I am going to try my best to keep this as short as I can. I’m a paramedic working in Georgia. On October 2nd 2020 I had my first ever dirty needle stick exposure that at this point has caused me great mental distress. The patient was a young female who admitted to drug use. I picked her up at a residence that at best did not look like the cleanness. She was staying with a male who I assumed was doing drugs with. I forgot what her medical compliant was. I initiated an IV on the patient in the AC and unfortunately did not successfully place it. The dumbest moment of my career was not retracting the IV right away and placed it to the side for a couple seconds to put a bandaid on the patient. When I went to pick up the IV, I accidentally poked myself on my right index finger. Bleeding was notice and I did not clean it right away (second dumb mistake).
After getting to the hospital, the patient was okay with being tested and her tests did come back negative for HIV. I started my infectious disease protocol that night and the urgent care I was sent too did not want me to take PrEP since the patient tested “negative.”
My initial tests were all negative. This is where it starts to get bad for me. About a week and half later after the dirty needle stick, I started to develop a mild fever, vertigo for two complete days that caused me to vomit and a swollen left armpit lymph node. This lasted for about four days before subsiding. The next symptoms that developed was weird rashes on my body. I developed what looked liked liver spots on my back and then a nasty looking no itchy rash on the back of my neck that almost looked like shingles but was not. It did take weeks for it to heal after multiple creamed. Next symptom I had was left eye blurry vision that no eye drops was helping. I was eventually sent to a specialist that said I had herpes and gave me antivirals which relieved the issue. Next odd sign was a CBC draw that showed a slight decline in total WBC and a neutrophil count about 200 below normal cutoff. I believe the total was around 1,350. About a week and half ago I developed body aches, chills, fever, dry cough and sore throat out of no where. I was tested for Covid using a rapid and PCR. All negative and the flu and strep was also negative. All the symptoms pretty much subsided expect for the dry hacking cough that is still going on 8 days.
Here is a list of all the testing I have had since the dirty needle stick.
Type: Dirty Needle Stick
Date: October 2nd 2020
10/31/2020: Negative (1) (29 Days out)
01/03/2021: Negative (2) (93 Days out) 3 months
05/26/2021: Negative (3) (236 Days out) 7.7 months
09/14/2021: Negative (4) (347 Days out) 11.4 months
11/30/2021: (5) (423 days out) 1 year, 1 month and 27 days
Hep C: Negative
12/20/21: (6) 1 year, 2 months (444 Days out)
Hep C: Negative
Herpes 1: Positive
Herpes 2: Negative
All the HIV tests aaa the 4th generation tests sent to LabCorp.
I have struggled to believe the results of any of these tests due to all the symptoms I have dealt with and never received an answer for. What scares me too is these tests are never 100% conclusive.
I understand no one can diagnose me and I’m not asking for that. I was just trying to maybe find someone who had a similar experience or maybe even can offer me some advice or insight because now it seems like whenever I get sick or something abnormal happens, I always relate it to the needle stick. I have not been sexually active for probably 8-9 years at this point.
Thank you to anyone who even took the time out of the day to read this. You all are a blessing