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Avatar universal


Hello to everyone. This is my first post to this forum.
A little about myself, I'm a 43 yr old male w/hcv geno 1b diagnosed in 1990. I have consistantly elevated alt levels, last test in june showed viral count of 5 million copies. I've had three biopsies '97, '2001, '2004. last one showed fibrosis, doc said a 2/2 score. Up until now I've been told I did not have to treat, As first two biops showed only inflammation but now with a signifigant change w/fibrosis I'm told I need to treat. For the past 7.25 yrs I've worked for an Illinois municipality as a mechanic. Its a physically hard job w/snowplow duties at all hours of night/day. I'm concerned about disclosure to my employer (the village I work for) in regards to treatment and the possible need to take time off if sides are bad. Also I don't know who would find out like coworkers as this disease is feared so much. It's a small place (150 employees) so if I started looking sickly the rumors would fly. Would they/could they fire me? do I need a lawyer? I know Ill is an "at will state" but I have a great work history with them and it would be a comfort knowing they know and supported me. My other objectives are to get on anti-depressant med and decide between the two peg drugs (dr offerd peg intron) but I like what I here about pegasys. If anyone can help with these employment issues I would be greatful. It's a shame we can't just come out and let everyone know we're sick, like people with say cancer can. The employment/insurance issue makes treating this disease a challenge. Thanks for taking time to read this.

25 Responses
Avatar universal
First off, I am sad to hear that someone in the medical community advised you to wait for treatment.  !a is the hardiest, most aggressive genotype to treat and the faster you get at it the better the chances to clear it.

So my feeling is that you should talk to a specialist and get on the pegasys/ribiviron treatment asap.

Now, to address why you think you might look sickly???  I run a support group that consists of 43 infected individuals, some are coinfected with HIV and most are right in the middle of tx.  The nastiest side effect anyone has reported was weakness and the inability to sleep.  I myself suffer from some nausea if I eat fatty foods, like yellow cheese, and so have switched to soy products.

Noone at work need to know your status unless you chose to disclose, also, it is illegal for you to lose your job because you are going through treatment.

Please explain why you think you might be ill or look sickly.
Avatar universal
I've heard of hair and weight loss etc..
I don't know why they never checked my geno type till this yr.
I am a 1b. I hope I can still beat this!

Avatar universal
just to add to my previous comment:   one client of mine did feel a bit fluish after his first three doses.  We all take our shot on our "weekend", so on friday night, before I go to bed, i do my shot.  Pegasys has the least side effects, if any.  Drink ALOT of water, get off any caffeine you might be using, including chocolate, and use excersice, even walking to help counter side effects such as depression.  I have tons of brochures to help educate people on HCV.  I am an outreach worker, and this is what I do for a living.  I can mail some to you, or you can go to any of the web sites I have posted in this forum and get more info.  Look at this as an opportunity to educate people and get yourself well.  I personally have not missed one day of work since starting tx in April.  I began with 450,00o rna quant load and am now undetectible.  I live in a rather tiny, ed necked town.  I have hit the streets and made it my mission to educate everyone, I place brochures in coffee houses, bars, jewelry stores, grocery stores, public bathrooms...I even stand outside movie theaters and concerts and hand out info.  Once again:  IT IS ILLEGAL TO FIRE YOU BECAUSE YOU HACE HCV.  And you are under no obligation to disclose to your employer.  It is up to you who you tell.
Avatar universal
You have some very good questions and I don't know so much if you will look ill in face but my husband has lost 20lbs first 6 months of tx so naturally people ask why he is losing.  I personally think if I was you,,,I would try not to tell your work and see how it goes on tx,,,You may not have bad enough days to call in sick but will have days at work that you will feel under the weather.  If you start getting too sick and have to miss alot of work,,,then you could discuss this with your boss.  That should be confidential!  Good Luck!
Avatar universal
1a is the toughest.  It's also the most common.  I know individuals who have taken the 48 week course and beaten it.  Keep a positive attitude.  You can do this!
Avatar universal
I wouldn't tell my employer my situation. I told them about the middle of the treatment and after 6 month after finishing tx I still strugglr to keep my job.
It is your choice though...
I had my PCR yesterday (6 month after tx) and is negative!!!!!!!
Good luck to everybody to SVR.
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