The Hepalogue

The Cautious Pessimist

by The Golden Phaeton on 24/03/2016

It’s been about ten days since I started the cure.

Two days ago, I felt… kind of… a little better maybe? Clearer in the head. More energetic perhaps? In a random conversation, I heard about a speaker at a forum, who claimed to be able to tell the day, perhaps the precise hour, in which they cleared the virus.


The dreaded ‘brain fog’ lifted like a veil, I was told.

To be frank, I was sceptical. Indeed, I suspected that the speaker was a moonbat.

Then yesterday, two of my friends, who are a little ahead of me on the treatment, related something similar. One, who had been low in many ways for a very long time, told me she’d woken up, one week into treatment, feeling 25 again (She’s in her mid-fifties now.) The other said he’d started feeling good on his first day.

I began to worry, of course. It’s my default reaction after failing four previous treatments. I was actually feeling significantly better myself, better than the preceding day, but with all this talk of an almost magical return to health, I wondered if I was falling victim to mass hysteria.

But then today happened.

I can’t remember the last time I woke up feeling so good, so clear in the head. I dressed myself, made my bed and went directly to my study to work – as opposed to my regular schedule, which lies somewhere between that of a dementia patient and that of a cat.

After thirty plus years of HepC, it becomes impossible to discriminate between the symptoms of the disease and the process of ageing. I’d always wondered about that brain fog. Sure, my brain was profoundly foggy, but maybe we all have to cope with that as we grow older? And HepC is certainly not a prerequisite for profound depression, or chronic fatigue…

Well, the results seem to be in. Unless the wonderful sudden clarity of mind I am experiencing today is some kind of glitch, brain fog must indeed be a serious, debilitating side effect of HepC. Something everyone can do without. What’s more, those other side-effects seem to have evaporated as well.

On New Zealand television, a doctor explained, with some confidence, that the reason patients were experiencing this abrupt good health was simply that the virus has diosappeared from the blood…

My God! It all sounds too good to be true.

Who knows what I’ll feel like tomorrow?

I’ll let you know.

Meanwhile, it seems like the bureaucratic chaos is beginning to sort itself out.

One of my local pharmacists told me he was trembling as he filled a $22,000 prescription for Harvoni (Sofosbuvir/Ledipasvir). But since then, the pharmacy has been in touch with Medicare, who assured them they won’t be left holding the the hot potato when it comes to the expensive antivirals. (I asked if they were the most expensive of all drugs on the PBS. Yes, he answered, apart from maybe a few obscure cancer treatments…)

Another point of confusion revolves around who exactly can prescribe the drugs. Well, I can say with some certainty now, that any GP can do it. They are designated S85, so no special training is required. (The fact that they are also designated S100 may have also muddied things. The reason for this extra categorisation is to allow them to be prescribed and dispensed in jails – and doctors do need special training to deal with this category.)

That said, wheels are in motion to provide special training for GPs who know nothing of HepC.

I’ve got my first blood test soon. The results will be… interesting

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