Here on Life Beyond Hepatitis C we highlight many Hep C Warrior’s and their battle with Hep C. This week I will be sharing my story, Hepatitis C: The Beginning; Transformation into a Giant-Killer and highlights from my triple therapy treatment.
I contracted Hepatitis C in a very unusual way, in a violation. But what was intended for evil, God used for good. There are many facets to this story, many details to show God is in the restoration business. He transformed this ordinary shepherd girl into a giant-killer.
The following is the condensed snippet that lives on the website under, My Story; Hepatitis C Testimony. I am celebrating this week and month all that God has done and I could not begin without sharing the beginning. I give God all the glory for life beyond hepatitis C.
I was diagnosed in 1994 with Chronic Active Hepatitis C. In 1992 I had surgery at an outpatient surgical center where a drug user, who had hepatitis C, was working as a scrub tech.
While the scrub tech was alone with the patient, he had access to the medicine drawn up by the anesthesiologist for the patient. He took the patients syringe of medicine and shot up. He then refilled the same syringe with normal saline from the patients IV bag and placed it back on the anesthesiologist tray.
The contaminated syringe was used on the patient for surgery. After the surgery, I began to have symptoms associated with liver disease. Later the source of the infection was discovered after the scrub tech was caught, arrested, and confessed. Since then, as a result of his actions, rules and procedures for surgical centers and hospitals have changed.
Through blood tests and a liver biopsy, I found that the disease was not only chronic but active. Liver damage was already evident. In addition I had been diagnosed with hypothyroidism and vitiligo that are autoimmune disorders. I was tested for HIV and Autoimmune Hepatitis, which both came back negative. The Hepatitis C virus strain I have is genotype 1. Having autoimmune disorder and this genotype made fighting the disease more challenging.
In January of 1995 I took interferon treatment for hepatitis C and in 2000 I took the combination treatment of peg interferon with ribavirin. Unfortunately neither time was successful, but I knew that the Lord had a plan for me. I prayed for his direction. He guided me through the healing process of fear and forgiveness. He remained faithful to help me through the long waiting period I had before me.
During this time I began to study the functions of the liver and the immune system. I found out the importance of how a healthy diet and healthy weight help your body fight disease. I wanted to learn how I could be proactive in helping my body fight Hepatitis C. I learned so many things that took me from feeling out of control, overpowered, and defeated to living with real hope.
This became tangible evidence of the difference being proactive physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually can make in our lives. My first step was I had to acknowledge my life is in God’s hands. He alone determines the number of my days, not Hepatitis C. And even though I walk in the midst of trouble, he preserves my life. Psalm 138:7 NIV
This was an amazing journey packed with many twists and turns, ups and downs. My journey continued in 2012 when I began the new “triple therapy” treatment that was approved by the FDA in 2011. I felt God leading me to share not only my experience with Hep C but also that our real hope in is Him. No matter what our circumstances, He is there to help us every step of the way. Being diagnosed with a life threatening condition is very frightening, as patients we want to see others who have come through it. We need hope with skin on folks for encouragement and we need the hope and strength of Christ. The Lord lead me to begin an organization, Life Beyond Hepatitis C in which this website was born.
From the website I hope you will pull up a chair, visit and become friends. You may have Hepatitis C yourself, or perhaps your loved one. You may be dealing with some other chronic illness. You may have questions and feel lost on your journey. Take Heart. There is Hope, not just wishful thinking, but solid as a rock hope. Hope in treatment for Hepatitis C. Hope in what God will do.
You have a meaningful life to live right now.
There is Life Beyond Hepatitis C.
We all deal with different ways we contracted Hep C and the aftermath of the shocking news. The common thread woven through all Hep C Warrior’s is this, we are loved by a Mighty God who makes beauty out of the ashes, all ashes!
This entry was originally published on Life Beyond Hepatitis C, and is reprinted with permission.