This is a picture from our wedding. At this time Don had Hepatitis C and neither of us knew anything about it. This was over 18 years ago.
Last year Don started to have some symptoms of high blood pressure and I nagged him to death to go to the doctor. He has what we call "White Coat Syndrome" which essentially means that anytime he steps into a doctors office - his already high blood pressure goes even higher. He about gave those poor nurses a heart attack when they saw how high his was! I was right though, he did have HBP. Don does not know this, but when he scheduled his appointment for this, I secretly called the doctors office, gave them a heads up about how long it had been since he had been to the doctor and asked them to give him a COMPLETE physical! (sorry Honey) but so glad I did that. They found a couple of problems - and one of them was the Hepatitis.
There are quite a few types of Hepatitis subdivided as A-F and some are viral and others are blood born. The most difficult to treat is Hep.C. It is blood born and is usually transferred by either a blood transfusion done prior to 1990, IV drug users, or in a few other ways. Anyone who knows my husband, KNOWS there is no way he would ever use IV drugs! He had never had a blood transfusion either. So how in the world did he get Hepatitis C? The most logical explanation is from his Army tattoo. When Don graduated from high school, he enlisted in the Army and as soon as he and some of his buddies got leave, they headed off to a tattoo parlor to get their US Army tattoos. That was about 1978.
So - here we are 30 years later. Why had we not known about this any time earlier? For one thing, Hep. C does not show up in a normal blood screening until it has done enough damage to your liver to cause the liver enzymes to come back abnormal. It is a relatively symptomless disease and can fester in your body for years before anything is noticed. For some people it can be silent for 10 years and others as long as 30. Drinking alcohol is like gasoline to a flame though and as in our case, if those who have it, know they have it, can take better care of their diet and slow the digression.Our specialist said that there could be an epidemic of people, especially people over 40 who are Hep. C positive. Please, if you had a blood transfusion, ever did IV drugs or had a tattoo prior to 1990, get tested for Hepatitis C.
I will post more about Don's diagnosis, condition, & treatments later...