November 2007 was a turning point in my life, as it was when I was officially told that I had a new best friend. One that would never go home, never leave my side and live with me forever. Her name was Autoimmune Hepatitis. I, like many people I’m sure, had never heard of this disease. I was terrified. Was I contagious? Would my skin stay this ugly yellow color forever? Would I ever be the woman I was 10 minutes ago before I got this news? So many questions. I was overwhelmed with it all.
So I left the doctors office, had a small but meaningful breakdown, then picked myself up and began to educate myself on all things AIH. I was glued to my computer, reading everything I could on AIH. I joined an online AIH support group, took my medication religiously (even the dreaded prednisone) and basically changed every aspect of my life overnight.
For nine months I fought back from the brink of liver failure. Seven years later and I’m still fighting! I am in remission, but I still take daily meds, have tests, procedures, bloodwork, doctor visits, eat healthy, and do all the boring stuff doctors tell us to do and not to do. With the love and support of family and friends and the excellent health care I receive from my Hepatologist and his team, I continue to live and love every day. While I would never have chosen AIH as my best friend, she has taught me so much about my spirit, my courage, my determination, my sense of humor and my will to never back down and never stop fighting.
The informational content of this article is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.
This story is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.