What Not to Say to Person with Hep C
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Warning:This blog is full of sass mouth. When people are insensitive, they can say some pretty stupid stuff. That includes rude statements about personal matters when we have Hepatitis C. Mostly, I just let it roll – like water off a duck’s back. I will admit that there are times when an unwelcomed question or opinion can cause self-doubt, worry, or anxiety. I spit and stammer on occasion. It’s like I can’t believe we’re talking about this! I want to be able to hand those people a list of what NOT to say to a person with Hep C.

How did you get it?

How about NYOB (none of your business)? It’s not anyone’s business how I contracted the virus. Your knowledge of how I got liver disease will not change any of the facts surrounding my health, personality, ability to be a friend, or any other details of who I am.

Are you going to die?

Well, I might die in a car crash on the way home. I might get electrocuted by playing an electric guitar during a thunderstorm. From day 1 of my diagnosis, I played mental Russian roulette trying to figure it out. The truth is that I have outlived every single near-death experience. I’m still going, so quit guessing.

What about sex?

That is ridiculous. Well, maybe hepatic encephalopathy (HE) makes it hard to choose who to go out with. But on the right medications for varices, ascites, and HE, I dated a totally awesome guy. I ended up marrying him after clearing Hep C.

I hear the treatment is really bad for you.

Well, so is Hep C. I wanted to avoid treatment altogether. Who wants to lose hair, get anemia, and throw up all the time? Thankfully, those meds are ancient history now. The newer meds with less side effects aren’t perfect, but they have more promise. I would do it all over again.

I know exactly how you feel.

No, you don’t. Hepatitis C is breeding in my liver. I have symptoms that you know nothing about.

You look healthy, so it can’t be that bad.

I won’t even explain all the reasons that my liver can be damaged and my body doesn’t show it. Hep C is a silent killer.

That’s what you get for making bad decisions.

You don’t know anything about me. Quit staring at me looking for a tattoo or a piercing. Stop making assumptions about my habits and my health. I am not interested in your preoccupation with my personal life.

Have you tried herbs?

I don’t do anything or take any medication that my doctor disagrees with.

Are you contagious?

Unless you’re going to take some of my blood and mix it with yours… no.

Maybe you can identify with some of these statements, maybe not. I think we can agree that there are some things that should not be said to a person with Hep C.

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