Boca Grande Health Clinic Building from across the street

Immediate care pays off when it comes to shingles!
by Barri M. Blauvelt

I woke up realized I may have a case of shingles, having experienced this twice before. I called the clinic at 11am. By 12 noon I was at the clinic and being care for. Thanks to Dana and Jonna for getting me in so fast, and especially to Dr. James for squeezing me into his lunchtime. Even before I left the clinic (after confirming I had shingles), I received a text message from CVS that the antiviral Rx had been received and would be filled by 2pm (when they reopen after closing for lunch). I was in the Rx pickup line in the car by 1:45 and so by a little after 2:00 pm had the medication. It all went so incredibly smoothly and most importantly, I was able to get quickly onto medications. This is because it is critical that medication begins within 24 hours or so of seeing the first eruptions/signs of rash. (If you ever wonder if you have it or think that the welts are spider bites, think again and err on the side of speed to confirm if it is shingles or not. As Dr. James mentioned, people are very rarely bitten by spiders.) I also should mention that Dr. James and I had a good discussion about getting vaccinated. My previous primary care MD had not recommended the Shingles vaccine, but Dr. James pointed out that this was an older vaccine at that time (by GSK), and that the new one was very different. He advised me to check with my rheumatologist, who confirmed that after I am over this episode I indeed should be vaccinated using the more modern one (by Merck). Thank you, Dr. James – I’m convinced! I am fine to share this info with everyone so they may be encouraged to 1) get the shingles vaccine, and 2) if they think they may have shingles, to seek care immediately. (March 10, 2023)