How to Prepare for Hep C Triple Therapy, Part 3
We discussed in part 1 and 2 how to prepare physically and be familiar with side effects and helpful ways to deal with them, (see links below). Preparing Emotionally, Mentally, Spiritually and Financially along with Medical Leave is also important.
Prepare Emotionally and Mentally:
In part 2, we discussed in detail Depression and Anxiety being a side effect of treatment. I wanted to clarify again, in this case with treatment, Depression/Anxiety is not an emotional or mental issue, it is a physical one due to the strong treatment drugs that chemically alter how you feel.
If you do experience depression or anxiety during treatment, report this side effect to your doctor and tell yourself, “this is the treatment meds making me feel this way, it is not me.” And remember to communicate this to your family and friends. This helps defuse a lot of misunderstandings and frustration.
Many doctors advise taking an Anti-depressant during treatment to help alleviate side effects. This is a very good preventive tool that will benefit you during treatment. Please review part 2.Mile Markers and Target Goals:
Mile Markers are great tools to use during treatment: Whatever day of the week you begin treatment, that is your Mile Marker Day. During treatment, months seem to never end. It’s best not to look at the long haul. It breeds discouragement.
Focus on getting to your weekly Mile Marker only and check them off on your calendar. Time will begin to move faster when you have only a week at a time to conqueror.
Target Goals are great way to get through the day and week. These are made up of small realistic goals to achieve each day. This keeps your thoughts active, purposeful, and positive.
In treatment energy levels fluctuate. You can be proactive with doing something each day. Examples could be, walking the dog to the end of the street, doing a load of laundry, working a puzzle or doing something to keep your mind active.
If you are working during treatment, design something light that you can do when you’re home. Small simple goals are best. Do what you can. The key is looking at what you can do, not what you can’t do. The purpose is to keep your mind and body from dwelling entirely on treatment or feeling bad.
Tip: don’t watch sad or violent movies, you may not normally be as upset by them, but treatment meds can magnify your emotions.
Keeping a Treatment Journal or a Thankfulness Journal are proactive ways to help you emotionally and mentality also. If you feel up to it, blog or video journal your treatment process. Upload it to You Tube and reach out to other Hep C Patients and share your experience. See how a Thankfulness Journal helped me in link below.
Never underestimate the power of help and support. It goes a long way in helping you in many ways, especially emotionally and mentally. Let family and friends know what is going on with your treatment. If people offer to help you with meals or drive you to the doctor or pick up something from the store, or help you at home, etc... Let them. This will help you more than you know. Also, if you need help, ask.
If you are connected to a church, reach out to your pastor or Bible Study group to let them know what is going on. They can pray for you and maybe offer to help you physically. The point is, don’t shut others out. Reach out and receive their help and support. This helps in the healing process.
Get connected to a support group that understands what you are going through and offers help in a positive way. There are several online groups. Here at Life Beyond Hepatitis C.com every Friday we meet online together for Hep C Warrior’s Friday Forum Support Group. Caregivers, family and friends are all Hep C Warrior Supporters and all are welcome.
A foundation of faith makes the difference in how we handle any hardship and difficulty. A personal relationship with God and Jesus Christ is not superficial; it’s a real relationship with real hope. If you would like to know more about a relationship with God I invite you to visit, Knowing God.net.
No matter what you are going through, God is there to help you through this. You are never alone. Prayer is powerful, comforting and healing. God repeatedly tells us to reach out to him and seek him in all our ways.
He tells us in the Bible, Come near to God and He will come near to you. James 4:8 NIV
He hears our prayers. “Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.” Isaiah 65:24 NIV
This is the confidence we have in approaching God; that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us--whatever we ask--we know that we have what we asked of him. 1 John 5:14-15 NIV
We have this great assurance that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Romans 8:38-39, John 10:28.
Life Beyond Hepatitis C.com is a faith based site where we welcome your prayer requests and will walk with you through your treatment journey.
A Great Tool to Help Mentality and Spiritually
To prepare spiritually I picked out certain scriptures from the Bible and wrote them on 3Ã5 cards. Each week I memorized and meditated on a different verse.
I kept it were I could see it often. It reminded me of God’s promises that are true, comforting, and encouraging. God’s Word is powerful to help us. Rely and Trust in His word. This focus also helped me a great deal with concentration and brain fog issues. See link below on how this powerful tool helped me with my Hep C Treatment.
A great tool to help prepare as well as during Hep C Treatment is listening to Christian Music. God uses music to lift our spirits with encouragement, comfort, and gives us a message of hope straight from His heart to ours. This helps keeps our focus positive.
When we are mentally, emotionally and spiritually up, this helps us physically as well.
If you cannot afford your treatment medication or to see a doctor, contact American Liver Foundation Support Services. There are financial assistant programs available to help you. There are also pharmaceutical companies that offer medication assistance programs. See the links below for these services.
Prepare with Your Employer and Your Spouse or Family Member’s Employer:
You will need to let your Employer know when you are going to begin treatment and get the necessary paper work filled out ahead in case you or your family member needs to take Medical Leave. It is a lot easier to take care of this prior to starting treatment. Don’t assume you won’t need it. Be on the safe side and be prepared.
Family Medical Leave Act insures that you cannot lose your job due to treatment. If you need Medical leave from your employer talk to your Human Resource Department from work to obtain the necessary paperwork or see US Dept of Labor/Medical Leave Act.
You will need to talk to your doctor about filling out the proper paper work for medical necessity. Further information about this can be obtained from the US Dept of Labor, see Medical Leave Act. See link below.
This also applies to caregivers. If you have a loved one who is going through treatment, you are eligible for Family Medical Leave. Your doctor’s office will need to fill out the proper forms that you need to get for them and make sure you keep a copy in your records.
If you need to apply for Temporary Medical Disability, talk to the Social Security office and/or your employer for further information. See link below.
Take Charge. Help your body fight Hep C by doing all you can to keep moving forward in treatment. Attitude is everything! Have a Never Give Up, Can Do Spirit.