Apr 22

Forgive Me Father For I Have Hepatitis C Sinned – 20 Weeks Down!

Amen to that!

Yes, that’s right folks, it seems that I have wilfully broken the golden rule of hepatitis C treatment. I opened a can of the amber nectar and enjoyed a few cans of the good stuff!

Yeah, yeah, yeah…. I know you are not supposed to go anywhere near alcohol on hep c treatment. I even blogged about it a few months ago here: hep c and alcohol.

However, here is the thing, after 18 weeks of treatment (3 weeks ago), I was starting to feel a bit like I was on a treadmill, and a boring one at that. I couldn’t take my usual long haul holiday at this time of year because of the hassle of carrying the meds through airports (doc discouraged me) and I kind of felt life had been closing in a little. The first 12 weeks really was quite a regime of pills and injections and I guess it was all kind of getting to me. Alcohol provided the release I needed:

Here is how I rationalised it to myself:

1)     I deserved it, I had earned the beer after 18 weeks of ‘hardship’.

2)     I had had an eRVR and I am ‘free’ of the virus at present.

3)     My blood work is all fine, nothing dangerously low or high, ALT coming down nicely.

4)     The nurse actually said it would be ok to have a ‘night out’ and that it would do me good. I found this approach really strange but was glad to hear it!

5)     Shit, if I didn’t do something to break the monotony of it all soon, I think I’d have put the next injection in my forehead or something just to liven things up a bit.

So, I had a few beers. A few days later I had a few more and a few days later a few more. Nothing major each time, say 2-3 pints of Fosters, 4% stuff, hardly likely to make me start me doing ‘the robot’ at 2am in the local nightclub. I had read rumours that you would get a massive hangover or become really sick the next day, or something, but truth be told I felt just fine. I took all my pills and injections still and life continued as normal.

Overall, of course I would strongly recommend you/anyone steer(s) clear of the stuff on treatment. My health situation may be completely different to yours and I haven’t had a SVR yet, so who knows if I have ruined all the treatment I have gone through so far or not. However, I’m glad I’ve had a little taste of the good stuff again, it made me feel alive and gave me a chance to escape somewhat.

It has renewed my motivation to finish treatment and I think has actually helped push me towards the finish line. I realise I have jeopardised my chances of success somewhat, possibly, maybe, I’ve not read any studies that really research whether someone in my position (ERVR and no intila liver damage after 18 weeks of triple therapy) drinking, but what the heck, it is done now, I have no regrets about it and may even continue to have a couple of beers at the weekend just to give myself a little reward for another week completed.

Alcohol and treatment seems to be a very touchy topic on the forums that I’ve scouted out, with the majority of people being vehemently against it see here (and even after treatment), but hey, it’s horses for courses I guess. If anyone out there has any credible studies on this topic I’d be interested to see a link (other than the usual ‘alcohol is bad for your liver blah blah blah’ line – we know that, I’m after more specific info), cheers.

Anyhow, as I said, I’m on week 20 now, so only 4 to go. I’m really looking forward to the back of the pills now. I can’t say that I’m having any particular side effects really, maybe a little grumpier than usual but certainly nothing to get worried about, I’ve been fortunate throughout treatment really. I haven’t had a day off work yet (touch wood) and have continued with the exercise throughout, albeit to a slightly lesser degree.

Well, that is my quick little update done, I’m off to the off-licence to grab a few cans…… or am I?

PS, The ring of fire seems but a distant memory!

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  1. Lisa Le

    I find your posts to be inspiring. I too have hep c and will need to undergo treatment but treatment scares me! I hear of all these horror stories about people who become physically unable to even get out of bed. I fear this will be me too. I just started a new job that I actually love and I don’t want to lose it but I also know I really need the treatment. I will continue to follow your posts as they are a small hint of hope that maybe my treatment won’t be so bad. Good luck to you on your treatment.

  2. MyHepCTreatment

    Hi Lisa, I understand how you feel and this is partly the reason I’m blogging. I was very unsure about treatment and was also worried about how it may affect my life. All I could find online was how bad hep c treatment was, but that’s human nature i guess, people focus on the bad stories.

    Having gone through it without too many issues myself though, I thought I would like to redress the balance somewhat by telling my story of how relatively painless it has been. There’s no way of telling how you’ll react but my personal belief is that if you jusy give it a go with the right attitude you may be surprised how well it works out for you.

    I wish you all the best! Let me know how you get on.

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