Shingles And We Boomers…….

Okay, any GenXer’s can chuckle, but I was reminded the other day about the reality of we Baby Boomers and outbreaks of Shingles. “Back in the day” there was no vaccine against chicken pox. It was a 3-5 day period of itching and threats from our mothers to not scratch or else face being scarred for life and if I recall correctly, sometimes you were supposed to stay in low light, but that might have been for the measels. Anyway, the accepted practice at the time was whenever a kid got chicken pox, any friends that hadn’t had it were sent over to “play” in order to catch it. The theory was that it wasn’t serious and the sooner you got over it the better because you were then immune. That was correct in so far as that went, and few kids suffered complicaitons. After the chicken pox vaccine came out, no one even thought about it. We certainly never thought that the pesky chicken pox virus would remain dormant inside us to potentially pop out as Shingles beginning at or around 60. Another of life’s little ironies.

My sister had a terrible, long lasting outbreak of Shingles a couple of years ago and one our neighbors is currently going through it. There is a vaccine and the general medical advise is for all Baby Boomers to have it, especially as we approach age 60. It is on my to-do list and I’ll drag my husband along or remind him the next time he has an appointment. We’re both in good health, but this is one of those things that really does have a simple fix that we shouldn’t procrastinate about. So, fellow and sister Boomers – Shingles vaccine – check into it.

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