Fill in the Blanks
After reading Patricia Calhoun's "Blank You Very Much," in the February 15 issue, I'm ready to apply to the city for a job. We paid $116 an hour for someone to copy documents and put a "confidential" stamp on them? Hell, I'd do the same thing for $10--and probably do a better job, too. And I'm certain I'm not the only overqualified, underpaid person in town who'd be happy to have the job.

Rosie Foster

After reading Calhoun's latest, we now know why City Attorney Dan Muse didn't want to release those bills: He didn't want us to see how Denver wastes taxpayers' money.

Read my lips, Mr. Muse: Blank you.
H.T. O'Neill

All at C
Regarding Steve Jackson's "The Hep C Generation," in the February 8 issue:
I just wanted to thank you for the wonderful article you printed regarding the epidemic prevalence of hepatitis C and the story of Michael Lamb. I was fortunate enough to have been one of the many doctors who took care of Michael while he was at University Hospital awaiting his liver transplant. He came to us with problems breathing due to his liver disease and, unfortunately, began to deteriorate as a result of his hepatitis C. Slowly, his disease began to affect his kidneys, lungs and brain as well as his liver. The hospital team of doctors, nurses and staff worked day and night to sustain Michael in anticipation of his liver transplant. Unfortunately, his wait was too long. Michael died on the same day your article was released.

That same week, my heart-transplant candidate who had waited a year on the list and 37 days on IV medicines in the hospital received his new heart. The stroke victim who no longer had any higher brain function donated his corneas to someone without sight.

It is important that we all realize that there are real people waiting at the other end of organ donation. That the lack of organs allow people like Michael to die when they have so much desire to live. The challenge is for all of us to sign our donor cards and to express our wishes today to those we love. Ask: "If I were to find myself in the situation, would I want my vital organs to be able to give life to someone like Michael?"

Peter Nutson, M.D.
University Hospital

Thank you very much for your informative article on hepatitis C. I agree there is very little information available on hepatitis C and very little money available for research. I do believe, however, that the money going into AIDS research will produce a spinoff of benefits for those of us with hepatitis C.

I tested positive for the virus two years ago, and my life has changed dramatically since. My biopsy showed that I had beginning cirrhosis and that my SGOT and SGPT enzyme levels were five times the top of the normal range. As you pointed out, there isn't much my doctor can do right now. I ceased all alcohol consumption and was put on interferon after my diagnosis, but I did not have a very positive reaction to the drug. Since I have tried the one available interferon, I am considered ineligible for the other interferons currently undergoing testing.

I guess my liver is not bad enough to qualify for an exemption or "sympathetic use" of the new interferons. I say "guess" because, with liver problems, it's hard to predict the long-term prognosis. A doctor I visited at the hospital said, "Well, you might notice problems in a few years, but it might not show up for twenty years."

I, like Cathy in your article, turned to herbal medicine. I really didn't put much faith in vitamins and herbs, but after six months my liver enzymes have dropped dramatically. Now I'm a believer.

There is no support group that I know of, and this, combined with the limited knowledge of hepatitis C, combines to make one's life a bit stressful, which doesn't help your body fight off the virus. For others with hepatitis C, I would like to tell them to ask their doctors about Actigall (bear bile) and to look into milk thistle (which you mentioned), along with vitamin E, active B12, amino acids, green tea (which lowered enzyme numbers in Russian and Chinese studies), discontinuing alcohol use and starting an exercise program.

Your article painted a pretty bleak picture for those of us carrying the virus, but I'm sure as research continues and people begin to share their experiences and treatment methods, things will improve.

Name withheld on request

Fat Chance
On behalf of overweight people everywhere, I want to congratulate Westword and Robin Chotzinoff for the terrific story on Miss Gay U.S.A. At Large ("A Really Big Show," February 1). Stereotypes are always very hurtful to people, and for these men to "strut their stuff" is brave indeed. I hope I can take courage from their example.

Susan T.

Skinny or fat, a drag queen is still just a pervert.
Josephine Rose

Police Squad
Regarding Karen Bowers's "Cops Against Cops," in the February 15 issue:
As an eyewitness, I was very impressed by the accuracy of the reporting on Sheriff Mack. The description on Sheriff Mack's part was truthful. Statements by the "impact team" are mostly false. The "impact team" was never surrounded. As a matter of fact, there were Denver police hiding behind a fence watching the incident. Who was surrounded? The peaceful people or the gun-toting armored police?

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