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Author Topic: So here is my first lab result  (Read 1293 times)

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Offline Elkan

  • Member
  • Posts: 33
So here is my first lab result
« on: May 21, 2013, 11:22:30 PM »
It came with surprise, not a good one.
I think I have been infected for less than a year.
The CD4 count has dropped to only 260, I am not sure if there's anything to do with my mental stress at the time, cuz it was done two weeks after I learned the bad news.
But the VL came back with 8k, the doctor said it was quite low, I don't know...
He asked me for another blood test in two-week time to see if he should put me on medication.
I am kinda nervous now, cuz I want to push back the date to start medication, quite scared of adherence and side effects.
Just want to share my news with you guys, be kind to me.  :o

Offline tednlou2

  • Member
  • Posts: 4,613
Re: So here is my first lab result
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2013, 12:37:39 AM »
Why would anyone not be kind to you?

You've been infected for less than a year, or you think so.  Is it possible you have been infected longer?  Did you have a neg result at some point.  Most of us have no idea what are numbers were.  For all I know, I could have had a CD4 that was very low for 6 months or longer, but then my immune system hit overdrive and bumped my numbers up for several years.  Or, not.  I think most say by 6 months, you will know that your count probably won't improve much.  It may be unlikely you'd see further improvement, but there are so many factors.  The stress!  I've had my count drop 200 points twice, due to bad anxiety and stress.  Have you been ill with anything else?

With your feeling that you need more time to be adherent, I would discuss testing again soon to see if there was some other cause.  I would think another test a few weeks to a month from the first would give you an idea of whether you're really at 200 range. 

More knowledgable members can give you better info.  What was your CD4%? 

Offline leatherman

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,926
  • Google and HIV meds are Your Friends
Re: So here is my first lab result
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2013, 01:28:08 AM »
The CD4 count has dropped to only 260, I am not sure if there's anything to do with my mental stress at the time, cuz it was done two weeks after I learned the bad news.
Relying on a single CD4 count doesn't really tell you enough. You'll learn that what you need to do is pay attention to the trend over 3 or more tests over a several weeks/month time period. CD4s can change by 100 pts within a single day, and can be influenced (or not!) by stress, diet, exercise, others diseases etc.

cuz I want to push back the date to start medication,
well, if you're really worried about your CD4s, the only way to help them is to take ART. ART stops HIV from replicating so it stops destroying your immune system so that your immune system can recover.

He asked me for another blood test in two-week time to see if he should put me on medication.
the doctor will take more blood to recheck CD4s and VL, while at the same time doing a genotype test which will tell him what meds your HIV is or isn't resistant to. This will help him in deciding what ARV regime to offer you.

I am kinda nervous now, cuz I want to push back the date to start medication, quite scared of adherence and side effects.
Several ARV regimes are 1 time a day or even 1 pill a day. I take 3 pills every night with dinner and think nothing of it. Matter of fact if you think about, don't you know other people who take daily medications? Heart meds, Cholestrol meds, psychotropics, how about insulin shots? Well just like for all those people, daily meds (and google ;D ) are your friends.

If you're not too much of a hypochondriac LOL, take a look at the package insert on the meds the doctors prescribes (speaking of google, google up the med name + "package insert"). the information in the insert tells all about interactions, side effects, and dosage requirements (some only need a small amount of food, others no food at all). You'll probably be surprised that, while 10-20% of people report the generic side effects of throwing up, nausea, dizziness, headaches, fatigue, etc, most of these effects are short lived (within 2-4 weeks) and the long term side effects usually only affect 1-2% of patients. A couple weeks for feeling (maybe!) kinda barfy and dizzy shouldn't be too high of a price to pay to adjust to some serious medications and also to stop HIV in it's tracks, keeping it down to Undetectable levels (by the way, that's not like it's all gone and you're cured; but that there's such a tiny amount that it's hard to even find. Think of the amazing difference comparing an 8k VL and an undetectable VL of <20 ;D )

I know this time is really tough right now, adjusting to how you feel about being poz and all the new information you need to know about this disease and treatments to keep yourself healthy (a GREAT resource is right here in the LESSONS section under TREATMENT in the dark gray tool bar above); but take it one day at a time. Although HIV is a very serious illness, this isn't the 80s anymore. More and more we see that people on meds and remaining adherent live out "normal" lifespans. The chances are very high that your situation with HIV will be just like that too as long as you do what you need to do to stay healthy - take your medicine daily. (hint hint pills boxes, keychain fobs, alarms clocks, and an easy dosing medication - like before bed or with dinner - will all simplify taking meds and help to avoid non-adherence issues)

best wishes. take care. let us know what happens with your doctor next.
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Oh my friends, my friends forgive me
That I live and you are gone.
There's a grief that can't be spoken.
There's a pain goes on and on.
Empty chairs at empty tables
Where my friends will meet no more.

