A woman looking confidently ahead

Accepting Your Hep C Diagnosis

Last updated: January 2023

Denial is a wonderful tool. It’s when our mind is so blown away by a diagnosis that it can’t really accept it.

I had deep denial about my liver disease from Hep C. Despite bruising, brain fog, and swelling, I kept going like nothing was wrong.

Even when the hospital gave me an MRI and said something was wrong with my liver, I refused to accept it. After telling the tech they had mixed up my lab reports, I asked her to pull the IV, and I left.

When you walk out of the hospital because your mind can’t accept your hep C diagnosis, it’s deep denial.

Denial of diagnosis

Part of my denial was because I was young. It seemed like a life-threatening disease could not have taken over my liver.

How could it be so scarred from a virus? None of it made sense.

It was kind of like a scary movie. The kind where you cover or ears and eyes. I wanted to peek, but my brain was horrified at the truth. So I peeked a little at a time.

When I first began to learn about hepatitis C, it was on the internet. The pictures of nasty livers creeped me out.

After looking at them for a short glance, I had to look away. Sometimes I just closed the website.

It makes my face feel hot as I am writing this. That is how strong my denial was.

For the rest of my life, I will remember how awful those first few months were after my hepatitis C diagnosis.

Taking steps to be cured

By reading a little and writing down notes, I began to get a clear picture of what could be done. That was the key for me. I felt better as I understood how many action steps were there for me.

It flips me out when I don’t have any power over a situation. Feeling helpless makes me want to run away. That is what denial is.

I am a runner, and I know. You cannot outrun a diagnosis of hepatitis C. Treatment is the only way out.

Steps out of denial

Once you know what steps are available, take them one at a time. Get in contact with a trusted medical provider who cares.

Begin to make lifestyle changes as your doctor directs. Talk with family and friends about your health.

Start planning for hepatitis C treatment and take your medication to get cured.

Those were the exact steps I took while accepting my hepatitis C diagnosis. From the day I was diagnosed until I was cured was two years.

So, I do get that it may take time for each step. Some steps may take longer than others. Remember, it is better than doing nothing and trying not to think about it.

As long as you are working on accepting the truth and making plans for a future without hepatitis C, you are moving toward a better outcome for the rest of your life.

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