When I was a student nurse, one of my patients was a middle-aged woman whose leg was amputated above the knee. The wound was healing nicely, but she wasn’t. She could not accept this, and she would not look at her remaining leg. My job was to help her heal grief, and to guide her to a new wholeness, the wholeness that begins with acceptance.
Although I am no longer attending to patients at the bedside, my work is pretty much the same. Healing always begins with acceptance, and if I can help you to embrace that, then I know life will be easier for you. Living with hepatitis C can be hard, but fighting hepatitis C is hell. Fortunately for some, their hep C will be cured. However, many still don’t have access to treatment, and they must bear the weight of the virus.
It’s easier to bear it in the company of others. With wonderful support groups such as HEP Forums and Facebook’s Family and Friends, no one has to be alone with hep C. Support groups are where we begin to take off our bandages and let our wounds heal. In this case, the wounds are fear, anger, shame and grief. Shame may be the deepest wound, but fear can be the hardest one to heal. But we can heal, and it begins with acceptance.
Back to my patient with the amputated leg. I used love to guide her to acceptance. Eventually she did what I did, stroked her beautiful damaged self, and grew to accept her new reality. So it is with hepatitis C. Embrace and love your precious self. Accept what is, and face it shoulder-to-shoulder in the company of those who know what it is like to bear hepatitis C.