Hep C long road

posted in: Liver disease | 0

When they first told in 1994 that I had hepatitis C, my first reaction was, what is that?
I had heard of Hepatitis B, had even know a guy turned so yellow one afternoon that everyone in the room freaked. Hepatitis B. But what was the C? Well turns out it was another strain or type of liver disease that was not even discovered until the year I graduated from college. The discovery of my infection occurred when I had a “routine” blood test as part of an application for life insurance after the birth of my first child. She is now 21. The insurance guy suggested I see a doctor which I did and he had tests done and ultimately told me about the only available treatment at the time. After his description of the side effects I opted to hold off since I had no symptoms and he could not find any evidence of damage to my liver, yet. I decided I did not want to be going through the kind of side effects he described while helping to raise a newborn infant and as it turned out another a few years later. I eventually did go for the treatment some years later but it failed and was not a pleasant experience. Since then I have been through I believe nearly every newly developed therapy for Hep C that has been approved by the FDC. All failed but this last one Harvoni. In February I will have my 6 month viral load test and if it again comes back as ‘undetected’ I will officially be classified as cured of Hepatitis C. This in itself would be wonderful news but along the way it was obvious ( to my wife and the doctors ) that serious damage had been done to my liver. The treatment ended about 7 weeks before I got the call about a donor liver being available and just as my doctor had told me I was not getting better. We (my wife and I) at one time had hoped that if they could get rid of the hep C it would all be over, in time my liver would heal itself and I would get better. My doctor(s) were not so optimistic about that happening. Until I actually received the good liver to replace my damaged one I had absolutely no idea how far down the path I had travelled. This is why every morning now when I wake up and think about the coming day it is a surreal experience that I cannot adequately explain.

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