Off The Sauce

Last modified on December 1st, 2007

Today was a strange day. I woke up this morning and went down to the clinic to get the results of some tests I had done this week. If you’ve been keeping up with my saga, I somehow got a digestive infection when I was in the hospital with pneumonia a few months ago. It’s not contagious or anything – about 10% of people in the hospital get it after a week, and over 50% of people generally get it after four weeks in a hospital. You typically don’t get this unless your body is hit with a really hard broad-spectrum anti-biotic, which in my case was clyndamycin in the hosital. This type of antibiotic actually ends up killing all the helpful bacteria in your stomach and intestines, making your susceptible to other infections such as the one I got (since the good bacteria normally fight it off for you).

The main symptom I have is bad stomach cramps, usually in the morning. Other than that, I don’t have a fever or anything (which is another symptom). Unfortunately, this infection can be life threatening if it doesn’t go away, although it’s not something that typically gets to that stage in someone my age. I’ve been on two anti-biotic regimens already for it. One was flagyl out in Ottawa, and the other one was vancomycin in Vancouver here. The flagyl actually helped a lot, but once I finished it the symptoms slowly returned. The vancomycin didn’t really help at all.

Anyways. I was waiting on two tests, one of which would say whether this infection was still present, and the other that would say whether or not it was still hurting me (since many people actually are carriers of it, but it’s not harmful to them). The one that indicated whether it was harmful or not came back negative, which made my doctor happy. I left the clinic this morning thinking I was all over it, and that the little bit of symptoms I had were just the end result of being on anti-biotics for nearly two months now.

However, I got a voice mail on my phone this evening from my doctor. He called a few specialists at St. Paul’s hospital to go over all my results with them. Based on my symptoms, and the fact that the second test came back saying I still had the infection present, they have decided to keep treating me. Which means starting tonight, I’m on a 28 day spread of flagyl. Thankfully the dose has been increased to where it should be, and I fully except to be symptom free in just a few days (after about three days I felt nearly perfect again in Ottawa — the only thing is they only gave me a 10 day prescription when they probably should have given be at least 14).

So, a few minutes ago I took my first pills. I have a small function to go to tomorrow night, and I briefly considered postponing medication until Sunday, but truth is I just want this behind me as fast as possible, so I might as well get started.

The shitty thing is that I can’t drink any alcohol at all while on this medication since it can cause heart palpitations, severe headaches, flushing, nausea, and all sorts of nasty side effects. Unfortunately, that means I’ll be off the sauce for every single party in December, except for of course those around New Years when I should be off all anti-biotics, and finally back to my old self. I know my health is more important than a few parties, but I won’t lie and say I’m not disappointed by the recent turn of events. For sure I’ll still have a good time and do all the things I normally do, including attending all parties in December, I just won’t be able to participate in the drunken debauchery (I will however still participate in sober debauchery).

I spent a bit of time talking to my parents tonight, and of course they were their usual supportive selves, which I obviously appreciate. This year has just been a never-ending series of problems and disappointments, and it seems like the light at the end of every tunnel just reveals the next tunnel waiting up ahead. I sincerely hope that after this batch of antibiotics that everything, including my injury 12 months ago, will finally be all behind me.