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Aging and Hep C Revisited

As someone who is now in my early 60’s I wanted to explore the connections between aging as a person who lived with hep C for years, treated with interferon and ribavirin for a year, and treated with DAA therapy. That part of the story is not so unique for many of us older people from the community, with some of us treating multiple times with the old and difficult treatments. I wonder at times whether just aging, aging after hep C, or aging in combination with hep C and treatments caused some of my own health issues. Have you wondered the same? I am sure at least some of you have pondered these questions. And I don’t have any absolute answers, only questions, and speculation based on the life experiences (both my own and stories of others). This is at the core of what I think of when we say “lived experience”.

How Has Hep C Impacted Me as I Age?

There have been many scientific studies, hypothesis, and conclusions about the effects of aging. As it turns out I am in one of these studies myself, which is looking at a very large group of people aging over a period of 20 years. There is no specific focus on hep C and aging, but for people looking at what includes a large baby boomer cohort of people it is bound to show up in the data and help to unlock some mysteries in the future. Hopefully, hep C will be eliminated in 20 years. Some even believe it can be history in 13 years, if all of those involved in the World Health Organization (WHO) goal of eliminating viral hepatitis by 2030 develop a real plan of action.

Meanwhile, back here in the reality of aging and hep C, we are all aging, and this is by and large a good thing. In my view, we cannot talk about disease and aging without looking at quality of life as an important piece of the discussion. How we measure quality of life as individuals can vary from one person to another, but as is often done, others who study these things can define it.

Feeling My Age

I don’t know about you, but I am feeling my age and often wonder how much of this feeling is due to life with hep C and my previous treatments. I know I am not alone in questioning this chicken and egg thing. The thing is that I have never aged like this before. It certainly is not a new thing feeling less strong or as energetic as when I was 20, 30, 40 and so on, but in recent years it is more pronounced. I am often tired and my stamina is not like it was while I was in my 50s. I can feel a difference like never before.

It is not like I am ready to just lie down and stop doing the things I enjoy. No way am I going quietly into the good night. It is my plan to live as much as possible and get as much joy out of life as I can. As much as my balance, my failing eyesight and hearing, or any other natural part of aging affects me, I will fight like I did against hep C.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.