I wrote a long response in welcome to our forum yesterday and and then zip zip, off it went. So, today I am not doing it from a tablet, but rather my PC. Hoping for better luck.
Those who have been on this forum a while know this story well...but here goes.
My partner, Mike, is the one with liver disease in our house. He, like you, was feeling horrible in 2003. He had known he had Hep C for several years, but it had been quiet. AND he was a daily drinker...cocktails, beer, wine...no breaking up bars or getting DUIs, but from after work til bedtime it was a "bottomless pour."
He took the only treatment at the time, Ribavirin and Interferon, for 6 months and got sicker on the meds and did not clear the virus. He was so ill, he went for a second opinion at a transplant center in NY, about
100 miles from our home. He had a high Hep C viral load. AND Cirrhosis (ALD _Hep C). A biopsy confirmed that. The NY doc told him that even with both problems, he could live 15 years before "getting into trouble." The caveat was IF HE STOPPED DRINKING AND STAYED ON A HEALTHY DIET. He did not. He'd say things like if I am just dying I want to die happy.
By 2010, his liver was decompensated...he was in Endstage Liver Disease (ESLD)...his Hep C Viral load was sky high and his Liver Function tests were way out of range. There is a Mathematical Calculation of the MELD score, that tells you how sick you are, and on the average, the mortalilty rate for an average person who has your lab numbers for bilirubin, INR and creatinine. Here is a link to that calculation: www.mayoclinic.org/medical-professionals/model-end-stage-liver-disease/meld-score-90-day-mortality-rate-alcoholic-hepatitis
So, in 2010, Mike was being seen by a hepatologist in our town where we moved to in Florida. And he told us Mike's Meld and Labs and Viral Load (which you don't have evidently...did they test the viral heps?). That doc said "when it was time" they would refer him to a Transplant Center. But Mike just got sicker and sicker...til another doc he saw got hold of his labs and had a FIT, called TP in Miami and got Mike an appointment right away.
The pre TP doc wanted to keep Mike the day he arrived for his first appointment because his MELD score was 26, higher than the MELD score they transplant at.
HOWEVER, they realized he was a drinking man and he had to go through 6 months sober before he could get on a list. They put him on all kinds of meds, required AA meeting proof (initialed calendar) and an ethanol blood draw weekly!!!! It was rough....
But amazingly, off the booze, and taking lactulose, xifaxan, blood pressure pills, etc, his MELD came down enough so that he lived until he was #1 on the UNOS list for his blood type in our region. He was successfully transplanted May 1st, 2011.
None of this is saying everyone lives who stops drinking...but Ziff sure has...even off the transplant list he has done so well.
Is my Mike perfect, no. But he is alive, sober 5 1/2 years and playing golf some.
So...my recommendations...continue sobriety, exercise, eat healthy, get lots of sleep if you can (some with liver disease have interrupted sleep), AND try to see if your docs will refer you to a TP center for your ongoing care...there is where the really best liver doctors are...where the action is.
I will tell you another thing...it happened to Mike and Ziff has spoken about
it from time to time...some docs don't give those with substance problems their full attention...Mike's doc was waiting for Mike to get sober before he sent him to TP...but never said that to him right out in words! Grrr.
I hope you have put a plug in the jug for good.
MamaLama, Forum moderator - Hepatitis
Partner received liver transplant (May 1, 2011) FL
Hep C 1a Treatment - Sovaldi/Olysio (March - May 2014)
Undetected since week 4. Undetected 12 weeks post treatment.