For those who did not read my 2008-2009 blog, 48-WEEKS, this is about treating Hepatitis C. (By the way, that blog was published and is available through CreateSpace on Amazon.)
I am a 64 year old male who caught the blood-to-blood virus while serving in the Army 1972-1974 and didn’t know it.
I didn’t know it for 30 years. I was diagnosed in 2005 due to high liver spikes showing up on a series of routine blood labs. I had no idea what I was getting into.
I just thought that I was getting old and feeling “weary” was just because of my mileage – and I have a lot. I often say that if I had a car as old as I am, that has been in the accidents I have been in (mostly my own fault), and received the lack of maintenance care then I would be surprised if it ran at all. So, I have been symptomatic for a decade (10 years now). You know how you feel when you are coming down with the flu (tired/fatigue, achy, skin itchy, lack of taste buds, and rather lethargic/apathetic)? Well, that has been my everyday. No complaints or excuses, only descriptions and explanations. It’s hard to tell people you have a major chronic medical condition when you don’t look sick.
In 2008-2009 I was in a clinical trial for 48 weeks. The medication failed to maintain the sustained viral response and after clearing (the virus was undetectable), I relapsed and went back to just being sick.
But, I have not been passive and have learned a lot about the disease of Hepatitis C and a lot about Veterans Administration/Affairs. I was able to prove that my disease was service connected and I was eligible for treatment. I will talk a lot about all this in the weeks to come. I believe in being very informed and a pro-active advocate for my care and the care of others (both veteran and civilian). The silent epidemic of Hepatitis C is beginning to roar and it’s just the start.
I tend to write about this hoping to keep family and friends informed so they don’t always have to ask me how I am doing. By the way, I am doing just fine – thank you.
I do not travel alone. Throughout this journey I have an excellent traveling companion and mate in my wife. I will probably talk a lot about the care-givers who also need to be taken care of. They have my greatest appreciation and respect. It’s a very hard journey for them.
I have my medication (Harvoni) and start my first dose tomorrow. Chances are good that I can beat it this time. Either way, we have to show up, stand up, speak out and take the only chances we have.
So, lets roll.