I am a 20 year old college student, and I just found out this month(February 2013) that I have the hepatitis c virus.
Of course I was shocked and scared to find out that I had become infected with hepatitis c, but it was no mystery how I contracted the virus. I have been clean off drugs for 10 months now and I have made major lifestyle changes. I am committed to pursuing and education and doing all I can to be a better myself, I see a counselor weekly who helps me deal with the issues of addiction and the challenges and benefits of sobriety.
From the time I was 17 up until 10 months ago, I was an intravenous drug user. Any drug that could be made into a solution, I would inject. When someone uses drugs intravenously, it becomes inevitable that syringes will be shared among other I.V. users. So of course during the course of my drug use, I shared hypodermic needles with others. I have also received tattoos from non-sterile sources, and I am also a gay man and have had unprotected sex with other men. To say the least, I lived a lifestyle that put me at risk for a lot worse things than hep-c and the whole time I felt exempt from the outcomes of those risks.
This disease is a result of my own doing, and I don't feel an ounce of pity for myself. On the contrary I am thankful I learned of the disease in my sobriety because if I were still active in my addiction, my health and treatment of the disease would not be on the top of my priorities.
However; I am still scared and confused and still suffering the initial shock of learning I have hep-c.
I just had my first appointment with a specialist and had more labs done to find out what type of hep-c I have, so I can get the appropriate treatment. I am experiencing the initial symptoms of hep-c; mostly fatigue and nausea. The doctor gave me a physical and said my liver is inflamed. I am scheduled to start treatment next month(march 2013) after my lab results are confirmed.
I came to this message board to reach out for help, support, or advice. I just want to hear from others who have gone through treatment or are currently being treated for hep-c.
Thank you all for reading this post and for any helpful responses. Health, wealth, and happiness to you all
First, welcome to the boards and thank you for sharing your story in such an honest, open way. You have done a great job of turning your life around, and the changes will undoubtedly help to protect you from other harmful effects of IV drug use and addiction that would have inevitably occurred. Your liver will likely settle down after the acute infection runs its course, and early treatment will lessen the severity of it. During this time do all you can to protect your liver from any further insults. Learn all you can about transmission, so you don't pass it on to anyone else. Tylenol is very hard on the liver, and of course alcohol, so keep your sobriety a priority. You have done a good job making healthier choices and I hope your hepatitis responds well to treatment and you feel better in a few weeks.