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Hepatitis C is difficult to understand, and there are LOTS of "experts" out there who are more than willing to take advantage of the uninformed.  Please feel free to call our National Support Line for more detailed and personal attention related to hepatitis C (number listed above).

The folks who keep the NHCC in operation are unique people. ALL are volunteers who help fund our daily operations, tend to our telephone support lines, attend health fairs, and do just about anything necessary to help the NHCC continue to operate. These folks are required to have extensive and personal hepatitis C experience behind them before speaking to patients or family members about the disease, but this is just so we can make sure that what's shared is honest, trustworthy, and that our reputation remains stellar and accurate as always.

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A discussion with Larry King about her need for kidney transplantation after only 4 mo. of hepatitis C treatments!

 


Pam's Story
(by Pam )

I was diagnosed with Hep C five years ago.  My primary care doctor didn't think it was of much concern.  At that time I was having a lot of health problems.  My primary care doc thought I might have lupus, and ran test for that.  My Sed rate was elevated, and my liver function test were not normal.  He send me to a gastro doctor, who said I had ulcers and a rheumatologist who said I had fibromyalgia.  My family doctor told me that I might want to have a liver biopsy done in five years though.  He prescribed ulcer meds and pain pills. 

During those five years there have been many days I felt like I was 90 years old.  Eight  months ago, I told my new primary care doctor I was diagnosed with Hep C five years ago.  I was having severe pains in my bones and joints, sharp pains in my side, fatigue.  He thought it was just fibromyalgia causing all the problems and sent me to a rheumatologist. The rheumatologist turned out  to be the same one I saw five years ago.  The rheumatologist said my primary doctor was looking at the fibromyalgia as causing other health problems when he didn't think that was the case.  He still had my records from five years before and noted the Hep C had showed up on blood work then.  He sent my primary care doctor a report stating he needed to check my liver function, and to do other lab work related to the Hep C.  I had more blood work done, and then went to see a liver specialist. 

My primary care doctor took almost a year to follow up on the tests needed, because he was so sure it was only fibromyalgia causing a lot of my problems.  My liver specialist said my viral load is high and told me my genotype was 1a.  He wants to do a liver biopsy and start treatment.  I just saw the liver specialist two months ago.  If I would have been sent to him eight months ago, I wouldn't have a problem with insurance.  I was working, and had an income, my husband was on medical leave from his work, and had an income.  My problem is I only get $200 a month now and the insurance from my husbands work has a $250 deductible.  My husband has COPD and his insurance for us will run out in Jan.  I went to the Welfare Office for my area and was told I did not meet the requirements for Medi-Cal, because I didn't have any children under 18 years, and I wasn't permanently disabled nor was I a refugee.  My husband is waiting for SSI to kick in, which could be months for him.  He told me I should apply for SSI also, yet from what I gather on the Web, it is very hard to get SSI when you have Hep C.  I have heard you almost have to be on your death bed.  I need to have the biopsy and start treatment, yet I have no money.  I told my liver doctor that it feels like my body is attacking itself. 

Two weeks ago, I found out I am now a diabetic.  My liver specialist said the Hep C could be causing my blood sugar problems and other problems.  I don't know what to do, or where I can go for health care.  I was told the county clinic is another place I won't meet the requirements, because I have health insurance, even if I can't afford the deductible they told me, "Come back when you have no insurance!"  I am so thankful for all the web sites I have found relating to Hep C.  It has helped me understand, and I don't feel alone.  There are millions out there just like me.  I live with pain every day, and anymore I seem to get tired a lot.  I end up having to take naps a lot.

 

The opinions expressed on this page are solely those of the author and none of the information included is to be misconstrued as medical advise.

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Last Updated March 20, 2012