Denial

Last updated: November 2022

Denial has got to be one of the strongest emotions there is. I lived in denial for twenty-plus years. No obvious symptoms, no illness, didn’t feel bad, living my life with no obvious issues related to having hepatitis C. So I just tucked that knowledge back in a faraway dark corner of my brain and forgot about it until I realized how brutally selfish I was being.

Living with shame

I have a daughter who needs me. What had I done? I’d let this virus take over my liver and chronically change it forever. I got hep C from using a dirty needle when I was an addict many many years ago, and I now realize that the shame associated with that part of my life kept me from dealing with the issue at hand.

I remember being so sick, I was only 19 years old. I think that’s when I contracted the virus. In 1989 when I had blood drawn for screening prior to marriage I learned that I was hep C positive. That’s when I found the hiding spot and tucked that knowledge away. I finally sought treatment in 2019.

Cured, but still sick

I’m now hep C negative, but the damage has been done. I have obvious signs of portal hypertension, and enlarged, varicose-type veins in my abdomen and lower trunk. I know that varices, bleeding, and GI bleeding are associated with portal hypertension, which is a very difficult and miserable outcome. I’m now wondering who to see, which specialty, what diagnostics are available, treatment, if any, etc.

I wish I had had the courage to address this head-on in 1989. My health would have not suffered so drastically, and I would not have to tell my daughter this story of selfishness.

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy.

More on this topic

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The HepatitisC.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Join the conversation

or create an account to comment.

Community Poll

Are you...