The Beginning of Treatment 2006

My first treatment for Hepatitis C began January 09 2006 as scheduled. My NP Caelyn was the only doctor from now on. If needed I would be able to get in touch with the liver specialist. Side effects were explained again by Caelyn and my first needle was given. My husband Albert agreed to take on this task of giving my needle each week, but today he watched and learned. Albert loathes the sight of needles but he thinks he can do this for me. I’m sure when the time comes next week it will be okay.

On the way home that day, we were about twenty–five kms out of the city when I began to feel sickly. It was snowing and we had a two hour drive home. We stopped in the first half hour at a restaurant and had supper. I couldn’t believe I was feeling symptoms already, suddenly I didn’t feel much like eating. A tune was playing on the radio, one of my favorites [Head Over Heels by Blue Rodeo.] I had a comforting feeling about this specific song; I loved the music and the lyrics. We were not long at the restaurant since the snow kept coming down and we had a long drive ahead of us.

I was uncomfortable watching those tiny snowflakes hit the windshield but at least it was still daylight. The flakes seemed to accumulate by the minute. My aches and pains were a little more tolerable now but I felt tired and sickly. I know Caelyn said it would most likely be a few hours before I would notice any symptoms and I am in the second hour. By the time we got home I was feeling severe flu like symptoms such as aching and sore muscles, cold to the bone and sickly but not sick, and to top it all off; crying. Unbelievable I slept well that night and in the morning I was still tired but feeling okay. One of my biggest comforts was our dog Sophie. She was a blonde cocker spaniel and from day one she knew I wasn’t well. She stayed by my side and followed me everywhere I went.

My medication is PEGASYS* (interferon) and COPEGUS* (ribavirin)

One needle a week and six pills a day. Other meds were Tylenol Ultra as needed for headaches; not more than four a day; mostly I needed two. Vitamin A and D, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Pariet and Folic Acid and of course the Gen-Zopiclone pills for sleeping. I could not sleep without the pills and later I had to use two every night.

In the first weeks I didn’t feel much like doing anything only resting. My energy was low and I felt as if I had exercise weights on my ankles, my legs felt heavy. After the first month I could manage to do some of my household chores such as loading the dishwasher, doing a small amount of laundry and preparing the supper meal. All of this was in slow-motion of course. This kept my day busy although I did take many rest breaks. My energy was spent by late afternoon and I could do nothing more but rest.

Instructions from the beginning included drinking 8-10 eight ounce glasses of water every day. I had no idea how I could consume that amount but I kept my water in an 8 cup container on the counter. When the water was gone all the rest was a plus. This also helped me with dry mouth, irritated throat and the bad taste left from food.

All for now,

Lucile :)