President Richard Nixon & Shingles
In children and young adults, shingles usually runs a mild and quick course, and the average sufferer will recover without any therapy or extensive treatment. In older people, however, the pain may be excruciating, the itching may be intense, and the blisters may become crusted and infected.
Complications include chronic debilitating nerve pain that can last months to years. If you are immunocompromised, shingles can be life threatening. Another potential complication is if you get shingles involving the eye, you can develop scarring and blindness.
In older people, stress is what usually triggers a shingles attack. President Nixon was completing his book, “No More Vietnams” when he was diagnosed with shingles, with extreme fatigue as one of its symptoms.
The former President’s physician indicated that Nixon had one of the worst cases of shingles he had ever seen and was in “an awful lot of pain.”
The disease, resulting in painful blisters and sores, affected Nixon’s upper back and shoulders.
Richard Nixon wasn’t the only former President to catch this viral disease? Herbert Hoover caught Shingles in 1947 while working with the Truman Commission.
President Nixon’s condition improved in the comfort of his own home with available ambulatory care, later to return to his New York office to work. Not known to complain, the pain was crazy but President Nixon made full recovery from shingles.