2 months ago, we never thought we'd be excited to learn that Peter has Hepatitis A. However, when the doctor called today, we were absolutely thrilled to hear that he doesn't have anything more serious. We were starting to fear the worst. We have always chosen not to get the Hep A vaccine despite our travels in the developing world. We knew it was a risk, but we were willing to take it. When we picked up Garty, he had Hep A (unknown to us at the time). As sanitary conditions weren't optimal in Liberia, we must have contracted it from changing his diapers. I say we because when I got sick last week I had all the textbook symptoms of Hep A. I never went in for a blood test, but we were pretty sure I had it. Now we're positive I do. Peter just has it worse.
Why is Hep good news? With 2 trips to Africa in a month, it's one of the least scary things to get. Hep A almost never has any complications or long term effects. Like the flu, there's nothing that can be done about it except to wait it out. Today the doctor said no Tylenol, no alcohol, and no fried or very fatty foods until our livers have completely healed in 6 weeks or so. That's really not too tough to follow. The other reason we're happy is that it's highly unlikely that we could have passed this on to anyone outside our family. We love you all and were worried about having something unpleasant to share with you. The good thing about Hep is that we could only give it to you "when an infected person does not thoroughly wash his/her hands after going to the bathroom." Shouldn't be any worries there. We've been washing and disinfecting like maniacs since we brought our cute babies home... just in case. Most sources say that it's almost never spread through casual contact (i.e. office, church, etc.) I even have gloves for the few occasions when I'm touching other people's food... just in case. Although you're most contagious 2 weeks before your symptoms appear, which means we're both long past that point now.
So please thank God with us that Hep is the worst news we received. Peter really turned a corner today. He hasn't vomited for over 24 hours. Hopefully we'll both be up and about soon. There are so many of you we still want to see. However, we won't be offended if you're scared of us for a while and don't want to see us yet.