Hi my name is
Tim; I am 48 years old. I have been HCV Positive since September
2001. I pretty much know when I was exposed and how I was
I struggled with
substance abuse for many years. I would have sporadic lengths
of time clean & sober, always followed by relapse into
addiction again. This lifestyle took me on many different
roads. I went from 14 years as a Marketing Representative
to chronically unemployed and homeless.
What I didnt
know then and I know now, is I self medicated a chronic Mental
Health Disorder with my own drugs. My drug of choice was an
injectable opiate, when not that, then alcohol.
I was diagnosed
with HCV in December 2001, up until then I had always tested
negative. I was always careful not to share my paraphernalia
as HIV & HCV was always a possibility. My longtime partner
and using buddy did just that, she shared a syringe with an
acquaintance and did not tell me. When I tested positive,
she confessed and said she had exposed us in September. She
was the ONLY person I ever shared with.
I accept this.
My addiction exposed me to the risk. I hold no animosity towards
her. Its just one of those things. If you dance, you
have to pay the band. I danced.
It took another
6 months before I came to terms with my addiction and HCV
status. On June 17th 2002, I used my last time. My partner,
who is also HCV positive, is a beautiful, talented and intelligent
36 year old. She is still using as far as I know. To get clean
and stay clean, I had to let her go. She is in God's hands
When I had been
clean 6 months my Doc did the PCR to find out where I stood.
It was both good and bad. Good Genotype and bad Viral Load.
A month later we did the Biopsy. He was concerned, Stage III,
so I started Peg-Intron and Ribiviran in March 2003.
I have been clean
and sober for almost 17 months now, the longest period of
time in the last 17 years. I am fortunate that I have an income,
Social Security; I could not imagine working full time and
I live in a large
house with 5 other clean and sober addicts, so I am never
alone. I attend 12 step meetings as much as possible and have
gotten involved in the service structure to give back what
was so freely given to me.
My life is VERY
different today. I can spend time with me and feel comfortable
doing so. I used to run from trouble and everywhere I went
I was there. Ive stopped running. There
is nowhere to go anyway.
I was adopted at
birth and both of my adoptive parents have passed away. In
November 2002 I started looking for my BirthMother. The internet
is a wonderful tool. I found my BirthMother and 3 half siblings.
I spent Christmas of 2002 with my new found family and stay
in touch regularly.
They know of my
past and my HCV status and it matters none to them, I am family.
Does it get any better than that?
The last PCR showed
that I am undetectable and most things look good. My WBC,
RBC and Platelets all are on the low side. My Riba was stopped
for a while and they came up some. I am now back on 200mg.
Riba/Day, low dose. Doc wants me to do the full year, so I
am little over ½ way home.
Life is good. God
. . . . . .
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