Bruises and chickenpox

Hi everyone, I have two questions to ask.

I had chicken pox has a child and have had shingles as an adult, my granddaughter has just gone down with chickenpox and I will be looking after her, do I need to take extra precautions. I have SLE, Fibromyalgia and SS. I take steroids,plaqunel, etc.

Question 2, I have in the past had spontaneous blood vessel bursts in my hands and legs but they quickly disappeared but in the last 3 weeks I have had a large vein which runs down the side of my leg pop which was very noticeable and spontaneous bruises again the sharp pinch you get first. More and bigger than normal. I do take clopodigel for mini strokes and last November I had a small heart attack so take tablets for angina. Should I be concerned enough to mention to a doctor.

Many thanks for any advise.


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13 Replies

  • Hi gillyg

    You need to seek medical advice if your on steroids and come into contact with chicken pox!.

    Also it's a good idea to tell your consultant /GP about those bleeds, specially with your history!. I too get them , have had more since reducing steroids so it's on my list for Rheumy appt .

    Good luck, hope you get good advice. X

  • Interesting that I am in the process of reducing my steroids. Thank you.

  • Hi gillyg

    How's the reduction going?. Hope your doing it slowly!. Not easy. X

  • Hi just trying to come down from 5 to 4 but been on steroids continually for 24 years with up and down dosage so hoping I can gradually come down more. I have noticed an increase in joint pain just not sure it's that or not. Don't want to stop it's been 3 weeks so far. I was told to stay on 4 until I next see them. Most of the time I am completely confused with what causes what. Hope you are well. X

  • 24 YEARS?

  • Yes it's a long time, I know but was diagnosed in 1991 and on Plaquinal for 2 years then Steroids. Still on plaquinal plus others. Struggled for 6 years for someone to believe me. X

  • But hallelujah - doctors who let you have what gives you a life! There is a current discussion about this somewhere else - letting the patient have a life for the sake of some pred not condemning them to being bedridden just in case they may have a few pred side effects.

  • Hi gillyg

    You've done well to reduce them to safe daily dose levels!. I've been on them a similar length of time as you with differing doses!. Stuck on 8 at the mo. Hope you've got good advice re chicken pox and hope your grandson is better soon. X

  • The advice for getting medical advice if for people who HAVEN'T had CP as a child. You can only develop shingles if you have had CP in the past - the virus remains in the nerve endings and can wake up at any time. You MAY find the shingles resurrects again but it isn't definitely the case.

    If you get any signs it is doing so then you need to go straight to the doctor to be given anti-viral medication which, when started straight away, should reduce the intensity and length of the attack. There isn't much point using it before there are any signs - it only works when the virus is active and producing symptoms.

    If you have ever been told you are severely immunocompromised then you should contact your doctor but that is usually people on really high doses of drugs, transplant and cancer patients for example.

    As for the bleeds - definitely worth a mention to the doctor - if only so it is on record. Your dose MAY need adjusting.

  • Hi Gilly - be as well to check with your gp just to be on the safe side

  • I have Lupus/SLE and other MCTD too .

    I was told by Rheumy Consultant to tell the GP instantly if ive been around anyone with someone who has or been around someone with chickenpox especially if your on hydroxychloraquine/ planiqul for your lupus as any drugs that reduce your immune system as you can become very ill. Doesnt matter if you have had chicken pox before if your immune system is compromised by drugs etc then you can get chicken pox again badly.

    ( I know people with normal immunity usually only get chicken pox once)

    I wouldnt even look after the child until you get advice , do you have an advice line to the Rheumy Nurses we have a time each day we can call them for advice at hospital. I know each hospital is different.

    Good luck x

  • Hello Gillyg,

    If you have had chicken pox then hopefully your body still has antibodies to that virus. You can not 'catch' shingles, it's latent in anyone who has already had chickenpox, and being re-exposed to cp should not trigger an other episode. The question is, does your treatment mean you no longer have antibodies to cp? No-one knows.if your GP is willing, they could do a blood test to check, but you would not be entitled to this on the NHS, as you could in theory avoid exposure.

    Could other arrangements be made for a few days until your granddaughter's lesions have scanned over? You would be at a lower risk then.

    If you are on anticoagulants and getting increased spontaneous bleeds and bruising, you must discuss this with your GP. Your platelet count and blood clotting ability might be too low and your therapy might need adjusting. I think that's a matter of urgency and is one of the things anticiagulated patients should be advised to report.

    Good luck. I hope your granddaughter is feeling better soon too. CP can be so uncomfortable.

    Take care.

  • Hi Gillyg,

    Question 1: The Lupus Encyclopaedia states that “people who have SLE are prone to infections due to their altered immune systems, as well as due to medications they may take to control their lupus”. It is advised you speak to your GP or rheumatologist about any precautions you may need to take whilst looking after your granddaughter at this time.

    Question 2: Have these symptoms occurred after taking any new medication? Have you discussed your symptoms with your doctor or had your blood pressure checked? It is important to notify your doctor when you notice a change in your body as he/she can provide you with the correct advice and treatment (if required).

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