Nothing good happens by accident, darlings, and there are several areas of your life where you need to be in total control. One of those areas is your health.

I have talked a lot about my own health and the need for proactivity when it comes to taking care of yourself. You don’t give yourself the title of “Queen of Colonoscopies” for nothing, dear readers! After my bouts with cancer I ALWAYS go to my yearly CAT Scan. I encourage others in my life, including my husband, to take care of their tests and not put off their doctors appointments.

Several years ago my over-90-year-old mother got shingles and was in excruciating pain. I was in shock by the experience. I had never really given shingles a second thought before. Shingles is the same virus that causes chickenpox and can stay in your body for life and be reactive years later.

Once I saw my mother suffer I immediately went out to get the vaccine. I am all about prevention!

What I didn’t know was shingles are really widespread. In the U.S. alone almost 1 million people each year get shingles and half of them are 60 or older. Darlings, we have to protect against this! Why are older people so susceptible? Well it’s because as we age we have a weaker immune system, but weaker immune systems are also associated with certain medications and cancer.

Some things to keep in mind about the shingles vaccine

  • Shingles is not passed from person to person even though there is a rash.
  • Anyone who had chickenpox is at risk for shingles.
  • If you have already had shingles you can still get the new vaccine to help with future breakouts.
  • Nothing is foolproof: No vaccine is 100% effective, but it can greatly reduce your risk of infection.

I was talking to a girlfriend recently about shingles and she told me there was a new vaccine coming out. I looked it up and it will be here soon! The CDC recently approved a new vaccine for shingles that is even more effective than the old vaccine, so if you haven’t already gotten the shot now might be the time. Do the research on the new vaccine.

It is expected that by 2018 the vaccine will be recommended for everyone 50 and older. We are already so used to talking to our doctors about medications and shots that next time you are in the office ask a healthcare professional about the new shingles vaccination. You can find more information on the disease on the National Foundation of Infectious Disease’s web site.

As women over 50 we spend a lot of time taking care of others, but it is just as crucial that we take care of ourselves as well.

Article sponsored by National Foundation of Infectious Disease