People Like Me: Bob Rice
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Bob RiceMy name is Bob Rice. I was diagnosed back in 1992 with Hepatitis- C. The first thought that came to me is you know, I'm going to die. You know, eventually, I’m going to die. Back in '92, I was feeling really fatigued. I was tired a lot and I, you know, that wasn't me. I was the energizer bunny. I mean, I was always on the go. I think I had ADD and everything else because I was always running and running rampant. You couldn’t slow me down. And I started feeling really tired all the time.
You know, I just didn't have that energy anymore. My joints were aching, I was getting pains in my knees, and pains in my ankles and my elbows. I just didn’t feel right. I went into my primary care and I was talking to him about it and that's where he suggested for me to go see a gastro doctor and I did. Today they can do it rapidly. You find out the results like in 20 minutes, but back then it was a two week wait. So the time that I was tested, it was nerve wracking for the 2 weeks. That was a long, long drawn out thing. That was over 10 years of being sick. In and out of hospitals. Surgeries. A lot of different things took place at that time.
Struggles in the family. My daughters were a mess. Especially my middle daughter. She went through a lot, a lot of stuff to get through that. She didn’t know if her dad was going to be here you know, so it was really a tough thing. It was tough on the whole family, I should say. It was just tough on the whole family. I went back to school. I became a drug and alcohol counselor. I'm working in the field. To a minimum point, but I'm still working in the field. Trying to help out as much as I can, try to educate as much as I can, especially about HEP-C.
Living life. I kind of go with the flow, whatever comes down the road now. You know, I honestly believe I have a second chance at life. Get tested. If you have it talk to the right doctors. Find out really what's going on. Primary care doctors are great, but you know you need a more further, beyond the primary care. You need to get a gastro doctor or a liver doctor. Once you know you do have HEP-C. Somebody that's dealing with it on a daily basis. You know, educate yourself to a point. But ask the doctors. You know, the doctors are going to be the ones that tell you and put you in the right direction. Get away from the thought of those old treatments totally. The old treatments are gone. You don't have to be sick.
I mean, you can look at me. I'm 8 weeks in, I got 4 weeks left on the treatment. I'm doing more than I probably was doing before treatment. So you know that's the key. Just keep going forward. You know, have some faith. You can get cured. You can get cured today. And that's the key. You can get cured. But you've got to get tested first.
Bob's DoctorSo, Bob had liver transplant for Hepatitis-C and was not able to clear the virus before the transplant, so he has Hepatitis C right now. But his liver is really doing quite well. We want to protect his liver for the long haul, so we want to get rid of his Hepatitis-C, so he doesn't have to worry about this and go through it again. He's on Hepatitis-C treatment right now as we speak. In an effort to try and eradicate the virus and that should give him a normal life expectancy with his new liver.