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Alisha's Story

Hello everyone, My name is Alisha and here is my story.

During the summer of 1999, before my senior year in college, I started having a lot of stomach problems. I was in lot of pain every time I ate anything. I was always tired. I couldn’t understand why I felt so terrible. I didn’t have insurance so I didn’t go to the doctor right away. I finally went once the semester began. My college provided health care. My doctor told me to take some Zantac and see if that would help my stomach pains. It didn’t, I went to the doctor several more time. Finally she decided I should take some blood tests. None of which were for hep C. She thought I had some kind of thyroid problem or possibly lupus.

Finally she said, I’m going to get you a test for Hep, don’t think it will show anything, but let’s see. A few days later, I go to get the results, another doctor saw my charts, looked at me pale faced and said wait for your doctor. When I saw the doctor, she first asked me had I done any drugs, transfusions, and asked how many sex partners. Then she says I have Hep C. In my mind, I thinking this must be some sort of AIDS, since she asked all those questions. She didn’t know much about Hep C and said I should see a specialist. She referred my to her personal GI doctor.

At that point my life was turned upside down. I’m only 22, just about to start my life. Why and how did this happen to me? When I saw the doctor he said I wasn’t going to die, but I needed to get the biopsy and start thinking about treatment. The biopsy came back with no scarring, but given my liver functions and ALT levels, I needed to be treated. We decided I would wait until I received my degree and got a job that would cover my treatment.

After I graduated, I decided to start the treatment. The doc told me in advance that since I had genotype 1A, that it may not work. The treatment was not working and after 7 months, we decided that I should wait till something better came out. Then came the new drug, Pegylated Interferon. I decided I would try a different doctor during this treatment. He looked at all my health history and said I probably had this disease for over ten years. Hmm, I thought that would make me 12. So at that point I realized I had probably received it from my parents, who were deceased. They were IV drug users.

So after a year, I started the Pegylated Interferon. I did not take well to this treatment, I became severely depressed and lost over 23 lbs. I was only 135 to start with, on a 5’5 frame. Then my blood became extremely low so they put me on Procrit. After a month of that, my doctor decided this medicine wasn’t working for me and it wasn’t worth all the pain that I was going thru. After 7 months of hell, there was no change in my liver functions or ALT levels. How devastating.

It’s been almost 8 months since the last bout with treatment, and I think it will be my last. I am just going to live life to the fullest, and just try to stick with a healthy diet. I figure If I have lived with it for 26 years, with no real problems, I’ll just take my chances with the next 50 years. Unless a magic cure comes along.

To all of you, good luck. No matter how you got this disease, don’t live angry. Have fun and enjoy life, but with a little more caution.

P.S. If anyone of you are single, I would like to know how you have told your significant others about your having Hep C.





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    Page last updated: February 23, 2004

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