Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The picture of health? Not really...

This was going to be my year. I was going to get in shape and get the house in order since one kid is in school and the other is in preschool 3 mornings a week. Pretty presumptuous, huh? Yep, I'm guilty, but not of presuming these last few months were going to be my way. I'm guilty of taking my health for granted.

I've been through a divorce. That sucks. But, dealing with a medical problem sucks worse. Until last August, I was doing everything my way and not thinking of eating right, exercising, etc. And then, sickness struck. Originally, it was my gall bladder. A stone passed, supposedly, but I will never know for sure. What I do know is after my blood tests came back with elevated liver enzymes, my mind started questioning what was going on. So, what does a haus frau do all day when she has symptoms and a little information? Yes, you guessed it--you "google it". And when your search words are elevated liver enzymes, abdominal pain, nausea, fatigue, the thing that keeps popping up is Hepatitis C. I was shocked. Who, me? I do work in health care and with blood. I was a phlebotomist years ago in college and had a needle stick. But, really?

Days later I get a letter from my family practice doctor that says to come in and talk about my blood test. YOU BETTER BELIEVE I WILL. I went in and we started talking. He thought I had a virus and blah, blah, blah. I had to ask. "When I google all of this, chronic hepatitis C keeps coming up. Could it be that?" His reply, "You just don't fit, but I will order the blood test."

The other thing I'm guilty of? Prejudice. In health care, there is prejudice with certain diseases. At least there was for me and evidently, for my family practice doctor. He said I didn't fit because the majority of Hepatitis C infected people in the U.S. are IV drug users. The other common ways of getting it are from a blood transfusion before 1991 and occupational exposure.

So, the past few weeks I've had some tests done and visits with a GI doctor. I even went to Boston to see an expert. There is good news to all of this. I have a genotype that is not common in the US and it has an 80% chance of responding to treatment. And if all goes well, I should only have to do it for 6 months. Pills in the AM and the PM and a shot once a week. The side effects might be really yucky for a while, but in the end, it should be worth it. I most likely will start treatment the end of December/early January.

Why did I spill my guts about this? I've never been good at having a poker face and even in blogging, I've found that if there is something really weighing on my mind, it eventually has to come out. I can't explain it, I'm just that way.

Some other good things about all of this? I've found out that I have a lot more friends than I ever realized. I've had so many friends offer to help in any way they can. I am amazed and humbled. I am so blessed.

I made the mistake the other day of saying things happen for a reason. What I should have said is... And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)


Thomas said...

I need to catch up on reading your blog.

Auburn Kat said...

I know I'm not going through the samething you are, but you are so right about taking taking good health for granted. This last month for me has not been fun at all and I have no clue when it will all be over with. I just wakeup everyday thankful that I am waking up, I have wonderful family and friends and I have health insurance.

Hang in there and let me know if you need anything at all!

OH and good try with the email last night! =)

Cheryl Wray said...

I was reading your new year post and saw a link to this post and realized that I'd never read it.

You have a wonderful attitude and I'm praying that everything's going to go great with your treatments. I believe that they will!