1. Stop drinking now. Alcohol destroys the effect of treatment. Giving it
up is easier if done before you have to.
2. Get yourself organised before treatment starts. Anything that is likely to prey on your mind, or cause stress needs sorting before you start. You don't need to give up work, but you do need to arrange things so that your physical and mental stress levels are minimised. Keep active, and make sure that you have enough interests not to vegetate.
3. Educate yourself and those around you. Make sure that they know what to expect, and are prepared to support you. Read the blogs and websites and make sure that you know all that you need to. Note down support numbers and forums. You may need them.
4. Throw away any vitamins and supplements that you are taking the day you start treatment. Anything you need will be prescribed by your treatment centre, who will be working from tests, not guesswork! Throw away any non-prescription medicines other than paracetamol. (particularly aspirin and ibuprofen)
5. Read the data sheets that come with your medicines. Make sure that you know which problems you must tell your treatment centre about urgently.
6. Take your tablets with food, in the middle of a meal, not before, not after. Get some fat content into these meals as it improves the absorbtion, and protects against stomach problems. Use natural live yoghurt or one of the 'friendly bacteria' products such as Actimel to replace the gut bacteria killed by ribavirin.
7. Do your injections in the evenings followed two hours later by two paracetamol. With any luck you will sleep through the symptoms.
8. Learn the pattern of your 'flu-like' side effects, and take paracetamol before they occur, not when they have started. Why suffer when you don't have to?
9. Aim to eat a balanced healthy diet. Your body is going to go through a tough time, so make sure it gets the fuel it needs.
10. Treat yourself to a smug smile as you watch others suffer because they ignore the Golden Rules. If you feel charitable, tell them!