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My trip with liver disease began in 1994, when I had acute hepatitis C from contaminated blood product. I have recovered from the acute phase, but still struggles with chronic hepatitis C today. The treatment did not work for me, but I hope that many new treatments being researched and tested today, I will heal someday soon.
In 1997, the implementation of a support group for hepatitis C began using my skills as a nurse to educate and counsel patients about this disease. I found that there were many misconceptions, discrimination and stigma of an imperious on liver disease that still exists today. No one needs to feel contaminated, dirty or guilty because of a diagnosis of hepatitis C. Patients tell me they do not even want to tell your dentist or other health professionals who have the virus because of fears that are treated so different! It is very important that everyone involved in your care about your diagnosis. All medical staff should treat every patient with universal precautions, if they know the patient’s condition or not. No one wants to expose people to contaminated blood, so some precautions are in order in their daily lives, such as wear strips, not sharing toothbrushes, manicure equipment, or razors life. You should consult your doctor about taking special precautions in your particular case.
Running a support group has been very rewarding for me on many levels. Many patients are cured still attend the meetings to support others. It is one of the main reasons for the success of the group. Sometimes people come into the group of fear that could die in the near future and are scared to death of treatment. They have heard horror stories about hepatitis C and medications to treat it. It is really a great relief when they learn some solid facts and dispel some misconceptions. They are surprised to see people who have been cured of hepatitis C for several years. This gives them hope. They leave their first meeting as feeling they are not alone, and like a great burden.
it has been wonderful for me to see the new treatments that are available leads to a high probability of being cured. The treatment can be difficult, and learn how to deal with those who have experienced it can be very useful. Although there are many difficult side effects, with the information and support that is more likely to effectively manage them and complete their treatment. Since 1994, I have seen much progress with each new treatment. A greater number of patients are cured. We all want progress was faster, because there are still many who have suffered a lot with this disease. Personally I lost 3 friends for hepatitis C. However, with the great progress finally being made, they will save many more lives.
Arm yourself with education. If you think you might have hepatitis C, get tested. The most important thing to remember is that there is hope!
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