Karen Hoyt is a blogger who has a story about hepatitis C, cirrhosis, end-stage liver disease, liver cancer, and liver transplantation. This excerpt first appeared on Karen’s I Help C blog.

Have you ever had a perfectly fine day turn into a hot mess? It happened to me recently. I made it through, and even learned a few lessons. Mostly, I survived. It started when I met with the mechanic for an engine check. We had been feeling it downshift occasionally. I was fine right up until the checker inner guy asked me what was wrong. All of a sudden, I slumped down and tears sprang to my eyes. The room went blurry. My purse felt like it weighed 90 pounds. After leaning on the counter, I tried to tell him my story. Looking back, I was falling apart with the long term side effects from Hepatitis C.

Who Knows About the Treatment and Side Effects?

Maybe it was just the old effects of cirrhosis and hepatic encephalopathy.

Maybe it was because my body still has side effects from long term, old school Ribavirin and Interferon. The newer drugs are safer and provide a cure from Hep C way quicker.

Maybe it was because I remembered needing new tires right after my diagnosis AND after losing my health insurance but before social security disability.

Maybe it’s because there were times in the past where I felt alone while making important health decisions.

Maybe it was because I can act really brave and strong, when inside, I really need a shoulder to lean on.

Maybe it was a combination of all the above.

That day, instead of telling the mechanic that my car was shifting down into lower gears … I began to cry. I started blubbering about how I was driving to the cancer hospital in 3 days for my 3 year check. I needed a safe car and was unsure what was wrong with mine.  My hands got shaky and my palms were clammy and sweaty. I kept trying to tie in my story to what was going on at the moment. Bottom line: I needed to pull it together.

Click here to read the rest of this blog and find out how Karen pulls it together.