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Newly diagnosed, worried....
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Newly diagnosed, worried....

hello,
My wife was diagnosed today with HepC. Still in shock, don't have any specific counts or details as yet. Blood drawn again today, results coming in 7 days. Obviously hoping for a false positive. It is still early, she's only 25, always low-risk, no IV drug use, no transfusions, risky behavior, etc...I'll be tested within a week too.
Have 4 kids, all natural childbirth, no drugs, etc. Age range 7 years through 2 months...
How soon can I safely have them tested?
Lots of acronyms on this forum...Is there any kind of 'glossary' I can refer to? (i.e. what does 'tx' mean?)
Again, I'm a newbie here and frightened for my wife and need all the info I can get.
I've been through several HepC FAQs, and came here while browsing for 'alternative' treatments. Came across a topic on this forum from a Jane Doe2 who was undergoing a homeopathic treatment with some Dr. in Italy. This was a topic from last Dec 06. Can anyone point me to any followups to this topic? I would like to read the topics for myself rather than deal with any rhetorical discussions on the pros/cons of said treatments.
I am at this point open to ANY info, from all sides, but am very interested to hear how this particular situation worked out, as the Western treatments I'm reading about don't sound very pleasant, and I wish to spare my wife any discomfort that I can.
I love her more than life itself, and would do ANYTHING within my power to make this situation as bearable as possible.
It is now 3 A.M and I have been browsing these forums for several hours...I see that many of you are regulars here...
Would any of you mind pointing me to relevant topics that can help us in preparing/familiarizing/coping/living with this?
I love my wife and children. I am frightened for them.
I am only frightened for myself where my ability to care and provide for them is concerned. Any help, advice, or roadmaps to better educating myself would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you for reading this.
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8 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_m_tn
When you say your wife was diagnosed, do you mean she tested pos for antibody or the virus itself?  BIG difference.

If she tested pos for antibody with a low score,<2, there is a good chance the antibody test was false pos.  If that is the case, ask for a Riba test which is very specific for hcv and will confirm a pos screening test (pos riba) or tell you the pos screening test was false pos(neg riba).  

If the riba is pos, that does NOT mean she has hcv.  The screening test and riba check for antibody only, not the virus.  The Pcr test checks for the virus itself.  Your wife could antibody pos and virus neg, which is not a health problem.  however, she cannot donate blood or organs, etc.

Don't give up hope yet, my friend.  Your wife may be alright.
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Avatar_n_tn
hello and welcome to the forum. as you should know, we are not docs here, but patients that have hcv and some of us are treating and some of us are not. there are alot of people here with quite a bit of knowledge on hcv and treatment(tx). i found out i had hcv 4 1/2 yrs ago when i was pregnant with my 3rd child. i have 2 older kids(ages 24 and 18) and then i had my fourth child a year after the 3rd. my husband (been together 9 yrs) is negative and we have unprotected sex. my kids have been tested and are negative. i am not sure when i got hcv, but probably 27 yrs ago. the CDC says children can be tested at 12-18 months old cuz before then, they will still carry the mother's antibodies and will possibly come back positive if tested before that time frame(as my child was tested at 10 months and came back positive, but tested neg 2 times after that). it is scary, you just need to have all of the facts of the disease and it's modes of transmission and the methods of treatment and their side effects. it's important to have a hcv knowledgable gastroenterologist or hepatologist and get copies of all your labwork and find out liver damage through a biopsy(or fibroscan,etc) and get genotype and liver function tests done. most people can live a normal happy life and still have kids,etc. i wish you and your wife and family the best of luck. keep up the support! keep checking back here on the forums to get many answers to questions from those that have been through this and are going through it. my kids are now 3 and 4 and i am on week 14 of treatment. it has it's rough parts, but it is doable.
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Avatar_n_tn
by the way, tx is treatment and HCV is hep c virus. UND is undetectable for when one is treating. SVR is when one achieves UND through tx. RBC,WBC,HGB,PLT,ANC are all types of blood labwork= red blood cells, white blood cells,hemoglobin,platelets, absolute neutrophils. GT is genotype which is the category of the HCV. GI is for gastroenterologist. there are many more acronyms that i am sure others can help with. hope this helps!
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Avatar_f_tn
Hey Eclipsed,,,if your wife does have hep,,,,on a very positive note,,,,its great that you found out at such a young age and can do something about it.  More then likely you and the kids don't have,,,,chances are almost nil so that is an extra worry,,,,you don't need.  You have found a great place to come for support and you can only do one step at a time,,,,so first step is to find out her geno,,,,viral load and have a biopsy.  Good Luck!
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181549_tn?1277211196
Welcome to the forum.
I'm assumming your wife has been tested only once so far.  She could still be a false positve.

