Thank you very much for sharing that with me Mama Lama. My daughter is a big fan/listener of the Dalai Lama if there's any connection!
I used to be a heavy drinker- in fact, it was because of slightly elevated liver enzyme levels that a doctor did a Hep test on me when I was in detox and let the HCV cat out of the bag as it were- but frankly I didn't care much about
life at that point. A year later I got sober (seven years ago) and my life is completely different now, greater than I could have ever imagined. I must stress though that while I was a heavy drinker for many years, my acute alcoholism (if you want to call it that- really gulping the stuff like no tomorrow) lasted for about
Anyway, I was too busy putting my life back together after I got sober to be planning ahead on HCV. I didn't really understand it and the doctor in detox didn't really elaborate on what I should do besides saying, 'now you have a really good reason to stop drinking!'
Then, five years ago, about
two years after sobriety, I had a chance to work in China but needed a med check. I knew HCV could be an issue but my liver had returned to normal (my ALT/AST readings were never that highly elevated anyway) and I had no problems getting a visa. I also have an aunt who is now 80 years old and has had HCV from who knows when but has never gotten sick (at least not from hepatitis). I know a little about
HBV (at least I think I do) and from my understanding most people 'pass' the virus and become non-contagious. In any case, HBV is epidemic here in China, and there is a great deal of HCV as well. I assumed that C was like B, and since my liver shows no abnormal blood readings re enzymes, that I must have 'passed' the virus as well. Now it seems like I know very little about
HCV. However, I will get further blood tests and see what I should do next. It's my intention to work here as long as possible (I'm a linguist/translator in case anyone is wondering), and being very ill could cut that short in no time. The government doesn't want the burden of sending the deceased back to their countries (sorry if that sounds offensive to anyone- it's just the way it is). So I'm pretty sure I'd be denied a visa of a med check showed signs of illness (it's pretty much just the blood check). My employer could also revoke my visa if I were sick for too long. But these sound like a lot of things to obsess and over-worry about
, from what I'm hearing.
So all this is just beginning for me though. But I wanted to ask how much the alcohol played a role in the cirrhosis as opposed to the virus. You quoted several doctors as saying that he had a good chance if 'he just quit drinking.' So do you think his problem was mainly alcoholic cirrhosis rather than cirrhosis brought on by HCV? What I mean to infer is that it seems to me that alcohol is far harder on the liver than HCV. Would that be inaccurate to say (in most cases)? I'm pretty good at not letting HCV scare me, but the thought of an acute, sudden attack rather than a slow, gradual decline is unnerving I admit. But I suppose everyone is different, right? I'm not the type of person who is passionate about
living as long as he or she possibly can no matter what. To me survival is an ends to starting life again, not a virtue and not a quality life. There are some things I still want to do in this world- I want to help my daughter get through college for instance. I believe the quality of today is always more important than the musings of fears about
tomorrow. However, just like all human beings, I fear, and I don't want to end up on a sick bed either. I have a lot of compassion for those of us suffering illnesses, I really do, but the way I've lived life I think I've burdened loved ones enough already. Now that I'm finally providing for others in a good way I'd hate to suddenly get very ill and end up back in the States doing God knows what. I'd like to help people.
I didn't intend to write such a long post. I know next to nothing about
HCV and I want to learn. But I do hope I was able to contribute to this thread by telling how being HCV+ is now affecting me. For years now, I've been in denial about
it and now I'm finally starting to face it and find out what I can do about
By the way food here is actually great, not like you'd expect- certainly not salty. Hygiene can be a problem though (or maybe just critters I'm not used to). Hep A seems a thing of the past thankfully. Usually I cook my own food with veggies from the farmers' market.
Post Edited (joey25) : 7/3/2016 11:42:10 AM (GMT-6)