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newly positive leg pain
Aug 27, 2007

Hi Dr. Bob, It meant a lot to me that you answered my question about 10 days ago. It was just really reassuring. Anyway, you might not answer this one but I wanted to ask anyway...

I saw my HIV specialist. I think he'll be great and he seemed pretty casual yet caring about the whole thing. They took a lot of my blood and I went for a quick follow up appointment a couple days later. All my bloodwork had not come back but he did know my CD4 count. I think it was around 425-450 I'm thinking that's the lowest it would be in a person without a compromised immune system. I've been doing well since going through sero-conversion illness about a month ago. It is important for my question to note that during sero conversion my main symptom was really intense leg pain in my thighs. Like really aching thighs. I was able to find a job recently and my energy was good. I was doing well having a routine but then I got fired yesterday and the same night got a random freelance job the next day that started really early in the morning. Lately/last night and after work today my legs are feeling kind of achey. Now...I'm thinking/wondering if this is just regular leg pain. My job was being a waiter so I was on my feet about 7 hours a day straight and today again I was on my feet all day...+I walk and bike a lot. But that's my question. How concerned should I be exactly? Could I go through sero concersion again somehow?? What are giant red flags to watch out for with this stuff? That is, what symptoms indicate that things are going badly? The leg pain has got me worried.

My doctor told me to watch out for raw fish, raw eggs and not to change a kitty litter...which felt like ominous advice at the time...maybe cause my CD4 is a little on the low side. And so the main thing I'm struggling with is feeling like I'm gonna get sick or fall back into the horrible sero coversion symptoms...the worst of it being the leg pain.

I hope it's all just paranoia. It's hard to tell how concerned or not concerned to be when little aches creep up. And...it makes it harder/sadder to find a job...*sigh* I just get overwhelmed on the rollercoaster of this unpredictable thing...mixed with my lack of knowledge of it. Much like many of the "virally enhanced" I suppose. I'm gonna eat a bowl of blueberries and hope it helps.

Thanks if you can answer and hope you're well

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

The key statement in your question is ". . . *sigh* I just get overwhelmed on the rollercoaster of this unpredictable thing . . . mixed with my lack of knowledge of it." Life in and of itself is unpredictable and, in essence, is a series of unscheduled events! HIV disease, however, as it turns out, is fairly predictable. Your fears of feeling like you are going to immediately get sick or "fall back into the horrible seroconversion symptoms" are completely unwarranted. HIV disease is a very slowly progressive illness. With treatment we are often able to almost stop HIV in its tracks! Eating a bowl of blueberries to feel better is fine and dandy (tasty too), but what you really need is to do something about your "lack of knowledge!" Stop looking for giant red flags! This isn't a birthday party for Chairman Mao on Tiananmen Square! What you need to do is get informed about all aspects of HIV! Start with the information that can be easily accessed on The Body's homepage under "Quick Links." There you will find an entire chapter devoted to "Just Diagnosed." I would also suggest you spend some time perusing the archives and related links to gain a better understanding of HIV; the naturally history of the illness, symptoms and potential complications of HIV disease; treatment options and prognosis. I would also suggest you make a list of your specific questions and concerns and discuss them with your HIV specialist. HIV support groups may also be a good place for you to gain a better understanding of what you are dealing with. I'm here if you need me, OK? I've been "virally enhanced" since January 1991. Let's get through this together and all be here for the cure, OK?

Good luck.

Dr. Bob


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