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Author Topic: Best labs ever: celebrate or temper with skepticism?  (Read 2006 times)

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Offline moxieinme

  • Member
  • Posts: 91
Best labs ever: celebrate or temper with skepticism?
« on: December 11, 2013, 02:25:49 PM »
Nearly jumped off the examining table when my doc gave me my latest lab results: VL <20, CD4 637, and percentage 27%. I have NEVER had a CD4 count or percentage that high, and only three times had CD4 over 600, the last time in 2002. Of course I am thrilled that my current regimen appears to be working so well for the last 5 years.

But I have a niggling doubt. These are the first labs through a new doctor and in-state lab. The majority of the labs for the past several years had been done in a major city through clinical trials. Seems silly, but could the significant change in numbers be due in part to a different lab running the samples?

Just curious. In the meantime, a small celebration...
Salvage therapy wrangler, riding the poz bronco and dodging bullets for over 24 years.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
CD4 at diagnosis 1989 = 330
Began treatment (AZT) 1989
Lowest labs 1998: CD4=74, 7%, VL=750,000
First sustained undetectable VL in 20 years (2009); CD4=315
Current labs (12/13): CD4=637, 27%, VL=<20
Current meds: Prezista, Isentress, Intellence, Norvir

Online leatherman

  • Member
  • Posts: 6,338
  • Google and HIV meds are Your Friends
Re: Best labs ever: celebrate or temper with skepticism?
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2013, 02:42:18 PM »
WooHoo!
I say take the happiness when and where you can.

Previously my cd4s rose to an amazing (for me anyway) 415 - the highest ever in 21 yrs of treatment. I made a bet with the doc that it was a fluke and my next labs would be back down to my "normal" 315 - and sure enough that's what happened. However, I do have bragging rights now on 415!!

So enjoy your bragging rights of 637 and be happy about it is what I say. ;) ;D
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


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

Offline moxieinme

  • Member
  • Posts: 91
Re: Best labs ever: celebrate or temper with skepticism?
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2013, 03:44:39 PM »
Thanks, Leatherman!

Of course any "up" numbers -- aside from VL -- are good news. My 25 year averages have been in the low 300s too, but I'm on a long-overdue upswing.

But yes, it's all about the trend. I'll just put a gold star next to this one for now and keep on truckin'.
 
Salvage therapy wrangler, riding the poz bronco and dodging bullets for over 24 years.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
CD4 at diagnosis 1989 = 330
Began treatment (AZT) 1989
Lowest labs 1998: CD4=74, 7%, VL=750,000
First sustained undetectable VL in 20 years (2009); CD4=315
Current labs (12/13): CD4=637, 27%, VL=<20
Current meds: Prezista, Isentress, Intellence, Norvir

Offline mitch777

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,748
Re: Best labs ever: celebrate or temper with skepticism?
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2013, 05:20:59 PM »
Hi Moxie!

Great news! Not sure if a different lab would produce different numbers to any great degree. Sometimes for unexplained reasons numbers just bounce a bit.

My numbers generally were in the 500-800 range for over a decade of my 31 "pleasantly positive" years but the past two years the cork popped off and bounced off of the ceiling with numbers around 1000.

Physically I felt better before the pop so I'm not seeing the correlation in that regard. Still, it's nice to know that some things are improving even if it's just reading the CD4 count from a lab report. :)

m.
32 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Online leatherman

  • Member
  • Posts: 6,338
  • Google and HIV meds are Your Friends
Re: Best labs ever: celebrate or temper with skepticism?
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2013, 06:14:29 PM »
so I'm not seeing the correlation in that regard.
to me, that's the big misconception about cd4 counts. Higher does not equate to feeling better. It doesn't equate to working better either. Higher only means your immune system is "larger". Just because someone has a high cd4 doesn't neccesarily mean that they "feel well"

and it's similar on the other end too. I know a LOT of people who had less than 100 count and couldn't hardly believe they were positive because they didn't "feel sick".


