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More doc appts…

Well, I had the appointment with the doc and my treatment has been pushed back until the fall. She was very impressed with my attitude, weight loss, and change of diet. They still don’t know what is causing the high iron levels (low Ferritin) and was sent for a fasting blood work.

I also had my “mental health” assessment and it was interesting. They assessed that I have good coping skills for stress, etc. which is a good thing. The interview was to assess my risk of depression and/or suicide as the Interferon treatment causes or can cause depression. They do want me to test a low dose of an anti-depressant to ensure it doesn’t cause any side-effects. That way if I do need a prescription during treatment they will have one ready knowing it won’t cause me any problems.

Next appt is a Liver Biopsy in July sometime and another doc appt in August. GOOD NEWS though is that my medical records from Wellesley Hospital from 1979 were located and I now have copies of them. With this information I can apply for the compensation available to me.

I’ll post more info later…
I’m off to bed!

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Changing lifestyle…

This is my first post to this blog after putting in my intro.  On Wednesday I go down to Mt. Sinai for my first follow-up appointment.  I have changed a few things in my lifestyle since my initial visit in November 2009, and simply changed my mind about some others so am not sure what the doc is going to think.

Some of the things I have done or changed…

  • My goal is to be in the best health possible prior to the Interferon treatment they want me to take.  And I’ll even go one step farther to say I hope I can rid my body of this disease on my own so I won’t need their treatment.  Either way, I will benefit by improving my health.
  • In December 2009 I researched Hepatitis C in more depth and ordered some books providing health management, herbs, and dietary changes specifically for Hep C.  One of the books is written by someone who did get rid of the disease on his own and wrote a book about his experience and what he did.  “Triumph Over Hepatitis C: An Alternative Medical Solution” by Lloyd Wright is an interesting book and ironic that we both contracted the disease the same year…1979.  Many of the supplements I take are listed in his book. The other book is “Herbs for Hepatitis C and the Liver” by Stephen Harrod Buhner and it parallels many of the herbal supplements in the first book.
  • Along with many of the herbal products listed in the books specifically for liver health, I also take CoQ10, Ginko Biloba, a Calcium/Magnesium supplement, Vit D drops, and a few others.  I feel like a walking pharmacy, but if this is what it takes then it’s what I will have to do.
  • AND LOTS OF WATER!!  I am up to 3 500ml bottles of water per day (just my measuring tool) and need to try and double it.
  • Since the middle of January I have been doing  “Food Combining” which simply means you don’t eat Proteins and Carbohydrates together, and you always eat fruit on it’s own.  There is more to it than that and some people make it really complicated; but simply separating your proteins and carbs will make a huge difference in your weight because the food processes faster through your system and your body doesn’t store it as fat.
  • Since the start of February I now follow the “Eat Right 4 Your Type” food lists.  Amazing how some of the stuff I always disliked is actually on my “avoid” list.  There are a few things on my “beneficial” list that gross me out and I doubt I will ever eat them, but there is still enough selection to create a menu plan I can live with.

So now I will go down to Mt. Sinai 12lbs lighter than I was the last time I was there…but the 12 lbs is just since the middle of January.  Trust me….if you really want to lose weight, try the food combining because 12 lbs in 4 weeks is enough motivation to make you stick to it.  Is it hard?  Sure….especially with the North American diet of fast food, heat ‘n’ serve, pop, pastries and junk!!!  Eating pasta and veggies (no meat), or meat and veggies (no pasta, rice, or potatoes!!) can be a little daunting at first, but it is still worth it.  I tried it once before and failed at it because no one else in my household would co-operate.  Now I am doing it anyway and if they don’t like it, they can get their own dinner :O)

My major decision that the doctor may not like is to push back my treatment time from the spring/summer to the fall/winter.   My argument is this:

  • It will give me more time to improve my health and lose the extra weight (probably 50 lbs over what I should be).  She told me that the Interferon treatement won’t work as well as it should if it has to battle the “fat” content in the liver.  If you are over-weight your excess fat isn’t just under the skin padding your body…it is also marbling your liver like a piece of beef.  If I lose weight, it will also reduce the fat content of my liver and my liver will function better….and take the treatment better.
  • The Canadian health system, as good as it is doesn’t cover the cost of the treatment for Hep C.  At a cost of almost $2,000 per month I need the time to either save money or apply and qualify for medical funding through the Trillium program.
  • Selfish I know…but if I’m going to feel crappy (and they say I will), why should I do that in the summer???  Let me start the program in the fall, I’ll hibernate for the winter and come out 6 months later in the spring of 2011 ready to recuperate!

We’ll see what happens on Wednesday.

I’ll keep you posted!

I just had to say that :O)