"Empty Chairs at Empty Tables" from Les Miserables

Offline mecch

  • Member
  • Posts: 10,781
  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: So here is my first lab result
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2013, 03:41:42 AM »

I am kinda nervous now, cuz I want to push back the date to start medication, quite scared of adherence and side effects.
Just want to share my news with you guys, be kind to me.  :o

Lets refresh everyone's memories.

You are from China and studying in Canada. And recent posts have been about the challenges and anxieties of immigration status.  Also you mentioned that in China there isn't the same range of medicine available.

You have a lot of challenges. 

When you say you are scared about adherence and side effects, you are probably factoring in these special circumstances, correct?

IMO you probably need some very good guidance for the exact challenges you face as to getting what you need.  And is that going to be starting treatment now, in canada?  And how that is going to work?  ANd how that may or may not be involved in staying there, or going back home.  And what if you go on it, and then have to go back to China, how does that all work.   

Are you talking to an ASO - social worker or such - about your HIV challenges?   What about a lawyer, on your immigration challenges??

As for the mentioned fears:  side effects are not a big enough problem to NOT take HAART, when its time to start. Many people get none, or very manageable ones.



“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline xasxas

  • Member
  • Posts: 38
Re: So here is my first lab result
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2013, 09:22:35 AM »
I can't give you too much advice on what to do and what not to do but I do think you shouldn't fret too much about your numbers just yet.

I had also been infected less than a year (possibly less than 3 months) when I was diagnosed.  My numbers were also horrendous, my CD4 count was 279 or so and my viral load was close to 200,000.

My doc was so disconcerted he put me on Atripla straight away and now (about 9 months later) I have a CD4 count of 917 and undetectable viral load.  The drugs are also not that big a deal once you get over the initial side effects and the idea of having to take drugs everyday.

Offline Elkan

  • Member
  • Posts: 33
Re: So here is my first lab result
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2013, 03:19:36 PM »
Why would anyone not be kind to you?

You've been infected for less than a year, or you think so.  Is it possible you have been infected longer?  Did you have a neg result at some point.  Most of us have no idea what are numbers were.  For all I know, I could have had a CD4 that was very low for 6 months or longer, but then my immune system hit overdrive and bumped my numbers up for several years.  Or, not.  I think most say by 6 months, you will know that your count probably won't improve much.  It may be unlikely you'd see further improvement, but there are so many factors.  The stress!  I've had my count drop 200 points twice, due to bad anxiety and stress.  Have you been ill with anything else?

With your feeling that you need more time to be adherent, I would discuss testing again soon to see if there was some other cause.  I would think another test a few weeks to a month from the first would give you an idea of whether you're really at 200 range. 

More knowledgable members can give you better info.  What was your CD4%?

I had a test in the end of may last year and it was negative. So, it should be less than a year, but almost a year I guess. The stress might have affected my number since i was very anxious during the time, I am getting better now, so i hope my number will go up this time. :P
My CD4% over the whole white blood cell is only abt 2% 0.0 which is so scaryyyy

Offline Elkan

  • Member
  • Posts: 33
Re: So here is my first lab result
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2013, 03:32:13 PM »
Lets refresh everyone's memories.

You are from China and studying in Canada. And recent posts have been about the challenges and anxieties of immigration status.  Also you mentioned that in China there isn't the same range of medicine available.

You have a lot of challenges. 

When you say you are scared about adherence and side effects, you are probably factoring in these special circumstances, correct?

IMO you probably need some very good guidance for the exact challenges you face as to getting what you need.  And is that going to be starting treatment now, in canada?  And how that is going to work?  ANd how that may or may not be involved in staying there, or going back home.  And what if you go on it, and then have to go back to China, how does that all work.   

Are you talking to an ASO - social worker or such - about your HIV challenges?   What about a lawyer, on your immigration challenges??

As for the mentioned fears:  side effects are not a big enough problem to NOT take HAART, when its time to start. Many people get none, or very manageable ones.

Exactly! :(

Getting good care isn't easy for everyone living with HIV.

I am getting in touch with some lawyers here and see what we can do about it.

Offline Elkan

  • Member
  • Posts: 33
Re: So here is my first lab result
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2013, 03:37:43 PM »
Relying on a single CD4 count doesn't really tell you enough. You'll learn that what you need to do is pay attention to the trend over 3 or more tests over a several weeks/month time period. CD4s can change by 100 pts within a single day, and can be influenced (or not!) by stress, diet, exercise, others diseases etc.
well, if you're really worried about your CD4s, the only way to help them is to take ART. ART stops HIV from replicating so it stops destroying your immune system so that your immune system can recover.
the doctor will take more blood to recheck CD4s and VL, while at the same time doing a genotype test which will tell him what meds your HIV is or isn't resistant to. This will help him in deciding what ARV regime to offer you.
Several ARV regimes are 1 time a day or even 1 pill a day. I take 3 pills every night with dinner and think nothing of it. Matter of fact if you think about, don't you know other people who take daily medications? Heart meds, Cholestrol meds, psychotropics, how about insulin shots? Well just like for all those people, daily meds (and google ;D ) are your friends.

