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Pam's Story

I have known for the past 6 years I had Hep C. My doctor back then didn't feel I needed a biopsy, and told me to wait 5 or 6 years and maybe have one, even though liver function test were not normal. I had Hep A and B over twenty years ago. I have had on going health problems for years, but the past year has gotten worse.

Last year I went to another doctor because of severe joint pains, fatigue, numbness and pain in both hands, stomach pains, severe back and hip pain. The doctor I went to, ordered blood work, x-rays, and sent me to a Rheumy doctor. Blood work came back showing Hep C (which I knew I had) x-rays showed bone spurs on lower spine. Rheumy doctor said I had Fibromyalgia, and Arthritis and Carpal Tunnel in both hands. My primary care doctor sent me to another Specialist, which was a liver specialist. More blood work was ordered, showing my viral load, genotype which is 1 a. Then I found out I had diabetes also. It was like my body was attacking itself.

The liver specialist my primary care doctor sent me to, did not impress me much. Though I didn't know much about Hep C last year, I knew something was not right with my body. The liver specialist didn't think I should worry about a biopsy or treatment since my liver enzymes were elevated, yet not real high. My viral load was 8,300,000 . My blood work also showed weak positive cryoglobulin. I went home and got on the Internet and starting learning more about Hep C. I went back to the liver specialist and told him I felt I needed a liver biopsy and treatment. He agree that maybe I should have one. I left his office and looked for another doctor.

Well, this year, finally I found a great doctor, who has treated a lot of Hep C patients. He is kind, understanding and informed. He looked at the results my primary care doctor had sent him of blood work from last year, and said I should have a liver biopsy. I had the biopsy a few months ago, and it came back grade 3 stage 3, severe steatosis. My liver specialist told me he was sad, because he was hoping for better news for me, since my liver enzymes weren't real high on the lab results my primary doctor had sent him. The problem is the results were almost a year old. I have confidence in this doctor. He told me he recommended treatment, and if I needed anything to let him know. I am now on a waiting list for treatment.

I know I am getting worse, and hope treatment will work. I am going to give it my best shot and live one day at a time. I told my doctor that anymore I seem to be tired a lot, and get brain fog at times. He warned me that on treatment those symptoms will probably be even worse, yet he still recommends that I try treatment.

It didn't really sink in, about the biopsy results until a few days later. I am concerned, and I think: I think to myself, What if the treatment doesn't work? Then I say, at least I will have tried. But to be honest, I am more then concerned, I am scared. The treatment sounds like a road through hell, and no treatment is not good either. It's kind of sad to think something I did over 30 years ago, is going to haunt me now. Well, I just wanted to share some of my story.



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    Page last updated: March 7, 2003

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