My Name is Kim, Not "Hep C Girl"
So many times, I have heard that once a person (including myself) gets diagnosed, their identity seems to vanish. As if whoever we were walking into that office died the moment we got that hep C label.
After my diagnosis
I fought for many, many years to keep my identity the same. But people that knew of my health issue now forgot that Kim was still the same Kim. I still laughed, I still joked around, I was still empathetic and loving, I still felt pain and hurt. I just happen to now know I have this disease ravishing my body and trying to destroy my liver. But, this disease was NOT, has not, killed off the Kim they knew.
People treated me differently
I could see the whispers of friends when we got together. I could feel the uncertainty of how they should treat me, let alone how close they should be to me. That was a very hurtful time for me. I felt so closed off from human touch. I wanted that embrace when meeting up with friends. I wanted that handshake meeting someone new in the group. But all that faded to the sideline once I declared my health issue to those close to me. Yes, maybe I should have kept it quiet and to myself, but I was already feeling alone in the battle.
Feeling all alone
Back then, there was nothing on the internet about hep C. I didn't know anyone else with the disease. I only saw statistics and back then, those were grim. Not to mention my mom was in her last week of life fighting hep C. I longed for anyone to just hold me, let me cry without worrying I would pass hep C to them in my tears.(Hep C cannot be transmitted by tears, touching, hugging, kissing. It is strictly a blood-to-blood contracted disease.)
Because of my personal fight with this loneliness, I vowed to share with as many people as I could about hep C. I did not want anyone to feel this amount of isolation and seclusion from the world. My doctor came to me after we learned with in 5 days of being the clinical trial I as undetected from hep C, asking if I would be a public spokesman about this and be willing to put a face to the world about this new cure for hep C. I did not hesitate. I knew with the breakthrough of this new drug this could be a game changer for the lives of those fighting hep C and the stigma that followed us.
Today, we have options
Now, this was 5 years ago when I was cured. My treatment is now considered "outdated", with better options now available; The new ones do not need ribavirin added, and the better news is that people can cure on the newer drugs in less than 12 weeks - sometimes only 8! Keep your head high. This disease will soon be a thing of the past and no longer will we be forced to be stigmatized by this disease. For it does not MATTER how anyone contracted it. The important part is this: There is a CURE and WE all deserve this cure.
Not without a FIGHT! ~HCV~©
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