Kathryn, welcome to the forum! We are a close-knit group and always are grateful to have new members.
I was diagnosed with hep C in '93. I knew nothing about it at the time--in fact, a test for it only became available the prior year. I worked in the medical field as a transcriptionist for 15 years, and at the time thought nothing of mentioning the hep C to a few nurses. I thought it would be a good source of info. I experienced exactly what you did--the actual pulling back physically from me, the feeling of ostracism, etc. I learned not to divulge my diagnosis unless it was necessary; i.e., to doctors and other healthcare workers, etc. When I divulged it to my dentist's office, I was treated so poorly that I never mentioned it again to any dentist. (My feeling is the likelihood of getting or transmitting the disease to a dentist is practically nil, being that they practice contagious disease protocol.) When you tell someone you have hep C, they immediately ask, "How did you get it?" In my case, I know I contracted it during an 18-month period in the 60s when I was using IV drugs (have been clean since '69, so it's a lifetime away.) That's a period of my life that I have worked hard to overcome and get past, and I don't particularly want to disclose it to just anybody.
At any rate, Kathryn, have you had a liver biopsy yet? That is the definitive way to determine if your hep C is active; that is, still attacking your liver. If so, I hope you will get started with treatment as soon as you can (when your doctor gets back.) It didn't work for me, but I was considering trying the combo treatment when I was diagnosed with inoperable liver cancer--a huge tumor that has metastasized to a large blood vessel. I am just waiting for a new treatment to start, as it is the only thing that might help me gain some time. I mention this so you will know how important it is to get treatment. This tumor is a direct result of the hep C going untreated for many years. Chemo does not work for liver cancer!
Kathryn, what kind of symptoms are you having? My main one is extreme fatigue...sleeping a lot, but still not feeling rested. Someone once described it as walking through molasses, and I think that really says it! The feeling of fatigue...though much milder than now...was what caused my doctor to test me for hep C. I also had elevated enzymes, but they have never been more than double normal until lately. I also have some liver pain and bloating now, as well as severe lower extremity swelling.
This forum is a great place to vent and get support, meet others with the same problems, etc. There are also some other resources for you to check into at the top of the Healing Well/hepatitis page.
Hope to see you back here often!