Going with the Flow: How to Manage Difficult Hep C Symptoms

"Going with the flow" is a phrase I have come to accept in my life. Before hep C and end stage liver disease, I was a vibrant go-getter that never took no for an answer. Slowly, over the past few years, that has changed in my life.

My struggle with hep C symptoms

As the side effects of hep C and liver disease began to take a hold of my body and my life, I began to change inside. Not just physically with the fatigue and muscle wasting, chronic pain, and insomnia, but also mentally did not see me as that strong, vibrant woman anymore. I struggled to remember things and stumbled around many days in a heavy fog.

I guess you can say I began to label myself as "sick". I would look at myself in the mirror and see a woman who was hurting, tired, body losing shape – sickly.  It is a struggle to wake up each day and with every inch of me hurting, it is hard to be positive and excited for my day.

Parenting through the pain

Looking back now, I really do not know I mustered up the stamina to run 3 companies (not missing a days work) and be a mom to my kids, and still do the mom things of game nights, practices, etc. When push comes to shove, I believe we do what is needed to get through it. I fought through treatment and fought to live through this battle with hep c.

Long-term side effects

Fast forward to current day: 5 years post-cure, and my chronic pain and fatigue are the same, if not a little worst, than when this started. There are days I get frustrated that I learned so late in my life I had hep C (35-40 years).  I can’t help but think if things were different and medication treatment was there for me early on that maybe I wouldn't be fighting as hard today just to live a normal day. Yes, I am getting older and yes, I can attribute some of the aches and pains to that as well. I am still end stage liver disease and take medication daily for hepatic encephalopathy which keeps my mind clear and focused on daily things that need done. I also take medication for chronic neuropathy, edema, and ascites.

I'm grateful to be alive!

There are days I barley manage to get dressed and out of bed and then there are days I am that old go-getter, reminding myself that tomorrow is another day. I am ALIVE, and I SURVIVED hep C. It is what I prayed so hard for in my early diagnosis. I am where I wanted to be... here for my kids and living life.

So today, I smile and thank God for the pain I feel as that means I am still here on this earth and ALIVE. I look for the positive in every ounce of pain; It is there for us to be grateful for being alive.

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