I am a 24 year old female, mother of one 4 year old, a college graduate with my Associates of Applied Science in Medical Assisting, and currently managing a well-known home health agency! Life has been great and fulfilling, until early June of 2016 when I knew something was wrong. I had constant, unbearable intestinal cramps, nausea, weight loss, constant diarrhea, gas and a mindset that I was dieing! A year previous, my mother was diagnosed with UC (ulcerative collitis), which my PCP assumed I, as well, had this, and instead of doing tests or samples I was prescribed multiple medications...
Toradol/Dex injections.. few others I cannot remember now!
I weighed a healthy 150 and ended up weighing 140(within 3 weeks), the lowest I've weighed probably since freshman year. And these medicines I blindly started taking made me feel worse, and caused several emotional breakdowns! I was out of then, a previous job for almost 2 weeks!
I was convinced that I probably had UC or Diverticulitis or IBS.... same ole' common stomach/intestinal issues. I made an ER visit, which did not find any relief. I then scheduled a visit to our family GI doctor who has been treating my mother with great care for her UC. He did not fully understand why someone so young was experiencing these issues and went ahead and set up a colonoscopy. I was a nervous wreck, I was 24 and having a colonoscopy! You always heard of older adults having to do these things so it was very disheartening! During the colonoscopy, he did not find ANYTHING leading to evidence of UC or Diverticulitis, but did take a stool sample.
The stool sample finally gave me the information I needed, it was positive for Clostridium Difficile. He prescribed me Flagyl to take for two weeks, and assured me that things would turn out okay.
Now, if you have C.Diff or work with C.Diff, you are trained to know that it is very contagious, and life-threatening! These two facts were the only thing running through my head these whole two weeks. It is almost impossible to get a cheerful, happy, positive thought process about C.Diff...
Nearing the two weeks I had noticed that pretty much all of my symptoms had disappeared and I was feeling a ton better! Unfortunately about 3 days after ending Flagyl....it came back. Same feelings and symptoms as the first time. I called my GI doc and said "Hey, I'm pretty sure it's back!" I did another stool sample, with positivity for C.Diff again. Next line of defense was Vancomycin 250mg and probiotics twice a day.
I did 1 month treatment with the Vanco and about a week and half after finishing it... it's back! Which leads to me typing this today. I am having off and on intestinal cramps, off and on diarrhea, inflammation, and some nausea. I have been reading through these blogs and found really interesting information and helpful success tips that I will be taking this time!
Things to remember (from my experience so far):
DO NOT take antibiotics as much as possible! For those who have it and those who do not have it, your body is built in ways where it can fight certain infections or colds. Limit your use! I like to think I contracted C.Diff due to thinking a had strep throat. I ended up not just taking the medicines above, but before those I took Augmentin, and a 7-day treatment (can't think of the name) for something that ended up going away!
I have been reading a lot about Flagyl. I commonly used Flagyl for BV and it worked. But in my case I feel like it helped, but didn't work. Also messed up by not taking it as prescribed. This is not to say it wouldn't work for someone else, since everyone is different, but in a lot of cases it is the first used, but not commonly healing! Its side effects are not ideal either. I had a constant metal taste in my mouth, foods did not taste to their full potential, and I also felt like it was hard to swallow. I hate it!
I took Vanco for 1 month and thought I would always be on medication!! At first it gave me back pain and headaches, but those tapered off about the 3rd week. I felt sooo good taking this medicine though! I had normal stools, I could eat anything, do anything! But unfortunately it did not take it away all of the C.Diff!
During Flagyl, I was not aware that probiotics was a good tag along, but while taking Vanco I took TruBiotics brand twice a day, and have still been taking it twice a day. I have also researched vigorously on Probiotics (which are the best, have the most cultures) and I have come to find that Florastor and Reuteuri are said to be great! I will be trying either/or now!
Always go with your instincts:
I knew something more was wrong when everything first started happening. I suggest in cases that deal where a specialist is better to see, then go see them! Maybe it would have been different if I had caught it way earlier and gave samples, instead of making it worse with more antibiotics....
Everyone is different. I at first was convinced I was going to die from this. That no treatment was working. I would cry at night all the time because I kept reading articles online stating the death tolls of C.Diff. and how there is no cure, and only two medications can treat it but your chances of getting it back is very likely. All of that information is overwhelming. Although it may be true, it doesn't have to be! I suggest to do your research as I have, change your diet and your mindset. I have been researching not only probiotics, but supplements and foods that aide with these types of bad bacteria and toxins. Even though it is hard to feel positive about this, you have to find your common ground. I for awhile kept asking why me, why not someone else who is a horrible person and needs punishment?! But in reality, I know that if I try my hardest and do my best with regimens, then I will be fine! It is hard to find support from family and friends because for one, you really don't want to tell anyone in fear they will start avoiding you at all times because they will think its terribly contagious. Which it can be, if you are literally passing feces along to other surfaces. But it can be easy to stay clean! And another thing, others who do not have it will not understand how these symptoms make you feel and how you can't JUST get rid of it! Everyone has C.Diff within them already, those who have the active infection got it through contact or antibiotic use. It's not something you get rid of!
I hope maybe my story helps ease those who are new to this, and helps you realize that many people, young and old deal with this ugly issue on a daily basis. I will be trying a different routine this time with my flare up and I can't wait to post the results! I have to be positive about my future!
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Well, it has been about a month since my first post. All is going extremely well! I had a few ups and downs with horrible pain and stools, but I stepped up my probiotic game, made some diet changes again, I tapered Flagyl for about week, cutting down to 1 pill a day for the last three days, and I have been clear since! I also think stress and anxiety personally had a lot to do with my C Diff issues. I recently moved into my own place, got a way better job, and focused more on the important and happier things in life! I have not had any issues related to IBS, C Diff or indigestion since these changes, and I think I found what works for me! I hope everyone who suffers with this finds that balance somewhere and does not give up, it is a very challenging disease, but it can be controlled!
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