Thursday, April 15, 2010

Just Finding Out

I don’t know how much of a story mine will be because I just found out I have Hep C and still am in shock over it. If it will help here you go.

The 30th of March 2010 was the day after my 54th birthday. Little did I know that is would be the last birthday I would live in blissful ignorance of what I had contracted. My doctor called me up at 10:30am and told me over the phone that I tested positive for Hepatitis C. I almost passed out after he hung up. I have no medical insurance and had no way of going to see a hepatologist which is what he wanted me to do. There are 2 in the state of Arkansas and the one he contacted on my behalf rejected me because I was uninsured. DHS, the Department of Health, everywhere I called said there was no help for me. No one had the funding. I was devastated. I was having to go to work and trying to find out what I was supposed to do. How in the world did I even get this I was wondering. I don’t do drugs; I never had a blood transfusion. I was racking my brain and researching what I could find on the internet about this virus and the more I read the sicker inside I got. I remembered back in 1995 when I had donated blood to the Red Cross and they had sent me a letter saying they tested my blood 3 times and it came back positive but they told me it was either Hep A or B. Nothing was ever mentioned about C so I blew it off. Figured I felt fine so why should I worry. After all A and B won’t kill you. So here it is 2010 and I go to my doctor for him to test my blood after he put me on this medication that can be potentially harmful to the liver and my results came back. They redid tests and did a Hep Panel and it came back positive for C. THAT is how I found out.

I was scared and here I was with no one to talk to about this. No family, no one. So I started thinking again how in God’s name did I get this? Then I had this thought run through my head. I was in the US Navy from 1977 – 1979 and I distinctly remember them lining the recruits up and giving us shots in both arms at the same time with them air jet guns. That made sense to me that I would contract it in this manner. But I was thinking to myself that there was no way the Navy would be that careless or that stupid. So I got on the internet and typed in the search engine a question pertaining to the military and hepatitis and found the site that made my blood run cold and also gave me the answer I was looking for. I was infected with Hep C 33 years ago in boot camp. The next thing I did was to go to the local VA Assistance office and filed for medical help. I never told the guy what I suspected. I am not that stupid. I know how the military is. My father was in the Army for 20 years and would come home saying how things were handled in the service. So here I am. Waiting for whenever they will get around to approving me to even be seen at a clinic. I can’t begin to convey how much this has done to me so far. I am into the 2nd week of knowing what I have and what my chances are and sadly my own government that I served and got an honorable discharge did this to me. There is no way I could have gotten it other then those air guns. This is my story. I am having a very hard time dealing with all this. I haven’t even gotten the tests to show what my geno type or viral load is and I am nowhere near being able to afford getting it done or getting the all important liver biopsy. I may have a damaged liver for all I know. It is killing me inside. My life was forever changed with this news. I don’t know what is going to happen to me or how I am going to get the care I need. I can barely work anymore because my mind is so distracted and I come home at night and cry my heart out at this. I am afraid to touch anyone. I won’t even get near my nephews newborn son. I feel like I am damaged goods now. I don’t want anyone else getting this from me. So what is there for me to do other then pray God has mercy on me and somehow justice is served. For me and for everyone else out there who served their country and got this done to them. My heart and prayers are with you all.

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