C. difficile Infection (CDI) It’s One Day, One Hour, And One Step At A Time

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Health, defined by the condition of being sound in body, mind, or spirit; especially :  freedom from physical disease or pain.

It can’t be bought, is usually taken for granted, and not easily restored.

 

Being diagnosed with a Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) or better known as C. diff., wasn’t too terrible.  The directions were received from the doctor, medication was ordered and picked up at the pharmacy and recovery was right around the corner.   So we thought.

It’s not an infection  I want to talk about at the bowling alley with my friends, the family doesn’t understand it, not too sure the doc fully understood the road I was about to travel either.

The countless hours began sitting behind the computer searching, reading, freaking out at the copious amounts of negative words describing this bug.

So now I have a pile of information, a sick – sick stomach, bottles of meds, a few bills attached, the jumbo pack of T.P., and an on-line order of products that kill the spores that live in the fecal matter that cause the nightmare.

How in the world did I get this?  Antibiotics?  Out in the community?  While visiting a friend in the healthcare building?  Maybe at the local gym?  Off a contaminated surface somewhere?

The possibilities are many.

It took over three months and three different meds to break the cycle.

Not what they call infected anymore but you tell my G.I. system that.  Still living with the now and then symptoms and upsets.  Never sure when the 100 yard dash is going to take place and always careful about eating out at social functions.  Only four weeks post-C. diff. but I wanted to share a few words with everyone going through this.

Don’t give up and speak up because as the old saying goes the squeaky wheel gets the oil.  Thanks to the C diff Foundation for the information and support.  They understood the pain and suffering when others shunned me and walked away.

Steve C.,   Survivor

 

C. diff. Survivor Shares How Life Is Not the Same After Losses

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It could be Spring, it could be Summer the seasons really don’t matter anymore. 

A loss is a loss in life.  We loose more than we anticipate with any long-term illness and wellness draining diagnosis.  We loose even more deeply and permanently when our loved ones pass away from a multi-diagnosis treated either long-term or short- term  ~ it really doesn’t matter because bottom line — it’s a loss.

 

Clostridium difficile (C. diff.) is gram-positive, anaerobic, and a spore, rod/spindle-shape,  a common bacterium of the human intestine in 2 – 5%. C diff. becomes a serious gastrointestinal infection when individuals have been exposed to antibiotic therapy, and/or have experienced a long-term hospitalization, and/or have had an extended stay in a long-term care facility. However; the risk of acquiring a C diff. infection (CDI) has increased as it is in the community (community acquired) and can be found in outpatient settings. There are significant higher risk factors in patients who are immunosuppressant, ones who have been on antibiotic therapy, and the elderly population.

We know and understand “what” a C. difficile infection is, what we can not understand is what this, and many other healthcare-associated infections,  can do to our lives. 

The acute onset of a C. difficile diagnosis is received, treated, resolved only to have a re-occurrence of the same illness from which one has previously recovered, moving into a the long-term (chronic) debilitating illness.  It’s not the same for everyone as C. diff. is a very individualized diagnosis, as many other infections. 

The landscape of Clostridium difficile has changed over the decades; there are new strains, there are a lot more questions, and increased research is actively taking place worldwide.

The geriatric population used to carry the higher risk of acquiring this infection, however; that has also changed.  It is being diagnosed across the life-span.

C. diff. knows no boundaries, this infection can be acquired by anyone, at any location, at any age.”

 

A loss is a loss in life.  We loose more than we anticipate with any long-term illness and wellness draining diagnosis — one like C. difficile.

Life is not the same after experiencing a loss; The loss of a loved one, the loss of employment, the loss of how the body used to just function without a care in the world.  The Gastrointestinal system endures more than it should especially after encountering three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten recurrences.

C. diff. claims lives,  rips away dreams and the families are changed forever.

The seasons and the holidays come and go, the healing takes time both emotionally and physically.  The losses are many from an infection — one that we can all try to prevent

 

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PREVENTION:

Hand washing is so important, before and after meals, after using the restrooms, before cooking and touching food, after handling pets, and often.  It is the first defense of stopping the spread of germs and increasing personal safety.

Special contact precautions for prevention of the spread of infection can vary from strict isolation of the patient and such measures as wearing gloves, and a gown and healthcare professionals must use care when handling infectious material and soiled linens.

No matter what the diagnosis or status of the patient, hand washing for everyone – before and after each contact is imperative.

