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afraid to tell
Jan 14, 2007

I have been going to a new doctor for about 3-4 months and I haven't told her I have Hep C. I live in a small country town and work at a little nursing home for years. I don't want my co-workers to know because I'm afraid they'll treat me different. I have had several surgeries in the last 5-6 years,some of them pretty bad like a back fussion, 2 discectomy,foot arthrplasty and a few others. At the time of the surgeries, I hadn't yet found out I had Hep C. I've only known for a year or so and it was because of a jealous husband that I found out(he had accuses me of messing around on me and had my OB-GYN test me for S.T.D's) or I never would have known. By the way I wasn't messing around! Anyway, I have had really bad pains on my right side and I'm wondering if it could be the Hep C. I have had a liver biopsy and the gastrologist I was seeing (Vanderbuilt hospital in Nashville TN.)said I was just in the beggining of stage 1. That was about a year ago. The docter never said come back or anything. I am aware of the use of Interfron and I took it that if I got worse we would then talk about treatment altho there never was a follow up appointment made. I don't remember what my #'s were but they wern't that high. I am on percets for pain (back pain and feet and knee pain) and zanax for my nerves. I read the sheet of paper that comes with every percription and most all medecines say tell if you have liver problems to tell your Doctor. I plan on going back to the gastrologist at Vanderbuilt but it's going to be 6 weeks before I can get in. Should I try to go sooner due to the excruciating pain I have in my right side? It gets so bad sometimes even the percets don't help decrease the pain. My main questions are could the pain in my right side be from the Hep C.? and am I wrong to continue to work at the nursing home? I use special precautions above and beyond the universal precautions that are required.Could the pain be from something else? My eyes or skin aren't yellow and I have no other symptems that go with liver failure HELP!!!!!

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

This is an HIV information site. You don't mention that you are HIV positive, so I'll only respond very briefly to your question:

1. You should never compromise your health because you are afraid to tell your doctors something. Advise your doctor of your hep C status without delay.

2. I have no way of evaluating your right-sided discomfort over the Internet. However, if indeed you are having "excruciating pain," you need a medical evaluation now! Could it be hep C? Maybe. Could it be something else? Yes.

3. Are you wrong to continue working at the nursing home? No, but you do need to be honest about your hep C status with your doctor and discuss your working situation with her. She'll advise you if any restrictions are warranted.

Coworkers will not treat you differently if you're honest about your hep C. However, everyone will treat you differently if they know you persistently and deliberately lied about a health risk!

Get the help you need and start being more honest!

Dr. Bob


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