off for those who do not know me, I'm Gilbert H Smith, male,
54 years old, a recovering Addict and Alcoholic, clean 8
years this coming May.
I got the virus 35+ years ago and fall under a few risk
factors like Transfusions, shot in the Army in School, and
IV drug use. Doesn't matter how, I just got it. My Arthritis
Doc was concerned that my Liver panels weren't coming down
after I quit drinking, he sent me to Specialist to find
where I found out about hep-c, tested + for anti-bodies
but the doctor didn't think I should be concerned. Well
the Arthritis Doc wanted to know more so he sent me on to
another specialist. I got an appointment for early '95.
Got more blood work, PCR and Liver biopsy and it turns out
I'm diagnosed End Stage Liver Disease, Cirrhosis brought
on by Hep-c.
can imagine my reaction: anger, depression, the whole bit
and let's not forget fear. Had gotten a 'puter in '94, so
came home and started to educate myself on the net. I've
made some great contacts online and met many other heppers
and their caregivers at various hepfests across the country.
learned that I have not been given a death sentence. I've
been blessed with good doctors and my first doctor and I
and my wife take a full course court assault on HCV.
off at 3,000,000 units of interferon daily, but didn't tolerate
it well. So I went to every other day and at this time I
retired from work and took a disability. And we had started
our battle against the dragon. They tried a tips procedure
in '96 but it wouldn't work because I had had lung surgery
in 1990 and they couldn't place the shunt in my liver because
the organs had moved around. So I suffered with pain in
my abdomen until it got too unbearable and they finally
did another tips a whole new way. In fact they were going
to write a paper on it. Anyway this relieved my pain and
my portal hypertension and I had varices veins in my esophagus.
I was on interferon a total of 42 months. Started responding
my second year of treatment. And now I'm in remission one
year. But it was too late for the old liver. So I was transplanted
on May 18, 1999. I had quite a few complications after surgery,
renal failure, breathing problems, infections, etc. etc.
Was in the hospital 5 1/2 months. I'm now on the list for
a kidney transplant. And recovering slowly but surely. Have
some obstacles, but I will get over them. There is always
light at the end of the tunnel.
feel free to email me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org
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