Moving Forward Through Hepatitis C Obstacles
Moving forward through hepatitis C is not always easy, but it is necessary if we want to take care of our liver and achieve the goal of being cured of hepatitis C.
As patients, we all have obstacles to overcome with hepatitis C. Each one can be overcome; Do not allow obstacles to stop you. Turn obstacles into stepping-stones that lead you through hepatitis C. When I was diagnosed with hepatitis C, I began a 20-year journey filled with obstacles. Moving forward remained my constant goal, no matter what I experienced.
Hep C obstacles
Some possible obstacles related to hepatitis C include...
- Not knowing which steps to take first
- Stigma: Being concerned that others will not understand me, label me, or reject me
- Being scared of tests and treatment
- Not having medical insurance or not being able to afford co-pays
- If treatment was denied by the insurance company
- Fearing what if treatment does not work
- Treatment side effects
- Needing support
Here are some tips to overcoming those obstacles:
- What steps to take first: Get tested by your primary care doctor, or clinic. If you have tested positive for hepatitis C, seek the care of a liver specialist like a hepatologist, gastroenterologist, or infectious disease doctor. Further tests will determine the condition of your liver, genotype (virus strain), and what treatment is best recommended for you.
- Stigma: Learn the facts and myths of how hepatitis C is transmitted. Have a conversation with close family and friends. Talk about your hepatitis C diagnosis and the facts about transmission. You only have to tell those with whom you are comfortable. Most of the time, people fear what they do not understand. Learning the facts helps ease the fear.
- No medical insurance: There are patient assistant programs available to help those who qualify to receive treatment. There are also free medical clinics and programs to help with medical care.
- Denials: If treatment is denied by the insurance company, you can appeal. You can also submit a change for another hepatitis C treatment.
- Fear: Do not allow fear to stop you from moving forward. "What-if’s" stand for "What I fear". The only way to get on the other side of something is to move forward. You can do this!
- Side effects: Treatment side effects with improved treatment are considerably less. Treatment is a temporary time compared to the rest of your life.
There are a variety of online support groups and physical support groups available to help you. Connecting with others who have experience with hepatitis C and obstacles will give you encouragement, understanding, and support. Repeat after me, “I am an overcomer!” You can move forward through hepatitis C and win, my friend! Keep fighting the good fight. Never give up until you achieve the goal of being cured.
Does reading hep C patient stories aid you in your journey?