Newly Diagnosed and My Husband No Longer Touches Me
I received an email this morning that tore my heart strings. This woman’s email started off by apologizing for being too personal and for needing advise on such an intimate issue. She proceeded to say she was recently diagnosed with hepatitis C during a blood work-up for some hormonal imbalances. Her doctor felt it was necessary to add hep C to the testing.
How was she exposed to hep C?
She got the diagnosis along with a list of other hormonal deficiencies she was having. Shocked, she had no idea what hep C was, nor did she understand or comprehend how she contracted it. Not having any blood transfusions or other means to contract hep C (like injection drug use or unsafe tattoos), she was confused to her possible exposure. Her only possible exposure was as a healthcare assistant at a rehabilitation unit in her early 20s.
A strained marriage
This woman had been married 8 years and of these, 7 had been wonderful. She explained that her relationship was a fairytale of love, embrace, and tenderness. I could feel her heart fill with tears as she continued to write me. The last half of this year has been her life’s lowest point, she said. Her once loving, supportive husband now resides in another bedroom. She said that once she shared the hep C diagnosis, he got cold and distant. She would try to talk to him about it, even sharing ways to contract it, but “it was as if it was fallen on closed ears”, she said. She has done all she can to ignite that love in their relationship again, but she said he refuses, telling her he was now afraid of her.
I immediately wrote back to her, sending all the information I could about hepatitis C and ways of contracting and spreading it (hep C cannot be spread through sex, unless blood-to-blood contact occurs), along with the new treatments available to her. I suggested she back in with her doctor, or even go to a liver specialist, to discuss treatment of her hep C. I shared it was important that no matter what was going on in her home life, her liver health was important. After several emails, she gained the strength and courage to move forward in her health battle right now. I shared that she needs to continue to leave pamphlets and hep C material around for him to stumble upon and read at his comfort level. I advised her to be patient with him, as this is a trying time for him too, trying to comprehend that his wife is sick.
We can not control how others will deal with our diagnosis. We hope they will continue to be supportive and loving towards us. I also suggested getting into marriage therapy immediately. With so much going on in this lady’s life right now, all she can do is start working to get a cure and hope the information her husband has received from her on hep C brings him around.
If you are faced with the similar situation and relationship strain after finding out you have hep C, you are not alone. It is tough on everyone involved.
Does reading hep C patient stories aid you in your journey?