 

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In the care of patients for whom special precautions have not been assigned, gloves are indicated whenever there is direct contact with body fluids. Gowns are worn over the clothing whenever there is a positive stool test for C. diff. infection, and the possibility that one’s clothing/uniform could become soiled with infectious material.

When a definitive diagnosis of an infectious disease has been made and special precautions are ordered, it is imperative that everyone having contact with the patient adhere to the rules. Family members and visitors will need instruction in the proper techniques and the reason they are necessary.

 

 

PatientwashinghandswhelpOffering the patient a basin of water with soap, and a dry towel,  to wash their hands will also help. The patient is not exempt and this important infection prevention method will reduce the spread of germs and also reduce the reintroduction of the germs to your loved one — the patient.

 

Pill-bottlesAnd limiting the use of Antibiotics — discussing the diagnosis with the healthcare provider and knowing when they will be helpful treating  symptoms will also curb antibiotic resistance and prevent acquiring  C. difficile.

To listen to a live broadcast with Dr. Hicks and Dr. Srinivasan from the CDC and their discussion on  “How to use antibiotics wisely and how everyone can help in the fight against antibiotic-resistance,” on “C. diff. Spores and More” Cdiff Radio click on the following link

http://cdifffoundation.org/2016/02/10/using-antibiotics-wisely-how-everyone-can-help-in-the-fight-against-antibiotic-resistance-worldwide/

 

For more information on Infection Prevention, Antibiotic Resistance, Advocating for a loved one,             C. difficile information on “home care” and more ~ please visit the C Diff Foundation website     www.cdifffoundation.org

 

Life will not be the same for us and we can all make a difference from today forward in helping others save lives and prevent  C. difficile infections worldwide.

 

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C diff Infection; I Don’t Want To Feel This Way Anymore

No one understands the pain, the symptoms related to a C.difficile infection (CDI). The symptoms that cause isolation — either because others are afraid to visit or because you’re tied to the restroom or because the body is exhausted from depletion and the constant fluid shift. No, not many truly understand the pain that a body endures during the treatment for a C difficile infection and the healing process —- YOU are not alone and we do understand. For C.difficile infection information and support call the C Diff Foundation’s hot-line and speak with a information specialist today
1-844-FOR-CDIF (1-844-367-2343)

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We Never Know What Positive Information Is Available To Us For C. diff. Prevention, Treatments, and Environmental Safety Products

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You are NOT alone!

 

C. difficile infection is just that —  it is a gastrointestinal infection.

Were you able to listen in on Tuesday, January 19th to the C. diff. Spores and More Global Broadcasting Network — C. diff. Radio program?

 

Dr.’s Caterina Oneto, MD and Dr. Paul Feuerstadt, MD discussed

“C. difficile Infections; The What, Where and How.”

This episode of “C. diff. Spores and More”  focused on the
“C. difficile Infections; The What, Where and How.”
What is it,  What can be done to prevent acquiring it,
Where is it acquired, Where can clinicians and patients
learn more about this infection, How is it being prevented at home
and in the hospitals, How CDI’s are being treated, and How to learn more about the
prevention, treatments, and environmental safety products available.

Click on the following link to listen to this special episode created with YOU in mind:

 

http://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/89935/c-difficile-infections-the-what-where-and-how

 

Join us in  Season 2 when  live broadcasting is broadcasted each Tuesday at
10 a.m. Pacific Time, 11 a.m. Mountain Time,
12 p.m. Central Time, 1 p.m. Eastern Time.

and brought to you by VoiceAmerica and sponsored by Clorox Healthcare

 

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Click on the above logo to access more information about Clorox Healthcare and their products.

 

 

Warm Holiday Greetings From the C diff Survivors Alliance Network

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The holiday season is upon us; A time to share warm holiday greetings while reflecting upon the many individuals combating a C. difficile infection.

We especially call to mind those who have passed away from a Clostridium difficile infection and/or
C. difficile involvement while fighting other diagnoses simultaneously.

 

 

The all-encompassing nature of chronic illness and its disruption of life and plans can elicit a wide range of emotions. These responses include: stress, grief, anger,fear,depression, and anxiety.  Be kind to yourself.  Take time for you during the holiday season.

Try experimenting with different ways of managing stress and painful emotions. When you find a technique that works, try to incorporate it into your daily or weekly routine. Some ideas include exercising, walking, yoga, listening to music, deep breathing exercise, meditation, cooking, reading, writing in a journal, and spending quality time with family and friends.

We would like to take this opportunity to say that during the year it has been truly appreciated to stand along-side the many patient focused and educational organizations, healthcare professionals, and scientists researching and developing new preventative measures, and treatments to combat C. diff. infections along with the long list of  “superbugs.”

