I can't breath

  1. I am so scared. I was in the hospital for 5 days,discharged this a.m. While I was there,my doc told me that my liver enzymes were elevated and that he was going to test for Hep C. I am positive for hep c and don't know how long this has been. My mind is running in circles.When and where did I get it?I have been reading about interferon since he told me(saturday morning).Will they make me quit work?the side effects listed on all the interferons for hep c scare me to death.For some reason i have never paid much attention to this. I have had the vaccine AND a booster this past year.Why didnt the lab find it when my tidor was drawn?I know I sound like a babbling idiot, but i feel like i just got a death sentance.Has this happened to any of you or do you know anyone who has had it?The only people I have come in contact are all sick and waiting on a donor list.I have an appt with a gastroenterologist to see if i am a candidate for tx,but its not until after Christmas, and I dont know how I am going to make it.
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   MPHkatie
    You had a vacciene and booster for hepatitis B, not C, so if they drew a titer it wasn't for C. There are a lot of great web sites for support etc, that I found when i thought my Dad had Hep C. I don't believe they will make you quit work, there is some sort of protection for that. I had a Hep C exposure last year and found it to eb very very scarey, so I wish you much luck with your treatments.
  4. by   P_RN
    I will be praying for you. Reading for information is good, but you do need to wait until your status is determined when you see the GI doctor. Like you, I know no one with Hepatitis C. Right now I wish you peace.
  5. by   suzielee
    Hi there-sorry to hear about your diagnosis. Maybe I can help you. 2 of my best friends have hep c. Neither of them is living a "death sentence". Both have been diagnosed for many years. The main thing (as you probably know) is NO ALCOHOL! Both my friends live a normal life even though both have been infected for 10-20 years. Both have tried the interferon. The old interferon was a subcu injection of 1 million units 3x weekly. One of my friends tried this therapy but continued to consume alcohol socially after the treatment. She was in remission for several years but now its active again. My other friend tried the new "Rebetron" last year and it worked very well. This new therapy concicts of 3 subcu shots of 3 million units per shot every week combined with PO antiviral medication daily. The therapy can last from 6 months to 1 year depending on the strain of hep. Although the therapy was quite difficult for him he is in remission and does not drink. His hepatologist has told him he will likely remain in remission indefinetly as long as he takes care of himself. The remission rate is estimated at 60%. You may also want to research the new "Pegatron" treatment. which is similar to Rebetron but newer. Good luck. There is alot of hope for hep C patients with the new therapies out there-its not a definite death sentence. Everything depends on what strain you have.
  6. by   Tweety
    I can't help you. I hope you will be o.k.

    When I was applying for a tech job as a student they tested all applicants for hepatitis. I came up Hep B positive. My liver profile was slightly elevated. I've never been sick and don't know how I got it, or how long I had it.

    That was ten years ago. I don't drink. My liver enzymes last time I checked were still slightly elevated. But so far I've been o.k. without treatment.

    There are also alternative therapies to support medical ones, such as herbal, etc. But that's controversal and I don't want to open up a can of worms.

    Best wishes to you!
  7. by   ShandyLynnRN
    If you dont fall into the risk categories for Hep C, then you probably will never know how you got it... but then, it really doesnt matter. I found out a year ago that I have Hep C, and currently my GI doc doesnt think I need tx. He said that in a few years there will most likely be a tx that works better, with less severe side effects. Like you, after I found out I had it, I was all over everything I could read about it and the treatment, and I will say that the net has many differing views of who should be treated, when, etc..... I think it ultimately depends on your biopsy, genotype, and liver enzymes. As far as not being able to work... as long as you feel well enough to work, there should be no issue of not being able to, or being let go because of your Hep C status. I know of a few ppl who have had the tx and worked while they did... they felt like crap, but were able to carry on their lives. Stay healthy, and stay away from the alcohol!!! You're in my thoughts and prayers.... Shandy
  8. by   almostanurse
    sorry to here about that, you are in my prayers
  9. by   panda_181
    I have a friend who has Hepatitis C..he got is through a blood transfusion in the "bad" years, as he's a hemopheliac. He does have the chronic Hepatitis C, but he is a healthy guy...just live like you would...be happy...I know it's a hard thing to deal with, but you're not necessarily going to be the one stuck in the hospital waiting for the transplant. As nurses, we see all the bad stuff, which is scary! Prayers with you...

    Amanda
  10. by   RN2B2005
    My understanding is that Hep C transmission is not very well understood. I work in a radiology clinic, and I'd say 90% of patients who come in for ultrasounds or other imaging of their liver subsequent to a diagnosis of Hep C have NO idea how they contracted the disease.

    The vaccine and titers you received last year were likely for Hep B, possibly for Hep A (given if you're travelling to third-world countries), but almost definitely not for Hep C. I say 'almost definitely' because there are a handful of clinical trials out there for Hep C vaccines, but you didn't mention being enrolled in a clinical trial.

    I don't know much about Hep C treatment, but none of the patients who we see for imaging seem to think that they've received a death sentence. Talk to your physician, see a specialist in gastroenterology or infectious diseases (or both), and get informed--try not to put too much stock into hysterical stuff you find on the Internet. Good luck.
  11. by   FullMoonMadness
    thanks for all of your responses. Ive had a day more to fret and a night to think about it.I am still very worried, but i am a little less hysterical today. And you are right ,my vaccine was for hep b, but i was not thinkng straight . I have continued to read and now I guess I will just have to play this hand out.Thanks to all.
  12. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I wish you well....am so sorry you are going thru this. any of us can relate. Pls keep us updated! Good luck!
  13. by   ShandyLynnRN
    I will try to post a link from an email I got from a hep c support group.... very good info, although a little lengthy

    [http://hepcvets.com/info/2002/dec/part2.html]
  14. by   tiger
    i have a friend/coworker who tested positive for hep c recently. she tried the treatment with the interferon but with no luck. it made her very tired and crappy feeling. she made sure she took it on the begeiining of her 4 days off but was still really tired at work. she has since quit the tx since it didn't work. she said she realizes how crappy it made her feel now that she is off of it. she has a lawsuit going cause even though she doesn't know when she contracted it she is sure it was while working as an rn. don't know what is going on with the lawsuit right now. just take one day at a time. i'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

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