Hep C 20 years later
Last updated: November 2022
I have had hepatitis C since I was 19. I'm now 48 and need a transplant so I can survive. I tried Interferon when I found out in 1993, but it made me so sick that I only went twice and never went back.
We ignored all the signs
I drank and used drugs for many years and didn't really think too much about getting treatment. I kept up with scans and blood work over the years but never tried the newer treatments because I had it in my head that they were all like Interferon. I never believed some really didn't make you deathly ill. My scans looked ok. No cirrhosis, no fatty liver, but I was starting to show some fibrous areas.
I met my husband in September of 2011, and we married on November 10, 2016. Needless to say, we both had untreated hepatitis C, and since we felt good, we never followed up with our liver doctor or our PCP. We were drinking and using drugs and thought everything was fine, even when he started swelling in his lower legs, severely. We just ignored the signs and partied on.
Then, I lost my husband
To make a long story short, he passed away in March of this year in a car accident. I'm a firm believer that he was full of toxins that went to his brain causing him to not realize that he went through a red light and got hit on the driver's side by a huge tow truck. This caused brain damage.
When the surgeon was removing his spleen due to internal bleeding, she said his liver was in late-stage cirrhosis, and she had never seen one so bad in someone still alive. Due to the extreme amount of alcohol he consumed, he wouldn't stop bleeding. She took him out of surgery and put a mesh over the incision because he was too swollen to close up, and she had to go back a couple of days later.
He may still be here if we got treated
Even though he had brain damage and was on life support, his liver started shutting down. We gave him a week on life support and decided to take him off because there was little chance of a good or even bad quality of life...there was NO chance of him even being alive in the next day or so. All his organs were shutting down, and his brain function was almost nonexistent.
His mom did all the things he didn't want. We pulled the plug on March 25, 2022, and he passed peacefully. If we would have taken care of our hep C, chances are he would still be here. I got checked out after he passed and found out I'm in the same situation he was: late-stage cirrhosis and liver failure.
Finally deciding to get treatment
I'm being treated for my hep C now to stop further damage. I'm still in liver failure and need to find a live donor. Treatment will not save me, but it will buy me time. Please get treated if you know you are hep C positive. Any side effects from the treatment are NOTHING compared to going through liver failure and late-stage cirrhosis.
I've been clean since May of this year. After he passed, I was lost, homeless, and drunk and drugged up trying to deal with his passing. I handled it all wrong. It numbed the pain momentarily, but now I'm finally starting to go through my grieving process. Not only am I dealing with grief, I have three daughters that are trying to comprehend how sick I am and that I'm dying.
Please, do yourself a favor and get treatment. You're worth it no matter what you've done. You owe it to yourself. Health is taken for granted until you don't have it. I'm currently halfway through my treatment, and I can just pray somebody is willing to give me a small piece of their liver and it will regenerate in us both.