A Year After My C. Diff. Infection

Last modified on October 12th, 2013

About a year ago, I was admitted to St. Paul’s hospital for what would later turn out to be a rather severe pneumonia. I don’t really get sick very often, so for me to suddenly be bed ridden after only two days of feeling bad was a very strange event. In fact, looking back I sometimes wonder if what I really had was pneumonia, or if that was just a symptom of what I actually had.

I was going over my medical records a few months ago, and found all the reports from St. Paul’s. When they admitted me I was in pretty rough shape. I had a massive fever, low oxygen in my blood, and I was so dehydrated that my blood was taking up far less volume than it normally should have. I also could hardly breathe, which turns out was due to half of my left lung actually collapsing.

Somehow during my stay in the hospital I acquired a superbug called Clostridium Difficile. It’s a nasty little bugger, and it causes your intestines to become inflamed. It’s extremely difficult to treat, and many people who end up getting it need to eventually get part of their colon removed to treat it.

The first line of defense for treating it is a drug called Flagyl. Flagyl is used to treat anaerobic bacteria, and it has a lot of nasty side effects, one of which is that it can react violently with alcohol. In terms of the latter, I learned the hard way that it’s not something you should mess with. After Flagyl the only drug that has a chance against it is oral vancomycin. Vancomycin is one of the strongest antibiotics available and is typically only given out against life-threatening ailments as doctors are trying hard not to let bacteria build up resistance to it. In fact, in the United States vancomycin is a controlled substance for that very reason.


Unfortunately for me, after two rounds of flagyl and one round of vancomycin, I was still symptomatic. At that point my doctor suggested I stay off antibiotics for a while just in case the antibiotics were contributing to the problem (which is quite possible with this infection). So I spent the next two months battling it on my own, doing the occasional check-up with my doctor to make sure I was still ok.

Thankfully, after around six months of treatment, I finally was tested C. Diff negative. Unfortunately though the flora in my intestines had been massively disrupted, as well as many digestive enzymes most people have. The good news is that this should eventually work itself out naturally. The bad news is that it takes a lot of time. In the meantime though, I’m currently slightly lactose intolerant since battling C. Diff. destroyed most of the enzymes in me that deal with lactose. But hopefully in the not too distant future everything will be back to normal with regards to that.

There’s growing concern nowadays that hospitals can actually make you sicker than when you went in. In my case, given that my condition was already borderline life-threatening, I really had no choice. But I walked out with one of two superbugs, and spent a good six months battling it. Even a year later, I still feel some of the effects from a year ago, and it’s not a period of time I would really like to relive. But the good news is I’m pretty much all over it.

27 responses to “A Year After My C. Diff. Infection”

  1. Raul says:

    Glad to hear you’re over the infection Duane. I have had Flagyl prescribed to me, and that’s one of the reasons why I trust Mexican doctors MUCH MORE than I trust Canadian doctors. Sometimes, I’ve had to fly back to Mexico in order to have my doctor see me, and I have very little faith in the Canadian health system. But I shouldn’t complain!

  2. Sarah-Renee says:

    Hopefully the lactose intolerance doesn’t interfere with the nacho eating!

  3. Ariane says:

    So glad that things got better eventually, even if your body’s still getting back to normal–I think we were all pretty worried for a while there! Here’s to the end of that year, and good riddance to it!

  4. Rosie says:

    Have you thought about seeing a naturopath. They may help you get back to your pre-lactose intolerant days. Maybe taking probiotics and digestive enzymes might also help!

  5. Bonnie says:

    I had the same problem, only I hadn’t been in a hospital or on any antibiotics and I got C Diff. I battled with it for 5 months and now I’m lactose intolerant. If I might ask do you still have those problems or is your lactose intolerance getting better? after 19 years of being bale to eat milk products it takes a while to get used to not being able to handle them.

  6. Duane Storey says:

    I’m still not where I was before getting c. diff, but I’ve definitely gotten better. I can handle milk mostly, I just sometimes still get a slightly upset stomach. I found that artificial sweeteners, especially Splenda, set me off now, when before they didn’t.

  7. TS says:

    Interesting – the reason I found your site is I’m wondering wht the after effect are. I fear I’m now lactose intolerant and sensitive to other foods of which I cannot pinpoint. Anyways – it took me two rounds of psychosis inducing Flagyl (seriously – i was a mess) and 2 rounds of Vancomycin (miracle drug) to rid me of this horrible illness. I caught C-diff in the hospital when I had my child. Basically almost 3 months later, I was finally ‘well’.