I know you're worried, but do try to relax as much as possible, because it's the waiting for results again and again that's going to drive you nuts.  As the others stated she will need to to rule out the possibility of a false positive first.  If she has only tested once have your Dr. cut to the chase and test specifically for Hep c.  You can also test for Geno type.

Ask If Dr. knows for sure it's Hep c and if it is have these test done.

HCV RNA (QUANTITATIVE)
HEP C GENOTYPE
LIVER PROFILE/HEPATIC PANEL

It may take awhile to get your appt. with a gastro and or hepatologist(ideal), as they are very busy.  In the mean time through those test of blood work should tell you Viral load (copies), confimation of HCV,Genotype.

The next step is with the gastro or hepatologist which will give you the biopsy, which will tell you how much damage to the liver.

The Biopsy is graded by 2 scoring systems.  Both the degree of scorring(known as the "stage" of liver disease) and the degree of inflammation (known as the grade of disease)
There are 4 stages. 1, being minimal amount of scaring, limited to an area of the liver known as the portal triad(where the arteries,veins and bile ducts are found)  Further progression of scarring outside of the portal triad and into surrounding liver cells is concidered stages 2 and 3.  When scarring results in long bridges of fibous tissue that separate nodules of normal liver tissue, it is called stage 4, cirrhosis.

Liver disease also is graded on a scale of 1-4. grade1 is minimal infiltrtion of inflammatory celss into the portal triad.  AS these cells can spill over into the liver tissue frome the portal triad, it is concidered grades 2-3.  Finally, large amounts of inflammation that involves all the liver is known as grade 4.

sorry so wordy, but I know you're scared as we all have been there and some still are.

here's a sit that has much info for both you and your wife.
http://janis7hepc.com/

Be Well
Missy
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you all so much for your replies.
At this point, I'll need to wait until Monday to speak with her doctor.
I was in the waiting room yesterday with the kids, and never got the opportunity to speak with him.
Of course I have many questions for him, but I won't know exactly what kind of testing has been done until I speak with him.
I am hoping that we have only found the 'antibodies(?)' rather than a confirmation of the virus.....
I'll certainly post with an update once I have more information.

In the meantime, I wish to thank you all for your kind comments, encouragement, and help.
Thanks also to Missy for directing me to the "Janis" website.
Looks like there's a lot of useful info there.

I do welcome and appreciate any further comments and/or help that any would care to offer. Thanks once again...
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173975_tn?1216261375
Best of Luck with your wife and family.

wyntre
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello,

I was diagnosed with HepC in July of 2005. I probaly have had it for 30+ years. I have been with my wife for about the same amount of time and she does not have neither do my 2 children.

Something to consider, I had it 5 years before your wife was ever born and did not have any symptoms until 7/05. This isn't always the case, some people have symptoms sooner.

Also, I was a pretty good beer drinker for all those years. If I knew then what I know now, I could have taken better care of my liver. Your wife has a better chance than I had to deal with this.

One more bit of advice. It doesn't matter how she got it. Some people, even medical professionals, may treat you differently. Don't take this c r a p anyone.

Another (I said one more but I lied); don't rush into treatment unless your wife's liver is very damaged by the hepC. First, you want the best care possible. Second, it take many years in some cases, as in mine, for this to progress.
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