Hepatitis C Community
13.4k Members
2188151 tn?1338146649

increased pain, sleep deprivation, losing hope

My first time on this site...finally, I found I'm not alone!  I am almost 2 years post treatment. I'm an athlete.  Four days before I started tx, I ran a marathon. I fell at mile 3, cracked a rib, and finished the race anyway - another 23 miles! So, I certainly am not a wimp when it comes to pain....I am a 50 year old female, and a retired Navy Chief. I had gone about halfway through treatment in 2003, but was too sick to continue.6 years ago I fell in love with an extrordinary, beautiful man, and we decided that with his help, I could finally complete treatment and live happily ever after, scuba diving, hiking, kayaking,making sculpture, and running marathons...we married, a first for us both, just over a year ago.
   I have spent the past 2 years becoming more and more depressed.  My pain, while  always present, suddenly escalated about 3 months ago, every joint, and in particular my right leg.  The ever-present insommnia has turned into night terrors, from which I wake screaming. Even Ambien will only keep me out at the most, 4 hours.  Hey, four hours is great, its usually 2-3, if I make it past the 1st hour.   Yesterday, and then again last night, I experienced my first sleep deprivation induced hallucination. My friends called EMS and took me to the hospital when I collapsed, where I was treated like a drug seeker. I left AMA.  I am terrified.  The depression, pain, mood swings, frustration and fear,  have nearly destroyed my marriage.  I cry every day. During the night terrors, I am always being killed, limbs torn off, etc. Suicidal ideation is now a daily event.  I just saw a dog in my living room, and I don't have a dog...sleep deprivation is no joke.
    I have struggled to continue working, in a very high stress position.  It takes ALL my energy to do this.  I am a medical professional,  I do nuclear stress testing for a cardiology group.  A mistake on my part can have a pretty catastrophic impact on my patients...I no longer have the necessary concentration to do my job, and am forced to give up my career.  (still paying student loans on the Nuc degree!)
  I am hoping, with the help of my husband, to find some relief from this nightmare.  I have not sought help for the after effects, other than to take an antidepressant and  medications for sleep. I did not want to admit, even to myself, that I AM GETTING WORSE! Is this arthritis, fibromyalgia, what? There are certain labels I never, ever wanted to carry, and "disabled" is one of them....however, I am now going to the VA and applying for this.  Also SS but haven't started any of this yet, because I'm a bit overwhelmed right now...
   I knew that there was a possibillity that I would always have pain, but never expected this.  I remain clear of the virus, thank God.  Would I do the tx again? I wanted so badly to grow old with my husband, that I was willing to endure anything to make that happen.  Wish we had researched this more thoroughly, and had trusted my instincts that this was a bad idea. It has destroyed my life.
  Thank you for helping me feel that I am not alone. Any suggestions would surely be welcome.  I have no idea where to begin.
22 Responses
Avatar universal
I sent you a personal message but I am going to reply briefly on the forum as well. You are clearly in a crisis situation and I am wondering if you have been in touch with the Dr. who treated you for Hep. C and what the condition of your liver was when you finished treatment and now.
If you have not been in touch with them, please see a specialist (Hepatologist) as soon as possible.
My prayers are with you.
I am certain you will soon get some very helpful replies to your situation.
Hang in there and all the best to you.
Avatar universal
Hmmm, well, it's kind of weird, but I started getting many of the symptoms you are describing, a few months BEFORE my Tx, which I am still on.
   Like you, I have always been a super-athletic woman, and up until right before my Tx (started 4 months ago) I could still skate-board very well, although I am 49 yrs old! I also rode my bike for miles, everyday,  etc.
   But, I have been having trouble sleeping, fo rmore than 2~3 hrs at a time, for a few yrs now. Then, last January, my sternum/clavicle joint just popped out, and I can no longer stand up straight, with-out pain in that area, and there is a huge bump, where the S/C joint is. I also cant move my right arm very well now.
   So, three months into Tx, now, the joint where the top of my thigh connects to my hip, that joint has popped out also, and I have difficulty walking now!!
   I am wondering if all the Athletic Stunts I put myself thru, my whole life, are coming back to haunt me, in the form of Arthritis, now that I am approaching 50 yrs, and my estrogen has dropped (Menopause)
   One good thing: you DONT have Hep C anymore!!  If you still had it, you could have gotten liver cancer, or End Stage Liver Disease, a very sad, and painful death, that can last a few years, etc, where you would be going to the hospital to have your verices banded, if you survived, to get to the hospital, that is.
   In terms of Sleep Deprivation, I always try to lie down, horizontally, from 11 pm to 7 am, with no t.v.  or computer on, because the blue lightis said to keep people up.  I dont take any sleeping pills, and do manage to usaullay sleep, from about Midnight to 3 am.
   I caught my Hep C, from being addicted to Methamphetimine, years ago, and learned back then,  that as long as I did rest, horizontally, that got the three hours sleep, that I could still function at a minimal level.
    Also, antidepressants can also cause psychosis and mania.  You may want to try switching to a Mood Stabilizer, instead. You might have to experiment with a few, to get the right one, and there are many.
   Some people find sleep relief, by taking a 50 mg dose of Seroquel at night, but that is also a hard on the liver. Talk to a good Psychiatrist, you could try Abilify, etc~
2188151 tn?1338146649
thank you.  I am so sorry to hear that you are having these problems, and I appreciate the advice and support.
2188151 tn?1338146649
I have scheduled an appt with him next week. Because I was treated by the VA, I had to go to a large VA hospital that is 2 hours drive away for my treatment. My husband travels for his work, so I had to coordinate with his schedule, as I am not going to drive until this hallucination thing is resolved. I have been in complete denial about this whole mess, choosing instead to believe that "things will get better, if I can just wait it out".  Not a very smart approach, but I can be pretty stubborn sometimes.  Duh.
446474 tn?1446351282
'The depression, pain, mood swings, frustration and fear,  have nearly destroyed my marriage.  I cry every day. During the night terrors, I am always being killed, limbs torn off, etc. Even Ambien will only keep me out at the most, 4 hours.  Hey, four hours is great, its usually 2-3, if I make it past the 1st hour. Insomnia. Suicidal ideation is now a daily event.'

