Monday, June 20, 2011

Latent side effects to treatment

I am about 6 weeks away from being off standardized pegylated interferon/ribavirin treatment for 3 years. I should have read the fine print describing the side effects that could be caused but not surface for years.

One of those is adrenal insufficiency (also known as Addison's Disease). This is what my doctor thinks may be causing my current symptoms. Interferon treatment is known to cause this disease months or years after treatment completion. I was on interferon for 18 months, not to mention our body's natural interferon which is being released in high quantities just to fight the HCV in our bodies.

A little honesty here: I am scared to death. I've had 2 acute episodes, the second being today. It is horrible' just look up "Adrenal Crisis" and it's a less acute form of that. I have an overwhelming feeling that I am dying. Duh, I AM dying. But this is different; it feels more imminent and real.

My oldest son has met someone and it is very serious. My youngest son has had a serious girlfriend for 3 years. Mom instincts tell me these are the "ones." I feel blessed that I've gotten to know them. Things are going better with my youngest daughter. We are all speaking more openly, as I am beginning to look ill. I am smaller than both daughters and they are both tiny. When the kids see me, it's shocking.

If you have a moment, while you're praying or sending positive energy out to those who really need it, I'd appreciate it if you'd briefly send one my way. I will be admitted on the 22nd and undergo a series of tests. Not all are for adrenal insufficiency. I have other issues that I am being checked for and it's going to be very unpleasant. I could get very bad news (this is where it SUCKS to be a nurse) and I'll admit - I'm scared.