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question

Hello everyone, I'm new to the hep c forum, but I'd like to take the precautions necessary. Anyway, here's my story. I am in day 42 of recovery, after detoxing from a 3 yr habit. I used IV roa to inject suboxone and subutex. The thing that worries me, and in no way am I trying to offend anyone in anyway, is that I may have been exposed to the hep c virus while using. A close friend of mine has recently been diagnosed with hep c, and I had shared needles with this person. My question is, what are signs and symptoms to look for? I would ask my friend but I'm not one to pry on a matter such as this. Please, I'm not trying to offend. I'm just asking a question. Thank you for any response, in advance.
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Avatar_f_tn
A lot of times there are no signs until there is significant damage to the liver...

the best thing to do is go get tested...

Congrats on your 42 days clean and sober!
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163305_tn?1333672171
I agree with 1oftheclub.
The only way to know is to get tested.

People often go for decades not knowing they have hep C until their liver is ravaged.
It's an easy test, just go do it.
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1815939_tn?1377995399
First, congratulations on being in recovery. That is definitely the right direction to take.

Second, If your friend has Hep C and you shared needles with her, there is a good possibility that you may have been infected with the Hep C virus.

About 20% of people clear the Hep C virus on their own. The rest do not. The other 80% go on to develop chronic Hep C.

Chronic Hep C often/usually does not have any symptoms until it has already done quite a bit of damage to the liver. Some people do complain of fatigue and some people do develop other illnesses that point to Hep C as the culprit. Basically what I am saying is, you will not know if you have contracted Hep C by waiting for the symptoms to appear.

My advice to you is to get tested for Hepatitis C (and also Hep B and HIV). If your antibodies to Hep C are positive, the doc will run further tests to determine if you have active chronic Hep C.

For your own health and quality of life, get tested soon. Do not wait for symptoms to appear. Many, perhaps most, people on this forum contracted Hep C  20, 30, 40 years ago when no one knew anything about Hep C. Most really had no or only vague symptoms (which could have been due to anything). Most found out they had Hep C by accident (insurance test, donating blood, etc.). Several, by the time they found out they had Hep C, had already advanced to severe liver disease and cirrhosis. Hep C is much harder to treat successfully once the liver has advanced fibrosis and damage.

So, again, do not wait. Get tested soon. If you do not have it, you can be very thankful and your mind will be at ease. If you do have it and it is chronic, then you (and your doctor) can decide how you want to proceed.If you do have it, be sure you go to see a doctor who is experienced in treating Hep C (an experienced GI doc or a hepatologist).

I wish you the best on your journey forward without drugs. And, I hope your test turns out negative for Hep C.


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Avatar_f_tn
I agree with the others I would get Tested I would also get test for HiV
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Avatar_m_tn
Congratulations on 42 days clean. I sincerely hope you can continue the sobriety .
As the others have said ..most often there are no symptoms  associated with having HCV,especially early on in the disease.

If you have shared works , you are in a "high risk" category " and should be tested  as soon as possible to be able to plan to eradicate the virus either now or in the future  as well as  considering precautions you can take to do your best to not infect others.

Again...congrats on your sobriety..please stick with it "one day at a time"

Will
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1935252_tn?1329760719
Thank you all! I appreciate your concern, I called the doctor, and I'm going in tomorrow. Thank you all so much on your support in my recovery. Full speed ahead, taking it a day at a time. Thanks and I'll update you all as soon as I get my results back.
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179856_tn?1333550962
Definitely get tested.  Members in here have contracted HCV when they've experimented a time or two when they were younger.  You are at  a high risk with your past drug use.  

I had no symptoms at all and was diagnosed at stage 3 out of 4.  I just thank God I was diagnosed and could fight the disease.  Finding out you have it is not the bad news, not knowing you have it until it's too late is.

Whatever happens, don't let this ruin your sobriety!!!

Good luck.

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179856_tn?1333550962
Sorry my post is very similar to Wills...it took me a while to type on this iPad!
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Avatar_m_tn
congrats on  the 42 days  most of all congrats on just today im almost 2 years clean and sober but   im greatful for today and will not worrie about tomorrow , one day at a time,   i found out i had hepc  by trying to give blood ,  im on 8 weeks now  tx [ incivik]    you need to be checked out and try to get on top of this ,,if its the case,  good luck  [joey48]
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1765684_tn?1333822768
Congrats on your recovery, may the road rise to meet you.

I agree, the only way to know is to get tested.  I've had HCV for estimated in excess of 30 years without symptoms.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi congratulations! I am a recovering addict also , I have 30 years no drugs and I only drank occasionally until now . I found out after 28 years that I had hep c just before 3rd stage. I have just completed triple treatment and I have 9 weeks left of double treatment. You are very fortunate to start your sobriety now and to get tested. Make the most of it! It sounds like your on the right path again stay on the right path and thank god that we get 2nd chances, some people do not and we now have the testing and meds, stay well
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm glad you made the decision to get tested, its the right one!! but just to answer some of your questions, some of the symptoms i was experiencing were, dark urine (which i attributed to a uti), fever, pain right under my right breast in my abdomen also some bloating and tenderness in that area, flu like symptoms and fatigue kicked my but also. one of the worst symptoms for me were the nausea and vomiting. I was tested three times and came back negative each time after these symptoms started and they took my gall bladder out, unnecessarily i believe because it wasn't caught for some reason. so i suggest that if youre having any of these symptoms and your tests come back negative, have them screen you a few times. The only reason it was caught in me was because i was admitted to our small town hospital here and when my liver enzymes were dangerously elevated with negative results for hep, they flew me to the nearest big city for better care, had that not happened, i still wouldnt know that i had it now. GOOD LUCK!! and huge propps on your sobriety, it's the hardest thing in the world to kick opiates. you rock!
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Avatar_m_tn
experiencing were, dark urine (which i attributed to a uti), fever, pain right under my right breast in my abdomen also some bloating and tenderness in that area, flu like symptoms and fatigue kicked my but also. one of the worst symptoms for me were the nausea and vomiting. I was tested three times and came back negative each time after these symptoms started and they took my gall bladder out, unnecessarily i believe because it wasn't caught for some reason. so i suggest that if youre having any of these symptoms and your tests come back negative, have them screen you a few times.
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Avatar_m_tn
experiencing were, dark urine (which i attributed to a uti), fever, pain right under my right breast in my abdomen also some bloating and tenderness in that area, flu like symptoms and fatigue kicked my but also. one of the worst symptoms for me were the nausea and vomiting. I was tested three times and came back negative each time after these symptoms started and they took my gall bladder out, unnecessarily i believe because it wasn't caught for some reason. so i suggest that if youre having any of these symptoms and your tests come back negative, have them screen you a few times.
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Avatar_m_tn
I hit send too soon