  8. angela says:

    wow!! I got c diff back in feb.. started with dizzy spells…long story..finally went through 2 antibiotics to test neg… I am 5 4 and use to weigh 140..now 110… I still cant gain weight?? Does anyone know why? I eat anywhere from 2500 cal to 3000 cals a day.. I eat pretty much what I want: except choc., bacon, and chinese food (triggers) and no more artificial sugar either…so double mint gum is the only gum I found that I can chew ( yeah ) Anyway, I need to gain weight…muscle is coming back, but no fat??

  9. Sheila says:

    I was so disappointed when my diarrhea returned after flagyl and after vancocyn. (March 2010) The dr. was about to put me on another round of antibiotics. I suspected that my stomach would never get back to normal if I kept taking antibiotics, so I asked him if I could try to get well on my own with pro-biotics and Prilosec. He said okay, and I have gradually returned to almost completely normal. I have no idea if the c-diff is still growing in my body, but if it is, I have very few symptoms. I never weigh myself, but I don’t think that I’m losing weight anymore. (June 2010) I hope this helps someone. Sheila

  10. Sandra Francis says:

    I was hospitalized Oct.26/09 and spent most of the next 8 months there..I was give liquid vancomycin and when finally I got to leave hospital was put on the vancomycin capsule..the doctor has been weaning me off of it over the past two months..all seemed ok for a week and 2days..then 9 days after being off vancomycin, I now have diahrea again..seeing my doctor tomorrow..I am really fed up with this problem..there must be a complete cure for me out there..??

  11. Duane Storey says:

    You should look into Fecal Bacteriotherapy. It’s one of the only known high-success rate “cures” for c-diff. It sounds gross, but it’s a naturalistic way to combat c.diff. Basically they take the stool from a relative, process it, then give you an enema with the solution. It basically repopulates your stool with all the good bacteria that you need to fight c. diff. The problem is finding some place that can do it. I know there is a place in Calgary, Canada that can do it, but not sure anywhere else.


  12. doglovingirl says:

    I also caught C. diff in March 2011, without ever being on antibiotics or being “sick” before, but I’m a nurse, so I’m exposed to it a lot in the hospital. I can’t imagine the folks above managing it for months on their own! I found in completely debilitating — I’d think “Oops, gotta go to the bathroom” and practically be incontinent before I could even get there. I’ve also gone through the whole Flagyl/Vancomycin/probiotics/yeast tablets/yogurt regimen with two relapses; I’m on a Vancomycin taper right now, and hoping the C. diff won’t come back.

    Anyway, I seem to be suddenly lactose intolerant as well, which is weird because my whole life I’ve been the Dairy Girl. I’ve always eaten lots of milk and cheese etc. I suddenly don’t know what to eat anymore. Interesting to see that others have experienced the lactose intolerance, too. Makes me feel a little less crazy. Thank you! I SO HOPE I can go back to dairy at some point!!

  13. Haley says:

    I am another one of those c-diff folks…on Thanksgiving weekend 2010, I began having symptoms. My story is like all of yours-flagyl, vanc, flagyl, yeast overgrowth, small intesine overgrowth, flagyl, vanc, and so on goes the cycle. Here we nine months later and I feel as though I am still stuck on a crazy fair ride and can’t get off!

    I too am now lactose intolerant. I have noticed that sugar and dairy really set me off. It makes sense since bacteria feeds on sugar, and most dairy products are pretty high in sugar. For those dairy lovers out there, I find that the lactose free milk and coffee creamer is not bad. I also can’t tolerate Activia yogurt as it really causes abdominal cramping; however, the Greek yogurts don’t seem to bother me near as much. Strange, huh? Thanks to Duane for posting your story. It is encouraging to know that when you are walking this c-diff journey, you are not alone.