I would simply proffer that some of that not-feeling-as-well-as-before could be a side of effect of your 31 PP :) yrs (long term HIV inflammation damage) and quite simply those 31 years (seeing 2014 coming up on us reminds me that getting older is simply a problem all in itself).  ;)
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


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

Offline mitch777

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,748
Re: Best labs ever: celebrate or temper with skepticism?
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2013, 07:00:45 PM »
to me, that's the big misconception about cd4 counts. Higher does not equate to feeling better. It doesn't equate to working better either. Higher only means your immune system is "larger". Just because someone has a high cd4 doesn't neccesarily mean that they "feel well"

and it's similar on the other end too. I know a LOT of people who had less than 100 count and couldn't hardly believe they were positive because they didn't "feel sick".


I would simply proffer that some of that not-feeling-as-well-as-before could be a side of effect of your 31 PP :) yrs (long term HIV inflammation damage) and quite simply those 31 years (seeing 2014 coming up on us reminds me that getting older is simply a problem all in itself).  ;)
I agree on all counts. I am just hoping that 2014 has less stress than 2013. It took a toll and aging with hiv does a number on you on it's own.

I certainly don't want to scare the newly poz ,meaning those who were not the early guinea pigs, as their experiences may and probably will differ drastically because of the better meds. Each "generation" that face this illness are guinea pigs but the "kinks" are being worked out along the way. :)

32 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Offline moxieinme

  • Member
  • Posts: 91
Re: Best labs ever: celebrate or temper with skepticism?
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2013, 07:23:22 PM »
I agree on all counts. I am just hoping that 2014 has less stress than 2013. It took a toll and aging with hiv does a number on you on it's own.

I certainly don't want to scare the newly poz ,meaning those who were not the early guinea pigs, as their experiences may and probably will differ drastically because of the better meds. Each "generation" that face this illness are guinea pigs but the "kinks" are being worked out along the way. :)
Amen, Mitch!

And sometimes I have to kick myself to remember aging is a privilege. Someday it may sink in.

Thanks for the support you guys.
Salvage therapy wrangler, riding the poz bronco and dodging bullets for over 24 years.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
CD4 at diagnosis 1989 = 330
Began treatment (AZT) 1989
Lowest labs 1998: CD4=74, 7%, VL=750,000
First sustained undetectable VL in 20 years (2009); CD4=315
Current labs (12/13): CD4=637, 27%, VL=<20
Current meds: Prezista, Isentress, Intellence, Norvir

Offline mitch777

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,748
Re: Best labs ever: celebrate or temper with skepticism?
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2013, 07:29:59 PM »

And sometimes I have to kick myself to remember aging is a privilege. Someday it may sink in.

lol. same here.

32 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Offline darryaz

  • Member
  • Posts: 450
Re: Best labs ever: celebrate or temper with skepticism?
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2013, 01:37:05 AM »
Even if it is an upward blip, I say CELEBRATE!!!!!!

Offline rondrond

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,712
Re: Best labs ever: celebrate or temper with skepticism?
« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2013, 10:40:23 AM »
Place you Gold Star and Celebrate.

I agree with the feeling better before getting a glowing report. My doctor just shrugs and states that everyone is different.

Maybe your body will catch up to the news and you will start to feel better later.

congrats on the good news

Ronnie
"I may not be exactly where I want to be, but I sure as Hell am not where I was"
Wynnona Judd

Diagnosed/HIV
1993
AZT
Norvir
1994-2001
Crixivan/Epivir/Zerit
No Meds for 7 Years

04jul07/DVT-right leg/Bi Lateral PE's     
16oct08/DVT-left leg
Sept '09  6 blood clots in left arm
Coumadin 5mgs
                                     
Atenolol/50mg/2x
Hydrochlorth 25mg/1x
Gemfibrozil/300mgs/2X
Symbicort
Proventil Inhaler
Potassium
Rhinocort


*APR 08~Viramune/Truvada
March08  CD4 330 23% VL 452.000 
*Jan09 Med change~Epzicom/Viramune

Aug09   CD4 523 23%  VL<48
Diagnosed: COPD
Dec 2013: CD4 645 45% VL 49
Med Change: Viramune/Epivir/Ziagen/Isentress

Offline Fisher

  • Member
  • Posts: 283
Re: Best labs ever: celebrate or temper with skepticism?
« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2013, 02:48:49 PM »
Nearly jumped off the examining table when my doc gave me my latest lab results: VL <20, CD4 637, and percentage 27%. I have NEVER had a CD4 count or percentage that high, and only three times had CD4 over 600, the last time in 2002. Of course I am thrilled that my current regimen appears to be working so well for the last 5 years.

