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“I had a great life when I was diagnosed as being hep c positive. I worked as a business consultant in Edinburgh, drove a smart car, lived in a nice flat and enjoyed a busy and productive life. I remember that I’d been feeling more tired than usual before my diagnosis but put it down to pushing myself too much and being in my 50s.
It was a sinus infection that led me to my GP’s surgery. It was the first time I’d been to see a doctor since moving to the area so he ran lots of additional tests to check my health. Some warning signs showed up in the results and further tests came back positive for hepatitis C.
I was stunned by the diagnosis and when the doctor recommended I take part in a medical study for a new drug – I jumped at the chance. I imagined I’d go through the treatments, clear the virus and move on with my life. I was wrong!
It was like a tsunami came in and sucked every bit of my life away – my job, friendships, relationships. The medication made me so ill. The side effects were horrendous. To make it worse, near the end of nearly a year’s treatment, I was told that it had failed. I was still hepatitis C positive.
It was at this point I heard about Waverley Care. They were a godsend and they scooped me up and helped me sort myself out. Whatever situation I presented them with they helped – benefits, bus pass, housing, emotional support, they just got things done. My entire social network had disappeared whilst I was so ill on treatment but Waverley Care also helped me to meet new people. I joined the walking group and swimming group and I now meet my new friends for lunch.
After a bit of time to get back on my feet I was told that totally new treatments had been launched which had a shorter treatment period and fewer side effects. I decided to give it a go. Now, 12 weeks on, my tests for hepatitis C are showing as clear. I’ve still got follow up tests to confirm I’m totally clear of the virus but, all being well, I’ll soon be told I’m cured.
During treatment the side effects haven’t been anything like those of the old medication but I have struggled with fatigue. I’m looking forward to rekindling my passion for travelling. It’s a big wide world and there are lots of places and people I want to see and meet. Plus I’ll enjoy it all the more knowing I’m hepatitis C free.”
*Name changed to protect individual’s anonymity.