  14. Myrna Jack says:

    Hi. it’s a strange way to say nice to meet all of you when I am one of you. . I had hernia surgery in August,2012 and everything went ok. . . 4 weeks later and 1 ambulance ride (lights and sirens) I was back. . bleeding rectally, diarrhea, etc. They, I have Kaiser HMO so a gastro guy, a surgeon and a hospitalist come into my room and say if your red blood cells don’t go up and your white blood cells don’t go down. . we will be removing 15 feet of your colon and you will have a colostomy. and walk out. . WTH. my body although 67 fought it off. . It was diagnosed ulcerative colitis had it 1 other time and they pounded me with antibiotics for 5 days. . OK

    I get out on my birthday. .now I am 68 and I am thinking wow great. . I had spent 2 hrs hearing about MRSA before I was admitted for surgery but no one bothered to mention this other creepy crawly thing.

    I didn’t feel right and the pain was back and the run to the biffy and hope to make it. . .so once again put on another antiobiotic. .as I only got worse sent to the specialist who gave me Flagyl I hate that stuff 2 go rounds 14 days and 10 days and then. . no c diff. everybody clap their hands now

    So now I go back in for the follow up colonoscopy for the original problem ulcerative colitis. .my doctor is standing there saying cleared up. . .good to go. . I am home 3 hours and the phone rings Dr. wants you in the office tomorrow . . . yes folks c diff is back in it’s raging form. . so now I am on the Vanc. . I feel like I’ve lost my life. . I can’t plan on anything, because God only knows when it will fire up.

    Just knowing there are others out there on the sick merry-go-round at least gives me hope. . maybe someone will find something. .thanks for listening. . I’ve only been on the Vanc for 3 days and I have 11 to go. . will pull up my “big girl” pants and travel on. . . again I truly wish all an end to this. . then I will have a glimmer of hope. .

  15. Katie says:

    I guess it’s my turn. I had part of my stomach removed in December 2012 due to ulcers. While i was in the hospital I kept telling everyone something was wrong. I was released 11 days later. They had me on antibiotics the entire time I was there. They did take a stool sample the day I left and then I got a paniced call from my surgeon 4 days later to get into my Gastro Dr. that I had C-Diff and to stop taking the antibiotics and to take the other one everyone have been talking again. Big problem with me, I am allergic to Flagyl so had to go to the $600 a bottle “cure” Took it for 2 weeks. It did nothing accept give me every bad side effect there was. I’m moving into the bathroom since every time I walk out, I turn around and go right back. I have no clue what these doctors are going to do. My husband raced me to the hospital the other night because my blood pressure was extremely low. They filled me up with saline and just released me into the population to see how many other people I can give it to. I’m so worried my husband might get it that I have my own dishes and silverware. I wear gloves when I cook and bleach everything. I even had to tell him not to use my bathroom. I am so dehydrated all the time and the weight has just been dropping off quickly. This is the first place that I found people saying they are now lactose intolerable. I must admit every time I drink milk the race is on within an hour at most. I ‘m a chef and I love to eat, but when I think that if I eat it means an entire night in the bathroom I don’t want to even look at food, although I do seem to do well with Boost. Then the dizziness, I walk around like a drunk boucing off of everything. It’s scary, I had never even heard of this problem and then I look it up and millions of people have died from it. My results from another stool sample are suppose to be in today, but I don’t need a test to tell me what’s going on. I’ve been in the bathroom all day. I hate this, we can’t even go out to a nice dinner or drive to far away from home. I had a doctors appointment last week and I didn’t eat a thing for 3 days just in case. I carry around extra clothes in the car

  16. doglovingirl says:

    Hi all,

    I’d forgotten I’d posted here. My update: unbelievably, I’m STILL on Vancomycin. I’ve relapsed on day 5 every time I go off it. I’ve battled this about two years now (although my symptoms are perfectly well-controlled while on Vanco). The good news is, after this most current round of Vanco (on it for one year!) and a loooong taper (two months per “step” instead of the usual two weeks, finally nearing the end!), I think I’ve got it beat. Stools are the best I’ve had in years. Here’s what I’ve learned:

    The usual treatment for C. diff is a course of Flagyl (may cause nausea and, as noted above, DO NOT MIX with alcohol), then (if a relapse occurs, usually on day 5-10 after stopping the antibiotic) increasingly long courses of Vancomycin, possibly with a taper. A taper is used because the antibiotic will kill the C. diff bacteria itself, but not the (dormant) spores. So slowly withdrawing the Vanco gives increasing time for the spores to bloom into bacteria, and then get wiped out by the next dose of Vanco, hopefully eventually killing all remaining spores. A typical taper steps down every two weeks: Vanco four times/day for 2 weeks, then twice/day for 2 weeks, then once/day for 2 weeks, then every other day for 2 weeks — etc — , every three days, every four days, then stop.

