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Tink's journey with Hepatitis C

Friday, July 15, 2005

Bambi Effect

Thank you for all your kind words and encouragement - it was great to hear from you!
Apart from the obvious benefit of tx and being 'negative' at 3 months, it has also transformed my little stubby eyelashes into the most wondrous things. Sam at HepC UK says it's the 'Bambi' effect - well, I just can't wait for the legs to start growing!

My red blood cells are running a bit low at 9 and so it's not surprising that I'm feeling jiggered most of the time. I've had an especially 'fatigued' week, sometimes even struggling to drive the 5 mins into town. A hepper friend here (who successfully completed her tx last year) advised me to have wheatgrass tablets to boost the red blood cells and I think I'll give it a go today. My Prof has said right from the beginning that a normal healthy diet should be more than adequate but I'm right off greens at the moment so I need a bit of help. Anybody else taking these? My friend used them throughout her tx and maintained a red blood count of 12 so I am tempted.

I did manage this week to meet up with a lady who runs DASH (Drugs and Support Helpline). This group have picked up the responsibility of running with the HepC Awareness Week October 1st and she's having meetings with other Isle of Man government representatives to decide what to do. She's invited me along to respresent our new support group (Manx Liverty). She was extremely helpful even providing me with the names of trusts here on the Island who are doling out funds to the needy groups like ourselves. Whether or not DASH is the right place to be directing all Heppers is another question but one that I will deal with in a separate posting. I think I am going to have to tread lightly and diplomatically on this one. I managed to get my hands on the official government brochure directed at newly diagnosed heppers. There isn't a single mention of people being infected other than via drugs or sex and the only support on offer is from Drug Clinics, GUM or AA. These brochures are not widely distributed and are not evident at GP's surgeries where, I think, they were supposed to be (perhaps fortunately).

A friend is coming to pick me up this morning and take me for coffee and 'catch up' so I'd better get a move on. It takes me longer to put on my mascara these days.....

Thursday, July 07, 2005

12 Week Test Results

I went to London last Monday, did my blood tests and saw the Professor. Everything is looking good. He did not have my PCR results but promised to phone me. We went to Fuerteventura the next day and I have to say I spent the first couple of days waiting for the phone to ring.

I was tucking into my bowl of muesli when the Prof called. My PCR results showed 'negative' - I am clear of the virus. I cried into my cereal! I am type 1 and I am well aware that the chances of clearing are only 45%. I know I still have a long way to go - another 8 months of tx and even then there is no guarantee but I am on the right road. I am so so happy.

I don't think I have done anything special. I have a normal appetite and eat a normal healthy diet with no alcohol. I don't take any supplements and I only drink a normal amount of water - perhaps 8 glasses on a good day but most times not even that. My main reaction to the tx is tiredness - no real other side effects. I just feel lethargic most of the time. I felt breathless for the first month but I'm back to normal now. When I feel tired, I rest. I just follow my body.

My nails have disappeared but fortunately, I still have a full head of hair. More amazingly, is that my eyelashes have grown(???)

On the home front, I meet regularly with other heppers and we are about to set up our own little support group. Tx here is very slow with lots of folk being diagnosed with Hep C but still waiting for tx to begin and then they are shipped off to Liverpool to get support from there. So perhaps we can offer a supportive hand here at home.