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New member Cambie
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Hello everyone, new member cambie here, hope you can stand a long winded post as an introduction. I have been lurking for two weeks since my Dr. told me that I tested positive for antibodies to Hep C. I was beyond disbelief and have been researching for hours daily as I am a person who feels better armed with knowledge. The first day I convinced myself that it was a false positive but, woke up on the second day knowing in my heart that I have Hep C and possibly have had it for 20 to 30 years, as i could never take pressure on my stomach and lacked energy from time to time. But, the abundance of my symptoms are from the past two years or so and make me wonder if I just contracted it in the last few years or I am failing quickly. My symptoms are as follows, digestive issues, gall bladder removal 20 months ago, which lead to a case of what I think/thought is an ongoing case of Costocondhritis, and may be, because of right side back pain that wraps around to my stomach and makes it impossible to wear a bra, but who knows as every symptom has a sinister tone to it now. Also feeling a general malaise with sporadic anxiety and a sense of being disoriented or overwhelmed with too much stimulus while driving and shopping in town that lasted for months then disappeared. Twinges of depression. Thyroid went from hypo to hyper then back to hypo in a 3 year span. Abdominal fullness and occaisional pain and bloat that I thought might be gall bladder related as removal has its own issues on bowels etc. Dry eyes, mouth. Fatigued and muscle aches, although much improved with proper thyroid dosage. Zaps and myofascial pain, chills, night sweats which I thought were menopausal symptoms but am not sure about now. I may have been protected by the estrogen factor for a while and now all hell is breaking loose. Had an ultrasound and CT scan last year that didn't show anything other than a fatty liver. Mind you no one was looking specifically at gaging liver damage at that time. Don't want to bore anyone any further with my miseries but, i am curious as to what others have experienced symptom wise and how advanced their conditions are accordingly.

I want to be able to focus on treatment and recovery but without knowing the full scope of my condition I am stuck in an abyss of fear. Don't want to come out of the gate as a wimp or self involved and have been managing my anxiety and stress quite well in the last 10 days (so I think) as I have not been able to share this with my husband at this time, as he is going through a very stressful time at the moment and when i consider his health as of late, i fear he has it too, but i need to get a definitive diagnosis before i share this with him and even after i get the diagnosis, it will be a couple of weeks before i can tell him because of the stressful situation he is in at the moment and I want to protect him as much as i can from the shock and the fear until a time when he can better cope with it, which should be in a couple of weeks. Anyway, I have come off of the rails a bit tonight and am having more than a little anxiety thinking about the future or possible lack of. Lots of dark and terrible thoughts. I have been hanging on to Loplop's post where he said he copes by thinking the following.... breathe you are alive, breathe, you are on the Internet and it does help to centre me in the moment.

Yes, breathe, I am alive and on the Internet. :)

Although terribly scared, I am very heartened by the humour and courage that I see on this site and impressed by the wisdom and caring. I will return with my numbers when I get them, and as I start my journey, I want to say thank you in advance for your fellowship.
Posted on 03/14/13, 09:32 pm
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Reply #11 - 03/15/13  8:53pm
" Hi Cambie, a warm welcome to you. Its gonna be ok, you sound smart, strong and conscientious to me. I've had Hep for nearly 15 years and relate to much of what yourve shared in symptoms perhaps to a lesser degree with some of them, not all of us are Asymptomatic, I know that tummy tenderness, I used to get it with the seatbelt and couldn't use it sometimes. I know it takes a lot to manage the mental, hormonal and physical symptoms, they are sometimes so subtle and insidious others probably assume it is just our personalities or all in our heads or all we need to do is thnk possitive or something. I ate healthy didn't drink or smoke during that time, exercised, prayed etc.. all of which helped me greatly and I learnt a lot but I still had symptoms and it took a lot to feel good. I have recently cleared it, somethings already feel different, much to my surprise so of all things to have at least it is treatable and becomming more so.
I do the calming selftalk too with anxiety but I am getting less of it (touch wood), I repeat Its gonna be ok... I am ok and just get through the moment. I have come to love this group, the honesty, everyone here has contributed apart of themselves to the new me whether they know it or not and I feel stronger. OMG I am going on, I better stop now sorry lol, good luck with your test results.. :-) "
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Reply #12 - 03/15/13  9:34pm
" Welcome Cambie - keep sharing please. I found your comment interesting with regard to your liver possibly being protected by the estrogen factor in the past. I've heard of that being a possibility somewhere also and believe that menopause may have contributed to my blood ALT's rising quite dramatically within the past couple of years, hence, the HCV diagnosis. According to all the info I've gathered the new oral meds without nasty side effects are approaching the market very soon and many of us are anxiously awaiting treatment with these. Wishing you the best ! "
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Reply #13 - 03/16/13  1:03am
" Thank you to each and everyone of you for the warm welcome and for your thoughtful, informative and most considerate comments.

I guess I am ahead of myself without actually having the results of my HCV/RNA and HCV/PCR tests but can't help operate on the premise that I have the virus although I pray to be one of the lucky ones that eradicate it on their own.

Thanks for the great info Slide and for the thoughtful advice ClaytonB. I am still keeping this from my husband for the time being but, was able to unburden myself to a good friend yesterday who I know has the utmost integrity and will keep this to herself and to much to my surprise she said her son cleared Hep C in 2003. She didn't know his genotype or remember how long he treated for, as he was on his own and lived in another city at that time, and she only knew that one of the drugs was interferon. She did say that he told her at the time that he was told he'd have a 30% chance of clearing the virus. She said he gets tested every 6 months and is still clear.

Thanks for the welcome messages Ptriss, shadowdance, Marilyn, Mr.OSO, Blanche1, OZZITA, debbear.

Thanks for the symptom feedback from the ladies, barbbey, NZmomoof3, and packedsand. Sounds like we are going through similar versions of the same things. So encouraging to hear that some of your symptoms have disappeared with treatment Barbbey and NZmomof3. How wonderful!

I am thankful that I have been pretty much a non drinker for over 20 years, I never had an issue with drink(or drugs for that matter) and while I had a bit of fun in my 20's and early 30's I could take it or leave it. I might have 3-4 drinks a year, maybe a beer at a wedding, barbecue or a mixed drink at Christmas, just to be social. Now I will drink cranberry juice with a twist of lime and just look social :)

In an effort to feel better, I eliminated wheat, caffeine, processed foods, and dairy from my diet 6 months ago. Will probably reincorporate green tea though for its liver benefits. So, I try to live healthy. I also just started doing affirmations but, have stumbled in the last two weeks as I couldn't get my mind off of my impending bloodwork results. I plan to make some placards tomorrow and put them in strategic places to remind me to focus and I continue to remind myself to "breathe".

Anyway, thanks again and I will keep you posted as to my progress and will follow yours. Blessings to you all.
Cambie "

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