If you're not too much of a hypochondriac LOL, take a look at the package insert on the meds the doctors prescribes (speaking of google, google up the med name + "package insert"). the information in the insert tells all about interactions, side effects, and dosage requirements (some only need a small amount of food, others no food at all). You'll probably be surprised that, while 10-20% of people report the generic side effects of throwing up, nausea, dizziness, headaches, fatigue, etc, most of these effects are short lived (within 2-4 weeks) and the long term side effects usually only affect 1-2% of patients. A couple weeks for feeling (maybe!) kinda barfy and dizzy shouldn't be too high of a price to pay to adjust to some serious medications and also to stop HIV in it's tracks, keeping it down to Undetectable levels (by the way, that's not like it's all gone and you're cured; but that there's such a tiny amount that it's hard to even find. Think of the amazing difference comparing an 8k VL and an undetectable VL of <20 ;D )

I know this time is really tough right now, adjusting to how you feel about being poz and all the new information you need to know about this disease and treatments to keep yourself healthy (a GREAT resource is right here in the LESSONS section under TREATMENT in the dark gray tool bar above); but take it one day at a time. Although HIV is a very serious illness, this isn't the 80s anymore. More and more we see that people on meds and remaining adherent live out "normal" lifespans. The chances are very high that your situation with HIV will be just like that too as long as you do what you need to do to stay healthy - take your medicine daily. (hint hint pills boxes, keychain fobs, alarms clocks, and an easy dosing medication - like before bed or with dinner - will all simplify taking meds and help to avoid non-adherence issues)

best wishes. take care. let us know what happens with your doctor next.


Thank you for taking your time replying in my post. it's very informative and very encouraging. My doc seems to believe in trend instead of one-time result as well, so we will see how it changes. ;D if it's really the time to take ARV, then I will move on and start medication.  :o
I will get you posted and in the mean time, take care also :)

Offline Elkan

  • Member
  • Posts: 33
Re: So here is my first lab result
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2013, 03:38:46 PM »
I can't give you too much advice on what to do and what not to do but I do think you shouldn't fret too much about your numbers just yet.

I had also been infected less than a year (possibly less than 3 months) when I was diagnosed.  My numbers were also horrendous, my CD4 count was 279 or so and my viral load was close to 200,000.

My doc was so disconcerted he put me on Atripla straight away and now (about 9 months later) I have a CD4 count of 917 and undetectable viral load.  The drugs are also not that big a deal once you get over the initial side effects and the idea of having to take drugs everyday.

you take care too, k!  :o

Offline aaware72

  • Member
  • Posts: 204
Re: So here is my first lab result
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2013, 04:47:40 PM »
Hi,

I tested positive 01/18/13 my first set of blood test were 2/07/13.  My CD4 was 230 and my VR was 52,000.  At my last test on 04/24/13 my CD4 was 368 and my VR was  84. 

It does get better
"Yes, knowledge is power. Self-knowledge brings mastery of one's body."

Offline Elkan

  • Member
  • Posts: 33
Re: So here is my first lab result
« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2013, 07:42:21 PM »
Hi,

I tested positive 01/18/13 my first set of blood test were 2/07/13.  My CD4 was 230 and my VR was 52,000.  At my last test on 04/24/13 my CD4 was 368 and my VR was  84. 

It does get better

hey~~~
so i guess you've already started medication?

Offline leatherman

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,926
  • Google and HIV meds are Your Friends
Re: So here is my first lab result
« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2013, 08:09:25 PM »
My doc seems to believe in trend instead of one-time result as well,
he "believes" it because that's the science - the facts, the stats, the truth - of it. ;)

see that little chart, in my signature line below, that shows the graph my VL and cd4 counts?  here it is a little bigger.

Pay attention to the green line (especially after 2004 when I finally got on the right meds that did the trick). See how the trend has been upward?  :D (I should update this graph as a Feb 2013 count of 430 makes the green line go even higher to reach my highest cd4 count in 20 yrs of meds) Notice how the green line isn't steady, but jagged with dips? If I worried about each one-time count I'd probably go crazy. LOL but the trend clearly shows that since 2004 to 2013, my tcells have steadily been improving and are continuing to climb - even if there have been some dips in the road.

