21 year old suffering from c diff

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21 year old suffering from c diff

Postby Cb123 » Thu Dec 25, 2014 12:38 am

Hi everyone,
In late October, I posted on here once asking about whether or not malox was a safe option for heartburn while treating c diff. I found the forum to be very interesting and helpful, but to be honest, I didn't want to get too involved in it for the hope that I would only have C Diff once and never have to deal with it again. Well, that wishful thinking didn't do the trick. I'm now battling my second round of C Diff and as soon as I got home from the hospital I knew I needed to get on the forum. I am having issues not only with my sickness, but maintaining a normal life and need advice.

Lets start from the beginning:
I'm a 21 year old female that graduated with my bachelors degree in June of this year. After taking a few months off to visit my family and go on a vacation, I started looking for jobs (around August). Mid-October I was having really good luck with a particular employer and was selected as one of the final two candidates for the position. I agreed to an interview on the following Tuesday and was very excited on the outlook of this job. The same day I agreed to the interview, I found out that my 18 year old cat was dying and if I wanted to see her, I needed to go to my hometown where my parents live immediately. They are only a few hours away so I figured I would stay with my parents for a day or so and then come back in time for my interview.

The day I planned on driving home, I wake up and immediately throw up and have diarrhea at the same time. I thought I had the worst flu in the entire world. I contacted the potential employer immediately and told them that I had a terrible flu and even if I was feeling better by Tuesday, knew that she likely wouldn't want me coming in with my germs. She agreed and we rescheduled for that Friday.

Three days go by and I'm still terribly sick, so my mom took me to a local doctors office which USED to be my doctor until I moved away to college. They saw me and had no idea what was wrong. Did blood work, urine test and xray and then sent me home, telling me they would let me know if they found anything. We got a call a few hours later that my white blood cell count was high and that I should go to the ER immediately.

While in ER because I needed to make a BM, I told the nurse I needed to go and asked if they wanted to take a sample, and they did. A few hours later I was told I had c diff. I likely got it from taking antibiotics for both MRSA and strep within about 1.5 months of each other. However, it had been several weeks since I had taken the antibiotics, and for that reason the doctors at the regular drs office as well as the ER seemed to brush off that c diff was a possibility until the stool sample confirmed it. I can't imagine how long it would have taken them to figure it out if I wouldn't have asked them if they should test it!

After having 1 bag of fluids and being prescribed Flagyl and an antinausea (can't remember), I was sent home.

Again, I had to call my potential employer and cancel. I explained that it was not just a flu but c diff and the seriousness of it, and surprisingly she understood and agreed to wait one more week before moving on with the hiring process.

After coming home from the hospital, I was still feeling very sick, but better for about a day and a half. Still having diarrhea but no vomiting. Then towards the end of the 2nd day I was starting to feel sick again, and the next day was vomiting. I went back to the ER because I couldn't keep water or my antibiotics & antinausea down. By the time I got there I was so dehydrated they couldn't get a reading on my blood pressure. I ended up being admitted and spending the night. They switched me from Flagyl to Vincomyacin liquid and switched my antinausea to zofran dissolvable tablets and this seemed to make me feel MUCH better....still not GREAT but not vomiting and having diarrhea every 30 minutes.They also recommended I start taking a probitioc once I got out. So after a night of filling me up with fluids I was sent back to my parents again and continued with my prescribed medications as well as started taking Florastor twice daily.

Although I was feeling a lot better, there was still absolutely no way I could drive myself home (not only because I was on zofran but because I would need to use the restroom so often and the drive is very rural). I had to stay at my parents for about a week until I was feeling well enough to take that journey, and because of that I again had to cancel my interview. She said that she felt so bad, but had to move on and I completely understood, but I hated myself so much for being in that situation. I couldn’t believe that I had to do something so unprofessional, and I hated that at 21 years old my body was doing this to me. I was also extremely worried about how I would continue my job search while recovering from c diff.

Even though I was stressed about what to do for my job hunt, I couldn’t help but be SO happy I was finally home in my own bed after being at my parents around 2 weeks. I was so thankful to have my mom take care of me, but being able to heal in my own home with my boyfriend (who was not with me because he was doing midterms for his last quarter of college) made me feel so much better. I continued to take all my medicines for a few days and finally was able to see my primary care provider on the last day of my prescribed medications. The ER had told me to only take Vincomyacin for 7 days since I was on Flagyl for 2-3 days, but my primary decided that I should continue it for 3 more days. I asked her if I should get a stool sample after being done with the anibiotics and she said it wasn’t necessary and actually can read false positive. I asked her how long she recommended I take the probiotic and she said only a week after being done with the antibiotics. She also told me that even after being off the antiobitcs, that it would take me awhile to feel back to normal. Boy was that the truth…

Against my doctors advice, I decided to take Florastor twice daily for several weeks after being done with the antibiotic, and then went down to once daily. I seemed to be feeling well with no diarrhea or nausea, but my appetite was not coming back. For weeks the only thing that sounded appealing was a turkey sandwich on potato bread…don’t know why but that’s all I ate, whether it was at 6am or for dinner. At first it was only one sandwich a day, and then progressed to two and then 3, but not at normal eating times like breakfast and dinner….just whenever my body was willing. Eventually I started eating a few other things like baked potatoes, apples, and my favorite…chicken teriyaki with rice. That was about the most adventurous thing I could eat and actually enjoy. No cheese, no spices, and surprisingly hardly any fruits or vegetables. I tried to eat carrots about a month after the vinco and it gave me diarrhea. I was ab le to drink a cup of milk surprisingly, but didn’t enjoy it. So although my appetite was increasing, I had a very small selection of foods that my body would tolerate. (side note-I don’t like yogurt…just throwing that out there since I know many will likely recommend it).

