Hi, I am a wife of 22 years to a man I love. 9 months before we met he had a life-saving surgery that gave him 42 units of blood. We found out years later that he tested positive for Hepatitis C. We consulted a liver specialist who told us that since he was a stage 1 of Fibrosis and no elevated liver enzymes and not symptomatic we should go home and not worry. Probably a new treatment would be less toxic and available before he would ever need treatment. We went on to start a family. We have twin 3 year olds. A son and a daughter and felt so blessed being older parents. About when they were 3 months old my husband started experiencing exceptional fatigue and joint pain. We didn't pay much attention being new parents. He continued to get worse and then last summer he became almost non-functional from the fatigue and pain. We search for an answer. Finally, I thought of the Hep C. I made an appointment again with the specialist we saw 5 years ago. He said, "your liver enzymes are still not elevated, your viral load is much higher, but you are on narcotic codeine for pain management and I won't treat you until you have pain control off narcotics, see me in 3 months. So probably not expecting to see us, we went home and made a plan. Got all new doctors, pain management, internal medicine, and a psychiatrist due to the insipid depression of becoming sick and my husband feeling like a bad person for his change in functioning. We accomplished the task. He got off the Tylenol 4's and we went back at the end of March '07. Ready to start treatment. Again the doctor challenged my husband. Worried about the depression, due to treatment side effects, worried about his expectations, and worried about his low level liver damage but curious high symptom rate, he finally relented and agreed after a 1.5 hour consultation. We were exhausted. He went to the class on the pegelated interferon, he got all the tests done, and received his medication, including Ribavarin, in the mail this past Wednesday the 25th of April. He took his first injection and pills that night. Like watching a pot boil, we waited to see if anything would happen, what I don't know, maybe he would blow up. Realizing this was silly and a long process we went to bed. We have acknowleged we are both scared but have no choice but to try this. I created a calendar to take an active approach to the situation and count down the days, 336, 335, 334, etc. That is where we are. Day 4. It didn't help that he has a respiratory virus he caught like all of us from the kid's preschool. I think we are the new host family since preschool came into our life for the bugs there. Anyway, the nurse said start anyway. He is cranky, agitated, already depressed, and just plain difficult. I need support through this so much. Just writing and letting it go and then if someone responds through the process. I hate the unknown. This is that. Where will we be in 12 weeks, 24 weeks, and finally 48 weeks if he tolerates treatment. What is to come? How will he respond? Will Hepatitis leave our home, his body? I need hope. I need questions answered and support. 18 months to wait for a possible cure is a long time. With 3 year olds especially long. So, that is my story for now. Please don't send me fear if you would like to write. Please send hope. He just was making a sandwich for the kids and got mad that the juice straw wouldn't open and he said a depressed/angry remark. I got suckered in. I said, this is a long process and depression and anger can be worsened, I am already worried. Sarcastically he responded with "well every minute of my day is spent not wanting to worry you of course, that is first on my mind". Very nasty tone and angry. I am in the mental health field and he knows I know a lot and am trying to be just his wife and supportive. These out of nowhere blasts are terrible. Instead of confronting him with a response of anger or tears, I left the room and came upstairs to check email etc. Deciding to go online and search for support, I found this organization and started to write. Thank you for reading and I truly hope many are getting cured
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