EDUCATE YOURSELF ON HCV AND TREATMENT! Knowledge is Power!!!
Completing treatment is the focus and anything that distracts from that focus, needs to be put in its proper place. Clearing this virus is your job right now. If you focus on that, it will be easier to handle the feelings of helplessness that may come, when you realize you don't have the energy and strength for your customary routine.
Try to live a normal life, as much as you can
Be KIND to yourself, be PATIENT with yourself
Cry when you have to, curse when you have to, spend the whole day (or weekend or week) in bed when you have to.
Pay no attention to people who tell you what you should be feeling or doing (what do they know?) and do whatever works for you.
Try relaxation techniques.
Find ways to laugh, funny movies ...
IMPORTANT!! Call your doctor for feelings of depression most of the day that last longer than 1-2 days, especially if our feelings are interfering with your life and/or you have thoughts of death/suicide!
Track results of all tests and labs. Keep yourself organized.
Adhere completely to your meds schedule, every shot and every pill on schedule! You can buy pillboxes that organize your meds by the days of the week, some of the fancier ones even come with an alarm.
Chose the right day for your Interferon injections and give your injections at bedtime, if you want to sleep through symptoms. Keep extra blankets and clothes near bed to manage the chills.
Take Ribavirin with some source of fat (i.e. cheese, coconut butter, avocado, ice cream), as the fat helps the absorption of Ribavirin. Use preferably healthy fats.
Take all drugs, including rescue drugs, as prescribed by your doctor and use them, if you need to!
Take good care of your teeth. Preferably get all or most of your dental work done prior to tx, be sure to visit your dentist more frequently than usual.
Keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of water and clear fluids each day
A formula suggested by the hepatologist of someone on the forum was, "Weight In Pounds" divided by 2 = # of ounces of water to drink each day.
Try to eat a healthy, balanced diet. Eat small frequent meals even if you have no appetite.
Keep water, crackers and lozenges near bedside for nausea and dry mouth.
Exercise in accordance to your capacity, but try to make a habit out of it, even if you just use a rebounder or do some light Yoga or Pilates exercises.
Listen to your body, it will tell you if you can do more or if you're overdoing it.
Rest when you feel tired, there is no use overly forcing yourself.
Seek help, if you need it, physically and psychologically!
Try to fight off the brain fog by pursuing keeping the brain in the game for the extent of duration. You can try also with Sudoku, crossword puzzles, etc...
Learn to say NO to other people’s demands on your time and energy!
Keep your plans flexible, but don't give up on making plans (holidays, out for a meal, get together with friends and such) and enjoy the days when you're able to follow through. Make sure your family and friends are aware that some days you will not be able to do so.
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