Thursday, 31 December 2009
I am talking about the people I have met, online or otherwise, who like me, have got or have had Hepatitis C. Or for that matter, the people who, for no obvious benefit or reward to themselves, work tirelessly to make folks like me feel better.
There is no doubt that having Hep C is a bloody awful thing to have, and when you get diagnosed and you learn what HCV actually is (and is not), and it feels like you’ve just been hit by a steam train! After that comes the feeling of being completely alone and if like me, you have family around you, it’s only them that keeps you going. If you don’t, then I can only say that my deepest sympathies are with you. But nothing alters the fact, in either situation, that at some point you will face this virus alone. And it’s then that you enter a very dark place indeed.
But this where I have found my revelation for 2010, and it is this. Because you have just been diagnosed with Hep C, you have also become a member of something huge. A large community of people just like you. Moreover, as I said on the Hep C Nomads forum, I find that whilst there are the obvious downsides to having HCV, the virus seems to create a very special breed of people who are refreshingly open, honest and candid about the situation you are in. It is these people that you become a part of and you will be able to talk freely, without judgement or reprisal, about the experiences that we will all face and face together.
I told ‘Chrissy’ from ‘Nomads’ that when I was first told by my doctor that I had Hepatitis C, I had so much going on in my life at that time that l didn't really fully understand what HCV was. My Doctor said later that he thought I was in denial but if the truth be told I was just ignorant as to what Hepatitis C was and what it was going to mean to me. When I was first diagnosed I thought, right, OK, so what tablets do I need to take to get rid of this? Now the full extent of what it meant for me has become painfully clear, I keep thinking - If only I had known...
I spent a lot of time then, moping around in the wilderness so to speak, feeling like this situation was unique to me, but after a time I realised I had to do something about the situation I was in. It was only after meeting people like myself after my admission to St Jimmy’s that someone told me to get online and research! Since that time, I got on the internet and started ‘googling’, ‘twittering’ and eventually ‘blogging’. It was then that I realised that I was not alone!
It was then that I started to meet people like ‘Murph’ and Dave G @hepCoz on twitter in Australia, and others like them that I started feeling like I was getting somewhere. And all the info from the Hep C Trust website. Now I’m joining HCV forums and meeting new people all the time. Like I said earlier – If only I had known...
So, if you stumble across this blog and you’re researching, then I hope you find plenty of info here and links to plenty more like me. For me it's not just been a revelation, it has been nothing short of a bloody miracle, and for that I am thankful.
And to those of you who are like me and have Hepatitis C or you help others with it, then I raise my glass full to the brim with my finest fruit juice (as it will always be in our community) and drink to you this New Year and I hope we all keep safe and well in 2010, and hope we have many more to come.
Happy New Year everyone .... Ian