Having shingles is horrible — the aches, the pains, the feverish nerve inflammation, and that awesome ‘I just took a roll in fiber glass’ feeling where your skin hurts when someone even looks at it… Oh and let’s not forget the gross tell-tale rash and, in my case an eye infection. Eww.
Moms, beware. If you’ve had chicken pox, you can get shingles. You aren't immune. And it sucks. It especially sucks when your recovery time can be clocked with a stopwatch, because shingles can go on for weeks.
I’m a mom with an active 3-year-old, a rambunctious 85lb puppy, and a dynamic business that keeps me hopping and zooming around. Downtime is not a word I know, so when I found out I had shingles I was devastated. I think I had about 3 days to actually ‘be sick’ and try and get the worst of the symptoms under control — or build a tolerance to them so I could get back out there.
I played virtual Tetris with my schedule and gave my clients the heads-up that I was going to be benched for a few days, but motherhood is always another story. No matter what’s going on in my life, and no matter how sick I am, I’m still the only one who can co-ordinate, cajole, calm, and comfort my sweet kid — and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
What mom can’t relate to that? And what the heck was I going to do?
Now, I also have Crohn’s disease and as part of that, I’m not a stranger to serious achy joint pain. I’ve used a TON of different topical creams to help with stiffness, soreness, and inflammation. In fact, around my (camphor, menthol, lavender, arnica, cayenne smelling) home, I’ve been dubbed the ‘Liniment Queen.’ Yes. True.
So when I was asked to try out and review LivRelief's natural and clinically proven topical creams for pain relief, shingles, and varicose veins, my curiosity was totally piqued.
I decided to add LivRelief’s Extra Strength Nerve Pain Relief Cream and their Pain Relief Cream into my self-care routine and have been using them nonstop for the last couple weeks.
I have to say… I’m impressed.
I used the nerve pain relief cream on the worst shingles ‘band’/area on my back and the pain relief cream on my ankles, knees, shoulders and hands. I applied them 2-4 times daily.
I asked myself a few questions before I started using LivRelief and then answered them again after I’d been using the creams for five days.
Here’s a glimpse at my before and after diary!
Before: Searing. If I rated my pain, it would be about a 7/10.
After: Still there, but about a 3/10. The cream is instantly soothing and using it everyday really helps.
Before: DO NOT COME NEAR ME. If I could program an alarm to go off when someone gets within 5 ft of me, I would. Pain is at an 8/10.
After: The pain and sensitivity is still there at a 4/10, but hey, it’s ok that everyone keeps forgetting that I have shingles on my back and for some reason feels the need to randomly pat me right there. Seriously? What is up with that?
Before: I am naked. Whoever invented clothing is a sadist. I hate all fabric. I have decided to be a nudist or at the most have committed to wearing a cardigan like a Snuggy to minimize socially awkward situations. Pain is at an 8/10.
After: WOOT! I’m totally wearing clothes! Although I’ll admit, I’m still most comfortable in un-starched, soft jerseys, and my sports bra (nothing underwired). Also I’m convinced I could have made that backwards cardigan thing a trend. Pain is at a 3/10, fashion sense? 10/10. Bam.
Before: No. No I cannot. And what is with his seemingly incessant need to go outside all of a sudden? Can he not somehow magically learn to use the toilet?! GAH. Pain is at 7/10.
After: I still have problems going for long walks because of the aches and the joint pain, but a walk around the block or to school in the morning is back on the table. Pain is at 3/10.
Before: Are you kidding me? No. Really. That’s hilarious. Pain is at an 8/10, and I have to lie down. STAT.
After: The saddest thing in the world is when it hurts to do your favourite thing. I am so glad I’m back down to a 2.5/10 so I can snuggle my kid.
Before: Sleep? Nope. More like feverish moments in and out of consciousness. The pain is waking me up, at a 7.5/10.
After: Much improved at a 2.5/10. I honestly think the care regimen of self-massage really adds to the quality of my sleep as well.
LivRelief is a bit pricey coming in between $27 and $38 depending on the product — but that’s because it’s really good. Great news though, you can save $10 off your purchase of any LivRelief product. See below for details!
The smells are, um… well… as Liniment Queen (see above) I’m fine with pleasantly pungent smells, but you might need to get used to it. It’s not that hard, and it’s worth it.
The bottles are a no-mess design, which I really liked, but because I have arthritis in my hands the pumping action was difficult at times.
I do suggest putting the bottles in their own plastic bag for purse travel so the pumps don’t get all gross and mealy because the tops tend to pop off, but you’ll want to have the creams with you no matter where you go. Trust me.
A cool little perk? The products I was using were travel-sized. And that meant I could bring them with me on the plane to Vancouver this past weekend for the premiere of my film. (It was a big life moment for me, and I can honestly say that my walk down the red carpet would have been a painful zombie shuffle if not for LivRelief!)
I generally think any product that lets you enjoy your life again and that helps alleviate symptoms rocks. LivRelief brought my pain down consistently and let me get back to the most important things — my kid, my family, my career...my happiness.
It is definitely going to stay a star in my self-care routine, and I hope it makes its way into yours.