Dec 03, 2012
On 10-11-12 my journey began with a normal night out after work with a coworker. A few drinks, appetizers--all was well. Then three young women walk in, mind you the bar was packed, not a seat in the house. So, being an outgoing young professional I invited the women to sit with my colleague and I. We drank, laughed and got to know each other.
As the night came to an end, I ended up going home with one of the girls. I went down on her and possibly we had a short stint of unprotected vaginal sex but I cannot recall. I did use her sex toys on her.
Since this encounter, I have been sick. Starting shortly after the encounter, 10-13 I developed pus on my tonsils but my throat was not sore; I was extremely tired but chalked it up to travel between east coast and west and stress at work; and my lymph nodes in neck were swollen but no fever.
On 10-15-12 I went to my doctor and told her about the entire encounter. We tested for all STDs including HIV and everything was NEGATIVE.
Then I learned about a 'Window Period' and that all STDs have one. So, the anxiety and stress began to engulf my conscious like a tsunami.
While I was waiting for my initial test results, my doc prescribed zpak, flagyl and doxcyl. These were to cure possible UTI, and other STIs.
I finished all meds except flagyl due to negative STD tests. Now, I started to develop a coated white tongue (still have it today). This fueled my anxiety and stress because I googled it and HIV was the first hit.
This began my search and self-diagnosis. My symptoms continued: malaise, muscle aches, orbital headaches, tingling, twitching muscles, severe night sweats, and seclusion from everyone. 4-5 weeks later developed a rash on my back that did not itch. I began having general itching and little, red pin-prick dots on my palms. Not many just about 5. I developed brownish dots on my biceps. Then, I started getting bug bite-like bumps on forearms that would pop-up, itch and go away. Developed an itchy chest; also a few hives would show up on my lower abdomen.
I headed into the ER about 2 weeks post encounter. I was not feeling like myself. I've had the flu, colds, etc and been sick for a couple weeks but this was different. They retested me for typical STIs but not HIV. Complete Blood Count came back normal so they sent me home with an educational packet about malaise. Nice.
At 28-days post encounter, I had another HIV antibodies test. NEGATIVE. Okay, good news...but still too early to be conclusive.
I developed a sensitivity to light (hurt my eyes, and blurred vision) chalked it up to anxiety and possible side-effects from the antibiotics. Also, started having indigestion and abdominal pain and distention, rolling in my abdomen and gurgling and my stool changed. No diarrhea but the color was more yellow and floating. I read that HIV can create malabsorption within the small intestine--thx Google for fueling my anxiety... Again, I have had no energy throughout this journey, and not feeling like myself. Again, I am trying to convince myself that its anxiety and stress.
At this point, about 5 weeks post, I went to my natural, holistic doctor. He said that I have a overgrowth of yeast in my gut due to the antibiotic nuclear bomb my doctor ordered. His recommendation is to "kill" it and feed the good bacteria, so he started me on a pill regime for 6 wks. Thx doc...
So, the last week (7 wks post) of November I was sitting in my home office and I got extremely nauseated. I ended up getting sick and going directly to the hospital. Blood tests, poking, prodding, etc and soon I started to have an urge to go to the restroom. So, off I go...diarrhea, then again, and again, but this time it blood. They admit me to the hospital and do a CT Scan of my abdomen.
When I was admitted the blood test was not as 'normal' as they made it out to be...
WBC: 10.7 normal
RBC: 5.64 normal
Lymph%: 8% low
Seg%: 84.1% high
Lymph count: .9 low
Seg count: 9.0 high
C-reactive protein, quantitative: .4 high
CT abdomen and pelvis w/out contrast:
Findings: Minimal distention of small bowel loops seen diffusely. There are air-fluid levels within the colon. Minimal prominence of mesenteric lymph nodes identified. Pattern is most suggestive of a viral enteritis.
During my stay they put me on Flagyl and Prilosec. The doctors believed I was experiencing an onset of Crohn's Disease. So, they scoped me from both ends. The stomach is a bit inflammed both nothing serious. They find a couple polyps and said that the blood in diarrhea was due to Hemorrhoids. My internist visits on Wednesday night and asks about my recent history, where I have traveled, etc. Then he asked about risky sexual behavior so I told him what happened, and he said that everything looks like it could be HIV, looked like I was becoming anemic, vial enteritis and symptoms. I told him about my HIV testing and he said I do not have anything to worry about because today's test are so sensitive.
They discharged me on Thursday and give me basic information about Colitis.
Discharged CBC results:
BUN L 5.00
CO2, Venous 27.60
Glucose Level 97.00
Total Protein 6.30
Bilirubin, Total 0.51
Alk Phos L 40
BUN/Creat Ratio 5.00
Calculated Osmolality 286.00
A/G Ratio 1.30
Glomerular Filtration Rate 92.04
Lymph % 42.50%
Mono % 10.5%
Seg % 42.6%
Eosin % 4.1%
Basos % 0.3%
Lymph Count 2.00
Mono Count 0.50
Seg Count 2.10
Eos Count 0.20
Baso Count 0.00
Sed Rate Westergrem 1.00
Week 8 (12/3) post encounter: I am sleeping better--believe I have the night sweats under control somewhat. My lower back is sore, not like a pinched nerve or muscle fatigue but like there are knots that ache. My stomach/gut is still off...not 100% but not as gurgly. Over the weekend, I noticed my hands and fingers tingling in the morning and also the joints feel tight/inflammed. Again, trying to relate that to my anxiety and stress...never experienced it before.
Overall, I have lost 23lbs. Starting weight as 248, now I'm 225.
I am scheduled to see my family doctor tomorrow. I am going to review history with her again, the hospitalization and discuss doing another round of testing. All STD's. 8 weeks should be a fairly good gauge on status and hope I am as healthy as everyone on these forums keep telling me. I will keep adding to the journal as I progress.
Thanks to those who support the stressed, anxious 'worried wells.'