I had been clean and sober for fifteen years when I learned that my liver was engulfed in chronic, active, degenerative liver disease – and not due to my alcoholism. I was infected with the Hepatitis C virus.
At the time of my 1999 diagnosis, HepC was the new disease on the block and, if allowed to progress unchecked, amounted to a possible death sentence. Between 1999 and 2014, I tried every trick in the book – except the standard AMA-recommended treatment of ribavirin + pegylated interferon (Chapter 13: “Combo Mambo”) – to make sure that that sorry outcome never happened. This diary documents my somewhat quixotic quest for a self-cure. Perhaps my efforts kept me alive long enough to use the new wonder drugs; perhaps I just had a resilient immune system and lucked out. Who knows.
In any case, the irony didn’t go unnoticed – that I had not had a drink in years and would probably die of liver disease. I was pissed as hell that I’d missed the party.”