1. "I know I am young and I believe I haven't had hep c for a long time so should I really be worried about it right now?"
2. "and wouldn't my viral loads been higher if alcohol really was affecting it that much? "
3. "and I guess my last question would be do you think since I'm young and only have had it for what I believe to be a year, do you think it would be best to start treatment right away?"
4. "I'm all alone and hate to go to doctors by myself so I figure if I can go online and talk to people on discussion boards about my concerns that it save me trips to the doctor. "
1. The answer is a resounding YES!!!!2. Do you want to wait until your viral loads are through the roof? Do you know what it's like to get to the end stage of liver disease? Ive been through protracted deaths with loved ones and I have to say that liver disease in its end stages is 1000 times worse than that of some cancers, CHF with subdural hematoma, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease, you name it...I have never seen anything more debilitating than liver disease. Here are some symptoms of late stage: chronic pain, jaundice, ascites (build-up of fluids in the body that have to be drained frequently), high ammonia levels (that causes encephalopathy, where you are so confused and may barely be conscious if level is high enough) bloody noses, nausea, vomiting, weakness, sleepiness, loss of appetite, edema in the extremities, shortness of breath, shaky hands, leg cramps, varices in the esophagus ....all these require tons of meds and the worst is the Lactulose, because it forces bowel movements several times a day, where you will get familiar with the closest bathrooms everywhere you go, that is IF you CAN go places. Then the meds that help ammonia can also make you dehydrated (happened to my brother and he had kidney damage as a result) This is not even a complete list but you get the picture, its horrible!3. I would absolutely go to the nearest specialist, hopefully in an urban area, no matter how far. Next I would find someone that will help care for me because, my friend, you WILL be needing a caretaker if you don't stop drinking. I can promise you that....it may take a few years, but that is your lot should you take this casually.As far as when to start the real treatment, only your specialist can say. 4. NOTHING will take the place of going to a specialist...we are not doctors so we cannot diagnose...all we can do is share our own experiences and be supportive....I don't mean to sound harsh but I just went thru this with my brother (he contracted it via a bad blood transfusion ) so it is very fresh on my mind. He was knocking hard on heaven's door and he was fortunate that some poor soul became a donor that day, when he needed it most. He had all the above symptoms and then some. I know you're young, but again....this is what you face should you choose to continue drinking. I had to take care of him, and i mean do EVERYTHING for him for the past 3 months or so, and I had another sister helping. So line up your caregivers if you choose to ignore this advice...you won't be able to drive either so hope you have great friends. Many will forget you once you become so dependent. Sorry if this sounds harsh but it is your reality in the future if you don't comply, so please take advantage of your youth and quit! You will feel better in a thousand ways, because your liver has 600+ functions in your body and liver transplant is THE most complex surgery one can have...and not all have optimal results. I have a daughter your age and would tell her the same. Okay, I'm done, gotta go let my bp come back down, good luck my dear....I truly wish you all the best! Hugs, Mae
Caregiver for 59 yr old brother's liver transplant
Listed at Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville 1/2/13
Rec'd liver 1/13/2013
Post Edited (Germophobe) : 2/15/2013 12:46:31 AM (GMT-7)