Hepatitis C is called a time bomb disease. I was first told that over 20 years ago. After livng, and dying, with it for so long that HepC bomb recently exploded in me.
Hep C Denial: I don't know what part of chronic liver disease I didn't understand but its meaning caught up with me. If my Hep C goes untreated, cancer of the liver might do its deadly business on me.
I was in total denial about it. You see, Hep C has no symptoms. Until this last January I always thought I had excellent health. Then New Years Day -Blam! I pass out. I regain conscioussnes on my bathroom floor. My housemate looks down to ask me if I'm okay and soon I'm in the Emory Hospital ER.
The week of inpatient care that followed saw me receiving blood transfusions and lots of IV infusions
for internal bleeding. A staff of doctors told me what I least wanted to hear. They informed me that my liver was scarred by cirrhosis. The cirrhosis was brought on by years of untreated HepC. Without treatment liver cancer was a real possibility. Cirrhosis forced me into the hospital. This means a small very important me part has already died. Well, enough of that! Life is far too good to throw in the towel on it.
My fund-raiser for Hep C treatment: I
Previously, treatments for Hep C promised only a chance of success and a prohibitive cost. However, the recently developed treatment for Hep C has a 90-97% success rate. It's truly a miracle of medical science.
However the costs of treatment remains extreme. It is around $90,000 in the United States. In India the identical treatment costs around $900. I'm raising funds because I need financial help getting to India where medical treatment is more affordable.
I'm also the poster boy for tooth decay.
My other medical issue conerns my teeth. They're a mess. It's one of the most painful stories of my life, something that's haunted and hurt me since my childhood. Despite all the self-care I do, despite the regular visits to my dentist they get worse and worse. I can proudly say I haven't lost a tooth in over a year's time, But time , like the Hep C, is not on my side with this problem either.
In the USA, to replace the teeth I've lost with implants and crowns costs from $36,000 to $72,000. In India I can get a complete do-over for around $8K. So, India here I come!
I have friends in Mumbai to connect me with the appropriate medical and dental services. The financial center of India Mumbai is a city of 18 million people.
Mumbai is described as being like NYC on steroids.Just walking in it streets looks like a major challenge
I'm blessed to have my daughter Emily , who lives in Manhattan, to accompany me. She will by officially my medical attendant. It even says so on her visa. She's also my guardian angel.
My fund-raising aims to cover all my medical and dental expenses, air fare and lodging. With your help and that of my Mumbai friends we can knock Hep C out of my body and provide a better smile, too.
- Charles Stevens
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