James B. Osher, Special Agent Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance
312 Walnut Street, Suite 2200 Cincinnati OH 45202
like to give a history of my illness, Hepatitis C chronic
active, and the onset of its symptoms. First a little background.
I was contracted as an NML agent in February of 1986. I've
had a personally successful career up to now. I have a wonderful
assistant and a stable practice.
of 1995, I applied for a term upgrade on myself with the
intention of increasing my personal life insurance. K. Lattech
was my underwriter. She called after seeing my bloodwork
to inform me of elevated liver functions and that I would
be an NML decline. Being concerned, I informed my personal
physician Dr.K. He asked me if I took Tylenol. I said "yes
on occasion" He told me not to worry it was probably due
to the Tylenol and to cease taking it for a month and then
get retested. I had shown elevated liver functions in, I
believe 1993 from a routine-pre op bloodwork prior to shoulder
surgery. I blew that off as caused by the pain medication
I had been taking at the time. There may be more evidence
of this if you check my medical records.
a month or so, I believe in March, 1996 I went to a Dr.
J G. for another bloodtest. He had suspected from his experience
that I might have Hepatitis C. Dr. J.G. tested for it and
I was positive. I was surprised for I had no symptoms that
I was aware of. Looking back though, I did get ill quite
often with flu-like symptoms, fatigue and headaches and
diarrhea. Dr. K., when I had mentioned my maladies generally
attributed them to low grade viruses or irritable bowel
syndrome. I recall Dr. K. doing an epstein-bar test which
came up negative. I thought I was becoming a hypochondriac.
referred me to Dr T., a gastroenterologist who has some
expertise with HVC. He retested me in April or May of 1996.
He ultimately ordered a biopsy due to my PCR quantitative
numbers. He then recommended I be treated with Alpha Interferon
injections 3x/week. The side effects I suffered were hardly
bearable. This was August I think. I missed a lot of work
due to these incapacitating side effects, which I will describe.
Major fatigue, constant headaches, very achy bones, nausea,
dizziness, and diarrhea. I could not focus on my work; I
just wanted to sleep. He said that these might ease up over
a month or so. They did not. In fact they got worse until
the Doctor and I both agreed to cease treatment. I went
as far as requesting a Disability Claim Kit at the time,
if I were to continue the Interferon.
Doctor and I agreed to not treat my ailment for the time
being and await new developments in future treatments. I
then treated myself with herbs and botanicals noted to be
healing to the liver with no results for the next year.
I did have my blood tested a couple times in the interim
and continued to see Dr. T.
of 1998 I felt I was experiencing some symptoms. The usual
fatigue, headaches, hot flashes etc. The Doctor said they
might or may not be due to HVC. I tended to miss at least
1 day a week at work. But did not pay too much notice until
July, when I started to consistently wear out not long after
lunch. My focus was poor and I generally felt lousy nearly
everyday. I tried to schedule my appointments in the morning
for I usually felt pretty good at that time of day. I was
progressively getting more fatigued and achy and headachy
earlier and earlier in the day. My work was by then affected.
I could not work a full day. I was certainly concerned.
I then did my own research and found that all that I was
feeling were very common symptoms of my disease. In fact
my history was typical. Being that this virus was discovered
not that long ago, it was commonly misdiagnosed and the
symptoms misunderstood. The symptoms I have been experiencing
this past month resemble the side effects of my past Interferon
treatment. I was missing perhaps 3 days per week by mid
August and the 2 days worked ended usually by noon or shortly
after. I had to go home and sleep. I also was experiencing
chronic diarrhea, dizziness, as well as the bodyaches and
headaches. I also seem to be getting forgetful.
Dr. T. in late August and told him of my symptoms and that
I was willing to try one of the new treatments, which I
had turned down in the spring. He had me do a liver/spleen
scan and new blood work and prescribed Infergen 9mcg.s 3x/week.
The side effects of the Infergen are felt within several
hours and have been intense. My body aches deeply, I get
intense chills, teeth chattering along with the now familiar
past summer I realized how much energy it takes to run an
insurance practice. A fact which I, of course took for granted
my entire career. Writing this history has in itself been
a monumental task. My ability to focus on the many tasks
that encompass this business has been severely curtailed.
The energy needed to call, visit, and influence people to
help themselves is seldom available now. This is obviously
disconcerting and emotionally distressing if not disastrous.
I have a wife, child, and an assistant to support and I
do not know how I can do it in my current physical condition.
Believe me, I never thought this would happen to me.
are several occurrences in my past, which may have exposed
me to HCV. In 1971, while in college I experimented with
IV drug use. In 1974, I was doing foreign study in Colombia
South America. where I was infected with a severe case of
amebic dysentery, which hospitalized me in Bogota, where
sanitary conditions may be in question. In 1975 I was traveling
with friends when several of them with the exception of
me and one other fellow came down with Hepatitis B. I spent
a month in Cuenca, Ecuador taking care of my jaundiced buddies.
I was tested in a clinic in Cuenca, where again sanitary
conditions were not up to United States standards. There
is no way of accounting for certain how I got infected.
You may draw your own conclusions, though at this point
I fail to see the relevance.
the side effects of Infergen recede or not, I cannot say
at this time. Whether the symptoms of HVC continue or not,
I cannot tell you. Presently my ability to actively participate
in my insurance practice is not possible.
is any other information I can provide for you please call
me at (xxx) xxx-xxxx.
from Lyric: This was written some time ago to establish
a claim. It chronicles the history well. More has transpired
since then and an update should be forthcoming.
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