    Vancomycin is the gold standard for C. diff. The capsules are very expensive; if you can’t afford them, see if there’s a compounding pharmacy in your area. They should be able to make Vancomycin solution. It’s more of a pain (it has to be kept refrigerated, and you have to measure out your little liquid dose four times per day) but it’s way cheaper. Take the Vanco!!

    If you take oral probiotics like Culturelle, do not take them within two hours of Flagyl or Vanco (or, indeed, ANY antibiotic). The antibiotic will kill them, completely defeating the purpose. Yeast tablets (like Saccharomyces bouldardii, sometimes prescribed) are not affected by antibiotics and can be taken anytime.

    Last recourse is a fecal transplant (Google it), purported to be almost 100% effective. (It’s the only time your spouse is allowed to give you shit!) 😉

    I seemed to be lactose intolerant for a few months (caused loose stools but no pain or bloating). I cut out all dairy, drank vanilla almond milk (pretty good stuff) for about four months, then slowly and successfully re-introduced dairy. Interestingly, eating yogurt like Yoplait and Dannon every single day like my doc suggested caused worse symptoms (from the sugar??), so I don’t eat a lot of yogurt anymore. Otherwise, I’m good with milk, cheese, (the occasional) yogurt, whatever. I’m the Dairy Girl again. Woo hoo!

    I’m also drinking a probiotic drink called Bio-K (found in supermarkets in the yogurt/probiotic drink section). It tastes kind of crappy, in my opinion, and it’s awfully expensive ($3.50 for a little bottle, $40 for a box of ten!), but for me, they’ve been a miracle. Way more effective, I think, than the Culturelle and yeast tablets (which I’m weaning off of, with no ill effects). I believe in Bio-K, all the way! I’m drinking one daily, doing great. I trust Bio-K more than anything except the Vanco itself.

    Alcohol (especially wine), caffeine, and processed sugars all seemed to worsen my symptoms. For a while, I cut them all out. Then I slowly re-introduced them, one by one. You can see my priorities by what I now eat: I’m well-controlled on one cup of coffee four times/week, a glass of alcohol (usually Scotch, rarely wine) maybe two nights/week, and limited processed sugar. (The occasional cookies or cake or whatever is fine, but I’ve completely cut out my previous nightly routine of a teacupful of Skittles in front of the TV. I guess my teeth thank me.) I could probably increase my “dosages” of coffee, alcohol, maybe even sugar, at this point, but I’m happy at these levels, and since I ain’t broke, I ain’t gonna try fixing nothing. 🙂

    C. diff is (as you possibly know), very contagious (we isolate C. diff patients in the hospital). So if you have it at home, wash your hands super-well (lots of soap and water!!), and USE BLEACH when cleaning bathrooms. Only bleach cleaners will kill the bacteria and spores from surfaces. You can use a 10:1 diluted bleach solution. I’d regularly bleach high-touch areas like doorknobs, light switches, telephones, etc, as well. C. diff is spread by a fecal-to-mouth mechanism (I know, eeew), so close the toilet lid when you flush, wash your hands WELL, and use bleach on surfaces. I started putting toothbrushes through the dishwasher, too, just in case. I know, I’m a freak.

    So that’s it! Hope this helps someone. C. diff is getting more virulent, harder to get rid of… hang in there! I really think it’s beatable. Good luck!!! 🙂

  17. sashia says:

    I was recently diagnosed with this. I am almost done with the metronidazol and I’m not feeling 100 percent. I’ve noticed since this started I have had a mild case of vertigo, has anyone else experienced this?

  18. Marilyn says:

    I am only starting this trip. Thanks for making me recognize the true nature of this terrible condition.