But I have a niggling doubt. These are the first labs through a new doctor and in-state lab. The majority of the labs for the past several years had been done in a major city through clinical trials. Seems silly, but could the significant change in numbers be due in part to a different lab running the samples?

Just curious. In the meantime, a small celebration...

I have to learn of this wonderful news off this site?  Really!

Maybe the significant change is not so much a change in docs and tests but a change in how you feel about yourself?

Loving life is healing. Feeling valued and loved and cared for . . . twice as healing...
- fisher
09/22 CD 385 %22 VL UD
07/14 CD 391 %20 VL UD
04/14 CD 486 %23 VL <20
11/13 CD 351 %21  VL <20
10/13 CD 390 %16  VL <20
06/13 CD 315 %19  VL  22
02/13 CD 396 %14  VL <20
12/12 CD 392 %13  VL 320
11/12 CD 428 %13  VL 1200
*Started Meds: Atripla
10/12 CD 427 %11  VL 139000 -- 09/12 CD 408 %13 VL 92928
09/11 CD 745 %27 VL CLOT -- 10/10 CD 863 %29 VL 2782
10/09 CD 597 %30 VL 2537 -- 05/08 CD 809 %28 VL 1504
04/07 CD 797 %25 VL 3558 -- 11/06 CD 720 %28 VL 1214
06/05 CD 731 %25 VL 1575 -- 12/04 CD 1176 %30 VL 1329
01/04 CD 959 %26 VL 1011 -- 11/03 CD 1000 %28 VL 1581
12/02 CD 748 %28 -- 10/01 CD 860 %25
08/00 CD 1022 %28 -- 04/99 CD 854 %27
11/98 CD 899 %28 -- 02/97 CD 1400 %37
11/96 CD 1325  VL <500 -- 09/96 – Western Blot
05/83 – 04/98 - Monogamous Partner Being Negative
ARS - LA '82

Offline moxieinme

  • Member
  • Posts: 91
Re: Best labs ever: celebrate or temper with skepticism?
« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2013, 04:36:59 PM »
I have to learn of this wonderful news off this site?  Really!

Maybe the significant change is not so much a change in docs and tests but a change in how you feel about yourself?

Loving life is healing. Feeling valued and loved and cared for . . . twice as healing...
Thanks, Dr. Fisher Feelgood!
Salvage therapy wrangler, riding the poz bronco and dodging bullets for over 24 years.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
CD4 at diagnosis 1989 = 330
Began treatment (AZT) 1989
Lowest labs 1998: CD4=74, 7%, VL=750,000
First sustained undetectable VL in 20 years (2009); CD4=315
Current labs (12/13): CD4=637, 27%, VL=<20
Current meds: Prezista, Isentress, Intellence, Norvir

Offline weasel

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,727
Re: Best labs ever: celebrate or temper with skepticism?
« Reply #12 on: December 18, 2013, 05:52:21 PM »


   Sounds good to me  Moxie  :)


        Hope you have a wonderful Christmas time  :D

                                                                Weasel
" Live and let Live "

Offline OneTampa

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,316
  • "Butterflies are free."
Re: Best labs ever: celebrate or temper with skepticism?
« Reply #13 on: December 24, 2013, 09:48:09 PM »
C E L  E B R A T E ! ! !
"He is my oldest child. The shy and retiring one over there with the Haitian headdress serving pescaíto frito."

Offline Theyer

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,596
  • Current ambition. Walk the Dog .
Re: Best labs ever: celebrate or temper with skepticism?
« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2014, 03:52:45 PM »
Hello Moxie ,

Bit late to this but would add my vote to both sides.Celebrate off course , I like One Tampas celebration here , but keep somewhere in mind that numbers are not the be all off life , then when you have done that celebrate again , and again .......

Michael
"If we can find the money to kill people, we can find the money to help people ."  Tony Benn

 


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