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.

Guest Blog: I was told that hep C progressed slowly, even after I was diagnosed with hepatitis C 11 years ago. I contracted it through drug use, and continued to use regardless of my diagnosis. Throughout my drug use, I had short stints of sobriety. Those sober periods usually involved going to a doctor, and getting my liver checked out. Sometimes I got some blood tests. That’s IF I could follow through. I saw well over 20 specialist doctors over the course of the years.

Each time I went to a doctor, they told me I that could live my life completely normal and symptom free. It was a “slow progressive disease”. Which is the case for some, I guess. 

Not once was I warned of the actual damage that could happen if I didn’t get rid of help C.

In addition, I was never told how Hep C could affect my hormones. I had no idea how it changed my emotional state, and my physical body. I knew it could possibly kill me in the long run, but that was more or less brushed under the rug. “You’ll be fine”, they said. “Most people live 20-30 years symptom free”, they said. WRONG.

The Best Years of My Life

Fast forward to the best years of my life. I found the man of my dreams, I got sober by the grace of God, I had a beautiful daughter. I was living a life that I never thought I’d be alive to live. A year and a half/two years into my sobriety I began to have sudden, life changing symptoms. Drenching night sweats (changing my clothes 4-6 times a night), inability to eat or properly digest foods I’ve been eating my whole life. I also had flu like symptoms, extreme physical pain, depression, anxiety, and inability to control my emotions.

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