  19. Kim says:

    Hi, I was finally diagnosed with this after 9 days of sickness.First of all,my whole life I have stayed constipated until I thought it was food poisoning eating bbq with this.It started out not too bad but the I took pepto and stopped it.For a day and a half I was on the mend or at least I thought.It was full blown fever and everything else to boot.Went thru ER that the Dr said was hepatitis with no stool sample being done.I followed up with my PCP who said he didnt think it was hepatitis but salmonella.He did a stool sample on a Friday with anti diaherra medicine and phenagran.I suffered all weekend only for the drs office to be closed for a ice storm so no results on Monday.Monday night,I was back in the same ER with the same previous ER doctor.”Hey, I seen you last time I worked”still not stool sample ordered only for a family member to finally get ahold of my PCP to find out what I had.I stayed in hospital for 5 days.The Dr in the hospital said my case was mild.I have been on flagyl for almost 2 wks.I go back to my PCP next week for a followup.I am 44 yrs old.I had a bad UTI and was put on antibotics along with going to rehab facility where a family member had surgery.There were 3 active cases of C DIFF there at the facility.One of them was on the same hall as my family member.The person with it has since died.The hospital Dr seems to think the combination of the antibotics and active cases wasnt good.I have not been on antibotics but that one time in 2 yrs.So,I know this is long but needed to vent some.I am feeling better but just not myself moving in slow motion it seems.I am taking probiotics and eating yogurt 3 to 4 times a day.Washing my hands like crazy and my house smells like a big bleach tablet.I have thrush in my mouth from the flagyl I guess.So I have to contend with too.We shall see what happens from here on out.

  20. Lisa says:

    I can relate to everyone. I was diagnosed positive 3 separate times after being on all the antibiotics. At one point they had me drinking the IV formulation mixed with distilled water. I eventually had the FMT . I was diagnosed FEB 2013 Transplant August 1 2013. Fast forward 1 year as I’m currently spending the summer in South Central Alaska trying to let my body heal. I’m sick again after having to take a short 5 day dose of antibiotic for a horrendous sinus infection. I feel like this disease lays dormant in my system. I eat full healthy meals make my own protein shakes, I’m currently at 100 lbs. 5’6″. From what I research there are different forms of Cdiff I contracted mine through an antibiotic from my Dentist . After he had over exaggerated my jaw by keeping my mouth open for over 2 hrs. Then he Rx’d me clinamycin this is where I contracted the disease. It’s the bacterial form of cdiff. I’m miserable it’s ruined my life. Hoping when I return home to go through another FMT. I strongly believe in the FMT. Prayers to everyone who suffers!

  21. Becky says:

    Just got home from hospital. Have C Diff. On Flagyl. So sick. I battled massive MRSA infection I got from medical procedure five years ago. It killed two discs in my spine. Have major back issues. Got this infection, I think, from hospital stay or rehab for hip replacement four weeks ago. Hope I have stamina to fight this one.

  22. Carrie says:

    Went to a dentist back in July 2015, he gave me two different antibiotic and then I got really sick and went to the dr they tested my stool called me the next day, and said you are positive for c-diff I was like ok thank you. I have worked in the medical field since I was 21, I am 40 now. Then I got so bad I went to the hospital they kept me for days. When I got home I still had a little trouble. I stayed on meds and took a probiotic. I still suffer with throwing up I have lost weight I get better then I get worse. They say it takes time. I get diarrhea once In awhile. Mostly it’s my upper stomach I suffer a lot. I can go days with out eating. I just hate hearing it takes time. I also suffered a from vertigo back in April of this year. This changed my life. I would love to know if any one suffers from throwing up Post C-diff

  23. Stefanie says:

    Thank you to everyone for your stories. Here’s mine.

    My Life before C Diff
    I am like Mikey from the cereal commercial… Give it to Stefanie; she’ll eat anything. (To a point… actually I hate fried foods and general unhealthy crap, but if it’s interesting, exotic, spicy, and new, I’ve got to try it!) As a healthy 35-year-old, I’ve never had stomach issues in my life, other than carsickness and nausea with migraines. I’m as “regular” as my terrier.
    Oddly, all of winter/spring 2015, I’m feeling lethargic, unmotivated to the extreme. Even when I want to go do something, I just didn’t have the energy to go do it. I was starting to wonder if I might be depressed. I was exhausted ALL THE TIME. I was also gaining weight in my stomach, which is odd for me, as I’m typically a butt/hips gainer.

    In May, I begin having trouble with constipation (first time ever… whoa!) By the way, if this is ever an issue, squatting fixes it (not just raising your feet, but actually putting all your weight on them and squatting). I was amazed.

