starts up and a Dick Van Dyke
character steps out from behind a large hedge on a very dismal
day in Manchester
Oh what a beautiful morning,
Oh, what a beautiful day.
I don't have no hepatitis,
My liver is gonna be fine!
I feel that I should explain. Last friday, I went to my parents house and found a letter waiting for me from the Manchester Blood Hospital. I only knew that because it was franked at the hospital! Unmarked envelope, from a hospital, alarm bells started ringing in my head and I thought back to my last blood donation in February (see Giving blood in the UK for more details about what happened), where I had a small checkup and had to sign a piece of paper giving permission to test my blood for diseases and send me the results of anything dodgy. When I opened the letter, I read that I had tested positive for Hepatitis C and that, regretfully, I would no longer be called upon to give blood. Oh, and would I be so kind as to organise an appoinmtent ASAP!
This is the point at which I began to shit myself. Up to then, I knew nothing about it. I just put it out of my mind until last night when I knew I had to phone the hospital in the morning. As a result I only had 4 hours sleep from the worrying.
Making the appointment before I left for work this morning was a bit scary since the receptionist told me it wasn't urgent for me to go there today, but very soon. Since I didn't know what this was, I started to panic, why was it so desperate that they talk to me? I made the appointment for 12:30 today (because I could and I wanted it to be over). I spent this morning in a state of almost shock, hoping to god that I was alright and that I wouldn't have to tell Sarah that I had infected her with something deadly, or she had done the same for me.
As it happens, the disease isn't as bad as that, it won't kill me in 10 years (like I thought it would), it might start to affect my liver 10-15 years down the road, possibly later. It turns out the I might not have the virus at all. As luck would have it, chances are that I got rid of the virus in the beginning of 1998 so Sarah should be completely safe! This only happens in 20% of cases, so I'm feeling pretty good right now!