I'm a 55 yo male. USA
Hep C RNA PCN QN-Mayo 1860000 International_Units/mL
Albumin Level 4.1 g/dL
Alk Phos 68 International_Units/L
ALT 106 International_Units/L *HI*
AST 77 International_Units/L *HI*
Bili Total 0.7 mg/dL
Comparison/Contrast .... USA/Thailand
First diagnosed March 2013, likely had it 25+ years, maybe as long as 45+.
Had no insurance at the time, paid for an ultrasound to make sure there was no emergency and was "warehoused."
First clinic is in Washington State ....
Head back to work in North Dakota oil field .....
Finally decided to find a GP to refer me to a specialist on the third week of June this year .... got an appointment for third week of July.
Drove two hours to the appointment and discovered that the Dr. was gone that week and they hadn't been able to reach me by phone to cancel ... said they had tried four weeks earlier (Obviously didn't try very hard, and they sent an appointment confirmation letter in the mail 13 days before the scheduled appointment.)
Got a new appointment for August 19.
Irritated by the North Dakota Hospital, I called the specialist in Washington to see about an appointment there, talked to specialist's assistant, explained what I wanted to do with generics and needed a prescription. She said she'd talk to the specialist and get back to me.
She called back about 1/2 hour later and told me XXXXX said "No comment."
Me: "Well it doesn't sound like she's against the idea."
Specialist's assistant: "What do you mean?"
Me: "At least she didn't run from the room screaming in horror."
Specialist's assistant laughs.
August 19. Saw the Dr. in North Dakota, told him my idea, told him about Greg Jeffery's blog and Indian sofosbuvir, and asked if he'd write the prescription for generics. "No Sir." He said he would not write the prescription or oversee the treatment .... I could come back after I completed self-treatment and he'd do blood tests.
He ordered blood tests and said I'd get results in two weeks. Found my results online and deciphered as best I could. Type 1a, 1.86 million, no indication of cirrhosis.
Scheduled trip to Thailand for six weeks.
Went back to see Dr. on September 14. He had a pharmacist sit in on the visit but never explained why. He confirmed my understanding of the blood tests. I told him my exact plan and his attitude seemed to have softened. I asked him what tests I should have done in Thailand .... his answers were indirect. I asked about ultrasound and fibroscan .... he said a fibroscan would be a good idea. I asked about a biopsy .... he said a biopsy was the gold standard. I noticed he never actually told me to do anything specific, just gave general responses.
As I was getting ready to leave I asked him when I could come back. "Don't worry about it. You come back and see me whenever you need to ... I'll do your tests."
Flight from Seattle to Bangkok .... $804
Scheduled 6 weeks, discovered later that visas on arrival are only granted for 30 days .... bought a trip for 5 days to Singapore to break up the time and keep my stay under 30 days.
Arrived in Bangkok about 10:30am, September 18. Through immigration, baggage claim and customs by 11:15. Walk out of customs and see a kiosk for Vejthani hospital, one of three hospitals I had narrowed down to in my research .... I came with no appointment.
I walk over and tell the rep what I'm looking for and he gets on the phone. He needs a contact number so I head off to buy a sim card. On the way I change money, then get my sim and they activate my phone for me.
I walk back to the Vejthani kiosk and they get an appointment for 10am .... on a Saturday ... will pick me up at my hotel at 9:00am. It's still not noon yet.
I know I can't check into my hotel until 2:00pm, so I burn about an hour at the airport.
I take the train to Central and the SkyTrain to the nearest station and a taxi on to my hotel ... total 124 baht (about $3.75)
The phone rings a couple times while I'm on the train, but it's crowded and noisy and don't try to answer there. I find my hotel, and the hotel receptionist tells me that I have an appointment at the hospital and that the van will meet me at the lobby at 9:00am.
Tired .... sleep from about 4:00pm to about 4:30 am. Burn time online until 9:00.
Get to the hospital, talk to the doctor, get an ultra sound and a fibrascan .... back to talk to the doctor .... results print-out at 11:35am. Pay a grand total of 7300 baht ... ($216.62 at the airport's bad exchange rate) wait 20 minutes for my ride back to the hotel. Doctor emails me scans of his report and a prescription with all his technical details at about 4:30pm.
So I'm in Thailand for about 30 hours and I've got everything I need.
Next, getting the drugs from Australia. I'll let you know how it goes.