Getting Ready For Treatment
Written By: Teri Gottlieb
You want to be successful in treating your Hepatitis C right? Well, to be successful in anything you need to plan accordingly. There are things you can do to make this part of your life much easier for you. If things are easy, it's more likely you will be able to get it done right? Right. Let me give you some tips to make this work for you.
First of all, it is imperative that you realize that this time on treatment, whether it be 12 weeks or 24 weeks or a full 48 weeks, this time is all about YOU. You have to make yourself the priority here. For some of us, that's a hard thing to do but in this case, it is a must. Family and friends are going to have to understand that you need to be a bit selfish while you're treating your Hep C. You're probably not going to feel as good as you do on your best days so let them know and they can plan accordingly.
Here is a checklist of things you can do in advance of your treatment:
- Get a support team together. This is probably the MOST important thing you can do to insure your success with treatment. Your support team for sure will consist of your doctor and probably his nurse but you need to add to that. Some family members and friends that you know will be willing to help you if you need help or talk to you when you need a friend. Emotions can be all over the place when you're on treatment so let your family and friends know this so they can respond accordingly.
- Expect the best out of treatment but be prepared for the worst. Many people get thru Hepatitis C treatment without missing a beat. They get away without any of the side-effects that are possible. I hope your run with treatment is like that but there are others, myself included, who have a rough time during this treatment. Those "flu-like symptoms" can be overwhelming. By the way, there is nothing flu-like about those symptoms when they are bad. So just be ready.
- If you are currently working, check with your employer about short term and long term disability. You may or may not need these. I did.
- Create a safe haven. For me, this was my bedroom. I made sure that if there was a chance I was going to have the "flu" for 48 weeks that my room would be ready for it. I cleaned and threw a few stuffed animals on the bed. Make your spot comfortable. Some people have gone so far as to bring a small dorm fridge in the bedroom to keep cold water handy. Have an extra set of sheets, or maybe two and grab some extra blankets. Have them all there ready for you for when you need them.
- There is a possibility that you will not be able to drive during treatment. It happens. You will need to make arrangements just in case. Have someone that can take you to the doctor when needed and possibly do some grocery shopping for you.
- Pre-shop for things you will need during treatment. Stockpile bottled water, Gatorade, quick snacks, Tylenol (not extra strength), Ibuprofen and Benadryl. You might also want to have some really GOOD moisturizer and lotion around because your skin can get very dry and itchy.
Getting these few things done in advance will set you up for a successful round of treatment.