I will get you posted and in the mean time, take care also :)
I look forward to your updates Elk ;)
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Oh my friends, my friends forgive me
That I live and you are gone.
There's a grief that can't be spoken.
There's a pain goes on and on.
Empty chairs at empty tables
Where my friends will meet no more.

"Empty Chairs at Empty Tables" from Les Miserables

Offline klassykitty

  • Member
  • Posts: 377
Re: So here is my first lab result
« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2013, 08:43:34 PM »
Elkan,
Like Leatherman my numbers are taking their time.

It has taken me two years to go from 32 to 148 CD4 and my % to hit double digits (a whopping 11). I have been undectable since shortly after my diagnosis.

 Like Leatherman I also don't fret about my numbers to much.  I would go bonkers if I tried to figure out why my numbers are at a snail pace.

 I take my meds, watch what I eat, how much I drink, don't smoke anymore, and try to leave as much stress out as possible.

As far as being worried about the meds.  Most of my side effects only lasted a short time.  The only one that I have had a hard time with is the fatigue, but then again I guess that is my bodys way of saying "slow down girly".

Give it time, it gets better.
Michelle
A true gentleman hold the door for his woman.
Then he smacks her ass!
Diagnosed 01-20-2011
01-23  CD4 32    VL 125,400
02-18        76     VL 189
03-14  no cd4 test done   VL-52
04-14   69  VL-UNDECTABLE  YEA!!
05-26   50  whoopsy  
06-27   71        %-7
08-15   64 WTF %-9 
10-16  80         %7  
2012  CD4  %Thing   VL-UD
01-18  87    7
04-18  93    8  
07-16  151  8         
10-18  83    9    VL-70
2013   CD4   %thing       VL-UD
01-28  121     9
04-24  148    11   
07-25  157    11   
10-22  185    13
2014   CD-4  %thing   VL-UD
02-07 201 YEA!!!!!!  %12

Offline aaware72

  • Member
  • Posts: 204
Re: So here is my first lab result
« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2013, 12:07:58 PM »
hey~~~
so i guess you've already started medication?

Yes start on 02/13 first with Complera then switch to Stirbild.  I just got in some results from my blood work yesterday my CD4 is up to 414.  Will know this time next week about my VL.  Hopping that I will be UD.
"Yes, knowledge is power. Self-knowledge brings mastery of one's body."

Offline leatherman

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,926
  • Google and HIV meds are Your Friends
Re: So here is my first lab result
« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2013, 04:21:15 PM »
my CD4 is up to 414.  ... Hopping that I will be UD.
this made me think of something else to point out since y'all are newer to all this. Being UD is the most important thing - more important than any cd4 number.

I'm sure, like millions of the rest of us, y'all never had a cd4 count done BEFORE you were HIV positive. So just like us, y'all are in the dark as to what a "normal" cd4 count is for you. On the average, normal is between 500-1500 and that's a pretty big damn range.

For example at 414 - with cd4s changeable by up 100 pts a day - you could really be right near 500 most of the time and that might be your normal. Your immune system could be nearly fully recovered. ;)

Besides that, it's not how many you have BUT how well they work. For the 15 years prior to this (because in this year my tcells have been higher than ever before), I haven't hardly been sick and I haven't been back in a hospital. During that time my cd4s ranged from 175 to 300, so it's definitely not about how many I had but how well those little buggers were working.  ;)

Fixate on becoming UD, and let your genetics worry about your CD4 count. ;)
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Oh my friends, my friends forgive me
That I live and you are gone.
There's a grief that can't be spoken.
There's a pain goes on and on.
Empty chairs at empty tables
Where my friends will meet no more.

"Empty Chairs at Empty Tables" from Les Miserables

Offline aaware72

  • Member
  • Posts: 204
Re: So here is my first lab result
« Reply #15 on: May 23, 2013, 04:35:23 PM »
he "believes" it because that's the science - the facts, the stats, the truth - of it. ;)

see that little chart, in my signature line below, that shows the graph my VL and cd4 counts?  here it is a little bigger.

Pay attention to the green line (especially after 2004 when I finally got on the right meds that did the trick). See how the trend has been upward?  :D (I should update this graph as a Feb 2013 count of 430 makes the green line go even higher to reach my highest cd4 count in 20 yrs of meds) Notice how the green line isn't steady, but jagged with dips? If I worried about each one-time count I'd probably go crazy. LOL but the trend clearly shows that since 2004 to 2013, my tcells have steadily been improving and are continuing to climb - even if there have been some dips in the road.
I look forward to your updates Elk ;)

I do understand the the VR being UD is the more important thing here.  Last month my VR was 84 so I'm hoping that my VR will be UD this time around.  I feel good, I have energy and I have not been sick for almost a year.  Thanks for your feedback
"Yes, knowledge is power. Self-knowledge brings mastery of one's body."

 


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