and large amounts of vitamin C help. I had been eating a lot of nuts until recently, so I am glad to also know that nuts are to be avoided!

        1. I’m so glad you found this helpful, get well soon!!

  5. I just got shingles 5 days ago and I am in so much pain. 3 months ago I was diagnosed with Covid19 and now this. I am so sad and in so much pain. I am going to do everything you said. Thank you and bless you for sharing. ❤️

    1. You WILL get through this!! Please take care and I’m hoping you get well ASAP!!!<3

    2. Alejandra Camarena says:

      Omg…I had Covid at the end of May and now I’m dealing with Shingles too. I wonder if it’s related at all? Obviously our immune system was weakened. I find it interesting that I got Shingles on my right leg which also was the side and area that hurt when I got Covid.

      1. I’m so sorry you are dealing with this!! Please take care, you are stronger than shingles!

      2. I also have shingles three months after Covid. I bet its related

        1. I just got diagnosed with shingles today…I was diagnosed with covid 10/15..3 months ago! Sounds like a terrible trend:(.

          1. I’m so sorry!! Get well soon! <3

    3. I just got shingles three months after Covid. ❤️

      1. Thank you all for you helping tips on getting through Shingles. I was just at the doctor today and also have shingles for the first time. I truly am starting to think having covid triggers shingles. I had it at the end of October.

      2. My husband too… I was ready this looking for remedies for him. He had Covid recently as well. First in June, and he thinks again mild in early December. How odd.

    4. Dear Vanessa ,
      Lord I pray for a covering over Vanessa, Lord let her know and feel she is not alone in this time of need. You are a God that Loves her , I pray that you bring comfort to her right now and the right things to help her situation. Lord bring Peace and Joy. Praying for you Vanessa.
      Love you Tina

    5. Oh my God! I also had Covid 3 months ago and now shingles. I have felt like such bad luck. I can relate to you 100%.I am into week 2 and nerve pain is right above left side of my neck into my scalp. Meds don’t stop the pain for me and that is puzzling.

  6. Hi. I’m in my 8th week with shingles pain! It started on my upper vertebrae, wrapped around under my arm over my breast to center of chest! The pain has been HORRIFIC! I have always been a coffee drinker but coffee made me feel worse…and SUGAR! My gosh it causes the itching to drive me CRAZY, with the ‘itch that you can not scratch’ all in the inside! The red hot needle stabbing pains come when you don’t expect them. I feel for anyone who ever gets this. I’m taking L-Lysine, B12, Chagga mushroom Vit. C, garlic, all of the right stuff, praying all the while! Stay safe…and stay rested and unstressed!

    1. It’s crazy how many people are dealing with this! Sending lots of healing vibes your way!

  7. I have shingles also. Going on fourth week. Omgoodness feels like I am being tortured !! I am gonna try Vitamin C as Suggested. Never been so miserable. Taking Lysine and Advil. Prayers requested!! Thx

  8. I am so glad I found this! I had covid 2 months ago and now I’m also dealing with the shingles. It’s so scary we really don’t know how bad that virus really is and what damage it is doing to our bodies.

  9. Myla Beloy says:

    A week ago i started sufferring pain because of Herpes zoster known as shingles in adult..its terrifically painful. I think it trigger because of lack of sleep , weakened my immune system. Its ralated to stress. Im taking massively food supplement with high dose of Vit C , with B6 and B12. Im praying its not take long.. Take good care of yourselves. God bless us all??❤

  10. I had Covid 3 weeks ago and started Shingles about 3 days ago. I do not have the rashes yet but have the pain. I made it through Covid very easy after day 1 but then this nerve pain happened and fatigue. I have been reading to figure what was happening to me. Thanks for the information! I take vitamin d3, c, magnesium, and a few other supplements which helped with Covid. I also use a homemade infrared sauna and epsom bath on days I feel like it (no rashes yet so think ok) and I use essential oils. Tonight I had my husband do Rainbow Treatment of oils on my spine. Felt great I read cinnamon oil on spine is good for shingles (it is a hot oil so read about it first). I think essential oil need to be used often because I did not sleep all night even though it helped. I will get the lysine supplement tomorrow. My pain is from arm right tricep down right leg to right foot and anywhere I wear underwear or socks. When I had bad head ache during Covid it was on left side. I have read several other cases of Shingles after Covid. Good luck and please post more what you have learned. Thanks!!

  11. I was diagnosed with covid on October but got supposedly shingles on my eye!!! Which I get very often like atleast once a year. So many doctors didn’t know what it was some said it was this or that than someone said looks like herpes 🙁 the first one like cold sore. Now a medical medium said it’s like shingles. And I also get it done when weak immune system. So annoying I had this on eye since I was 5

Comments are closed.