14 Weeks Post Vanco

We spend a lot of time talking about the bad news in this discussion group - here's the spot for the good news. If you've had c-diff and are now well, please tell us about it here.
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14 Weeks Post Vanco

Postby Vicklove » Fri Sep 11, 2020 11:14 pm

Hello everyone! (This is a very long post so I'm sorry!)

It's been 14 weeks since my last Vancomycin pill (June 7). I remember reading through the success stories and crying, hoping I would be able to post here some day. Well, I think that day has come.

I am a 30 year old female from Southern California. I have never been majorly sick a day in my life and have always been relatively healthy and worked out regularly. I got C diff after being on antibiotics from dental work (surprise surprise). I was extremely sick one day and thought I had COVID (chills, high fever, D, mucus, vomiting). I hate going to the doctor so I thought I would wait it out. After one day, I already couldn't handle it so I called. I was extremely lucky that my doctor knew about C diff. When I told him I was recently on antibiotics, he immediately tested me. A day later, that test was positive. He prescribed Vanco for 10 days and told me all the precautions. Thanks to COVID, everything for me was remote so I didn't have to worry about work or school, but I was miserable. I already couldn't eat most foods because of my recent oral surgery, and now I was even more limited on food. After about six days of Vanco, I finally had a formed stool and felt better. A couple days after the Vanco, all the mushy stool came back. I panicked of course and called my doctor right away. He said that it's still normal to have mushy stool in the beginning and explained IBS to me. After finding this forum, I became REALLY strict with my diet and only ate things that would help me (was eating low FODMAP for about 6 weeks). I wasn't getting any better, but something inside me told me I could do without another round of medication. For about 3-4 weeks, everything I ate would come out in either stool or mucus form, even water was a struggle. I struggled a lot with mushy D, A LOT of mucus, and vomiting every now and then. I couldn't properly sleep for 2 weeks because of my stomach cramps. I became depressed, developed OCD from paranoia of giving it to my family or getting it again, and would spend most of my time crying. I felt so bad for my husband because of everything he had to see me go through in the first year of our marriage. He was so amazing, he even stuck to my diet with me so I wouldn't be so miserable. I also moved in with my parents for the first 5 weeks because my mom doesn't work and she was able to care and cook for me.

I was drinking kefir, taking probiotics regularly, eating probiotic yogurt, everything a person is supposed to eat because of C diff. After three weeks of barely eating and losing a ton of weight, I called a homeopathic doctor and he told me to eat "Isabgol" (Indian form of psyllium husk that aids with stool formation) and set me up with a dietician. Most Indian households have Isabgol and I ate it that very night. The next morning, I had one perfectly normal stool and actually cried looking in the toilet. My dietician also gave me a very detailed meal plan of what I should and shouldn't eat. Side note: most people think Indian food is what you get at an Indian restaurant and that is the farthest from what real Indian food is. Home cooked Indian food can be very healthy. I switched my American diet to my mom's home cooked food of lentils, brown rice, potatoes, certain veggies, bananas and ate a lot of curd (Indian yogurt). I ate my mom's homemade curd 2-3 times a day and that's when I noticed the biggest improvement. I was still having mucus movements 5-6 times a day, felt weak/tired all the time, and still didn't think I was ever going to get better and that this was just something I was going to live with forever. I eventually stopped the probiotics and noticed a decrease in my bathroom trips too.

About 8 weeks in, I was still eating curd, Isabgol, kitchri (a special way to cook lentils and rice), bananas and added other foods (spinach, potatoes, sweet potatoes, vegetable soup - all cooked Indian style). Out of no where one day, I had a major relapse day. I went to the bathroom 17 times, had a fever, vomiting and for the first time, had watery D. I thought this was it, it's back. I called my doctor and he said to get tested again. The next day, it came back positive, but my symptoms had stopped. He called me and said he prescribed a tapered Vanco and if I wanted to pick it up, I can but he doesn't recommend it if my symptoms stopped. I picked it up, but told myself I would only take it if I needed it.

