Part 9: Living with HCV
Know that it’s not you.
It takes a lot to adjust to your new, lessened capabilities, and the adjustment is made more difficult by the expectations of you and those around you who have been long accustomed to dealing with your “normal, healthy self”.
Patients often find an equilibrium point at which they can function. As in combating any chronic illness, a positive hopeful attitude is essential.
Be prepared for a possible lack of acceptance from some from whom you might expect support. This may be a shock, but when you cannot regularly “go bowling” with the gang, or you increasingly depend on being accommodated at home or on the job, and when you have a condition that your doctor may not certify or that other people have already heard of as “that disease that junkies get”, then your emotional world will become quite different.
Find new sources of support. It will be important to create a new family-and-friends support structure. This can be done through HCV support groups, electronic networking, pen pals, and other means.
You will need to take the time to create a new self image for yourself, to know that your new physical limitations do not limit you as a person, as a soul, no matter what other people are thinking. And take some advice from those who have traveled this difficult road before you—consider reading from books like the ones listed in Section 12.1.5: Bibliography: Suggested Readings.
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