WHEN I WAS diagnosed with Hepatitis C in the 1990s I was told I’d loads of more serious problems I had to deal with first. I remember getting the result and the doctor turning to me and saying, Patrick, it’ll kill you in 30 years so don’t worry about it.

I was using drugs. I’d washed up to an addiction service, exhausted from the drugs, exhausted from the chaos of it all. I was tested. I was given advice that at the time that somehow made sense.

Thirty years? The doctor was right. That was light years away. For me, back then, 4.30 in the afternoon was light years away, never mind three decades down the road.

Silently attacking my liver

So I didn’t worry about it. I didn’t think that I had to do something about this virus that was inside of me. This virus that was silently attacking my liver over years and years. But then the reality of Hepatitis C hit me. I got sober and I got sick.

Or maybe I just realised how sick I actually was all along, and how debilitating and devastating the virus actually was. I should have been worried. I had other problems to sort out, but Hepatitis C was definitely one of them.

I was diagnosed with moderate liver disease. I’d hate to think what chronic liver disease would feel like. I could barely get out of bed. I was nauseous all the time. I was constantly getting secondary infections. I couldn’t gain weight. My skin was itchy and raw.

Read the rest of this excellent story here: http://www.thejournal.ie/readme/hep-c-and-me-i-was-nauseous-all-the-time-i-couldnt-gain-weight-my-skin-was-itchy-and-raw-3726957-Dec2017/