So, besides challenges in terms of my diet, I was feeling great. My energy level was a little bit down but I attributed that to not eating a well-rounded diet. Because I was feeling much better, I thought I was ready to start my job hunt again. Not only do I WANT to work because I am bored out of my mind and want to use my knowledge gained from college, but I NEED a job at this point. I saved up money during college to ensure I would have a few months of bills paid for after graduating to give me time to find a job….but I didn’t expect to take a month off of job hunting to do absolutely nothing but sit at home and feel sick. Long story short (uhhh this is a reaaaally long story :P) after a few weeks of job searching and still not feeling sick (besides the appetite/diet challenges) I was offered a job which would start December 29th. This was perfect timing because I only have enough money to pay for my bills through January. It also gave me the opportunity to come visit my family during Christmas before my job began. My life was finally starting to come back together.

Monday, December 22nd my boyfriend and I planned on going to our hometown and staying through Saturday the 27th,which would give me time to come home and prepare for my new job. On Monday I had a little bit of an upset stomach, but assumed it was due to holiday stress and didn’t think a lot of it. Tuesday I didn’t feel hungry at all and was a little nauseous, but no puking or diarrhea. Today, on Christmas Eve, I woke up and had diarrhea. I knew instantly that this wasn’t good. About an hour later I threw up and I knew I needed to get checked out. Of course none of the doctors’ offices in the area would see me because it was a holiday so it was back to the ER. Again, it was c diff. Because I went in so quickly I wasn’t dehydrated and once I was diagnosed I was let out pretty quickly and again prescribed vincomyacin & Zofran. The ER doctor recommended 14 days for the vincomyacin. I don’t know what is really best, because normally for your second case 14 days of vinco is fine, but I was given it for 10 days during my 1st battle since I couldn’t tolerate Flagyl. Is 14 days really going to be enough to kick this bug for the 2nd time, or should I talk to my primary about the tapering method?

You might be thinking it’s really odd that I ended up with c diff both times I came to visit my parents. But remember, I started feeling sick the day we traveled over BEFORE we were here. I think it’s just a crazy, messed up coincidence. My mom used to be a housekeeper so she definitely did a good job cleaning the house after I was sick and used bleach for the bathroom and anything else that you CAN use bleach on, washed everything in hot water. I did the same when I was at my house too. I know a lot of people end up with c diff more than once, but I am just so mad/depressed/scared that I have it again, and that I did everything my primary care provider told me to do AND MORE and still ended up with it again. YES I was washing my hands like crazy to the point that they were bleeding because I have such sensitive skin so I don’t think that was the issue either. I guess I’m just confused on whether I caught c diff again form something around my house or if it just never truly died…..thoughts?

So here’s the kicker…I’m supposed to start a new job on Monday. They likely won’t get my messages until Monday since it’s the holidays. I don’t know what to do and I seriously cannot believe I am in this situation again. Last time at least it was only for an interview, but this time it’s an actual job ,and I need this. I put my life on hold for c diff before and I literally cannot afford to now, but I’m afraid I will have to. I mean, how terrible does it look for you to call in sick your first day of work?! It makes me hate myself because I’m an extremely professional hard working person but I hate that my body is making me appear so unprofessional and holding me back from achieving my goals, as well as just doing what is necessary to live and pay my bills. I know this isn’t an job advice board, but any thoughts or experiences related to dealing with c diff and working/looking for a job/maintaining a normal life would be greatly appreciated. Even not being able to cook, clean, etc. makes day to day life so much more challenging. I feel stuck, scared, depressed, mad, hopeless, disgusting…the list goes on. The fact that I have c diff on Christmas and can’t see any of my extended family makes it even worse. I already had to miss Thanksgiving because I was recovering from c diff, and now Christmas. How much longer will this illness take over my life? I know I should feel "lucky" that I'm only 21 and have c diff because it should help me recover better, but obviously it still came back. And I'm just afraid I'm going to be dealing with c diff for the rest of my life since I'm so young.

As well as advice on dealing with my life, any words of wisdom on how to prevent this from happening a third time I would appreciate. I can’t keep letting this happen. I feel like my primary wasn’t aggressive enough last time, but I’m still going to see her once and see if things change. But regardless, if anyone has recommendations for doctors in the Seattle area for c diff I’d definitely be interested. I think no matter what I should see a specialist instead of just my primary…what did others do…continue with their primary or see a specialist after a reoccurrence?

If anyone actually read all of this, THANK YOU! Any feedback, advice, opinions etc please I’m desperate. Thank you everyone and happy holidays.

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