Faces of Liver Disease
Sharing your experience can provide hope and comfort to others in the liver community.
I entered the US Military at the age of 18 and caught Hepatitis C while serving as a medic.
I entered the US Military as a Combat Medic, my job was working in a US Army Burn Hospital caring for Napalm Burn victims. It was a 500 man converted WWII barracks and you could hear the men screaming in pain from 3/4 of a mile away. The smell was so bad we had to cover our faces with multiple layers of gauze to mask the odor.
My job consisted of debriding or peeling the scabs off. Did my duty of these burn victims. I would make friends with these guys only to see them expire a week later.
Next it was off to Germany where I worked on the Autobahn rescue crew, the accidents where so horrific we didn't even carry stretchers in our ambulances, only body bags. One particular warm summer night we were called to Patrick Henry Village a US Military Installation where there was a crowd of people gathered around, in the middle of the crowds were three young children 6, 7, 8 mangled in there bicycles. A drunk driver had mowed these kids down and drove off We loaded these kids in the ambulance and brought them back to the hospital. Later that night, being short handed I was told to go down to the morgue and show these children to there parents. At another accident scene we arrived to a head on collision and the driver of one vehicle had an open chest wound. Upon leaning into the car I was covered with blood.
Two weeks later I turned yellow and spent a week in the Hospital. By age 20 I had witnessed over 3200 violent deaths. I left the military in 1976 and returned home, I met my wife and had a very good time together, we hiked, biked and enjoyed the Lakes Region to its fullest. We had children and lived life to its fullest.
2002 I started to loose weight and felt really weird, I had severe pain in my right side, I kept thinking it was something severe, I traveled to doctors all over the state to find the reason for this pain. I kept getting told it was acid reflux and took so many acid blockers it eroded my stomach lining. My wife was not pleased with the local doctors and she brought me to Dartmouth Hospital where upon 5 minutes I was told that I had serious liver problems from Hepatitis C. I had a Liver Biopsy and was told I was on the borderline of Cirrhosis. Little did I know that the Virus had been damaging my Liver for 30 years?
2003 My Doctor gave me two years to live. My options included dying or taking Interferon and Rebotol to kill the virus in my Liver I should have opted for the two years of life. I spent one full year in bed so sick I couldn't get out. Every Saturday Night, I had to inject myself with Interferon and take 6 pills every day it made me so sick, that I
lost my hair, my teeth fell out and I became anemic. My Legs turned black from the injections. This went on for 48 weeks. Every Friday my wife needed to drive me
to Dartmouth Hospital to get my to get my blood checked, one week my WBC was messed up, the next week my RBC was messed up then I would be anemic. The medicine made me develop kidney stones, gallstones and Wilson's disease.
2004 Continued having Liver Problems, I would wake up dizzy and disorientated and I lost my short-term memory.
2005 Started having severe pains in my back and right side hoping it was my Liver healing.
2006 Problem Digesting Food and Constant pain in my Liver.
2007 Problem Digesting Food and Constant pain in my Liver, Dizziness and Fatigue.
2008 Problem Digesting Food and Constant pain in my Liver, Dizziness and Fatigue.
2009 Problem Digesting Food and Constant pain in my Liver, Dizziness and Fatigue.
To date I have continuous nightmares of the burn victims and the children in the accident
I built a site to help me repair my liver but nobody understands what I have been through or how I suffer.