Where to begin?
All your symptoms are symptoms are consistent with clinical depression. If you find the right doctor (Psychiatrist) and receive proper treatment chances are very good that you will be able to either reduce the symptoms or eliminate them.
Obviously the antidepressant you are taking is not working as your description of symptoms shows.

Have you told your doctor that has been prescribing your antidepressant of your symptoms? What do they say?
Haven't they told you these are all symptoms of major depression?
Being an athlete or anything else doesn't make your exempt from major depression many famous people of all walks of life have suffered with major depression.

Please seek help before you cause harm to yourself or others. Get a referral to see a Psychiatrist who is experienced in treating mood disorders, especially major depression.
http://www.emedicinehealth.com/depression/page3_em.htm#Depression Symptoms

In true depressive illnesses, the symptoms last weeks, months, or sometimes years if you don't seek treatment. If you are depressed, you are often unable to perform daily activities. You may not care enough to get out of bed or get dressed, much less work, do errands, or socialize.

Adults: You may be said to be suffering from a major depressive episode if you have a depressed mood for at least two weeks and have at least five of the following clinical symptoms:

Feeling sad or blue
Crying spells
Loss of interest or pleasure in usual activities
Significant increase or decrease in appetite
Significant weight loss or weight gain
Change in sleep pattern: inability to sleep or excessive sleeping
Sleep disturbance is frequent. Usually the patient wakes up depressed at 4 or 5 in the morning and is unable to return to sleep.
Agitation or irritability
Fatigue or loss of energy
Loss of ability to laugh and experience joy in your daily life
A tendency to isolate from friends and family
Trouble concentrating
Feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt
Unexplained physical complaints (for example, abdominal pain, changes in bowel habits, or muscle aches)
Thoughts of death or suicide
You may want to post your question in the Medhelp "Depression Community" to communicate with other with similar symptoms.

Good luck to you.

Avatar universal
Your stoicism ("stubbornness" ) has served you well. You are amazing and a very strong woman to be going through this for two years.
I am glad you are being proactive and seeing this doc. If she or he doesn't take this seriously, hang in there and keep looking. Please keep us updated.
Have an Answer?
Top Hepatitis Answerers
317787 tn?1473362051
683231 tn?1467326617
Auburn, WA
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Answer a few simple questions about your Hep C treatment journey.

Those who qualify may receive up to $100 for their time.
Explore More In Our Hep C Learning Center
image description
Learn about this treatable virus.
image description
Getting tested for this viral infection.
image description
3 key steps to getting on treatment.
image description
4 steps to getting on therapy.
image description
What you need to know about Hep C drugs.
image description
How the drugs might affect you.
image description
These tips may up your chances of a cure.
Popular Resources
A list of national and international resources and hotlines to help connect you to needed health and medical services.
Here’s how your baby’s growing in your body each week.
These common ADD/ADHD myths could already be hurting your child
This article will tell you more about strength training at home, giving you some options that require little to no equipment.
In You Can Prevent a Stroke, Dr. Joshua Yamamoto and Dr. Kristin Thomas help us understand what we can do to prevent a stroke.
Smoking substitute may not provide such a healthy swap, after all.