Some of us may notice that our outlook and ability to move forward with hep C treatment is hindered when support is weak or missing, One of the most important things hepatitis C patients can do is form a supportive, positive, team of uplifting people. This begins with our own families, branches out to our health care providers and then to our friends.
It is important to confide with someone close to you. As difficult as this may feel, you need to do this for several reasons. First, it is important to have one person you can trust completely, someone who understands you and your fears. Secondly, when treatment begins, you will need to have someone who will be there for you through good times and bad. Hep C is not a cake walk. This disease includes mood swings that can arise out of nowhere. One minute you are happy; the next you are crying your heart out or screaming from frustration.
The person you choose to share this journey with should be educated and up-to-date about hepatitis C. He or she should understand you, your mood swings, and how to help you.
If you have children, I suggest you talk to them about your illness. I have lived on both sides of this illness. Growing up without being told the full story of my mom’s condition made me scared. I’d imagine the worst about my mom health, which caused much more stress than necessary.
I have always been open with my children. I have not hid anything from them except times when I felt like I could collapse from pain. Instead, I trudged through these times. I told them, “Oh honey I just need to rest.” They understood, and this gave me a moment to regenerate my energy.
Finding a medical team is the most important task of this journey. My very first experience with a family doctor was not the most positive one. When he diagnosed me with hep C, it felt like he gave me a death sentence, shook my hand and scooted me out of his office. He sent me off without giving me any information to read, or telling me what all this meant. I was left to figure out what and how to care for my hep C. There was minimal medical follow-up. It wasn’t until 2010 when I became deathly ill did I find a great team of doctors and nurses. It was then that I began getting regular check-ups and treatment. Sadly, by that time I was already at stage 4 cirrhosis.
The most important interview you ever do is the one that will help you decide on your medical team. Do some research about the doctors in your area. When you find one, make an appointment, and see if there is a connection. Does it feel that this doctor has your best interest at heart, one whom is willing to do all they can to help get you treated? Does it feel like this doctor has a desire to help you save your life? Trust me, you will know during the first visit if this doctor has these qualities. If not, continue looking and interviewing for that team “quarterback” who will help you deliver the winning touchdown.... a cure for your hepatitis C!
Lastly, you need to surround yourself with positive upbeat friends. These are friends who will make sure you laugh and not let you get caught up in the dark gloom of hepatitis C. Some of your friends will suddenly disappear from your life after they find out you have hepatitis C. Don’t take it personally. It is hard not to, but some people are not able to handle traumatic health issues. That is OK Right now you need to focus on yourself. Join a support group, if you find one that is positive. Stay away from groups that focus on complaining and post a lot of negative comments. It’s fine to share feelings but avoid too much gloom and doom. Set your sites high....your health will respond accordingly.
THE KEY is staying positive and surrounding yourself with those who build you up and help you stay in this fight of your life. You are not alone with hepatitis C. Keep learning about this disease and educating your “team” about it.
Some books I recommend are:
Living with Hepatitis C - Dr. Gregory Everson ,MD
Curing Hepatitis C.- Dr. Gregory Everson, MD. (A new version of will be published shortly..look for that has the current treatments and cures.)
Stay Strong my friends and remember
"Not without a FIGHT!~HCV~(c)