I found out I have Hepatitis C, and have had it for over 40 years


OPINION: “Your results are positive. You have Hepatitis C,” my physician stated.

She then instructed me different medical stuff on that telephone name however by then I’d gone straight to gobsmacked. A reasonably affordable “who me?” response had set in.

Greg Jackson with first grandchild.

Greg Jackson with first grandchild.

Shock, awe and the attention that this was the illness that had taken out my rock and roll idols like David Bowie and Lou Reed.

At least 37 years in the past in an unlimited chemical weight loss plan I had been at occasions a junkie. Not religious and dedicated like so a lot of my now useless pals, however a junkie all the identical.

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There was no needle change scheme then. You shot what you bought with what you might get. Lots of sharing, cooking soiled needles over candle flames for the fussy and plenty of cross an infection.

Prime an infection danger for the hepatitis household A,B and C and then not an excessive amount of later for HIV/AIDS.

Trouble is you do not have to have been a lot of an something to get Hep C. Injecting as soon as will just do nice, as will unsafe physique piercings, snorting medicine, tattoos or intercourse that includes some blood. Even that “safe” ear piercing will do. Blood transfusions have additionally figured. This membership is hyper promiscuous.  

One of the upsides of getting been a chemical pig was that I was carried out by 28.The physician who helped me detox stated that mainly I had pushed it all thus far there weren’t an entire lot of benchmarks to work off for how restoration would go.

When the drugs ran out - deceased friend Ken on left, Greg Jackson on right in the 70s.

When the medicine ran out – deceased pal Ken on left, Greg Jackson on proper within the 70s.

 It truly went fairly good.

My previous gig in promoting was just about a closed door. I suppose the Christmas get together the place I and my first spouse had danced to a loud aircon pondering it was unexpectedly groovy early techno could have helped that.

Detox was onerous as a result of by then I was hooked on sedative medicine, alcohol, and had parked up the opiate behavior with a day by day weight loss plan of codeine capsules. I bought by means of.

I flip 65 later this 12 months and the Hep C check was sprung on me by the physician who knew sufficient of my historical past to say that the treatment was now nice and efficient and it can be good simply to get rid of Hep C as a potential.

So regardless of my late blooming hatred of needles and blood checks I had some.

Which got here again constructive.

The medicos who should not liable to romancing pathology name Hep C the “sleeping dragon”. You can have it ticking away in your liver for almost 40 years like I did and then get sick sufficient to current with cirrhosis, liver failure or liver most cancers.  

None of my liver checks over the years had triggered the alarm bells. The latest battery of blood evaluation reveals solely barely elevated liver perform issues, no indicators of most cancers, nor of blood clotting points.

Before the following pre meds step, a liver scan, it’s onerous to say absolutely what harm has been carried out. The Hep C prognosis could clarify why my latest years have felt bodily like driving with the handbrake on however once more I do not know but. 

Hep C has very not too long ago change into a excellent news drug story the place the treatment actually is a treatment inside months. Before that there was solely Interferon which was not overly efficient, as brutal as chemo some stated and so onerous mentally folks on it both bailed or suicided. 

My publish habit story noticed me first decide up the promoting strand as an AdEd author and then editor, then common reporter, award profitable political reporter, political marketing campaign supervisor, speechwriter, small enterprise proprietor and political advisor, help and growth  communicator, political  and communications advisor in Haiti after their massive quake, comms anchor publish the Christchurch February 22 quake. Plus I helped do the event for the ChCh quake film When A City Falls.

Oh and three wholesome sons all with orthodontically good enamel. A really center class life.

All fairly a good distance from scoring, taking pictures, nodding and scratching with opiates. Which is a part of why I had that “who me” response and at occasions nonetheless am.

The emotions division of a constructive Hep C prognosis appears to be one which adjustments inventory usually. In the previous few weeks I’ve gone from shock to darkly listening to Bowie’s Blackstar, over to please on the considered rejuvenation and power with the therapy to the most recent part, a nagging feeling of being on borrowed time. 

 Am I distinctive? Not in any respect, the people at Hep C Action Aotearoa suppose there are about 25,000 folks like I was in New Zealand undiagnosed and untreated. All it takes is a blood check to get rid of it or not. The Maviret treatment is simple and complete.

And me? I’m by no means going to hum alongside fairly so sadly or smugly to Neil Young’s “I’ve seen the needle and the damage done” once more.



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