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Laurie’s Fight Like A Girl Story (Hepatitis C)

Laurie's Story (Hepatitis C)December 1988, the Friday night after Christmas. I was excited about going out with my friends to Tully’s, the local Bar and Grill. I put on the beautiful Gold satin blouse along with my black pants my mom gave me for Christmas.

I was sitting at a booth window which faced the parking lot of the restaurant and heard noises outside so I looked and there were 2 men beating terribly on another man all alone and others were standing there doing nothing. My friend Toni (she is a longtime school friend) and I went outside to try to help in some way and, as we went out the door, I remember telling the door man what we saw and that he may want to call the police.

We went outside and yelled as we walked closer (nothing stops me when someone is in need of help). As we got closer we told the guys to stop and that the police were on their way and 2 went one way, the other guy in the opposite direction. Toni and I started to walk away. Not even 5 feet away, we heard them running back toward the one guy and BAM!! – down he went on the ground. The police started coming into the parking lot and no one had yet seen if this guy was ok. So I went towards the guy to ask if he was ok and he said “Please help me” – what do you do but help? I reached down and pulled him up between the two cars and without realizing there was ALOT of blood. You couldn’t see because it was dark. In the 80’s, AIDS was just being brought out and so I freaked. My hands were covered in blood. I immediately went to the doorman to let me in to wash my hands and he told me “last call” – no one can enter and I even showed him my hands.

Well I took a second to figure what in the world am I going to do so I looked around and there was snow on the ground in small piles so I stuck my hands in the snow, in and out, in and out, until I couldn’t really see any blood. I got home and washed, scrubbed, did whatever I had to do. I noticed my hands were stained kind of red. I checked for cuts and there it was – a small cut on my right thumb that hadn’t quite healed yet.

I forgot all about it the next day and went day to day about my business. Then came February 1989, my complete physical – blood work and lots of it. Then results showed “non-A non-B hepatitis”. The testing kept going about once a month to monitor.

  • 1990 – First round of treatment
  • 1993 – September 18, I got married then, one week later, ended up in the hospital for a severe pelvic infection then, two weeks later, went back for surgery due to ovarian cycsts. While under, they found signs of cirrhosis.
  • 1999 – 2nd round of treatment
  • 2001 – Rotator cuff surgery and tested my liver – cirrhosis still the same
  • 2004 – Blood work is abnormal and now my cirrhosis has changed to stage 2. There was decussion of a liver transplant but we’ll wait right now because my numbers aren’t where they need to be. Also I found out I am Geno type 1-A Chronic Active.
  • October 2004 – Filed for my disability per doctor’s orders
  • November 2005 – Started treatment for 3rd time – very different this time and much sicker than in past. Symptoms were very very sick. The medicine ate the lining of my stomach and hurt so bad and was very uncomfortable so the acid reflux got worse also. I had many headaches – much worse than the daily to every-other-day headaches I was used to.
  • March 2006 – Blood work showed change in levels of Viral Load went to -50 which indicates no signs of Hepatitis C, BUT don’t get excited yet. That’s why Hepatitis C carries the sign of the dragon – because there is NO CURE and NO VACCINE. It hides for a while then attacks again.
  • November 2006 – Ended treatments due to doctor’s orders and showing no signs right now

As of March 2007 I have the following:

  • Stage 2 fibrosis
  • Enlarged spleen – due to liver not functioning at 100%
  • Thyroid problems – under active
  • More fatigue, very very tired!
  • Spasms, cramping all over
  • Hurt all over in different ares from side to back to legs
  • Joints hurt
  • Swelling
  • Dry Mouth
  • Noise Bleeds
  • Trouble Concentrating
  • Trouble Remembering
  • Ichy skin – areas: right wrist area, occasionally under both breasts (sorry)

I am currently on many boards to represent Hepatitis C patients all over the world. I take my illness as the Lord using me to help others along. I am on Caring Bridge and post updates as I will continue with this fighting like a girl.

Laurie
Submitted 10-17-10

This article is intended to convey general educational information and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.

One comment

  1. that is such an inspirational story, and it makes me want to fight like a girl more and more. i have a son that will be 6 years old september, and i just found out about one month ago.. i am so scared, and the only thing that i wish for is to have the health to raise my son, watch him graduate, and hopfully have kids of his own. GOD willing, i will fight this, and live a better, healthier life. so glad that i heard your story, it helps to know that i am not the only out there with this

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