Saturday, April 7, 2012

Hepititis C Testing and Treatment - Post 2

Post 2 
(if this journal post on Hep C treatment was of interest to you, try post 1 and my most recent - post 3 from last week)

March 2012 – sometime in about the 3rd week of the month.

So what else is new?  

I have difficulty with structured appointment times (not to mention, structure in general) and managed to miss my first screening appointment for HCV (hepatitis C) genotype testing Tuesday morning by 20 minutes.  Not bad really, but apparently nurse “M” disagreed and had left for lunch.  Reception invited me to come back at 1 o’clock when M was set to return.  I stayed and I waited.  At 1:00, they informed M was to be 20 minutes late returning from lunch!  Payback?  Probably not, but maybe....  In any case I had another appointment and needed to leave.  But knowing myself and knowing that there was no way I would return any day in the near future, and being increasingly aware that I’ve already waited about 10 years too long to look into my possible need for HCV treatment, I asked about any openings later in the day and lucked out with a 3 o’clock opening.

So finally at 3:00 pm and after some struggle, and wondering why the hell I didn’t schedule this appointment for late afternoon in the first place (especially considering my hatred for morning), I met with M, the community health Nurse.  Very sweet, considerate, and informed.

Symptoms: Something to Look Forward to?
Depression, nausea, vomiting – things to expect should Hep C treatment be necessary. 
Weight loss - the one side effect which comes as a bonus for my trouble and which I’m actually looking forward to.  Given that depression has been a constant companion since Sept 2000 when my children were kidnapped by the state, a constant companion which never departed (surprisingly) when I won the fight to bring my kids back home in 2007.  

Steps to Treatment: Genotype Testing
Side effects of this 12 year depression?   Loss of:  joy and motivation – Gain: pounds of fat.  So yes I’m looking forward to depression which culminates in weight loss instead of weight gain for a change.
The first step (recent step) in this particular little HCV exploration party was to see my family physician who took blood and confirmed only that I had been exposed to HCV at some point.  Facts I’ve long been aware of (13 years).   Blood taken today will confirm which genotype I have and whether its a type known to respond to the standard treatment, the “cure” for HCV infection; Interferon, a form of chemotherapy . Yeah!!!

About a week to go before the results come in and I know for sure if chemo will be in my immediate future.....fingers crossed for weight loss!

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