Hepatitis C Community
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320576 tn?1204087293

Husband has Hepatitis C


I am here because I am scared to death because my husband of almost 20 years has been diagnosed with Hep C.  We of course had no idea, he is a healthy 44 year old man, works steady and a physical job.  He has always drank quite a bit of beer, usually 3 or 4 (maybe more) per day and a 12 pack or more on the weekend.  Well mid September he was getting ready to mow the yard and comes in and says I dont feel really good, I turn around just in time to see him fall into the wall and start to pass out.  I jump up and catch him and help lower him to the ground and he has a full blown seizure.  Never before has he had this.  He drank 2 quarts of beer the night before, but we had been running erands all day and he was fine.  

Well he spent 3 days in the hospital and they did every test you could think of CT, MRI, EKG, EEG, etc, etc.  The only thing they told us was that his CT or MRI showed some white matter demylenation and the did say one side of his heart was a little larger or thicker, but that could have been because he played a lot of sports and worked out a lot when he was younger (probably not, is what I am thinking).  His blood pressure has been up the last few visits in the 140/90 range I think.

He had several surgeries when he was a kid and that included one case where he received blood.  Unfortunately after he left home in the early 80's he says he stupidly was experiencing everything he could after being so sheltered and did try IV drugs a few times................sigh.  He tested positive for Hepatitis he said in like 84 (we met in 1988) but I guess they didnt know and he was young, recovered so didnt worry about it.  When we met I did learn that he had had Hepatitis, but I didnt worry, my brother had had Hep A before and he was fine.  

We have also talked about other symptoms and I mentioned to him that "you havent had blood in your stools or anything" and he said sometimes...but he thought it was just hemroids, but yes sometimes in the stool/toilet.  He has drank beer almost everyday that I have known him and I think it has gotten worse since we moved out to a rural area.  I think he was drinking more than we knew.  He has also changed a lot over the last 5 years personality wise.  He used to be very easy going, never really got upset.  After my weightloss (had gastric bypass, lost 200 lbs) he seemed to change, be more moody and just didnt seem to be happy or have fun.  I kept telling him he seemed like he was in a bad mood all the time and didnt enjoy being around me and the kids.  He could never see it and still doesnt see it when I point out he is over reacting.  And the last year or so has complained of muscle aches and been more tired, taking naps etc.  I figured that it was because of all the changes in me and my weigtloss etc and just getting older.  Now I am beginning to wonder.  He also seems to take longer to ask questions during conversations, I noticed this about a year ago, was like I always wanted to speed him up.  

His last blood test showed

ALT 101 ( up from 72)
AST 58 (up from 47) says he wasnt drinking, but I reminded him he had had several beers (that I know of) in the preceeding weeks.
ALB 4.6
AP 70
BIL .7
PLT 261
MPV 7.6
HEP C ANTI BODY 78.18 Positive
Viral Load 2,810,000
Ferratin 255
WBC 7.3
RBC 4.62
Hemoglobin 16.6
Hematocrit 46.2
MCV 100
MCH 35.9
IRON 146

So, we have an appt with a GI Dr. on Nov 13 and and ultrasound on Nov 19th.  I am really getting scared............it seems like this isnt looking good at all.  I am also feeling very alone in this because he doesnt want to tell anyone.  

I am scared, very scared, but I am doing my best to be there for him.  I was the one to tell him to tell the Dr. he had had Hepatitis before when they started talking about his liver because of the seizure and drinking.

Any thoughts........am I reading too much into this.  I dont know what to do.  I keep researching and looking for more information and I get the same stuff and is scares me to death.

Thanks, looking forward to some support and I do apologize for the long post.........

22 Responses
Avatar universal
Nothing about your husband's liver numbers  look indicative of advanced liver disease, which is a great sign.  Albumin is very good at 4.6; .7 bilirubin is excellent; platelets at 261,000 is probably very normal, maybe just a tad low but nothing to worry about.  Based on these numbers I would not expect that he has very advanced liver disease.  

He definitely needs to stop drinking completely.  His mood could probably benefit from not drinking, as drinking after 20 years of hep c can make you really tired.  

He may turn out to be very lucky to have caught that he has the hep c before it has done a lot of damage to his liver. I sure wouldn't be that worried about his liver at this point.  I would guess his damage is either mild and/or reversible with abstinence and treatment.

Good luck to you both!!

320576 tn?1204087293
Thanks for responding.  You dont think the seizure and loss of white matter in the brain are a big concern?

He has stopped drinking and unfortunatley that has made his mood worse.  Now he just seems "out of it" most of the time.  I have to repeat things at least twice and he is looking right at me.  Very frustrating and happens a lot lately.  He cant find things, so of course someone stole it, couldnt be he misplaced it.  Etc.

We have already been having marriage problems before this came up, so now it is hard to be patient with him.  I know that sounds bad.

Avatar universal
I was just looking at the possible condition of his liver based on his lab numbers, and they do not look like those found in advanced liver disease.  

The stuff about the seizures and loss of white matter (?) I don't think anyone in this forum can help you with.  You definitely need expert doctors for those issues.
Avatar universal
I agree with BT, nothing about his liver numbers indicate a life threatening liver condition. He is relatively young and strong and he may well respond even to the currently available treatments . Even better, more effective treatments are in the pipeline and will be available just in a couple of years. His seizures are not typical for hepatitis and probably are indication of something else, the visits you scheduled to doctors and tests may clarify what is going on.

We all were scared when we learned for the first time about this illness, but learned to leave with it.

Things will improve, just take one step at a time and don't be scared.

And he is very lucky to have such a caring wife.

Best of luck to you.  Jeff
320576 tn?1204087293
Thank you as well for your response.  It is reassuring to hear that his numbers dont appear too bad.  I guess I just worry so much because of his drinking along with the Hep C.

He only had the one seizure, thank goodness.

I hope he gets more invovled.  I gave him stuff to read, but so far he hasnt looked at it.  He wouldnt ask questions so I am going to his appointments too.  I dont mind being there, I want to be, but I need him to actively participate too.  Does that make sense.

Thanks again to all, this is so hard.  I have been reading for about a week and finally decided to post something.

The waiting is so hard.

288609 tn?1240100356
Your husband is probably ignoring the situation so he doesn't have to stop drinking. Considering that he has been drinking everyday for over 20 yrs.  I know I was reluctant because it is such a social thing. I found out it's OK to be the sober one, except I'm always the designated driver.
Sorry about the tangent, my heart goes out to you because you can't fight this disease for him. He has to get on board and take it seriously esp. if he is so run down. Good luck, make sure you have support for yourself.
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