This is getting long so I'll stop soon, I promise!! Another week passed and I still had symptoms of mucus 5-7 times a day and major stomach pains but I ruled it to IBS. I continued my healthy all Indian diet, stayed as positive as I could, started meditating 1-2 hours a day whenever my anxiety, depression or restlessness would act up, and stayed away from all the wrong foods (no sugar, no processed foods, no raw foods, no dairy, and no gluten, no caffeine, basically every no-no in this forum). Whenever I tried to eat something new, I would experience pain or mucus and knew I wasn't ready. But my homeopathic doctor said I needed to slowly add foods to my diet eventually or my body might never eat the same way again. After 10 weeks, I took the plunge and ate gluten (it was a homemade Indian tortilla). I didn't get sick! Then a few days later, I added something else, then another thing. Each time my stomach would hurt or I would have mucus, but a little less every time and I never pushed it on the foods.

After 12 weeks, I still hadn't touched dairy, raw foods, processed foods, sugar, or caffeine, but was regularly eating gluten. I was so excited that I started Indian tea with lactaid, and then bits of dark chocolate, and then this and then that. I figured I was ready to post in the forum, but I wanted to wait until 15 weeks (I know I'm early). Two weeks ago, I had a donut and had mushy stool three times, but I didn't care. Last week, I had regular ice cream three days in a row and not a single issue. Today I ate cheese ravioli and had regular coffee this morning! My stomach is hurting a bit writing this, but I was so excited, that I ate it too fast and am now bloated so I think it's from that.

That tapered Vanco is sitting in the medicine cabinet somewhere, untouched since the day I picked it up. I am better because I listened to my natural-homeopathic doctor, meditated, stayed as positive as I could, this God-send of a forum, being patient, and a strong family support system. I still haven't eaten raw veggies, certain fruits, or sugary-processed foods (which is a good thing anyway). I eat very slowly and chew thoroughly. I had a full physical done two weeks ago and my doctor said I am perfectly healthy. I still have OCD when I go out because I know C diff is all over the environment and I get scared touching things. (I feel like I'm more scared of C diff than COVID). I haven't needed Isabgol in about a month and still eat curd 1-2 times day. I lost 23 pounds and am considered underweight, but I honestly am just so thankful for my health, that the rest will just come. If you made it this far, thank you for reading! Everything I went through made me stronger, more positive, and more appreciative of life. I am a therapist and C diff actually made me a better therapist. If anyone ever wants help, advice, motivation, whatever, I'm here!!
Last edited by Vicklove on Sat Sep 12, 2020 2:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 14 Weeks Post Vanco

Postby beth22 » Sat Sep 12, 2020 2:11 am

Thank you for sharing your story. I tested positive with c diff like you after I had been given antibiotics in the hospital. I had been negative for 4 years. By the time I got the test results, the D was gone. I also did not treat with antibiotics, although I did fill a bottle of Dificid because I was going on vacation. I still have a lot of foods that I don't eat or they give me symptoms, but I have not had to treat. My test results were positive for about 2.5 years and then no longer. I'm not sure why. I'm glad I did not treat. The more vanco I took in the early days, the worse I felt in the long run and wound up having to get FMT.

However, be careful with any future antibiotic use, even if it is a few years down the road. Always ask for one that is least likely to cause c diff and that will work on whatever infection you have. There is a list in CDI.

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Re: 14 Weeks Post Vanco

Postby healthys » Sun Nov 01, 2020 9:35 pm

Hello Vicklove!

Thank you so much for posting a detailed account of your experience! It has helped me a lot. I am on Indian diet as well and following most of the things you mentioned in your post. In fact I do need motivation & help and wondered if you could please answer some of my questions!

1. How long after the vanco, did you continue to have mushy D and how many times a day? ( loose stools/semi formed in my case, I am guessing that is what mushy D means; I am having 3-5 times a day post vanco)

2. Which Isabgol did you use? Could you please share the link of where to purchase? And instructions on how to use it?

3. It sounds like slowly your IBS ( and food sensitivities) has gone away? At what point did you feel comfortable adding gluten or sugar ( you mentioned Donut, ice-cream etc)

4. How do you differentiate between relapse vs IBS?

5. You mentioned passing mucus several times a day- what does that look like? ( sorry , I know it is a TMI question but not sure what that means or looks like or how to spot it in a stool )

6. Lastly, a) did you experience losing hair or skin irritations from using bleach products etc?
b) How did your personal hygiene or home cleaning routine look like?

Looking forward to your response! I appreciate your support so much!

Thank you!

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