It’s official. One third of my 3 months of Olysio and Sovaldi treatments are behind me. Even though side effects from these new meds are supposed to be negligible, I just came through a tough weekend.

I had a build up of ammonia in my bloodstream. Ammonia is processed through the liver, and in a compromised liver such as mine, that function can fall short, and the ammonia moves into the other body systems. Sleeplessness, shaky hands, lack of mental clarity, stuttering and getting stuck on a word or a thought, and a general lethargy and spacy-ness are common symptoms from this malady, called hepatic encephalopathy. It can get really bad, and can even lead to a coma.

This bump in the road, although I knew how to treat it, left me unsettled, and my unbridled enthusiasm (naiveté?) was replaced with an old, familiar feeling of concern. I felt lost, and began to worry in ways I hadn’t done for years.

I had to look back at what has helped me be stronger, more well and more whole over the last few years. It was a holistic path, a spiritual one, and one of acceptance that I had followed. I taught myself to be more appreciative for what I had, even if it was not what I once had.

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