Living with Autoimmune Hepatitis.
I am a 37 year old mother and business owner. When I was 32 years old, I became very ill with severe flu-like symptoms, dizziness, vomiting, dark urine, white spots in my vision and jaundice . After weeks of doctor visits and hospital trips, no one seemed to know what was wrong. I was a stay-at-home Mom to my 2 year old son at the time and my symptoms became unmanageble and I was fearful of caring for my son as it was so bad at times I would lose conciousness. I ended up in the ER again and this time I was admitted. I was 2 months into a flare up at this point and the admitting doc was a gastroenterologist (yeah!!). She worked hard to diagnose and treat my AIH. That flare up took a year to fully recover from and I have had several since. I have been hospitalized and have had four liver biopsies, I'm a frequent flyer at the lab for bloodwork and have scars to prove it (lol). Symptoms can be severe and for me the fatigue is great. However, I am one of the lucky ones! My level of disease is moderate, so far it is being controlled with azathioprine (daily) and entocort when needed. Damage has been limited to stage 2 fibrosis. However it is for life and affects every aspect of it. I wanted two children but I will not have a second as my meds are dangerous to a fetus and the risk is too great for me, although I`ve heard it has been done successfully. What I would like to tell others from my own experience is that life is truly a gift and health is a privilege...don`t waste it, and always take care of yourself.