hello all, this is my first post, new to this.find out what geno type day after tomorrow, have many questions.....
must ask, how many of y'all work through the treatment? I only have insurance through my job,from what I hear, the treatments are rough..., just kinda wondering what to expect.
Because we had to work thru our Treatment, in order to keep our Medical Insurance, we just somehow managed to do it. I remember my Doctor suggesting I apply for Disability, but it wouldn't have been enough, because I have 2 children to support, also.
If you are a mon-friday worker, then you take your Inerferon shot on friday night, and then rest on the week-end. In the beginning, the Interferon made my sleepy.
I had another trick I did, sine I make my own hours: I worked from 7 am until 2 pm, whih is when I had the most energy. My fatigue seemed to kick in, in the afernoon. I also ate alot of small meals thru-out the day, because I was on the Triple Treatment, and had to take 18 pills a day, so I wanted to pad my stomach~
I am only on my second month but I am working full time. Some days I feel more tired than others and I had 2 half days off (really strong headaches). But other than that it seems that is getting better.
I guess depends also on what work you do. I am in IT so I am seating on a chair most of the time, unless at client's site, so it is not phisically challenging.
I am not so sure it would be the same if I would have to stand for 8 hours every day
Welcome. I have only known for a two weeks. So, it is all new to me as well. Working while being treated seemed overwhelming to me as well. I didn't think I could work a new job and carry the health insurance and receive treatments. But believe it or not, you may not have to start treatment right away. You have to know what the health of your liver is though. The best way to know that is to have a liver biopsy. I am working on getting one scheduled. Depending on the heath of your liver, you could delay treatments until some of the newer drugs come out. They seem to be having better results and fewer side effects from what I have gathered.
Welcome to the forum Joshua. The side effects of the meds can be both physically and mentally challenging. Some seem to breeze through tx, while others struggle from the beginning. A lot depends on your age, mental health, physical condition, other medical conditions,etc. A big factor on your ability to continue work is what your job is and how severe the side effects are. If you have a desk job requiring little physical labor it might be easier than if you were a roofer, lugging sheets of plywood around and needing to focus for safety reasons.
You didn't mention what your genotype is and if you are on 3x or 2x tx. Once you begin the anxiety of wondering what its like will fade away. Good luck getting started.
i was in great physical condition before tx and planned on working construction at least 4 days a week...lucky i had a back up plan...the drugs were way too strong for my system...it was like i was overdosing all the time....had to take a rest half way up stairs...was in bed 22 to 23 hours a day...................i think you find out whats up ...what geno type..what stage and grade...then if you can wait for the new oral tx or get on a trial...even if your symptoms aren't bad why put interferon..ribas and incivek in your system if you don't have to...take care and don't drink any alcohol....billy
Knowing your Genotype and which drugs you will be on will be helpful. If you are Genotype 2 or 3, and you treat now, you will be on Interferon and Ribavirin. If you are Genotype 1 and you treat now, you will also be on a thrid drug, a protease inhibitor. That third drug can compound the side effects of the other 2 drugs. So it will help to know your Genotype.
As far as working and treatment, the side effects are different for different people. Some people have very mild or few side effects, others have more serious or many side effects. You won't know until you start treatment. Many people work throughout treatment. I would agree that the type of job you have may affect your ability to continue working. A desk job or a less demanding job would be easier than continuing to work in construction, electrical work, precision work, roofing, climbing poles, etc. Also, long shifts would be more difficult than short shifts. Part time may be easier than full time. But you may be just fine and not need to adjust your work. It is best to have a Plan B in place just in case ..... vacation days, sick days, part time, temporary desk job, leave, etc.
Another think you have going in your favor is your age. Many of us on treatment are in our 50s and 60s. I am 66, 65 when I started treatment. I believe treatment can be potentially more difficult for older people. However, I did 48 weeks of triple medication treatment (Interferon, Ribavirin, Incivek), finished 14 weeks ago, am Undetectable as of 12 weeks post end of treatment, and feel fabulous now. Treatment was not easy, but I made it through 48 weeks. I would do it again in a heartbeat if necessary.
