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Impact of Treatment: One Year Later
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Impact of Treatment: One Year Later

hello everyone!  I haven't been in here for QUITE a while!  I was on treatment for much of 2004, was clear almost from the beginning of treatment and remain so today!  It's funny, the other day, I honestly couldn't remember what my genotype was!  After thinking about it, I remembered I was 2B!

Anyway, I was just wondering about the after effects of treatment.  Let me start by saying that I was never one to blame everything I was feeling on the virus or the treatment.  Lately, however, I've been feeling very lightheaded and have been experiencing heart palpitations.  They did TONS of heart tests before treatment and all was fine - could it be the treatment had some kind of effect on my heart?  Or are chances this is totally unrelated?  I have been under a lot of stress lately.  I'm going to the doctor in the next few days, but was wondering what you thought and what you know about Pegasys/Riba's possible impact on the heart.
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Avatar_n_tn
Well, first let me say that this is indeed how I've always imagined you:

Women are far more likely than men to be diagnosed with mitral valve prolapse, and oddly, there is even a typical body type. The typical profile is a slender young female with long, tapering fingers and a model
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Avatar_m_tn
They're heart palpitations and there are heart palpitations.

Not saying you have it,  but I had a couple of bouts of Afib (atrial fibrillation) over the last 20 years. The last time it needed cardioversion -- you know they shock it back into rhythm while your under anaethesia.  I also felt very light-headed when the bouts occured.

You used the words "very lightheaded". The VERY part concerns me. Like Chevy said, consider walking over to the ER for an EKG, especially if things get worse.

On the other hand, palpitations can be very benign and frequently are.  Athletes often have an arythmic beat called something or another,  and I get that too from time to time -- at least when I used to work out hard.  Fortunately, no heart/arthymia issues while on treatment.

Good luck and let us know what they find. And congratulations on that SVR!

-- Jim

-- Jim
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Avatar_f_tn
how great to hear that life goes on without hcv! good for you!
at this point in time, so far from end of tx, it would be hard to attribute things to the meds, it might br possible, but not probable. High level of stress and anxiety can mimic cardiac problems, ever heard of 'panic attacks'? Anxiety can give palpitations  and other goodies like HTN.  Try to use some relaxation techniques when the symptoms appear. take care.
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92903_tn?1309908311
I meant to post this before. I read recently a great description about passing out. Your brain needs oxygen to survive. When it doesn't get enough you get light headed - telling you you should lie down to bring more blood to the brain. If you don't take heed, it says YOU MUST LIE DOWN NOW. Thump.
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Avatar_n_tn
Couldn't start a new question......so please excuse if I'm off topic.  I just finished week 5.  I have always been aerobically very fit so the shortness of breath is discouraging.  Is this common and what is the culprit (I guess it doesn't matter a because I can't change...)  One difference is my doc started me on efexor .5 mg for depression.  If the tiredness and shortness of breath is a side...I'd rather be depressed.  My four week blood test was   WBC  4.0
RBC 4.53  
Lymph  45.4
Neut  36.7   and my liver readings were within normal range.  He doesn't want to discuss viral load until Dec. 20.  I always felt better by thurs.  as my shot is Sat. eve.......this is worrisome.  Any advice.
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Avatar_m_tn
What you're describing is very common. The culprit more times than not is anemia caused by the ribavirin. Do you have your pre-tx hemoglobin (Hgb) level and a recent Hgb value? The test is called a CBC (complete blood count) and is usually part of a normal liver health screen.

If your Hgb has dropped more than 2-3 points in five weeks, or if the absolute number is less than 10, this more or less confirms anemia. The good news is that there's a drug called Procrit that many of us are on.

It can make an amazing difference in the way you feel -- it usually pumps up your Hgb a couple of points --  but it takes 2-4 weeks to kick in. So the sonner you get your numbers together and discuss with your doctor the better.

And speaking of doctors, since you're new here, you should understand that none of us are doctors, but we can offer you a very good perspective from the patients point of view.

-- Jim
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for your response.  My pre-treatment HGB was 15.6, my first CBC after week two showed 13.9 and my most recent two weeks after that is up slightly at 14.4.  I understand the tired feeling from anemia but I would not have guessed shortness of breath...sometimes even sitting.  I am trying to stay focused on each day but when I peek ahead at 44 to go I become almost despondent.  I can barely read about relapsing and side effects.  This may seem naive but my attitude is something I hopefully can control.  Sort of like Lance Armstrong in "It's Not About the Bike".  Thanks for your support.....I live alone and feel that some friends are staying away....I know this isn't for everyone and that is difficult too.
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Avatar_m_tn
I'm a little surprised, I was expecting lower Hgb numbers and a bigger drop. You know a lot of us would kill for Hgb 14.4 :)

That doesn't mean you couldn't be very sensitive to even a marginal change in Hgb, but it does mean that other things should be ruled out including other conditions or meds like the Eflexor. I'd get thee to the doctor ASAP to get looked at and discuss. Maybe some of your other blood values hold the key, I'm assuming they're running a thyroid panel on you, etc. Or, it just could be the riba and peg.  Meanwhile, I would think it pruden to cut down on any vigorous exercise while you still have the shortness of breath.