    On June 28, the diarrhea begins and I’m trying to think what I might have eaten in the prior week that could have given me food poisoning, but nothing really comes to mind except salads (a common e-coli risk food). So I go to bland foods, Gatorade, etc… typical upset tummy mode. I go to work on the 29th and 30th, feeling progressively worse and popping Tums as if they’re M&Ms. Coworkers are starting to comment that I’m looking pretty banged up (thanks).

    Right before bed on June 30, I go use the restroom and its blood. Not bloody stool… JUST BLOOD, and a lot of it. Plus I’m in ridiculous pain. My husband is deployed, so I’m home alone and thinking that this is really not good. So I email my boss that I’ll be out tomorrow, catch a cab, and go to the ER. I was lucky enough to have a bed near the restroom, but NYC emergency rooms being what they are, there was no chance I get any sleep. Two bags of IV fluids, a blood test, a rectal exam, and seven hours later, they send me home with instructions for rest, fluids, Motrin, and bland foods. It’s “likely a virus.” I’m doubtful but so glad to be heading home to my bed. I sleep from 7AM to about noon, when I wake up in a pool of blood in my bed. This is NOT normal. I called my G.P., who immediately is furious and says that I never should have been sent home at all. She arranges my return to the E.R., and back I go for fluids, CT scans, stool/blood/urine tests, and (thank the gods!) pain management. At some point in my morphine-induced stupor, I was moved to isolation in the E.R… they’d found the C Diff. Suddenly, I am on heart monitors, oxygen, I.V. fluids, blood pressure medicine (I.V.), and Flagyl (I.V.). I had no concept of time, other than that I was having to go to the restroom far too often, and too often didn’t make it because I had to shout for someone who would have to gown/glove up before unhooking me from all the tubes and wires then help me to the restroom because I couldn’t really stand. At first, this is about every 40-70 minutes, and still all the blood. They tell me my case is severe and that every inch of my gut is inflamed. After 47 hours in the E.R., I was admitted to the hospital and my real treatment could begin.

    One great perk to being contagious is the private room, but you really know your perspective is altered when you are delighted to find that you have your very own commode next to your bed… essential! Adult disposable underwear are also key. The next few days are a blurry cycle of morphine–sleep–wake/pain/commode/more pain, wait what seems an eternity for next dose of morphine–sleep–wake/pain/commode… Dispersed in there are exams, x-rays, and the every-four-hour vital checks, occasional blood draws, the disgusting oral vanco (with a ginger ale chaser because my nurses were amazing!), and the constant drip of the I.V. fluids and doses of I.V. flagyl. Four days later, I am suddenly aware enough to REALLY want a shower. I must be feeling better. It took some time and I had to sit on a plastic chair in the shower and have plastic wrap covering my IV ports, but I was finally clean, and had clean sheets and hospital gown. Glorious! I just hadn’t had the energy before then to do more than clean up a bit with baby wipes from my bed. This is the day they discover a secondary e coli infection in my stool culture. Lovely. Discontinue Flagyl, add Cipro to the existing Vanco oral regimen. Still on every-three-hours pain management.

    It is determined that the C Diff began to blossom in January 2015 after a multi-round course of antibiotics for oral surgery. The infectious disease doctors confirmed that it very likely was the source of the other issues I was having (exhaustion/constipation/unusual weight gain) prior to becoming obviously symptomatic. It was the secondary, food-born e coli exposure that kicked the C Diff into high gear the week I got sick.

    With the good luck of being in a world-class teaching hospital, and under the care of a team of hospitalists, a team from the G.I. department, and a team from the Infectious Disease department, as well as the most amazing nurses, I begin to venture back into semi-solid foods, take an interest in magazines, and begin to reengage with the world. I had visitors (gowned & gloved) and even had the energy to make it through a stack of magazines. (No books; I was throwing everything away that came with me to the hospital that couldn’t be disinfected with bleach.) After 10 days in the hospital, with these amazing professionals throwing everything they had at this, I was discharged. Sent home with oral (pill) Vanco, oral Cipro, and oral Dilaudid (for pain).

