I apologize for that lack of fresh posts, I have a bad cold at the moment.
I've been instructed to take it easy as my white blood cells are low due to my Inteferon treatment.
In addition, I do regret the delay in sending emails and general housekeeping, I anticpate I will be over this in a few days. My doctors are lowering my interferon dose since my anemia has worsened.
Hopefully, I will bounce back to health as opposed to my current state of perpetual exhaustion!! I'm crossing all my fingers and toes, praying that the treatment not only will be more tolerable but that the levels will sustain a negative result!
The Hep C virus is still non-present which is good news, let's just hope it stays at this level in spite of the reduction of interferon.
I've been given the option to quit it again, but I'm really trying to last the distance, so at very least I can work with Hep C patients in the future, knowing that I have been through the year long course of treatment. I want to understand it.
I would love to quit though :P I could go back to work and start growing back my thinning hair and plan my trip. I guess it's a matter of priorities.
This is why you shouldn't fuck with intravenous drugs! Sure, when your just experimenting you think it's really rock star when your banging up junk.
I know that you reassure that you're young so you have plenty of time to clean up your act. Maybe you never really do. Or maybe (like me) around your mid twenties (if you give a fuck about yourself) you go through your detox and instead of walking into nightclubs at 26 to drink and have fun for a hard life saved, your walking up a huge hill to the looming hospital. It's chrome and coldness like a mothership, a beacon to the walking wounded. Old people struggle up the hill, bent with age and covered in liver spots and there you are, three times a week, trying to cleanse your body of all that shit you did when you didn't know better. If only you could see yourself in that stark and cold hospital bed, when you were on the nod with a ciggarete dangling precariously from your blue-tinged lips. Was it even worth it ?
If you hit up drugs you have an 80% chance of contracting Hep C - which can lead to chronic liver failure. Your liver eats itself, producing deadly toxins which create an ammonia build up in your body. Your skin turns sallow yellow, the whites of your eyes get a green tinge and if you don't get a new liver then you will die. That's the worst case scenario, but it's a reality if you shoot up drugs. Just being honest with Y'all - not a lecture, just saving you time and life !
I say this because yesterday after blood tests and stuff, I was sitting at a bus stop outside the hospital. As I sat there sore and pale, I was forced to look ahead to the hospital thinking "who would've known". From the corner of my eye, I spied A young boy crossing the road, coming down from the emergency bay direction.
The boy, barefoot and slightly unkempt looking, stared at me intently with his penetrating brown eyes, as he sat down beside me on the aluminum bench.
I shifted uncomfortably on the bench, thinking 'oh great someone fresh from the nut hut' as I spied his hospital id. Incoherent and slighly malodourous, he was mumbling under his breath, words that were peppered with expletives.
I could still feel him staring at me (still) so I just turned to him and gave him a polite smile, lest he stab me for ignoring his crazy ass. As soon as I smiled, he spoke.
"They shouldn't have released me" he sounded exasperated," pausing for a gasp,"They just bundled me up and told me to go home and sleep it off - stupid morons." He kicked at the gum stained cement.
My internal dialogue was something like, I fucking hope they didn't release you too early, cos your crazy ass is sitting right next to me."
Instead, I smiled tightly. What the fuck do you say to that?
That morning, I'd spent time in the Oncology ward, the cancer ward were I witnessed many patients who required beds, sitting in chairs recieving their chemotherapy. Some as young as seven years old and many older people with all forms of cancer. The room was packed with people with cancer - I counted ninety-five on this morning. Not the best waiting room.
The boy gestured to my cotton swab on my arm.
"What you have done?" he asked.
I tutt-tutted and give him a disapproving look, "That's a bit personal" I said.
He stood up and lit a cigarette, I noticed for the first time he was quite uneasy on his feet. He saw me look at him with concern and mistook my attention as interest.
"You wanna smoke" he pulled out a crumpled packet and thrust it towards me.
"No thanks, I quit smoking" I paused " I'm currently getting treated for Hepatitis C but my treatment is worse than the disease. I also have drugs to manage the side effects" I said nonchalantly "What about you?" I thought it polite to ask.
He smiled sheepishly and I estimated his age as being no more than 19.
"I swallowed a whole bottle of valium last night" he said quietly.
I tut-tutted again (It must be all the Dr Phill I'm watching at home)
"Oh yeah? You do know that if you keep doing that to your body, your liver will be fucked - just like mine. I'm 26 and I come here three times a week - you have a choice not to be here" I implored gathering momentum " Furthermore, you were told to leave the hospital because there is people dying in the emergency room , people with limbs missing and injury - what your asking for is selfish . You took the tablets." I blushed at my candour.
I paused, surprised at my passionate outburst.
I could tell this boy was harmless, a lonely outcast. His eyes sparkled when he spoke , but a suppressed sparkle at most, shadowed by sadness.
I looked him square in the eye "How old are you?"
"19" he said.
"What the hell are you doing? You have your whole life to lead and your sitting here with no shoes after taking a bottle of valium - look where you are, you don't need to be here yet!" my tone was factual and just the right level of forceful.
"I took the pills cos I was bored, a guy gave em to me for a packet of smokes"
"What you doing messin with people that can't buy thier own god damn smokes - swapping them for HIS prescription drugs - Tell me - How's that working for you ?"
"It's not, I'm not gonna do it again" He said even quieter.
"Your bloody right you're not, I better not ever see you here again you hear me. Not until you are sixty and have bowel cancer or something worth taking up the doctor's time - You are a young, healthy young lad, life your live and leave this to the sick people" I kept looking him in the eyes the whole time.
"I used to be a heroin addict and yes I too had a bad life, maybe you did too - obviously something is not right if your guzzling pills, but you got to take responsibility for yourself. The white knight in your life HAS to be you - do you understand that or am I just wasting my time - cos I will read my book" I warned.
He eyes watered and he finally smiled a weak smile, showing the soldier within.
"Do you have a boyfriend, you are amazing " he breathed
I tut-tutted again "Yes I do" I said, matter of factly, careful not to embarrass the young man. "Your a very bright and responsive person, it takes a lot to listen to a stranger at a bus stop, it shows me you want to help yourself and you want to be happy"
I touched his hand and smiled my my warmest smile,
"I'm proud of you taking this step, now take the next one and the one after that"
I reclined back on the bench and told him some more about what I see in the hospital and I explained that if I had a choice to do it different - I would.
He had no idea that a whole bottle of pills could have shut down his liver and I think the idea terrified the lad. Still, he needed to know.
The bus came and we shared the same bus ( I was dubious of this and though O shit Hg now you have a stalker) but I spoke to him about my martial arts and I asked him if he did any exercise and he said he used to kickbox. I told him that what he did last night was disrespectful to his body, which should be worshipped as you only have one. He agreed and said he was going home to set up the punching bag this afternoon (after a sleep , lol) and would start to hone his body rather than pollute it.
"Do you live near me" he asked after the bus was nearly empty.
"Um...No...I live with my boyfriend on "insert wrong street here" " I pressed the button and collected my satchel.
"You dropped this" he said offering my bankcard, which had slipped from my bag.
It was just sitting there on the floor and perhaps if I never took the time to know this man, I would assume that he would steal it.
I looked into those warm brown eyes and said a silent prayer that he would smile with his whole face one day... One day soon.
"Thank you" I said and my face betrayed that I was relieved that he was an honest soul - "You're going to be just fine, hope to see you on a bus going to a better destination next time darling"
We hugged as the bus lurched to my stop.
"You will" he said with 100% conviction.
Believe in people, we are all the same, what effects you, effects me.
We all build each others stories, one thought at a time.