I am G3 and worked full time through 36 weeks of treatment. I think I took one sick day off. But it wasn't easy. I could get through a day of work, but usually crashed when I got home. I ate a lot of cereal and peanut butter for dinner.
I told my boss before I started and was lucky. He had a friend who went through treatment and knew it was going to be rough. So he told me to plan to shorten my days and hire contract people if I needed to. I did shorten my days in the last six weeks - when I was feeling my worst.
I work a desk job and can't imagine doing a physical job where I had to be on my feet or doing labor. That would be really rough. I had to work a couple of conferences and for those, I was on my feet for about 12 to 15 hours a day. I could get through a couple of days doing that, but was then just wiped for three or four days. And I also ducked out to nap every day.
One of the worst things for me at work was the "foggy" brain. I couldn't remember things, kept a lot of lists (which I forgot about) and just generally wasn't on top of things.
But for me, not working just wasn't an option.
Good luck with it. I would do it again. We all tolerate the drugs and sides differently. For me, the fear going in was worse than the actual sides.
I should add ... there is no way I could have worked during treatment, especially the first 6 months. I may have been able to do a desk job the last half of treatment. I should also add that I had an inept treating team who had no clue how to access side effects, no clue how to treat them, and no desire to treat them. My treatment would have been much easier if my treating team had treated the side effects in a timely manner. Once the sides were under control, I did much better. However, by that time I was off Incivek and on only the Interferon and Riba.
I have to second the thing about the foggy brain. I had lists and notes and alarms everywhere and I still had trouble remembering everything and keeping things straight. In addition, it is not just the memory. The thinking process and the connections are messed up. For instance, I was putting postage stamps on the wrong side of the envelope and realized it only when I went to put on the address labels. I would drive passed the exits on the highway, not just once, but several times during the same trip trying to exit at one particular spot. I just spaced out and for what I was doing. People have been known to try to make phone calls with TV remotes and open garage doors with TV remotes. Making coffee with no coffee in the coffee maker is another good one, or forgetting to grind the beans before putting them in is another one. Inability to think of words is another. My vocabulary dropped to 4th grade level while on treatment, I think. That is why I said precision work would be difficult. I would not want to be working as an electrician on these meds. One false thought and move might get the person electrocuted. Plus, balance is another issue, thus the roofing and the pole climbing could be difficult.
Yeah, it was tough. Like you, insurance was the key. Looking back, I could have taken a few more sick days, but kept saving them for the "just in case" days. All in all, it helped me to keep my mind off of the problem my health was in. Good luck to you. The nice thing is that there is a beginning and ending date to treatment. You'll be counting the days!
FMLA every company should have it. Well if you work in the united states. I just started my triple tx 2 1/2 wks ago and I work in a restaurant it is super busy this time of year and I am on my feet all day long. So I say look into FMLA and see what that can do for you. It only gives you 12 wks but that is good enough for me just to get past the holidays.
been on triple combo for 5 and half weeks , not fun , but mostly feel okay , my main problem is trying to avoid having a bleed as I am a haemophilliac , my legs and muscles dont feel good .
Try and sleep well I think is one of the most important factors with treatment , when you do not sleep properly you are so much more likely to get down and negative and really effects the way you think . Good night Sleep and you feel a whole new person .
Hey there Joshua,
I worked all through treatment. My job required a lot of standing as well as mental focus. It was important for me to rest on my days off. If I got dehydrated at all, I became pretty weak. But I made it thru. Called in sick once because I really did get the flu.
Having a good doctor is important. My doc discussed with me before tx the possibility of anemia. When my hemoglobin got below 10, he ordered procrit. The office also was a good go-between with the insurance company.
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