Tips for Newly Diagnosed

I just found out I have chronic Hep B and have been spiraling. Any tips for coping with this new diagnosis? I’ve only gotten blood results so far and don’t have an appointment with a hepatologist for another week. My mind is going through worst case scenarios…

This was flagged about a week ago during an STD panel. I got another round of blood tests which confirmed the chronic Hep B. I called my mom and we did some research on my immunization history and learned that I most likely wasn’t vaccinated as a baby due to the vaccine not being administered in the country I was born, and I didn’t get vaccinated until I was 8 years old, which means I caught the virus beforehand and the vaccine was ineffective. I’m finding out about this in my mid-30’s and am worried I’ve already unknowingly done irreparable damage to my body with drinking, smoking etc.

I’ve had a rollercoaster of emotions about this and have felt shocked, sad, angry, numb. I feel like my life is over, or at least has changed forever. Hoping for some guidance and support from others who have gone through the same thing.

Hi @that.girl1,
I want to welcome you to the community. Sorry to hear that you are having a rollercoaster of emotions about your recent diagnosis. I understand and empathize with you. I wont say I am surprised that you found out in your 30’s. I think some of us found out about this also in our 30’s. It can be scary when you get the diagnosis first, but as time past and you read a lot about the disease. Hepatitis B is not the death sentence we all thought of it to be.

Many of us went through that phase of sadness, anger, shock, frustration and had millions of questions. This is normal human reaction, I like to compare this to the grief process. It is not a straight line, there are days where you will be fine and others where you just don’t feel good emotionally. It is all part of the journey, as long as it does not completely impact your life and prevent you from doing the things you love and care about.

I believe it is good that you found out about this, because the danger is when it goes undiagnosed. At least now you will get to see a specialist about this and take the next steps. It does get better after a while though. Try to read a bit about this virus as the more you learn the less stressful and overwhelming things become at least it worked for me in my case. Talk to your support system about how you feel. Do not isolate yourself, continue to live your life like nothing has happened. Take it one day at a time. Reach out if you need to message or talk to someone more. We are here to support you throughout this process. I hope this is a bit helpful. Thanks, Bansah1.

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Thanks for the kind words and support. I’m glad to have found this community.

Hoping I caught this early enough to have avoided any liver damage and that’s what I’m currently most paranoid about. Going sober and adjusting to this new lifestyle will also be a challenge. I know it’s best in the long run but not something I was expecting or prepared to do. Even though I’m past my partying days and just drink socially every once in a while, it’s a bit daunting to accept that I can never have a drink again.

Don’t mention. I understand what you mean. We just have to take it one step at a time. Drinking occasionally should not be an issue, but rather when it becomes heavy and regular that is what can speed up the liver damage process. Let’s remain hopeful that nothing has happened to your liver. I believe you would have taken more care if you knew about this very early, so don’t put too much pressure on yourself. It’s what you do from this point on that will make a difference.

I hope you get to see a specialist soon and maybe have an ultrasound to see how your liver is doing. Keep us posted. Thanks, bansah1.

Dear @that.girl1,

Thank you for sharing your experiences and sorry you’re having such a hard time of it. As @Bansah1 mentions, a lot of us know exactly what you’re going through from first-hand experiences.

Liver damage (fibrosis) is reversible in most instances, especially when you haven’t felt any liver-related symptoms. It’s great that you have steeled yourself for changing your lifestyle for the better to help your body repair itself and stay healthy.

While staying sober indefinitely will help, the most important thing is to make changes that you can stick to over the long term. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you have the occasional drink (I sometimes go to the pub with others and end up having a beer). Small, persistent changes to habits add up and really do help over time.

There are a few threads that might be useful for you:


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