Working Through Hepatitis C Treatment
If you have hepatitis c and decide on treatment, there are a lot of things to be considered. One of the areas that is tricky is the decision to work while on going through hepatitis C treatment. You can work full time, but you will need to plan well.
Here are some things to consider:
Motivation: If you are the primary breadwinner, you may not have a choice. Keeping food on the table and making payments are a huge responsibility when you're sick. If your job pays for insurance, you have to push yourself every day no matter how you feel. I had to work to keep insurance to save my life.
Mental Health: Getting up and going to work every day helps to take your focus off of yourself. On my days off, I would sleep a lot. Sometimes I would cry and feel sorry for myself for having so much pain and nausea. By spending time with others at work, I put my best foot forward and thought of my students needs instead of my own.
Nutrition: Making sure that you eat good foods will help you stay strong. Keep healthy snacks like fruit and protein bars with you on the job. Don’t give in to eating fast food or from the machines at work. Those foods will not fuel your body. You need simple healthy food to help the medication to work.
Recreation: After you get off of work, drive home, and eat something, that’s it. You are done for the day. Don’t try to take on any projects in your family, community, or church. Going out with friends may take a back seat for a while. Focus on your job, and then come home and rest.
Assistance: Let family and friends know that you are planning to work full time while taking some serious medication. Have some notes written out to talk about. Ask them for tips on how they can help you. Let them assist you in creating a plan for working on treatment. One of my granddaughters offered to wash my back and put lotion on me. She was faithful for 43 weeks. Her little hands soothed my skin many times. My daughter agreed to take over my bills and make sure that I didn’t miss an insurance payment again. By letting them choose what they will do, they will work more cooperatively with you.
Honesty: Get honest about what you need. Tell them if grocery shopping is too much for you to handle after work. Write down a list and ask someone to take over shopping for a couple of months. Show them your gratitude for helping.
Transportation: Get your car serviced before treatment begins. You need reliable transportation to get to work. Worrying about oil lights or wiper fluid when you’re sick is the pits. I remember sitting in my frozen car one morning waiting for the ice to thaw. I was so sick and shaking with cold. If you take care of it before hand, you will not find yourself on the side of the road with problems.
Sleep: Getting plenty of rest is the most important thing. Sleep may be a problem. Talk to your doctor for help getting good sleep. You will have more mental power to face your struggles if you get 8 hours of rest in a clean bed.
You are working to save your own life from liver disease and hepatitis C. That is your first job. Working through hepatitis C treatment is tough. You will look back and be amazed at what you accomplished. I promise.
What dietary changes have you made to better manage hep C symptoms? (Select all that apply)