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Old 02-09-2014, 10:40 AM
5 posts, read 5,023 times
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Hi all, I am actually an avid poster on here but didn't want to start this thread under my real name. I am going to ramble a bit but bear with me!

I started feeling sick before Christmas. I was at work and for some reason had some eye pain - at the time I attributed it to being in front of a computer 10 hours a day. (I work in medical billing). It made sense in my head. Then the following day I got really tired all of a sudden. That was followed by some nausea and diarrhea (no vomiting). I also had some dark urine (almost tea like - even though I drink plenty of water). However, my appetite did not change and I ate as usual the entire time. To sum it up, I was sick for nearly 5 weeks. I had one awful episode of night sweats. The only way I can describe it is throwing a bucket of water on your bed and sleeping on it. I was also ice cold. However, the worst symptom of all was tiredness. I had never been so tired in my life! It was 10X worse than when I was pregnant. While I was sick I was in bed by 7:30 pm every night. The weird thing is that the symptoms weren't constant. The diarrhea and nausea lasted 2 days... Then I was somewhat fine on Christmas Day. The following day I started coughing (a non-productive cough). I lost my voice over the weekend. The cough lasted another 2 weeks. The only constant was the fatigue.

I ended up going to the ER because I couldn't take it anymore. My liver enzymes were elevated. I tested negative for mono, the flu and other diseases. The doctor did not run further tests and told me to find a PCP to follow-up. I work at a hospital (although off-site) and tried to find one to no avail (I am sort of new to the area). I was told it would take 6-8 to get established as a new patient! That upset me to no end because I was still sick and scared to death.

I ended up at the ER again a week later with some horrible abdominal pain, it was mostly concentrated on my right side. My heart rate was 147 at rest and my BP 169/110. I was admitted right away even though they were packed. The doctor suspected gallbladder issues but after undergoing an ultrasound of my liver, she said that was not the case. I could feel my body temperature change. It went from 99.3 to 100.6 in a matter of minutes, then to 103.1 then back down to 99.1...All in less than an hour. I felt like my face was on fire!

They took more blood and ran tests (STDs and the like) and I came back positive for the Hepatitis C anti-bodies! Needless to say I was SHOCKED. I tested negative for that when I was pregnant with my daughter and after she was born I had -NO- unprotected sex again. I do not do drugs, I am TERRIFIED of needles! I have had a boyfriend for nearly 9 months now and he also got tested for all STDs last week and it all came back negative.

I was able to find a PCP (a wonderful one by the way). The ER doctor said waiting was unacceptable and she was going to find me a provider at all costs...and she did. I also saw a gastroenterologist who told me he does not believe I have Hep-C after looking at my test results. He also said about 20% of people who are exposed to it are able to clear the virus themselves and don't need further treatment. I had 2 more blood tests done (2 weeks apart) and I was informed that my liver enzymes are still a little high but much lower than the 3 times I got them checked previously (2 ER visits and a blood test the day of my appointment).

I also saw an Infectious Disease specialist who said that testing positive for the antibodies doesn't necessarily mean infected (which I kind of knew). However, he said that since my symptoms were so recent, chances are I was exposed to it not too long before I started feeling sick. That made me really anxious because I did come in contact with blood twice... At work. Keep in mind I do work for a hospital but our billing office is off-site (about 2 miles away). A co-worker has had some massive nose bleeds (there was blood on the bathroom floor, toilet, God knows where else!). She went through a pile of paper towels trying to control it. It was disgusting but I never thought anything of it until I was informed the infection is recent. I always have cuts in my hands (thanks to papers). I don't know if that woman washed her hands after the nose bleeds, I don't know if she touched a door handle with a dirty hand. Just wiping the blood doesn't kill the virus. I read that it is very rare to get infected that way but at the same time I don't know how else I could have been exposed to the virus?! That incident happened a few weeks before I started feeling sick. I don't know what to think really. I ALWAYS wash my hands after using the restroom and before eating.

I have been feeling well for 3 weeks and have slept through the night even. Almost every night. (Which hadn't happened in a long time). I was sick Friday (vomiting followed by diarrhea) but it lasted less than 24 hours. My daughter had vomiting and diarrhea two days prior as did three co-workers of mine so I am assuming I got it from one of them. I have been taking my body temperature twice a day as the Infectious Disease specialist requested and there hasn't been any drastic changes. I have not had a fever at all. I will be seeing him on the 18th. I had blood drawn 3 weeks ago and he is going to tell me what the next step is. If there is one. (I have no idea how the tests are called but it had something to do with finding out what type of Hep C virus it is and the concentration in the blood - something along those lines)

I know this post was long as heck (sorry about that) but I was wondering if anyone else on here has tested positive for the antibodies but then negative for the actual infection? Or if any of you live with Hepatitis C, how did you find out you had it and how did you contract it?

I am so nervous. And scared. I am terrified. I don't drink alcohol, don't do drugs and don't smoke and I rarely get sick. This is all new territory to me.

Last edited by feelinglost; 02-09-2014 at 10:52 AM..
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