Through continued education and advocating for C. diff. infections and Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAI’s) positive effects are taking place in raising awareness  in prevention, treatments, and environmental safety worldwide.

In 2016 we look forward to releasing newly developed tools for patients, “C. diff. Survivors,” families, healthcare professionals. and residents in every community while  working toward a shared goal in witnessing a reduction of newly diagnosed  C. diff. and Healthcare-Associated Infection (HAI’s) infections.

None of us can do this alone…..all of us can do this together.

Thank you for your continued support and from all of us at the C Diff Foundation, and we wish you and your family warm holiday greetings.

C Diff Foundation Opens a New Avenue – C. diff. Nationwide Community Support Program

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The C Diff Foundation introduces the                                                                 C. diff. Nationwide Community Support (CDNCS) program beginning in November for patients, families, survivors and for anyone seeking information and support.

C. difficile (C. diff.) infections caused almost half a million infections among patients in the United States in a single year, according to a 2015 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In addition, an estimated 15,000 deaths are directly attributable to C. difficile infections, making them a substantial cause of infectious disease death in the United States. (See note below [i].)

As of 2015, there is an absence of professional C. diff. (CDI) support groups in America. The                         C Diff Foundation has pioneered a collaborative plan and developed support groups in a variety of availability and locations to meet the needs of individuals seeking C. diff. information and support.

“We found it to be of the utmost importance to implement this new pathway for support and healing after speaking with numerous patients, family members, and fellow-C. diff. survivors,”

The C Diff Foundation now speak for the thousands of patients within the United States who, each year, are diagnosed with a C. diff. infection. This growth, in part, reflects the value C. diff. support groups will provide, not only to patients, their spouses, and families who are living with and recovering from a C. diff. infection, but also to the countless number of individuals who will become more aware of a C. diff. infection, the importance of early detection, appropriate treatments, and environmental safety protocols. There will also be Bereavement support group sessions for  C. diff. survivors mourning the loss of loved ones following their death from C. diff. infection involvement.

Beginning November 2015 the CDNCS groups will be available to all individuals via: Teleconferencing with some groups advancing and adding computer application programs in 2016. CDNCS groups will provide support and information  to 15 participants in each session.

The CDNCS program sessions will be hosted via: Teleconferencing with leaders and fellow C. diff. survivors  from Maryland, Florida, Missouri, Colorado, Ohio, and Oregon.

The Colorado CDNCS group is offered at a public venue and will be hosted in Arvada, Colo. every third Thursday of each month, beginning November 19th. The Meeting will start at 5:30 p.m. and end at 7 p.m lead by a C Diff Foundation Volunteer Advocate and C. diff. survivor  Mr. Roy Poole.

To participate in any CDNCS group being offered during each month, all interested participants will be asked to register through the Nationwide Hot-Line (1-844-FOR-CDIF) or through the  website http://cdifffoundation.org/ where registered individuals will receive a reply e-mail containing support group access information.

  • The Support Registration Page  will be available on November 1st.

The C. diff. Nationwide Community Support group leaders will provide a menu of topics being shared each month on the C Diff Foundation’s website ranging from Financial Crisis Relief, Bereavement, Nutrition, Mental Health, to C. diff. infection updates and everyday life during and after being treated for a prolonged illness. Both Community based sessions and Teleconference sessions will host healthcare profession topic experts

There is evidence that people who attend support group meetings have a better understanding of the illness and their treatment choices. They also tend to experience less anxiety, develop a more positive outlook, and a better ability to cope and adapt to life during and after the treatment for C. diff.

There is a Purpose:

A diagnosis of a C. diff. infection is unexpected and almost always traumatic. As a result, it is not uncommon for newly diagnosed patients to experience a wide range of emotions including, confusion, bewilderment, anger, fear, panic, and denial. Many people find that just having an opportunity to talk with another person, who has experienced the same situation, to help alleviate some of the anxiety and distress they commonly experience.

Individuals also find that they benefit not only from the support they receive, but also from the sense of well-being they gain from helping others. It has been said “support is not something you do for others but rather something you do with others.”

“None of us can do this alone – all of us can do this together.”

Follow the C Diff Foundation on Twitter @cdiffFoundation #cdiff2015 and                                        Facebook https://www.facebook.com/CdiffFoundationRadio.

Note/citation: [i] http://www.cdc.gov/drugresistance/biggest_threats.html

C. diff. Survivors Shared Their Journey Through a C. diff. Infection (CDI) On C diff Spores and More, C diff Radio

 

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What’s new in the C Diff Foundation?

