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ShovelheadSteve's Story


The Troll who lived under the bridge?

You've all seen them, even though considered invisible by the uppercrust, we are human beings too. We come out during the day sometimes, and scare the little children. You know, I'm the wino on the park bench with the brown paper bag. The one who has puke in his beard and smells of urine. Babbling nonsense.

That was me in March of 85. Almost dead from alcoholism and drugs. Disowned by my family and friends. I was face down in the gutter with no place to go but up. So I decided that if I want to live, then I had to stop drinking and using. I spent a week in the slammer drying out, then I found God and a recovery home for men.

While at the recovery home I met a Vocational Rehab. counselor She got me into welding school. The first few months were hard to stay clean and sober, but I was determined. I wanted to live. After months of training in the school, a contractor came and took me out and put me to work. I was welding stainless steel pipe in the refineries, Not bad pay for a troll either.

I stayed clean and sober for about 2 years, always going to meetings and staying close to my AA support group. Then I met this girl.... She was upper middle class, different than regular Troll material, but there was something about her.

I was a good welder, I had to show the contract welders that came in from time to time, how to weld on contaminated material. One day one of them asked me why I don't put together my own welding rig and work for myself. It's the same work, only three times the money.

So I started my own welding business, married the girl, bought a home, and went on honeymoon in Hawaii. Life was great. I was glad to be alive. My welding business was an overnight success, I was married to a beautiful woman, my family was happy to see me again.

Then I went to see a Doctor who told me that I had HCV and only 5 more years to live. There is no cure, but there is a treatment called Interferon. This is 1994, Mono. At the end of treatment it was announced that I had responded to treatment. Horray! I'm gonna live after all. Nope, I relapsed.
I tried treatment a second time, but couldn't handle the sides. It seems that I now have degenerative arthritis and fibromialgia. I can't work, I'm losing my welding business. We sold our home and moved to Oregon where we could live stress free and I could retire on social security. Only Social security didn't agree. We fought SS for three years before they gave in.

Now that I don't have to work I can try treatment again, only this time I have arthritis and fibromialgia. I thought it was killing me. I wanted to die, I had it all planned out to the last detail. We sent for My mother to come and take care of me. She was a big help. Everybody wants their momma when sick. I finally finished treatment and was pronounced undetectable. Only now I am so disabled that I cannot walk. And I relapse once again.
I can't stand the cold weather in Oregon. It makes me hurt. I have to stay in bed all winter. So we move to Arizona. I feel better here. I can walk. I can even ride my motorcycle short distances. But my viral count is going up and my LFT's are going up, I need to start treatment again. After the devastating effects from the last three times I tried TX, I don't know if I will live through a fourth time. If the poison doesn't kill me then I'm afraid that the pain and depression will.

But I'm gonna do it anyway. I have appointments at the Mayo Clinic here in Arizona, and maybe they will help me with all my problems.
I think that I can do this because I believe that I am truly blesses. I have God on my side now, I have a kinky Angel sitting on my shoulder and I have my Heppo Family and all the Angels in Heppolandia to help me.

ShovelheadSteve in Arizona

In God we Trust



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    Page last updated: April 29, 2003

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