Hi, BCG, and welcome to the forum! I have been where you are now. I know I contracted hep C in '68 or '69 through a brief period of IV drug use, but wasn't diagnosed until '93. I had been feeling really fatigued since '91. I had kicked the drugs in '69...went straight to alcohol, which took longer to get me...but had stopped that in '86. So in '93, I felt like the rug had been pulled out from under me.
The only treatment at the time was interferon injections 3 x a week...which I couldn't tolerate. Aside from the fatigue, I continued to live my life as usual, though had to go to PT work . In '05, I was diagnosed with liver cancer. And again in '11. I shouldn't be here...but I am. So please don't feel like your life is over. Just get ready to do battle with the hep C dragon.
Hep C also caused me to have cirrhosis, sometime between '93 and '07.
As ML/Carol explained, your anger and moodiness can be a result of hepatic encephalopathy. You need to have a test of your ammonia level. If it is high, you should be placed on Lactulose and possibly Xifaxan. However, it could also be part of the grieving process: Denial, Bargaining, Anger, etc. Because life as you knew it is over and now you are facing a new, unknown, slightly scary life. Fear is a result of lack of knowledge, so the more you can educate yourself, the less afraid you will be.
My suggestion to you would be to get a referral to a hepatologist (liver specialist) to discuss treatment of your hep C and to find out if you have elevated ammonia. Also find out what your genotype is. 1a and 1b are the most common in the US and also the most difficult to treat. The new 3-drug treatment specifically for these genotypes is showing 70-90% clearance rates, as opposed to 50% on the "combo." There are also even better drugs in trials now. A hepatologist is the one who should be monitoring your illness and your care.
If you drink any alcohol at all, stop. Same with drugs. Do NOT take ibuprofen or other NSAIDs without the hep doc's approval. Acetaminophen is okay if less than around 1400 mg a day. Cut all red meat out of your diet, as it is the most difficult protein for your liver to process (this will probably not come from a doctor, but as patients we know we feel much better without it.) You can eat fish, chicken, turkey, soy products, beans, and dairy products for protein. Eat more fresh fruits and veggies. Drink pure water. You may also want to meet one-on-one with a counselor or therapist to discuss your mood changes and your feelings regarding being HCV positive.
Check out the Hepatitis Resources folder at the top of the page, as ML suggested. Tons of info in there.
Please continue to post here, as there is a lot of information and support to be had here. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.
Forum moderator - Hepatitis
"But that was yesterday, and I was a different person then."
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
Liver transplant recipient, Oct. 27, 2011, at Mayo Hospital, Jacksonville, FL
Post Edited (hep93) : 4/21/2012 11:35:24 AM (GMT-6)