I My name is Jay. I’m 46 years old and I have Hepatitis C. It was diagnosed in 1990 at the University of Illinois in Chicago. Prior to that I had two heart surgeries, one in 1963 and one in 1985. Both of the surgeries were also at the U. of I. I had a biopsy done laparoscopically, because I take an anti-coagulant, Coumadin, plus, (as you all know), my platelet counts are wacky. After I was told I had hep C and cirrhosis, I was stunned. All I could say was “doctor, I don’t drink that much”. He assured me the cirrhosis was caused by the hepatitis and due to all the scarring, they figured that I probably got it in 1963 from my first surgery.
I said “how could I walk around with this illness for so long and not know it?”, and he said “That’s why they call it the ‘Silent Killer'”!!! I asked what about my wife, they said then that it was not sexually transmitted. Somehow though, it was too late, she had it too by then. At least it lifted a burden of one sort because in 1985 they had just started screening blood for the AIDS virus. I cannot express my feelings in words for feeling like I somehow gave my wife this monster, but if it would have been AIDS, I couldn’t live with that! She has been a trooper, helping me fight Social Security for my disability. There aren’t too many people I know that would do that, even married couples. She’s a very special person to me and I love her very much. But now I’m waiting to go on the combo treatment. I have been through interferon twice. With my first regimen, it worked very well. I felt great! Like I was a high school kid again, but I screwed up. The second time I felt lousy so they took me off of the interferon that time. That was two years ago. So here’s hoping that maybe after another try, this will work.
P.S. Did you know that dogs are immune to Hep C? (That’s something to think about)