    My mother came in from out of state and hired cleaners to disinfect my apartment, and was there to hold me up as I walked out of the hospital. I still needed help to go any further than about 10 steps. She pampered me as mothers do, and it was much needed. My father relieved her of her post, and stayed with me for the crucial “it’s time to start walking about” portion of my recovery. He also checked off my household to-do list like a champ! Dads are great at that kind of stuff. After he went home, my mother-in-law flew in to take the third shift, which consisted of pushing me to be a little more active each day, and to help me wean off the pain meds that I was still taking to be able to sleep through the night. As an R.N, she was immensely helpful at all of my lengthy follow-up doctor appointments and with helping me with all the stuff only a nurse can handle. Finally, I’ve been alone this last portion to get my energy back and prepare to return to work, which I will do the day after tomorrow.

    I’ve carefully reintroduced my normal foods, and only still have some discomfort from raw vegetables/salads, which they say is just going to take time as my intestinal linings rebuild. All of my tests have come back normal, C Diff free, and healthy. I even ate (medium) curry without problem last night (YUM!).

    The credit must go to my G.P. for insisting on having all the tests run and questions answered, to my three teams of hospital doctors for being (as they say) “aggressive” in their treatment plan, to my nurses for being healers in every sense, and to my family for coming through when I needed them, even if it meant sleeping on an air mattress in my tiny apartment. (Also, my friend who advocated for me in the ER, who brought me magazines, adult diapers, Gatorade, and Chapstick, and who took care of my dog while I was in the hospital. And, of course, my dog, who has her own healing powers in the form of snuggles whenever I needed them.)

    My lessons learned:
    * to always question when something sounds wrong (you’re sending me home when I’m bleeding out of my ___??)
    * to seek out and put my trust in the best professionals that I can find
    * to allow others to care for me when it is needed, in a hospital stay if necessary, even if inconvenient or disruptive
    * that I can count on my friends and family

    I’m grateful to have the all-clear to return-to-normal-everything, and sincerely hope that C Diff and I can part ways for good. In the future, I’ll know what to watch for in case it tries to come back, so hopefully not give it 6 months to flourish silently.

    I wouldn’t wish this illness on anyone, and sincerely hope that anyone who has had it finds full recovery as soon as possible.

  24. Stefanie says:

    (PS. The weight gain wasn’t weight gain at all, it was my swollen, distended abdomen, getting bigger as the infection grew! I am now back to my normal shape and 10lbs lighter. Not the worst side effect IMO.)

  25. Becky says:

    Stefanie, I had an infection like yours. Mine occurred after a hip replacement. I was at home, had diarrhea and vomiting to the point I passed out and went into shock. Treatment was cipro, flagel and vanc. Know how you feel. Readmission 10 months later with extremely high white blood cell count and stomach pain. Constipation (no BM for 3 weeks). After they cleaned out my bowels, discovered stenosis of sigmoid colon. I am convinced the CDiff caused this. Doing OK now. Take stool softeners on a regular basis. Hope you continue to improve. CDiff is a nasty disease. I also have had MRSA in my spine, including discs, bone and surrounding muscles caused by a medical procedure. That is a different issue, however. May we both stay CDiff free. It is increasing in frequency. There needs to be public education on this topic. I had never been aware of it until I got it.

  26. Katie says:

    I just was diagnosed with C. Diff on Sunday. For the past 14 days before that, I was so crazy sick (non-stop urgent diarrhea, bloody stool, losing weight without trying, crapping out anything I ate, passing out and dizzy spells from dehydration). I just started Flagyl on Sunday, and I feel extremely lactose intolerant now (which is hard for me because most of my diet used to consist of dairy, as bad as that sounds!) I don’t know what I’m going to eat anymore. 🙁

  27. Robin Byrnes says:

    Just checked this site 3 years after C-diff. First doc I saw about diarrhea dismissed it as a normal consequence of antibiotics. My own doc was back a week later, ordered tests, diagnosis within 24 hours then flagyl.
    All this started with a dog bite, filthy ER waiting room & broad spectrum antibiotic: a perfect storm.
    C-diff free but suffering from explosive diarrhea for 3 years. Seems all my proactive measures backfired (lol?). Yogurt everyday + probiotics.
    Turns out, thx to C-diff I have developed lactose intolerance. Figured out with elimination diet.
    No more milk, ice cream, soft cheeses, yogurt etc
    Yes ! To cheddar, wine & coffee.
    I plan to reintroduce yogurt gradually.
    Meanwhile nagging my coworkers to stay home when they are sick. I just can’t afford to be exposed to diseases requiring antibiotic treatment.

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