Let us introduce you to the first internet radio talk show dedicated to C. diff. and more……

C. diff. Spores and More”

 

On  Tuesday, May 12th  C diff survivors shared their unique journey through a C diff infection and discussed how it changed their lives forever

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report published in
February 2015, almost 500,000 C.diff. infections occurred in the U.S. in 2011, with 83,000 recurrences.

Our guests – all  C. diff. survivor’s –  have been touched by this horrific
and life changing infection.

Heather Clark, Veronica Edmond, Renetta Dudzinski, and Lisa Hurka Covington bravely share their unique journey through a C. diff. infection that forever changed their lives.

 http://www.voiceamerica.com/show/2441/c-diff-spores-and-more

 

Listen in to live broadcasts every Tuesday:  11a Pacific, 12p Mountain, 1p Central, 2p Eastern time

We are pleased to share  “C. diff. Spores and More” with you because, as advocates of C. diff., we are excited about what this cutting-edge new weekly radio show means for our Foundation’s community worldwide.

Hard Facts: Deaths and illnesses are much higher than reports have shown. Nearly half a million Americans suffered from Clostridium difficile (C. diff.) infections in a single year according to a study released today, February 25, 2015, by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

• More than 100,000 of these infections developed among residents of U.S. nursing homes.

Approximately 29,000 patients died within 30 days of the initial diagnosis of a C. diff. infection. Of these 29,000 – 15,000 deaths were estimated to be directly related to a
C. diff. infection. Therefore; C. diff. is an important cause of infectious disease death in the U.S.
Previous studies indicate that C. diff. has become the most common microbial cause of Healthcare-Associated Infections found in U.S. hospitals driving up costs to $4.8 billion each year in excess health care costs in acute care facilities alone. Approximately
two-thirds of C. diff. infections were found to be associated with an inpatient stay in a health care facility, only 24% of the total cases occurred in patients while they were hospitalized. The study also revealed that almost as many cases occurred in nursing homes as in hospitals and the remainder of individuals acquired the Healthcare-Associated infection, C. diff., recently discharged from a health care facility.

This new study finds that 1 out of every 5 patients with the Healthcare-Associated Infection (HAI), C. diff., experience a recurrence of the infection

Older Americans are quite vulnerable to this life-threatening diarrhea infection. The CDC study also found that women and Caucasian individuals are at an increased risk of acquiring a C. diff. infection. The CDC Director, Dr. Tom Frieden, MD, MPH said, “C. difficile infections cause immense suffering and death for thousands of Americans each year.” “These infections can be prevented by improving antibiotic prescribing and by improving infection control in the health care system. CDC hopes to ramp up prevention of this deadly infection by supporting State Antibiotic Resistance Prevention Programs in all 50 states.”

“This does not include the number of C. diff. infections taking place and being treated in other countries.”  “The  CDF supports hundreds of communities by sharing the CDF mission and    raising C. diff. awareness to healthcare professionals, individuals, patients, families,  and communities working towards a shared goal ~  witnessing a reduction of newly diagnosed            C. diff. cases by 2020 .”   ” The CDF Volunteers are greatly appreciated as they create positive changes sharing their time so generously worldwide aiding in the success of our mission and raising C. diff. awareness.”

C. diff. Spores and More” spotlights world renown topic experts, research scientists, healthcare professionals, organization representatives, C. diff. survivors, C Diff Foundation board members, and their volunteers who are all creating positive changes in the C. diff. community and more.

Through these interviews, the CDF mission will connect, educate, and empower many.

Questions received through the show page portal will be reviewed and addressed  by the show’s Medical Correspondent, Dr. Fred Zar, MD, FACP,  Dr. Fred Zar is a Professor of Clinical Medicine, Vice HeZarPhotoWebsiteTop (2)ad for Education in the Department of Medicine, and Program Director of the Internal Medicine Residency at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  Over the last two decades he has been a pioneer in the study of the treatment of Clostridium difficile disease and the need to stratify patients by disease severity.

 

Join us Tuesdays in listening to the educational episodes of C. diff. Spores and More”

Missed any episode?  It’s okay, each episode becomes a pod-cast which you can access from the program page and listen to the educational information at your leisure.

View the programs and radio information and access pod-casts by clicking on the link below:

www.voiceamerica.com/show/2441/c-diff-spores-and-more

 

Take our show on the go…………..download a mobile app today

http://www.voiceamerica.com/company/mobileapps