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Viral Hepatitis and Liver Disease

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Success Stories - Mike

for Veterans and the Public

Mike, Marine Corps Veteran - Hepatitis C for Patients

My Story

I first learned I had hepatitis C when I was donating blood in 1990s and they said to get it checked. My only symptom at that time was fatigue. I didn't know what to expect or how it would affect me. I had three friends who had hep C and two passed away from it. I refused the older drug, interferon, because I heard horrible things from my friends. The side effects concerned me. I didn't want taking it to affect my work. I was working with heavy machinery. And I was feeling fine, so I thought it wasn't worth the risk.

Experiences with New Treatments

Dr. Morgan suggested I try the new medication in 2013. I took the medication for four consecutive months. I went into the VA every week so I could get the medications and get lab work done so they could track my levels. Being that I am a liver transplant patient, I was already on medication so I could take the new medication at the same time. It was easy. The side effects I was getting were ones I already had due to the liver transplant. It was basically fatigue and some nausea and dizziness.

After I found out I was cured, the big difference is that I don't get the chills as much. I would encourage other Veterans to try the new medications. You don't have to worry about shots. The way that I've been cured, it is a much better way.

My Advice to Veterans with Hepatitis C

Please don't wait. You've suffered long enough with the illness of hepatitis C. Four months from the day that you begin treatment, you can be cured. I went through the treatment and I have been cured for over 18 months. I cannot stress enough that this is less painful than the old treatment.

Try it. It is a commitment but don't give up. You will be less fatigued and your side effects are little to none. You can be cured.