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Hepatitis Message Board

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First the bad news: You are still 52.(So am I)

Now the good news:

You are still married with two wonderful grown daughters. I assume you have a husband worth keeping for 30 years, your career, and all of the blessings you have listed. Nothing has changes except that you know now that you must take extra care. Your life can still continue as before.

Fear will not kill you and neither will having hepatitis C. It will require some lifestyle modification but possibly it won't, depending on your current lifestyle choices. Most people die with hepatitis C and not of it. And a good many of those never knew they had it.

Women, particularly those who do not drink or smoke, almost never progress to liver disease.

So, do not drink alcohol AT ALL EVER. Do not smoke anything, ever, or let yourself be exposed to the smoke of others. Do not use paint, chemicals or anything elsewithout a respirator (this included working in a beauty shop or having false nails done)

Nutrition is important. So, learn to eat well, handle food safely and get on with your wonderful life.

Get vaccinated for hep A and B. One hep is too many. You continue to compromise your health by adding other diseases.

You are not contagious by ordinary hugging, kissing, or sharing kitchen utensils or glasses. Watch to clean and bandage over any cuts. Do not share toothbrushes or razors or any other personal item. Your granchildren are completely safe in your care.

Okay, that is the short course. You have time to study, learn about taking good care and all of the options open to you. There is absolutely no need to make decisions in a hurry or under any pressure. You can take lots of time because the disease moves very slowly when it moves at all. In many people, it doesn't progress. So, you can check out everything as thoroughly as you need to before committing to anything.

As to the symptoms, there really are none for most people. With the diagnosis of hepatitis C, suddenly everything in the world becomes blamed on hep C including cakes that fall and dogs that bark. Try to relax and take things one at a time and you will be just fine and the world will look just as it did before.

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