Shingles / Chicken Pox and DMARDS

stickywicket Member Posts: 27,428
edited 26. Aug 2018, 14:06 in Living with Arthritis archive
They don't mix. We're all told before going on DMARDS to avoid anyone with chicken pox or shingles as these diseases could be nasty if we got them with our suppressed immune systems. I've just had a timely reminder, though, so I thought it worth sharing as it shows how easily it can happen despite our best intentions.

Yesterday, Mr SW (AKA Sir Galahad) responded to yet another plea from a neighbour to drive her to an appointment. On his return I asked how she was.

“She's got shingles and...”


“Yes. She....”

“Don't come near me. Get in the shower and then shove all your clothes in the washer.”

“Why?” He'd completely forgotten the kerfuffle we had a few years back when going out with friends who'd been babysitting their chicken pox ridden grandchildren. My rheumatology helpline had told me I should be OK as the kid's spots were now dry but I should ask our friends to shower and change their clothes before coming. (Luckily, they're good friends :lol: )

I'd no idea what stage the neighbour's shingles were at and neither had he. She'd only told him en route that she had them at all and, being a bloke, he'd not asked. (Me? I'd have skidded to a halt and used the ejector seat :wink: ) She'd also asked him to do some shopping while she was in her appointment so notes and coins were exchanged too :roll:

After his clothes were washed, I washed the towels and bathmat. Today he will buy some Dettol spray which is claimed to kill viruses as well as bacteria and we'll spray the car where she sat. Probably none of these measures will achieve anything other than making me feel I've done all I can. He knows he'll be running no more errands for her until she's clear. That might help.

Just a warning to all. Even when we're aware, these things can creep up on us.

P.S. Flu jab season is almost here too :D


  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 3,635
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Stickywicket,
    thank you for this timely reminder, we also have an information sheet which cover these very issues for people who are on disease modifying drugs. Here is a link
    It's always good to hear people's experiences
    Best Wishes
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,428
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks for that, Sharon. Very useful and informative as are most things from ARUK.

    Mr SW caught chicken pox from our sons when he was in his 30s. He didn't enjoy the experience :roll: In fact, none of us did :wink: I recall him spending one night in a bath of cold water to try to stop the itching. Luckily for me (I think) I wasn't on DMARDS at the time.

    My Californian grandson had to be vaccinated against virtually all childhood diseases before he could start school - kindergarten for some. For kindergartners, diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough, chicken pox, polio and measles/mumps/rubella (MMR).
  • Airwave!
    Airwave! Member Posts: 2,433
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Sticky, you do make me laugh! The Hitchhikers Guide also says, 'don't forget your towel....' not sure what you're supposed to do with it but sounds good advice!🚀
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I recently refused to see a friend who had baby-sat her pox-itchy neice which bemused her. She also was recovering from a heavy cold, another no-no for the immuno-suppressed.

    We have no idea what a world of bugs and germs we inhabit when we are out and about (it's probably pretty bad indoors too but at least they are ours :wink: ) so all we can do is arm ourselves with our anti-bac wipes, sprays and general sanitisers and hope for the best. :roll: DD
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,428
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    DD - it bemuses everyone. I wish I could afford to know as little about it as they do. Pure luxury 8)

    Airwave - Oh the Hitchhikers's Guide! Good old Ford Prefect, Slartibartfarst, Marvin the Paranoid Android and the wonderful lift which suffered from vertigo. What a talent Douglas Adams was!
  • Elmbow
    Elmbow Member Posts: 80
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    It's pretty annoying when people do this generally, DMARDs or not. I was expecting visitors for Christmas. They called to let me know when they were near, then casually slipped in the fact they'd had to stop a few times on the motorway because both their kids had norovirus.

    Think, people. Think.
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,428
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    That would be crass. Who wants notorious for Christmas or any other time?