After graduating school, I decided to pursue a military carrier, I was good at it. Life was great and I enjoyed every bit of it. Few weeks after my 20th birthday, I was offered to go on an international assignment – Afghanistan. During the routine medical examination they discovered something was wrong with my blood test results, but they haven’t received all of them to tell exactly what it was, so I had to wait till the next day. I wasn’t worried because everything else with my health was fine as it was my whole life. I never went to hospital or had any major health concerns. The next day I arrived again to finish the medical expertise.
To this day I remember the worst moment of my life, the doctor said that I have been tested positive for hepatitis B. I have never ever felt so bad as at that exact moment. I didn’t know what to do, where to go, my whole life just rushed through my eyes in only a blink from receiving the news. My world as know it – collapsed. After few days of visiting doctors and consulting a specialist, the judgment was that I was infected at birth.
My life changed, I couldn’t be the soldier I wanted to be, I had to completely change my lifestyle, I had to change my mind and goals in life. The biggest support I received was from my girlfriend, which at the time I was thinking of leaving, because of who I have become – an HBV carrier, but I’m happy that she didn’t allow it. My family didn’t really understand what exactly this means, but I didn’t want them to worry too much about me.
Life is not easy. With the general hardships of being an adult you also get to cope with hep B and the things related to it, like the mood swings, the question of “Why me?” and the constant concern about not being a threat to the people surrounding you. It is hard sometimes not being able to talk about it because of the fear about prejudices in society and fear of loosing your job for no real reason. Being concerned about small things like paper cuts. Only handful of my closest friends know about this. But its choice I made – my disease only for me.
Still as sad as it sounds and maybe is, I have my pleasures in life. When I look back, I regret nothing, because my life wouldn’t be the way it is and I like it that’s way.
I might not yet become the master of my illness, but I’m looking forward to better coping with it and living my life at 100%.
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For people living with a hepatitis condition, it really helps to know they’re not alone. That’s why we’re inviting people to share their stories.