My Adventures with Clostridium Difficile

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My Adventures with Clostridium Difficile

Postby Percival » Wed Feb 07, 2018 3:24 pm

Me: 64 yr old white male residing in NJ, USA.
The background: diagnosed with prostate cancer (Gleason 6) and had radical robotic prostatectomy on 1/10/18. Catheter out on 1/16/18 when I began Bactrim for 4 days.
Two days after antibiotics ended I woke up feeling VERY lethargic. Laid in bed all day.
Felt like I had a fever, hands were cold as ice so I put on glove liners and gloves.
Started getting full body shakes in the afternoon (still in bed).
Figured it was the flu that a lot of people in the area were experiencing.
But no aches, congestion, sore throat, sneezing, etc. Was waiting for all that.

Wife took temp around 5pm and reading was 102.7.
Aleve brought it down and we began a see-saw game.
Temp up, Aleve or Tylenol brought it down.
Temp spiked to 103.
Wife noted all temps and sent an email to my surgical team at Penn Medicine, Philadelphia.
Full body shakes made flossing my teeth before bed ridiculously memorable.

Around 11 pm or so the Big D arrived.
Did it ever!

7 am we received a phone call from the team advising me to get to an ER.
Better to stay in front of whatever it was than play catch up was the logic.
Off we went.
Checked in with ER and sat down to read a magazine I brought.
I was reading the words but not comprehending context very well so decided to put the magazine back in my shoulder bag.

Next thing I knew my wife was screaming for help and I awoke on the ER waiting room tile floor with bright red blood near my head on the tiles.
I fainted and cracked my head on floor.
FYI, that's the way I'd prefer to die. Lights out! No fuss, no muss. But give me another 64 years first.

My dramatics earned me an ER room pronto.
Blood was taken but urine was problematic as there wasn't much (I was extremely dehydrated from the Big D.)
Blood results came back showing all ok except creatinine level was over 2x normal, due to dehydration.
I was given saline solution IV to rehydrate and managed some urine output.
Stool sample was another issue.
Forget dignity in the hospital. It doesn't exist.
I was given a plastic container and told to drop a deuce in it when I could.
Of course there was a female nurse in the room when the urge hit but such is my lot in life.
And seemingly hers as well.

She opined that my sample didn't smell like c. diff, nor look like it. I didn't ask about a taste test.
Results came back from the lab and it was positive for c. diff, surprise surprise.

Was given innumerable IVs of saline, Flagyl, Vancomycin. Creatinine levels normalized (yay kidneys!).
Worst part of experience were the tubes and wires emanating from my body.
Made it extremely difficult to get up for the toilet or get anything in the room.
Sleeping on my back because of IVs in arm was PIA as well.
I did develop a fondness for the hospital gown though.
Nothing like baring my behind for the world to see (see "forget dignity in the hospital" above).

Stayed in hospital for three nights. The prostatectomy was one night stay.
Realized c.diff is a serious thing at that point.

Have another two days to go with oral Vancomycin (2 week regimen).
Appetite is great. Eating everything (anchovies, sautéed jalapenos and onions, chorizo, chicken, avocado, bread, hamburger, cereals, pasta with tomato-artichoke sauce with grated Romano on top, blueberries, blackberries, peas, corn, rice, coffee with 1/2 and 1/2, but shying away from alcohol for a while).

Dropped 10 lbs in hospital which jump started a desired diet, albeit not quite the way I wanted.
Now down 18 lbs from pre-surgery weighing and going for more. Pants no longer tight.
Portion control.
My impetus is Rod Stewart, of all people.
Saw Mod Rod in concert last summer.
He is eight years older than me, in fantastic shape.
If he can do it what am I waiting for?

Besides the oral Vancomycin I've been drinking Kombucha tea and taking probiotics.
Found out about Manuka honey from New Zealand and am now taking that as well (24+UMF).
In addition to regular diet, for breakfast I make a smoothie consisting of pomegranate juice, blueberries, bananas, blackberries, plus assorted powders (gojiberry, wheatgrass, turmeric, peanut butter, hemp protein, camu camu, acai, and finally beet powder).

I am going all in to get better.
The fact that 30% of c.differs experience a relapse is a concern.
But consider this: a.) I said bon voyage to my cancerous prostate
b.) my appetite is great
c.) I am home and NOT in the hospital
d.) it can ALWAYS be worse.

Focus on the positive.

C. diff has shook me to the core.
I realize life is tenuous and anything can happen.
Good luck with your adventure.

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Re: My Adventures with Clostridium Difficile

Postby Lady » Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:59 am

Your humour and tenacious attitude is an inspiration. I was just diagnosed and am reading everything possible. I'm much older than you but determined to get through this as gracefully as possible. That's a laugh. How does one talk about this subject gracefully. Best of luck to you.

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Re: My Adventures with Clostridium Difficile

Postby pk1 » Tue Jan 22, 2019 1:30 pm

Positive result for c diff this morning.
Prescribed Flagyl. Not looking forward to another antibiotic and it's side effects.
Been off work with this mess.
Really appreciate this site.

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Joined: Sat Aug 02, 2014 1:05 am

Re: My Adventures with Clostridium Difficile

Postby roy » Tue Jan 22, 2019 1:35 pm

Flagyl is not the antibiotic of choice and no longer reccomended for treating c.diff.
Vancomycin or Dificid is now the first line antibiotic.
Check with and educate your Dr.

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