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Looking for answers for my Hep C
Apr 28, 2013

My urine at times has an intense smell kind of like ammonia, I itch like crazy, especially at night, have days where I feel lethargic and depressed, very emotional, even now asking this question, also menopausal, I am 50 yrs. Old, diagnosed with Hep c around 15 years ago, have been experiencing symptoms last two years, also on a a methadone maintenance program for three years, I do not have any insurance, doctors at our county hospital that that assist people w/o insurance, because of my being on methadone, think I am looking for more pain meds, which I tell them I do not, I just want treatment and answers to what is going on with me, I have gained around 40 lbs, my my legs hurt so badly, some days I can barely stand, let alone walk, no sex drive, hair, nails, and skin dry and brittle, horrible insomnia, and all I want to know is how chronic is my Hep c, is being menopausal hurting it, and what should I do or ask doctors so I can get the help I need. Every time I go to the ER, the doctors brush off my concerns, give me answers that leave me more confused because the answers have nothing to do with what I asked. Please go me and/or advise. I am in a alot of pain, but I want answers not pain meds, I am already dealing with one addiction, I don't want another. I am on 130 milligrams milligrams of methadone, 5'9, around 225, blood pressure is normal, and I have no other illnesses or conditions that I am dealing with. I am so frustrated and scared. Some days I can't even walk my legs hurt so bad, I have poor circulation due to rope like varicose veins as well. My hands are ways numb and itchy. When I tell the ER docs this, all they say is oh that's menopause and look at me like how stupid can I be to ask that question. I know this is a long rant/question, thank you.

Response from Dr. Taylor

I am sorry for all you are going through. I do not know where you live, but one possibility would be to contact your state's Department of Health and see if you can get a list of primary care physicians first, maybe at a community health center? Having a primary care physician to hear your concerns, examine you and evaluate can be much more helpful than going to the emergency room where there is often less ability to deal with problems that are serious and ongoing but not immediately life-threatening.

Your state's Department of Health should have Viral Hepatitis leaders who may also be able to refer you to hepatitis C physicians.

In some places, for example Bronx NY, the best hep C care is given within the context of methadone programs. So you may also want to check with your methadone providers and see if there are any in the area who provide primary care and/or hepatitis C care. I wish you the very best.



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