First - I'd like to thank everyone who wrote me - I have had several hundreds of emails to pour through - and I thank you all for your thoughts and keeping me in your mind.
There's no easy way to just up and tell folks what happens in your life - but life can and does change overnight.
Sit down and grab a cup of coffee....
Somewhere around our lice catastrophe and and my daughter breaking her arm, I started getting pretty fatigued. I started having problems remembering things. Not like what car keys are - but when did I last have them, oh... they're in my hands. Or what was I talking about... or what did you ask me to do? (I'm sure this one annoyed my boss... LMAO!)
Anyhow - Of course - me, feeling like I've been a hypochondriac all my life... I've always had aches and pains... felt icky and a little under the weather... I chalked it all up to getting older and being a parent - and being married. LOL!
But when I couldn't remember a task someone told me to do only 5 minutes before, I started getting a little worried. And then, my cartilage in my ribcage felt like it was separating and there was a horrible pain under my ribs in the back.
Me - I figure I've got diabetes. So I go in for the tests....
Noooooo... Not diabetes. Not cancer. Not you're nuts go home...
The last thing I expected - Hepatitis C. In advanced cirhosis stage.
Like how the "F" did I get Hep C? (OK - I'm NOT a virgin... but I've always practiced safe sex - and my hubby - well he's been a pretty safe guy too. I HATE needles - and never really thought drugs were anything to mess with. Did I mention I HATE needles? Oh... Cause I couldn't remember. I was an EMT - but I never had a needle stick that I can remember - no openly bleeding people with me having unprotected cuts or wounds - nor did I remember anyone having any blood get into my eyes or mouth, etc.) AND - because I was an EMT - I was clear of all HEP viruses in 1991.
Turns out I've had 2 shots of Rhogam in my life and 2 surgeries. (Rhogam is a blood gamma globulin - used in women who are RH negative, with an RH positive father of the baby - so the woman's body doesn't miscarry the baby.) I had the Rhogam while I was pregnant with my daughter - who will be 10.
So - this was dropped in my lap... And while it was dropped in my lap - the internet server was out - for almost 3 weeks. They had to relay cable here to my house because the line goes under out pond which was frozen at the time. I live on the smallest community on an island in Alaska. Sigh - no information was available - I thought I was going to die or was dying right then...
Pass the XANAX - oh boy...
Unless of course you want a screaming, incoherent babbling woman - who has no idea what the *F* all this is...
So here I am thinking I'm going to die any day - LOL - ok - maybe in a few years - and no way to find out more information.
I'm one of the first people - clinically diagnosed with Hep C in our Community - so the doctors had no clue. I was poked from one end to the other ---- DID I MENTION I HATE NEEDLES?
So looking like a pin cushion we learn we have to find out what my viral load is - and what genotype... Of course the doctors didn't know we needed to find this information out...
And at the time, they didn't have the concept of all the things we were supposed to be looking for - etc. All fun... To be sure.
I got poked some more - while I'm having a practical breakdown - freaking out - afraid to touch anyone cause I might give it to them - and terrified that I'd passed it on to my kid.
I have to figure out who else I may have passed it on to ----- I'm panicked - yeah - let's just say the XANAX is a wonderful thing. A very wonderful thing. I've never had panic attacks before - and now I have - so my sincere sympathies to anyone who has ever had one!
Turns out - HEP C is not "THAT" contagious... It's pretty much a blood to blood issue - Not caught by hugs - or kisses - probably not even sex unless both people have openly bleeding cuts... Can't get it from toilet seats, showers, chairs, tables, other bodily fluids unless they contain blood --- but I didn't know that then - MORE XANAX please.
So - now we've narrowed it down to three possibles of how I got it - I've gotten much more information. I go in for a second biopsy on my liver - on July 13.
I have to fly out of here to do it. I'll be going on a treatment called PegInterferon/Ribivarin.
The forgetfulness was caused by an ammonia buildup because my liver wasn't processing it properly - and it was making me an absolute basket case on memory loss. It was one of the freakiest things I've ever seen happen to me.
The first couple of weeks - I was panicked - the third week I was kind of depressed - and then after we found out that my husband and daughter were completely clear of the virus - Everything started getting a little better.
The stuff they gave me to clear out the ammonia (lactu something make you pooo and vomit for hours and days) was icky...
But other than that - We just need to find out how bad it is - and if we can knock the virus down.
Which - THEN --- the GOOD news ---- We found my genotype was 3a... (Which is UNUSUAL in the US) However - has a 60 -70% clearance rate using the interferon/ribivarin.
They currently think the cirrhosis (I thought this was something only people who drank a lot of alcohol got... ha ha.... Ya learn something new every day....) is in middle stage - but with the next biopsy we will know for certain...
So ----- Now you know why I haven't been here- or much of anywhere. I'm sooooo very sorry for not talking. I wasn't mentally prepared for it and I was just totally exhausted just trying to be a mom and go to work. Thank GOD the hubby cleans. LOL!
To me - Hep C - well it was something Druggies and Prostitutes got...
Boy - was I wrong.
And now - I'm learning that it isn't even all that bad - Yeah, I'm sick right now - but chances are I will be getting better in the next 6 months.
I also have learned that if you tell people - which I plan to do... I don't think it is something I should be ashamed of... You have to tell them how they can and can not get it - with paper work from the CDC or something - because their first question is:
HOW did you get it? (Of course, as they back away slowly away, holding their breath and imagining the cooties jumping from me to them... )
It kind of hurt my feelings - but I had to laugh... When I told the girls at work - The next day - there were about 10 cannisters of Clorox Wipes Antibacterial in the bathroom and near the keyboards and phones... (First - those things don't kill the virus... sorry to disillusion you. Second - Hep C is NOT that contagious.... Sigh.... ) So instead of getting pissed off - I just didn't say anything - see - cause the way I see it - They are protecting me from their germs - because my immunities are down - LMAO!)
So needless to say - Yeah - I've neglected blogging - I've neglected a lot of things - Damn, I've got to clean my house - and right now there isn't enough coffee to feed me intravenously to give me the energy to move around.
I will be a little more active shortly and in a few minutes - I will post 2 covers I did the day before my life fell apart.
I'm picking up the pieces - so thanks for listening.
And know - I'm keeping my sense of humor - I'm a little freaked out still - but a lot better than last week - and a few weeks ago.
I've got a great family - and I've found the information I've needed for the things I'm supposed to expect and how to deal with this. My posting will return to more normal shortly - and I'll start doing covers again - for folks - because I LOVE doing them.
I just haven't been in the mental or physical state to talk about it- or even to get online to be sociable - or human.
Oh - pass the Xanax please. LOL!
I love you guys- and all of your emails --- I just got done going though about 800 emails and over 70 of them were from you guys - your made me smile and gave me tears - because you thought enough to care.