Getting Rest While on Treatment
Getting Rest While on Treatment
I have a friend who is taking a combo with Ribavirin. Since I treated for almost 50 weeks, I know the signs of fatigue during treatment. The newer drugs have less side effects, and work so much faster. It’s still smart to be sure you are getting rest while on treatment. My friend was pushing himself with 10 hour days. Over the last week, I have been talking with him about getting rest on treatment. He’s taking my advice and it makes me glad to see that he’s starting to feel better already.
A lot of your need for rest depends on your age and activity level. My friend is in his 70’s. This is his 3rd hep C treatment. The earlier medications didn’t work for him. He took good care of his body while waiting for a better cure. Even though he is retired, he is still active in his community. He volunteers at a local center by helping with recycling and landscaping. He also does handyman jobs for friends and neighbors. He also cycles and plays tennis.
His routine is to work in his own yard or the community garden. He has a group he plays tennis with a couple of times a week. He gets his labs done and then goes for a hike or cycles around the canyon. Each evening, he cooks a small meal. Sometimes friends join him and bring a dish. Then he sits down at the computer or watches a movie. Once settled into his chair, he stays up really late. The next morning, he doesn’t have much energy. I have encouraged him to listen to his body a little bit more. He has begun to make some changes. He’s already seen a big difference in his energy level.
I thought it would be good for readers to follow some of the steps he is taking for getting rest while on treatment.
Eat proper meals – You need a balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fats to give your body energy.
Waking up – Lie in bed and do some stretching before you get up. It gets the kinks out of your bones and stretches your muscles and ligaments.
Nap – If you are going to be working while on treatment, take short naps or get rest on your breaks. For example, eat alone in your car and close your eyes after lunch. Use a timer on your phone and set it for 10 or 15 minutes. You’ll be amazed at what it will do for you.
Caffeine – Use it if you have to. A cup of coffee is good in a pinch, and I used it while treating for the hepatitis C virus. But remember, if you over indulge to prop yourself up, it can interfere with good sleep. My friend drinks a cup in the morning. If he has less to do, he will drink a cup of decaf tea instead.
Stop – If you get tired, just stop. Sit down. If you’re on the job, tell your boss you need a break. Take a few slow deep breaths. Get a drink of water. Then start back up again.
Listen – Tune in to your body. Take long, slow, deep breaths. Get up and go again when you’re ready.
Sleep – Try to avoid sitting on the couch yawning. If you’re tired, turn off the television or computer and go crawl in bed. Even if you don’t fall asleep right away, it will be more comfortable. Get in a relaxing position and let your body rest.
Medications – If you are not getting the rest you need due to muscle cramps, busy mind, or anything else, talk to your doctor. They may recommend a sleep remedy like melatonin. It could be that you will use a prescription sleep aid until you finish treatment.
Getting proper rest is important while you’re taking drugs for hep C. Your body is fighting a big battle right now. Getting rid of HCV will help your liver to begin healing. Nothing is more important than finishing this treatment. Take care of your body by getting rest while on treatment.