A blog about me, my thoughts, my hopes, my humour, my rants and my life with hep.C
About this blog...
"A blog for me and people like me, beating HepC"
Hi, I'm a Hepatitis C sufferer and have been for about 25 years or so, unbeknown to me!
The virus became 'active' a few years ago and I was diagnosed sometime after that. Unfortunately my liver was already too badly damaged to undergo traditional treatments.
Since that time my health deteriorated until I had a Full Liver Transplant at St Jimmy's in Leeds, however the HepC still remains!
This is my story about my fight with the virus until I beat it or it beats me... and so far I'm winning!
I hope that what I write here may help others who battle daily with HCV and also for those who face, or have faced the 'highs & lows' of an Organ Transplant.
I have an eye for the unusual, a love of philosophical and political humour and enjoy nothing more than good, old fashioned 'Mickey' taking! I write my blog mainly to amuse me, but also to let people know what HepC is and what it's like to live with.
Please click on the links on this site for the Hep C Trust, Hep C Nomads and others, whom I have relied on for information, help and support - and without whom, I would not be here today.
I hope you enjoy reading my by blog and maybe even find it amusing and enlightening!
Keep well everyone... Ian
The Hepatitis Trust
Helpline: 0845 223 4424
Hep C Nomads
The Social Side Of Support For Those Affected By Hep C - Click here to link Hep C Nomads forum
I received this email to my web-site a couple of days ago and I thought I'd publish it (thanks Terry) and my reply to it - it says a lot ..... Ian
I too am a liver recipient. Mine was given in October 2008 because I was suffering from end stage cirrhosis. I was ill for three years prior to the operation and very ill indeed for the last three months. As I live on Grand Cayman, my procedure was carried out in the US at Broward Hospital, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Hearing of your progress brings back many memories. You seem to be making much faster progress than I did. 3½ weeks after my operation I was in the Respiratory Care Unit (a "Step Down" Unit, half way between Intensive Care and the ward), having spent over two weeks in I C first. Then it was three weeks up on the ward and finally six weeks in rehab.
Now, nearly eighteen months later, I am wonderfully well and happy. I take 1 and then 2 prograf alternately every morning (10 or 11 a week). I take one dapsone ever Monday and that's it.
Just before the transplant I was taking over 50 pills a day!
I also have felt the urge to write. I have started a blog that contains stories and episodes from my life. As I came so near to death - one or two weeks - I am putting in writing some of my memories. There's nothing about my medical experiences yet but I am sure that one day they will appear.
I suffered from, "ICU Psychosis" after the op and had many hallucinations but no nightmares. I confidently told my wife one day that one of my nurses was Gwyneth Paltrow. That surprised her but when Gwynneth appeared, I coughed and nodded at her. After Gwyneth had gone I asked Caroline what she thought. "That's not her," she said. "She is black but Gwyneth Paltrow is white."
"Not when she's nursing," I snapped.
Keep going. My thoughts are with you.
And my reply...
Thanks for your e-mail, I've got to say it was the most inspiring message I have had in a long time.
As you can probably tell from my blog site, I haven't posted for quite some time. This has been due mainly to the fact that whilst struggling to recover from my transplant, I haven't had either the energy nor the inclination to write.
I always thought that following the transplant that I would go home from hospital and just keep getting better and better. I know now that this is not the case. I find in some cases you have good days and bad days, but more often you have bad days and worse days. That being said I feel physically as though I have progressed comparatively more quickly than most. However psychologically and emotionally I have found my recovery to be a complete roller-coaster.
I know that after only seven weeks or so after my op that my doctors etc are very pleased with my progress however I tend to feel whilst I am alive, I am not really living. So after reading your story of how long it took you to recover I realise that I am being far too impatient. Sometimes hearing stories about you and Gwyneth are all you need to realise it. A good laugh is always the best tonic.
Please write me back and let me know your blog address, I would love to catch up with you and find out how you're getting on and I hope you don't mind but I am publishing this letter on my site as a precursor to my return to writing and hopefully some more video diaries. This could be difficult as my little boy dropped my camera the other day and smashed it to pieces! Nevermind, I've still got my web cam.
Thanks again Terry and please give my love to your very understanding wife and to Gwyneth if you see her again in whatever guise. I read my e-mail to my wife and it made her laugh so much probably because she related to it so much more than I - God knows what she's had to put up with!
Hepatits C is a blood-borne viral disease which can cause liver inflamation, fibrosis, cirrhosis and liver cancer. The Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is spread by blood-to-blood contact with infected person's blood. Many people with HCV infection have no symptoms and are unaware of the need to seek treatment. Hepatitis C infects an estimated 150-200 million people worldwide. It is the leading cause of liver Transplant...
Hepatitis C is an inflamation of the liver caused by infection with the Hepatitis C virus is one of the five known hepatitis viruses: A, B, C, D & E. Hepatitis C was previousley known as non-A non-B hepatitis prior to isolation of the virus in 1989.
Symptoms of Acute Hepatitis C:
Acute Hepatitis C refers to first 6 months after infection with HCV. Remarkably, 60% - 70% of people develop no symptoms during the acute phase. In the minority of patients who experience acute phase symptoms, thet are generally mild and non-specific, and rarely lead to specific diagnoses of Hepatitis C. Symptoms of acute hepatitis C include decreased appetite, fatigue, abdominal pain, jaundice, itching and flu-like symptoms.
Symptoms of Chronic Hepatitis C:
Chronic Hepatitis C is defined as infection with the Hepatitis C virus persisting for more than six months. The course of chronic hepatitis C varies considerably from one person to another. Virtually all people infected with HCV have evidence of inflamation on liver biopsy however, the rate of progression of liver scarring (fibrosis) shows significant inter-individual variability.