My story all started with an emergency room visit for a blockage in my common bile duct in October 2014. Things catapulted into a nightmare that is still continuing today. I had an ERCP to place a stent into my bile duct at Stanford. I developed Sepsis, Pancreatitus and I went into full organ failure as a result. I was in ICU for 48 hours.
A week later I had my gallbladder removed with a full surgical cut. I then developed pneumonia. My hospital stay was almost 2 weeks. I went home completely unconditioned and very weak. I spent the next two months healing. In mid December I had my incision burst open from an abdominal wall abscess. I had to have the incision opened up all the way to the abdominal wall and it had to heal all over again. For all these ailments I was treated with a slew of antibiotics via IV and tablets. I did not know I was being dosed into hell. Near the end of December I went back to Stanford for them to remove my stent via an ERCP procedure. This makes me so angry and upset when I think about it. About 8 days later I started having stomach pain and unstoppable diarrhea.
My GI Doc did a stool sample and blood work and gave me the diagnosis that I had contracted C.diff. I did not realize just how serious this can be. He prescribed Flagyl and I took it religiously and followed all doctor’s orders on taking the exact probiotic etc. I finished the Flagyl and four days later the diarrhea started all over again. I was going 20 times a day. I called him right away and he put me on Flagyl again. This time for a longer period. I finished that course and again I was clear for about 5 days when the severe diarrhea took hold. I was again going about 25 times in a day. I lost 7 pounds in 3 days. I got hold of him and he wanted me to do a Sigmoidoscopy. He prescribed Vancomycin and 2 doses took away the harsh symptoms. By the time I did the Sigmoidoscopy there was not a trace of C.diff. or any kind of colitis. So I diligently finished the vancomycin after 21 days. I was free for exactly 4 days when I started having gas and nausea. By the third day I was again in the bathroom 20 plus times but this time I was in excruciating pain.
He scheduled a colonoscopy but when he saw that my WBC were over 16 000 and my stool sample came back positive he cancelled it. I was in so much pain I actually took Norcor and I was ready to ask my hubby to take me to the hospital. Again with the diarrhea and the colonoscopy prep I lost 3 pounds in a day. He consulted with an infectious disease specialist and he has me on a long course of Vancomycin and it is stepping down the dosage every week until the end of April.
I then have to take another medicine that binds bile salts for a month. This has truly been a nightmare. It rules my life. I have good days and then I have bad days. I am struggling with nutrition because I still have an incision that is not fully healed 5 months after surgery.
I am supposed to be mindful of getting enough protein but the C.diffl takes away my appetite. I get very angry that this has happened because someone did not do their job properly and I was exposed to dirty endoscopic equipment. This has caused me so much misery and pain. I have missed so many things at my son’s school. I have to sometimes ask my hubby to rearrange everything at work so that he can go and pick up the kiddo. It ruins plans for outings and dinner dates as I never know if I will feel strong enough to go out.
This should never happen to anyone. The best was my GI doc canceling the colonoscopy and telling me I am highly contagious and it would be better to not expose anyone having a procedure after me. If only I had been given the same consideration. I am at such a low ebb with this struggle. I am already panicking about it coming back after I am done with this round of Vancomycin.
We will be leaving on a family trip two weeks after I finish this round of medication and I am scared it will come back while I am away from home. I have been having severe panic attacks and I cannot stop worrying about it. I am thankful that I found the C Diff Foundation on Facebook and webpage. It has been so helpful.
I have told my GI that next time I am ready to try the fecal transplant option. I just want this to be done. Five months of hell and 3 relapses and I have lost 30 lb….the only good thing.
One thought on “C diff Survivor Sharon Shares Her Journey With Fellow Survivors”
I too suffered seems like forever. I was considering the transplant because it would recur within a week after stopping meds. No social outings and since the grocery is about 45 mins away (I live in the country)it was hard going shopping and being away from toilet that long. Anxiety when I did venture out was horrible. It consumed me and imprisoned me with fear of having accidents. Sleep suffered for fear of having accidents while sleeping (happened several times)kidney function suffered (type 1 diabetic too)I was depressed and on med for that also. Finally, after a full year of constant meds…tapering…all that…Dificid helped. I still have major food sensetivities and lingering kidney problems. My gallbladder has problems and liver as well…diarrhea has lessened alot, but, not completely from the other problems. I get nervous the c-diff is back…what a hell. So far, though, it’s not. I try to avoid antibiotics, if at all possible