Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Questions

Though I've gotten through my course of treatment and possibly have eliminated the hepatitis c virus, I still have some big questions about what happened. I don't pretend to have the answers, but I'll still pose the questions. Question #1: Why does this remain such a hidden, and vastly undertreated, condition? #2: Why is the treatment so harsh - and so unfocused? There are many more side effects than intended effects. #3. Why is the treatment so expensive? Prohibitively expensive if you don't have health insurance or are not in jail. #4. What does a person who needs treatment do if they don't have any personal support people? It seems from my perspective, as someone who had daily, unconditional support from my wife, almost impossible to go at this alone. Question #5: Why is there such antipathy on the part of the Western medical establishment toward alternative treatments, i.e. acupuncture, herbal supplements, etc,? And Question#6: Why do some alternative practitioners claim to be able to cure the disease with their practices when no proof of that exists and the results can be deadly?
#7: Why do some people remain in the closet with hep c ? Why is there such shame involved? #8: Why are the effects of chemotherapy routinely downplayed by the medical establishment - especially the drug manufacturers? If it's going to be bad, at least let me know what to expect.
Though I don't know the answer to these and many other questions about hep c treatment, I do know that things have improved considerably in the last ten years or so - both medically and politically, but there is still a vast need for more and better information and more humane treatment. Don't even get me started on the need for universal health care. Of all the many, many, disheartening tactics of the current Republican administration, their disregard for the basic well being and health of the populace is most disgusting and frightening.

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