But stay tuned, I'm sure others will have some thoughts on why you're feeling this way.

-- Jim
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Avatar_n_tn
I
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello everyone. sorry to drop off the subject but i decided to not open a new thread today. i was just wondering...since i found out that i had hcv i have become somewhat paranoid. what i mean by that is...now i worry when i put on deodorant, or lotion, or hair conditioner, i wonder when i'm cooking my food if the coating from the pan will get into my food, i wonder about when i wash dishes if i should use gloves, if i burn an incense is the smell safe? i'm just wondering if any of you have gone through something like this. i wonder if the chemicals that are seeping through my pores are hurting me. maybe i'm paranoid but i'm still worried about. i just what to get some input on that. can anyone help me with this or tell me if they have felt like this.  thanks a bunch and have a nice evening.
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92903_tn?1309908311
Deodorant? I thought you said you were from Fresno. How long have you been gone? ;-)

Anyway, you're going to make yourself crazy girl. The way I see it, if stuff like that's going to do me in, I'm too far gone anyway. I try to avoid solvent fumes, and gasoline vapors, 'cause that ****'s nasty. I try to eat pretty well, too. But lotion and conditioner? I've got more to worry about.

I can see how it works away at you though. Try to relax if you can.

True story: I went to Longs Drug the other day. Bought lotion, hair junk, pimple cream, the works. It came to like almost 40 bucks. "Yowza!" I exclaimed to the kid. Blank stare back. "Any chance to negotiate", I ask? "We don't do that", mumbles he. "Well", I tell him, "if it improves my looks just a tiny bit, I guess it's money well spent after all". He looks up with a big ol' sheepish grin, "Yuuuup!".

Bratty twit.    

PS - I sure do miss the Veg around here. Word has it they make deodorant from aged seal blubber up there. Veggie?
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Avatar_n_tn
i've had the shortness of breath and understand how it can be scary.  i just had to slow down my lifestyle a bit. it's like i live in slow-motion now. that's not a bad thing :) kind of like taking time to smell the roses.  tx can be daunting, but doable for most. 44 more weeks seems like forever now, but not in the context of the next 10,20,30 yrs where you might be healthy and rid of this menace.  jim has offered excellant advice...wishing you all the best and the strength to continue

lorrie
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Avatar_n_tn
I understand what you're going through...I had the same type of paranoia.  However I got tired of being paranoid and started playing on everyone else's paranoia.....for instance the other night we were at a friends house and they had brewed their own beer....well knowing I can't drink right now they didn't want to drink in front of me...so I told them it is fine....I even said let me try it.  Just to see how it tastes...after lots of arguing and telling them I'll be fine I'm just testing the flavor...they relented.  So I took a small sip (as it wasn't that good) and about 30 seconds later I dropped to the ground clutching my liver and yelling "oh my liver, my liver"

Oh the panic.....I nearly peed my pants laughing so hard.  Needless to say I cured their paranoia.  (of course my husband just sat back in the corner watching....he knows when I get the "look" in my eyes something is going to happen)

Deb in az
PS I miss veggie too...maybe we should petition to see if she can come off her restriction....  : )

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Avatar_n_tn
I'll sign that petition!  A lot of charm, personality, and sincere compassion left this board when we lost "the dip".

DJ
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Avatar_f_tn
Ah that is exactly what it felt like too.  All of a sudden my brain got HEAVY and blackness then WHUMPF down goes the girlie.  It actually felt PAINFUL something I never thought passing out would be.

I've got a heart murmur and palpitations anyways all my life - don't know if it had anything to do with it but I will say it sure did feel like oxygen deprevation now that I think about it.

It was NOT pleasant at all.
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Avatar_f_tn
Bring back the Dip I love her it's just not the same without her compassion and sense of humor!!!!!!!!

I'll sign too!

(I dont understand why just one person was banned anyway really since it was a whole group of crazy Ribavision going on I think)
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85135_tn?1227293372
Beth got <b>Banned</b> for her brief moment of riba rage? That
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Avatar_f_tn
Yup Beth told me she CANT post here anymore...is that sad or what?  She's the best and it just broke my heart you know!

Email her tonight and she will fill you in.

Thanks for the advice too!  This fainting was a few weeks ago when I went from 14+ to 9 in a few days with my hgb and I had no idea what was going on! Now i know and I go SLOWLY which is so odd for a hyper person such as myself!

I will remember to do the little bow though.....that has to help big time.
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Avatar_n_tn
I am with you regarding Beth... can't believe it and don't know what she could have done that was so terrible.  YOU are one brave girl...not lowering your riba with your hgb so low...what was your 4 wk pcr??  has your procrit kicked in yet?  my hgb was same as yours & i just started pro. this week..hang in there..you are one tough chick!!!
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