My Story: Alicia and Shingles

Medically reviewed in February 2021

Alicia describes shingles as "the worst pain she has ever experienced in her life." In this video, she shares the story of her shingles outbreak.

close transcript modal


ALICIA: I woke up in the morning, and my face had blown up. It looked like I was in a car accident.
I went to the emergency room. It was a weekend. And no one had any idea why my face looked the way it did.
Shingles is very contagious. I was at my sister-in-law's house. And she said, would you like a glass of water? I picked up a glass.
And I had some water. And if you look right here, you will see where the glass hits. I had accidentally picked up my sister-in-law's glass.
I didn't know it at the time. She had shingles. And my outbreak was, let's say, about seven days later.
I would describe it as your worst pain ever imaginable. Now, I've been in a car accident.
And I've had a couple of kids. That's nothing. The pain is so crazy you feel like your body is on fire.
When I went outside, people looked at me like I was a zombie. I mean, I'm a friendly person. And I would go into the supermarket,
and people would look at me like, what is wrong with her? It's a horrible feeling to feel like a freak.
I don't think I would have been able to get up and leave my house had it not been for my children.
They went to school. They had activities. They had birthday parties. And I would just force myself to get up and do it.
But I had no social life at that time. I was embarrassed to be seen outside looking the way I did. And to tell you the truth, I had no desire to go outside.
I felt so bad. If I could give advice to someone who's suffering from shingles right now, I would say it's going to get better.
You probably feel horrible. You probably feel depressed. You probably don't want to go out. But it will get better. It will pass.
Wear your mask. Wash your hands. Don't drink from other people's glasses. And now, I would say get the shingles vaccine.

Featured Content


How to Soothe a Shingles Rash at Home

From oatmeal baths to cold compresses—learn how to soothe shingles pain and itching with these at-home remedies.

How Shingles Can Change Your Quality of Life

Shingles is a painful blistering rash that can cause short-term discomfort and long-term complications.

My Story: Kimberly and Shingles

Learn the benefits of the the shingles vaccine.

4 Scary Shingles Side Effects

The after effects of shingles can put you at risk for everything from bacterial infections to inflammation in the brain.

The Links Between Shingles and Emotional Health

Shingles is a painful rash that affects one in three adults over 50, but anyone who’s had chickenpox is at risk. It can have lingering effects—including pain and depression.