Monday, March 29, 2010

Linda's Story

I was just diagnosed a year ago as 1a and I have not had a biopsy yet. I am 51 and I have had this virus now for over 30 years. Back when I was about 17 or so I lived the wild life and found myself in the hospital with a very bad case of hepatitis. Back then they called it serum hepatitis because that was the type of testing they did then. There was no hep c; just serum or infectious hep. Well I was in the hospital for about 6 weeks and was on the critical list for several weeks. I made it through and never thought about it much. Back then the only thing they told me was that I would most likely always have it in my blood and could not donate blood; but that’s all they knew then. They also told me that it was possible that I would have liver problems later. I contacted the virus from a bad tattoo that I still have today. There was a party with free tattoo’s and some whiskey and I indulged. Well as I said I never thought about it much and I went to my family doctor this past year with health problems. My liver function tests came back high so as a routine he tested me for hep c and that’s when I found out I had it. It also may be related to all or some of my other health problems and there are many. I have been living in pain for over 15 years now with my back and I have degenerative disk disease and two other forms of arthritis that affect the joints. I go to pain management and have been on pain meds now for 8 years; they help some but I still have a lot of pain. I have COPD, emphysema, osteoporosis and insomnia. They all may be related to this virus destroying my body for the past 30 years. I took treatment last year; the standard interferon and ribovarin, but after 6 months did not work. Now I am waiting for new meds. The doctor that treated me has done blood work and an ultra sound so I do not know how much liver damage I have but I have a lot of pain on my upper right side. I have terrible memory problems and I am so tired all the time but yet I can’t sleep much. When I asked about a biopsy he says well you are going to take treatment anyway so why do a biopsy. I feel like I am going down hill faster and faster and I don’t know what to do since the treatment would not work for me; so I just keep reading about everyone else’s problems and compare there’s to mine and I keep hoping the new meds will be my answer. I developed a few more problems with the treatment. I got psoriasis and my eyes bother me from time to time and the eye doctor I went to said it was a side effect from interferon. I get blast of color images that come on all of a sudden they are called retina migraines almost like looking in a kaleidoscope. My biggest problem is the pain from my disks and joints and being so tired. I hope now that this virus is out in the open now more people will find out they have it early so it does not destroy them like it did me. The only thing I can do now is tell more people about it and hope for better treatments in the future. I have 5 grandchildren and I would love to feel better so I can spend better time with them. I have 3 that live far away that I do not see because of my health and I would love to get better so I can go see them. Well I will keep reading and learning for now and I will help anyone that needs answers or just wants to talk. I have posted a few times on Janis and friends I enjoy that site in fact it is the only one I use. Thanks for listening and caring.

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