Thursday, April 1, 2010

Cheryl's Hepatitis C Story

I am 47 years old and was diagnosed last year after test results showed my 16 year old daughter tested positive for the Hep C virus. Her doctor said I should be tested to rule out Hep C. My tests came back positive for the virus.  I was in total shock when I learned the news that my daughter was positive for the Hep C virus, then to find out that I was the one who gave it to her is beyond comprehension. I felt like I was punched in the face. Sadly, I know how I contacted it. For about 5 years in the early 80's I experimented with IV drug use. When I married in the late 80's and decided to have children, I told my OBGYN of what I did and asked him to test me to make sure I didn't have HIV or anything else related to IV drug use. Happily I was told I didn't have HIV, and that I was in great health. Sadly, I wasn't tested for Hepatitis. I went on to have 2 children; my son (who is older) and my daughter. My husband has not been tested yet. My son doesn't have health insurance at the moment and I don't want this to be considered as a pre-existing condition for when he does get it so he is waiting. My husband, for whatever reason, won't go get tested. He also dabbled with drug use in the early 80's and may very well have it. My daughter and I have both started seeing a gastro doctor, and have decided to wait until newer treatments comes out with the added protese inhibitor. This, from what I have learned, has a higher success rate for genotype 1a, which we both are. I am having a liver biopsy in July, to see what the damage is to my liver. I am not experiencing any symptoms right now, other than some fatigue. But I think that is from my busy life. I do not drink alcohol and have not done any drugs since the mid 80's. I am scared for my daughter, why couldn't I just be the one to get this awful disease? Not her, if any of you have any reason to believe you may have been exposed to HCV, please go get tested as soon as possible. If you are positive, please get your children tested also. The sooner you find out the better your chances are of ridding your body of it before it has a chance to kill your liver! If you test negative, be thankful for you are very lucky!

Cheryl in MD

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