How I Found Out That I Contracted Hepatitis
I was feeling so tired all the time, crawling up the stairs at times when I couldn’t walk from the fatigue I was feeling. I knew my diet wasn’t the best for my health but I should not be feeling this drained all the time even after sleeping for 15-20 hrs. Unbeknownst to me, the signs and symptoms of acute hepatitis began to appear quickly.
With my experience the symptoms that I felt were:
- flu-like symptoms
- dark urine
- pale-colored stool
- abdominal pain
- loss of appetite
- unexplained weight loss
- Jaundice – yellow skin and eyes
After visiting my doctor and voicing my concerns about my symptoms, I had a blood test and it confirmed that I had contracted hepatitis C.
What is Hepatitis C Infection?
Per www.medicinenet.com , I learned that, “Hepatitis C infection is an infection of the liver that is caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). It is difficult for the human immune system to eliminate HCV from the body, and infection with HCV usually becomes chronic.” What scared me the most was learning that the infection that I have may cause liver cancer or failure, occurring at anytime in my life.
I Started My Treatments
I underwent months of treatments with Interferon and ribavirin. They come as pills, and I took both, twice daily as my treatment regimen. I really didn’t want to have to take too many pills but they are not effective against hepatitis C when used alone, interferon and ribavirin play important roles in hepatitis C as a combination treatment, I found out.
My life Became All about My Hepatitis
I will constantly require follow-up blood tests and visits with my doctor, always worrying if I will develop cirrhosis, which is severe scarring on my liver due to my Hepatitis C infection. I will have to endure the barrage of tests throughout my illness and recovery.
- Blood tests to see how well my liver is working,
- Imaging tests, like ultrasound, a CT (computerized tomography) scan, or MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), every 6-12 months to make sure I don’t have liver cancer.
I Was Not Alone
Nearly 4.5 million people in the United States are currently living with Hepatitis C. It’s a condition which doesn’t discriminate gender or race. I found out some very well-known celebrities also have this disease.
Each celebrity contracted hepatitis in different ways;
Pamela Anderson – Sharing tattoo needles.
Natalie Cole – She confirmed past drug use.
Naomi Judd – As a young nurse, the country music star contracted hepatitis C through a needle injury.
Steven Tyler – Tyler was diagnosed with hepatitis C in 2003 per his biography and went through 11 months of treatment.
I have first-hand experience with hepatitis and found that The World Health Organization estimates that around 150 million people are infected with the hepatitis C virus worldwide.