gemma_blood.jpgToday was a clinic day. I remembered to take in my drugs and I had a 100% compliance reading. My nurse Jess, downloaded the times of day I’ve taken my drugs from the mems cap. I dropped the mems cap in a glass of water last night. I was relieved it still worked.

While I was there Ivana, one of my doctors, told me why hep C patients suffer from high levels of fatigue, cognitive impairment and depression. The virus hasn’t been found in the brain. .

The brain of a hep C patient will look different in a scan, however. There is data from Europe and America which shows that hep C patients have elevated levels of cytokines. Cytokines get through the blood brain barrier and effect behaviour. Elevated levels of cytokines are typically found in people with chronic fatigue syndrome and arthritis or joint conditions.

I asked Ivana if the joint and muscle pain would go along with the virus and she said yes.

I walked to the station telling myself I must swipe my Oyster card. I got to the station, bought a banana and didn’t swipe my Oyster card.

The pic is my blood today. It most probably has only thousands of copies of the virus as opposed to millions.

This entry was originally published on February 26, 2013 on The Hepatitis C Trust. Reprinted with permission.