This article is a guest post by David Rowlands, see toward the bottom for contact details.
Insight 7: “Motivation is key”
(Treatment Week 4 of 12)
When I first started treatment I had a number of blood tests, one measuring the “viral load” which showed the amount of hepatitis C present within my blood. At this time my viral load was showing to be 44,270,000, for me this was a very high result and I felt anxious about my next blood tests which were 2 weeks into my treatment. I have now received these blood results and I have had a huge reduction in my viral load. This is fantastic news and now is showing at 452.
I felt anxious about having my blood tests, this is totally normal. I find speaking to a close friend or family before or after getting results does help and you as you are able to air any concerns you maybe having.
Receiving these results has motivated me. I am taking the correct prescribed medication at the correct times and these results are showing this. These results are helping me to stay on track of my treatment.
Not every patents viral load drops so quickly. I would contact you healthcare team or AbbVie Care, if you do have any treatment concerns. They may be able to help and support you to make the changes needed, I am sure you will want to achieve the best outcomes from your hepatitis C therapy and making small amends to when or how you take your treatment could be an option.
What motivates me to stay on track?
- I have high chance of curing my hepatitis C.
- I feel better now, than in a long time.
- I might stop feeling so exhausted after clearing my hepatitis C.
Already I have got rid of the brain fog I was experiencing.
- I can improve my liver health.
- I can drink alcohol again when I have completed treatment.
- I won’t need to worry about passing hepatitis C onto someone else.
- I won’t have to worry about how to tell people I have hepatitis C anymore.
- I can live free from fear of serious liver disease or liver cancer in the future.
Motivational messages to help you stay on track
The AbbVie Care patient support programme offers motivational messages throughout your treatment. The programme tailors the support a patients gets using patient activation measure (PAM) score. This score (low, medium and high) will determine the number of messages you receive through your treatment.
Here are some examples you may receive
Week 2 (High and medium PAM score)
“Hello from AbbVie Care. Well done on getting through your first week and welcome to AbbVie Care. We are here to support you if you need us in addition to your specialist team. Call us on 0800 1488322”
Week 3 (Low PAM score)
”Hello from AbbVie Care. Try to keep a positive frame of mind. Think about something that makes you smile or link up with someone who can support you if you are struggling”
Week 4 (Low PAM score)
“Hello from AbbVie Care. Well done on getting to 4 weeks, you’re doing really well. Only 8 weeks left to go till you complete treatment. Remember every single dose counts for the best chance of a good result”
Try something new
It’s the last thing you want to be doing when you don’t feel one hundred percent, but I have found trying something new has given me more energy. Running, walking, and cycling has given me fresh air, even if it has been for a few minutes.
I feel it has improved my moods, stress, and physical health, but also made me sleep better in the evenings. If you don’t feel like you have so much energy, read a new book or learn a news skill, use this treatment experience to do something new, explore something you have always wanted to.
My insight will be focusing on “side-effects” I believe this is an important topic to discuss to look at what minimal side-effects I am experiencing and how I addressing these.
About the author:
David Rowlands is the director of Design-Redefined.co.uk, delivering effective healthcare communications to enable people with HIV and/or hepatitis C (HCV) to become better engaged with their treatment and care.
Drawing on his established networks and collaboration with partners, David is able to bring healthcare together, by engaging patients & organisations, healthcare providers, physicians, stakeholders & policy makers.