You say above you were tested three times for HCV and  the tests were neg. That means that you do not have HCV,or didn't have when they tested you. These tests are very sensitive and there is no way you could possibly have a "false negative" three times
The symptoms you mention then could not have  been in anyway  as a result of HCV infection.


Best of luck trying to adress your addiction problem ...

Will
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1935252_tn?1329760719
Ok guys, went to the doctor today. He took 7 tubes of blood and a urine sample. Asked if I'd been having n e weird stuff goin on.... well I've had a lot of pressure under my left breast, sharp pains in my ribs on my right side, the whites of my eyes are yellowish, I have white spots, red patches on my skin in various places, and dark circles under my eyes. The doc noted all of this along with my abrupt weight lose, 15 lbs in the last 2 months. He never gave me a direct answer on what he thot it might b... so needless to say " I'm terrified! " anyway, I'm freaking out right now, because Idk what is going on and the situation feels out of control. Any thoughts or suggestions are extremely appreciated!
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163305_tn?1333672171
The yellow color of the whites of your eyes are a sign of jaundice.
This sounds like liver distress.

Although its hard~ the best thing you can do is be patient and wait for the lab results.
I could make all kinds of guesses and so could your doctor.
My guess is wants to see your lab results to be sure.

Try to relax, it's out of your hands, for now.
Good luck
OH
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Avatar_f_tn
it's perfectly normal to be freaking out...we all went through it ourselves...but to be honest, the blood tests come back relativly fast, I don't think anything really takes longer than a week and most are back in 3 or 4 days.  have you made an appt to follow up with the blood test results?  sometimes for the first results, they will want you to come in so you can discuss whats going on.  I would try to get an appt within a week, or ask your doc if he will discuss the results with you over the phone.
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408795_tn?1324939275
Let go and let God.  That's the standard answer that comes to this recovering mind. lol  Nothing you can do at this point but worry and I'm sure you don't need that added stress boggling your mind.  Also, just so you know there's tons of people you get the virus and clear it on their own.  Good luck to you!!  

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1935252_tn?1329760719
Thank you all, my doc told me that he will call me when the results come in and he'll have me come in that day. I'm just praying now. Thank u for all your well wishes and I'll be sure update everyone when I get me results. Again thank u
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Avatar_f_tn
i understand why you would say that. as mentioned before, i live in a very small town and im not sure whats going on here with the lab work, but something isnt right, because i had also tested positive for methadone once when i didn't even know what it was at that time nor was i taking anything other than some lortab..... as soon as i went to a bigger city with specialist at the hospital and many many tests run they assured me over and over to my shock and horror that i was hep c positive, they said much the same as you about how sensitive the tests were and they even did more blood work at my insistence only to come back positive again.... they sent me home with all of the test results to give to the hepatologist when I'm able to get in, but it might as well be in a different language to me, i dont understand it. So here i have doctors insisting that i have hep c, and so many people on the forum telling me there must be some mistake and that i probably  dont have it. i do appreciate the advice but it's hard not to believe the medical doctors over people that i dont know and dont have my test results in front of them to look at.... i would love to believe otherwise..... be thankful if it was another complication instead of hep c.. only more time and test will tell i suppose
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163305_tn?1333672171
I'm sorry you and I got off on the wrong foot.
Please accept my apologies for not understanding what it's like being a tiny town in Texas.

I'd like to encourage you to go back to the heptalogist and get a biopsy.
Then you will know the condition of your liver. This will have a lot to do with whether you need to do treatment soon or can wait.
Some people with hep C  never develop liver problems. Others can land up with severe liver damage.

We can help you understand your tests, and wilbbl is indeed a good guy to ask.
Hope that helps:)
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you, I greatly appreciate it, it means more than you know, I was starting to feel more alone than ever. I also apologize for not thinking to include the rest of the info that was apparently so pertinent, I really just didn't put two and two together. I do plan on getting to that hepatologist as soon as humanely possible! But to be honest I'm scared to death, and confusion only adds to that fear. I'm a single mother of the most amazing four year old little boy, and I just want to do everything possible to stay around and healthy for him for many many years to come. It's hard for him to see me in the hospital and sick so often, and I dont want this diagnosis of hep c to consume our lives....
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163305_tn?1333672171
Of course you don't want it to take over your life. This is why you need a biopsy.
Many people can live for decades before hep C damages their liver and others never have any damage at all.

Fours is a great age~ imaginative and pure.
Enjoy your child and try not to worry.
For most people hep C moves slowly. You're young.

Take care~
OH
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