Strategy: Next treatment

How it helps combat the treatment:

When the first treatment failed there wasn’t anything in the near future. But there is always hope, at the time medical advances in genomics were finding new ways to combat the virus. Treatment is a journey not a goal, so I’d hoped to learn more from my next journey.

At the time, this treatment was my only hope. Its odds were terrible and it was grueling, but there wasn’t much on the horizon that I was eligible for in 2008. I would not try a new combination of meds until 2011. In hindsight the years feel closer than they’d felt at the time.

My second treatment was a repeat performance of Peg-Interferon and Ribavirin.  The dosage was significantly more, however the result was quickly the same. Learning from my last failure, I began to arrange a new routine.

I hit the gym nearly every day for months. I began to eat a higher protein based diet on the advisement of my doc at the time. And in a very angry two week cold turkey period minimized caffeine (as previously I’d consume 2-3 24oz cans of Rockstar per day) to an occasional weekly Coke or tea. I pushed myself to the breaking point physically. (It was a rushed day, and I quickly picked up something “healthy” to eat. At this time in my life I really didn’t eat vegetables except for carrots. I consumed a five pound bag of carrots and found myself in the ER, for a very different reason.) In my quest for physical fitness I’d given myself a femoral hernia. The hernia surgery alongside a new doc and Physician’s Assistant gave me access to a short lived drug habit.

In dealing with the worsening chronic pain, I began to develop an addiction to vicodin. I wouldn’t understand the extent of the damage I’d potentially caused myself until years later. The solution to my habit would come from yet another new doc and PA. They stopped refilling the RXs, and my access was gone. After a few weeks of pain and frustration, I adjusted back to meditation and other means to deal with the chronic pain.

My strategy was goal orientation and checklists helped keep me on track. I forged a new fitness plan, diet and exercise. It’s important, especially with hep C, not to push yourself too hard when working out. Even if you have an existing plan which works, shaking up a routine is essential.

After all of this, I learned I had Genotype 1a.

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