Well I had my Fibroscan. It’s “a lay on the bed, roll up your shirt, hands behind your head ” and and then the doctor presses this probe thing firmly against the space between my ribs on the side over my liver. A little hammer in the probe thumps the flesh and a sensor reads the vibration that is set up in the liver. Liver elasticity test is another word for it. I did have one at the Hep Clinic in Hobart but this Chennai test was much more detailed, about 15 minutes of little rib thumps.

Of course the fact that I was too long for the bed caused the doctor and nurse some amusement as they chatted with me about my family and why I did not get the scan done in Australia. It was too complicated to explain so I just said it was part of another treatment I was getting in Chennai.

Once the thumping was done the doctor told me to come back in a couple of hours to pick up the results and take them back to the specialist centre.

Here I have to confess something.

When I picked up the results I did not take them back to the specialist centre but took them to photocopy and then back to my hotel room for a bit of a session with Doctor Google. Heck! My specialist was not there so it did not matter if I took the results back on Monday.

Now for a little shock. As I mentioned earlier I had been given Ultrasound and CT scans of my liver and they both showed no signs of cirrhosis or tumours. That was a relief.

Now I discovered, thanks to Dr Google, that the Fibroscan results showed my liver at the bad end of the Fibroscan wavelband, that’s F4 in Fibro language. It means I have fibrosis heading towards cirrhosis.

Which in turn explains why I have not been feeling too well of late.

Which in turn makes me glad that I bit the bullet and came to India because if I sat around back in Australia waiting to get sick enough to get treated, well according to Fibroscan by next year I would be very sick. Advanced Fibrosis can turn quickly to cirrhosis, then maybe even into liver cancer. However if I start my treatment next week I should be able to kill off the Hep C virus before the liver damage gets worse and give my liver a chance to repair itself (which I hear livers can do very well if given the chance.)

This brings me back to the point of who thought up the great idea of waiting until we Hep C sufferers get REALLY sick before giving us access to treatment????

How dumb is that? What happened to early detection and intervention? Are we being treated differently because some of us (certainly not all) got Hep C from using drugs decades ago?

(At this point I am strongly resisting the urge to write swear words in capital letters and underlined directed at self rightous politicians and health bureaucrats )

This entry was originally published on My Hep C Diary. Reprinted with permission.