An older woman stands defiantly on a stack of research with pages flying around her. Scared eyes surround her in the background.

Do Not Let Critics Tell You How You Should Be Feeling

I have faced many challenges as an advocate for hep C for almost ten years, not only in dealing with things with my health but dealing with others concerning my health.

Having severe liver issues caused by hep C and dealing with my acceptance of my condition, I have battled so much in my mental health along with coping with outsiders chiming in on how I should be dealing with hep C.

Scared when first diagnosed

Early in my diagnosis, right after my mom passed from hep C, I isolated myself out of fear. Fear of the unknown and coming to terms with my fate.

As I gained more knowledge about hep C, the symptoms, long term effects, it became a mission to set the record straight. To silence the critics around me, filling my thoughts with negative and non-compassion.

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Many felt the urge to share with me what I should be feeling, or better yet, all of a sudden. They were liver scholars trying to tell me what I was feeling or what my body was dealing with was all in my head.

The more I tried to share correct information with these people, mostly loved ones, the more the condemnation overcame me for standing up for myself.

Not being understood by my family

I was accused of trying to exaggerate symptoms or making up things to make false claims about what hep C does to the entire body.

I continued to explain facts about hep C. Facts that my medical team used to confirm and diagnose me.

It was not until I began taking all my factual information from my liver doctor, a leading hepatologist in the U.S., and blocking out all the criticism and harsh comments from those who thought they knew better or more than my doctor.

Hep C causes a magnitude of health issues within our bodies. The longer you have it without treatment, the more severe your body is damaged.

You see, I was not crazy. I spent all this time defending my body and its symptoms against those who had no clue. None whatsoever.

Life after being cured

Today having cured my hep C, I continue to experience the lasting effects hep C has caused my body. Not only that but also the last effects of the harsh treatment I underwent to try to cure.

I was on interferon and ribavirin before finally reaching my cure in a clinical trial in 2014. I am ok today, knowing I am not crazy, and I certainly do not feel the need to defend my body against those with no compassion and who think they are world scholars of liver health.

I want to give this piece of advice to those who are fighting hep C today and to those who are faced with critics such as I did.

Share what you know and what your medical doctor has said to those you trust. Do not get wrapped up in the chaos of this or that.

It is hard enough battling a health condition, and you do not need anyone's approval or understanding truth. Yes, we all hope to receive that, but it should not limit you from gaining your cure for hep C.

Continue to seek your professional medical assistance with health issues that arise. Keep your thoughts on your battle, and do not steer away from trying to please others.

Read about those here in this community that has lived and survived it. You, too, can beat this disease.

Most of all, you are understood and are not crazy.

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.

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