”The Next Few Years”.
So then, after (12) weeks of the gold standard-of-care and I am informed that I am a “non-responder”, on 6/12/04. Needless to say, having time to contemplate my recent past and what does the future hold for me…..well, the mind started weird and wild aftershock affects. Knowing that the therapy didn’t work, I had many days when the brain started to “misfire.” Remorse and depression, having been advised that I have an incurable and potentially life-shortening disease, it was no wonder that deep depression and frequent anxiety attacks became the norm, rather than the exception.
The depression and the fatigue (directly attributable to cirrhosis) caused me to begin a downward spiral. So I had to do my best to stay employed as long as possible.
Knowing I had about a (2) in (10) chance of attaining a SVR. I took my chances and was one of the (8) and not one of the (2). I tried, and I’d still advise others to at least try!
The next few weeks were spent waiting for the side affects to wane. And, I started to miss occasional days of work, some due to the disease (cirrhosis-related fatigue) and some from the beginnings of worthlessness and becoming a pity party of (1). After several doctors office visits and visits with my employers Employee Assessment Program facilitator, it was determined that I was suffering deep depression, and was prescribed my first anti-depressant. The next few months were spent with my PCP and Hepatologist, both agreeing that the anti-D’s should be continued as prescribed and not to stop taking them.
Throughout 2004 I was still missing work sporadically due to depression most days. Some days I just couldn’t get out of bed. But, the Boston Red Sox won the World Series, so there were moments when I felt elated! 2005 came and went like a whirlwind.
I was still missing some sporadic days, and taking sick days (had accrued 100 days) and many times I would call in, usually after a vacation trip, that I’d be out for a few more days of vacation. Trust me that many of those vacation days were NOT spent vacationing, as I wanted the company to understand that I was willing to forego vacation time in lieu of using sick days.
Blood-work was getting done 2-3 times per year (to gauge progress or digression). Late in the year I started suffering from “sinusitis” like symptoms. I am quickly becoming sick and tired of being sick and tired….SATOBSAT. In April my 50-year old cousin passed away due to heart and liver complications. Quite the spirit-lifter that was! In August I celebrated my 3rd year of sobriety. Later that month I took my son to see The Rolling Stones. Seeing those 60-year old guys perform made me, once again, realize how deep in a funk I was. They’re strumming and jumping around at 60, and I barely get out of bed some days.
Early December 2005 and I accepted a new position, same place, but with a major upgrade in salary (remember this!) Just before Christmas, the sister of my deceased cousin died at 50 (due to cancer and a host of other nastiness.) Yet another mood-imbalancer……Merry Christmas, eh?
2006 started and I was getting blood-work and ultra sounds twice a tear, and had an X-ray/MRI of my back, discovering bulging disc between L4 and L5 vertebra. Once again, another health issue that I really did not need to discover. Next installment will detail the “paper shuffle” of 2006 and early 2007.