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Moms View Message Board: General Discussion: Archive April 2006: NURSES, MEDICAL PERSONNEL - ADVICE, PLEASE - HEPATITIS, 88 YEAR OLD AUNT
By Ginny~moderator on Thursday, April 27, 2006 - 06:30 pm:

I just got off the phone with my 88 year old aunt, who tells me she saw the gastroenterologist last week, who checked her out, drew blood, and told her she has Hepatitis, but they won't know for a month what kind of hepatitis she has. That doesn't make sense to me. They also did not give her any medications or discuss any treatments.

She lives alone, has two cats (who have had all their shots, etc., and have not bitten her). Her only possible exposure, I am thinking, is that she has been in the hospital for some minor surgeries this past year to 18 months, and of course, gets shots, etc. at her doctor visits.

Your thoughts?

By Colette on Thursday, April 27, 2006 - 07:25 pm:

I have a cousin with hepatitis. I do not recall it taking a month to find out what type he had. Can you have your aunt authorize you speaking to her doctor to find out what's up?

By Ginny~moderator on Thursday, April 27, 2006 - 07:59 pm:

I'm going to talk to her daughter tonight. My cousin is fairly wise medically - she manages human trials of drugs and has had to learn a lot. Problem is, I don't know if my aunt has authorized her doctors to talk to my niece.

I agree, it shouldn't take a month. And the woman is 88, for heaven's sake.

By Karen~moderator on Thursday, April 27, 2006 - 08:51 pm:

I have an aunt and a cousin and a friend, all of whom have Hep C.....It doesn't normally take that long to determine the type, though since there are several types, some test results may take longer to get than others. I think Blood tests are used to diagnose the type. I haven't been able to find anything that states how long test results take, but a month seems unlikely to me.

By Colette on Thursday, April 27, 2006 - 09:12 pm:

Good luck Ginny.

By Dawnk777 on Thursday, April 27, 2006 - 09:44 pm:

I don't really know that much about the hepatitis tests, but a month seems like a long time to me, too. When I had a needle stick and had to be tested for Hepatitis B antibodies, I found our results in a couple of days.

Hepatitis is caused by a virus, though, so antibiotics won't help.

I wonder if she had liver function tests that were out of whack and she got confused with hepatitis. Hopefully you can either find out from the daughter, or the doctor himself (or herself), what is going on.

By Mom2three1968 on Thursday, April 27, 2006 - 10:30 pm:

Yes Ginny, Good Luck, I hope you find out something soon...

By Ginny~moderator on Friday, April 28, 2006 - 05:50 am:

I talked with my cousin, who has talked with the PA at the gastroenterologists office. They are speculating, at present, that my aunt has drug induced heptatitis (which I googled), most likely stemming from a bout of heavy antibiotics she took last winter, plus she is generally on fairly heavy pain medications.

My cousin also says it is not unusual to not have a specific type of hep diagnosed in cases of drug-induced heptatitis, that they have tests for A, B, and C, but there is also a sort of "general" hepatitis. They will do another blood test next month and see if her liver enzymes have improved. If they have, fine. If they haven't, then it is time to make some decisions. Apparently the only really definitive test is a liver biopsy, which is very painful, and the treatments for hepatitis are very painful and very hard on the body - and my aunt is 88, so it is unlikely that they would do the treatment. My cousin says the PA told her that at this point it would probably be 10 years before the hepatitis caused my 88 year old aunt serious problems, which is why it is unlikely they'd do the treatment.

I think I had better try to make a trip out to Missouri this year, maybe at the same time my cousin is going to be visiting her mother. I'd hate to think I didn't take the time to visit with my aunt - she is the last family member surviving of my mother's generation.

By Dawnk777 on Friday, April 28, 2006 - 07:30 am:

I'm glad you got some answers. The trip sounds like a good idea.

By Tayjar on Friday, April 28, 2006 - 09:44 am:

My aunt just had a liver transplant in 2001 due to Hep C. She had contracted it in the 70s they think and it wasn't discovered until the late 90s. She had sypmtoms in the late 80s and early 90s but it was brushed off as something else.

I wish her the best. Good luck to both of you.

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