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Hey Bern--

If your tests so far show little or no liver damage, there is probably NO reason to worry. not for now, anyway, and with any luck at all, not for a long time.

for most of us, this is a very slow moving disease. as is said, quite accurately, most hep c "victims" will die with hep c, not OF it or from it.

and, as you will learn as you study more, it is not terribly contagious either--you can't be careless and stupid about it, but with any common sense, your family, lovers, children,etc., should be entirely safe from risk. it is possible to transmit this virus (after all, WE got it!), but unless blood-to-blood contact is involved, the infection does not spread.

however, back on the first point; you really can't be sure of your liver's condition without a liver biopsy. there are other tests that give close approximation (ultrasound combined with several blood tests, not just the common alt and ast ones)but nothing is more accurate than a liver biopsy. So, when your insurance kicks back in, and you get to a liver doc, ask for this test.
It is not a big deal, although i definitely did not enjoy it. You go home the same day, etc. a "minor" procedure--if any procedure that breaks the skin can be called minor.


for now, DON'T WORRY. I've had this disease for --as near as we can figure out--more than 30 years, and I still am at stage one of liver scarring (of the four stages). Not everyone is this lucky, but if you avoid drink and toxins, the odds are certainly on your side.

of course study on the internet, in medical journals at your local college library, wherever. just take everything with a grain of salt. two grains. there is MUCH that is not yet known about hep c, so look at all sides of each issue. we're all still learning.

actually, some of this stuff is pretty interesting reading. so there is an up side!

sean





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