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C. diff Stories
Robin PDF Print E-mail

Washington

In January 2012, I was diagnosed with a large Uterine Fibroid Cyst at 49 years of age. I was subsequently Robin Todayscheduled for a cystectomy and vaginal hysterectomy in March 2012. Within just a few days of the procedure, I became ill with unknown symptoms and a high fever. I was diagnosed with a Surgical Site Infection and a Strep B Bladder Infection. My condition continued to worsen and I was diagnosed with Pseudomembranous Colitis in April 2012.

I was treated with Flagyl and Levoquin for the first event. I was then administered Amoxicillin for the bladder infection in May 2012, and was subsequently diagnosed with C. diff again in July 2012. I was treated with a two-week administration of oral, liquid Vancomycin. In January 2013, my condition worsened again after only a partial recovery. I have not been able to work gainfully since this illness began. On February 12, 2013 I was diagnosed with C. diff yet again. I was treated with Vancomycin Oral Liquid for 30 days. While I have remained C. diff free now since March 2013, there have been numerous complications. My life doesn't look anything like it did before I was exposed to this illness.

C. diff has ravaged my GI system; now, it essentially does not work. This creates all sorts of complications including lack of nutrition, hair loss, fatigue and so much more. Other systems feel like they are failing as well. This has put a great strain on my cardiac system, and my thinking is not as clear as it once was. I was weak and ill at my 50th birthday celebration in November 2012, as well as on my birthday vacation (which was nearly postponed due to C. diff).

Last Updated on Saturday, 27 December 2014 17:08
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Nora PDF Print E-mail

Pennsylvania

Now 39 years old, I suffered from C. diff for two long years before I was diagnosed. After seeing numerousnorab specialty doctors, it was my family doctor that finally ordered a stool sample. I was first diagnosed in September of 2011. I was initially prescribed Flagyl, but the infection came right back. Next, I was prescribed Vancomycin. Unfortunately, the infection came back again after just three weeks.

The doctors in my area knew nothing about C. diff. When symptoms arose for the third time, the specialist that I was seeing told me that there was no way the C. diff could be back. I had lost twenty pounds in three weeks; the doctor told me that I had an eating disorder and needed a mental health evaluation. At that point, I felt that I had done enough research on my own, and knew that the infection was back.

I found an infectious disease specialist in another state who prescribed a liquid compound of Vancomycin. That had seemed to work well for me. I thought that I was in the clear. Unfortunately, six weeks later, the C. diff came back. The infectious disease specialist I saw previously (my hero) referred me to another doctor (my angel) who performed a Fecal Microbiota Transplants (FMT). I was identified as a candidate.

Last Updated on Saturday, 27 December 2014 17:12
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Stephanie PDF Print E-mail

Alabama

I contracted C. diff during a C-section and hospital stay in my mid-thirties. I woke shaking, vomiting, covered in diarrhea, and crying for help. The doctors never tested me for C. diff, and instead sent me home with postpartum depression medication, insisting that I was simply unstable from giving birth. One week later, I wasn't even able to get up from my bed (which left my mother to care for my six kids). My OB/GYN was very disrespectful to me, saying that I was suffering from depression, that she didn't care, and that she didn't know what was going on with me. When I went to the hospital via ambulance, the doctors treating me there contacted her, and she reiterated to them that I was simply stressed.

After that encounter, my husband took me to the next town to a different hospital. There, they diagnosed me with a horrible, extreme case of C. diff, and admitted me to isolation for nine days. I never got better. I found out that my immune system's attack on the infection led to adrenal failure, hashimoto thyroid disease, and over 250 allergies, including Celiac disease. My specialist recently tested me to see if there is a reason--one autoimmune disease caused by the infection--that has caused all of this. We are praying for answers, as I am now on many different medications, can't eat, and haven't been well in eight months. I have been on steroids for inflammation, I have leaky gut syndrome, and have lost 104 pounds in seven months.

I still suffer, and also feel that I should get compensation for what I am going through. I have been to hospitals and specialists for more than eight months; I have very costly hospital bills to pay. It's not fair at all. My family works in shifts caring for me and my kids. This experience has taken an emotional toll on me as well. I was a very healthy mom before C. diff. I now have to use antibiotics frequently because I catch infections so often. At least every two months I have a new infection; I'm afraid of C. diff returning.

At this point, I don't know how to heal. I am totally dependent on the help of my family and my doctors. We have tried many treatments, dietary changes, and even bath and body products. Although, now that I'm practically allergic to water and air, it's difficult to find different foods and products to try.

I would love to help others learn about C. diff once I am well. It has wrecked my life. I would also love to hear other experiences like mine, and hear of people who have healed for good; I need hope.

Please help PLF continue to raise awareness of C. diff by donating today

 

Last Updated on Friday, 12 December 2014 15:44
 
Alisa PDF Print E-mail

In April of 2005, I entered the hospital as an extremely healthy woman in my late thirties, pregnant with my second son. I left the hospital 80 days later--minus my colon--after 21 days on life alisasupport, five surgeries, five weeks in the ICU, and one month in the Sub-ICU, all as a result of an antibiotic-related infection of Clostridium difficile.

In that time, I actually had two events of C.diff. I entered the hospital while pregnant because I began bleeding at 31 weeks gestation. My water broke, I was put on complete bed rest in the hospital, and was given protocol antibiotics, Keflex and Erythromycin, to keep the baby from getting an infection. The goal was to keep the baby inside me as long as possible before going through with an emergency C-section. After three days on bed rest, I developed painful diarrhea. I complained to my caretakers, but it took several days before I was finally diagnosed with C. diff. After ten days on a Vancomycin treatment, a stool sample showed that I no longer had C.diff. I remained on bed rest for three weeks until I began bleeding again. I then gave birth to my son Jamie via C-section at 34 weeks gestation. He went to the NICU where doctors discovered that he had a pneumothorax. He was consequently given a chest tube, and was also put on a ventilator for some time. Fortunately, he was able to go home after three weeks in the NICU. I, however, was not: I was still in the ICU fighting for my life.

Last Updated on Friday, 21 November 2014 15:14
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Molly PDF Print E-mail

(as told by her mother, Lindsay)
Molly

I am a first time mom to a beautiful, 5 month old, baby girl, Molly. At the end of August, she was diagnosed with C. diff after a week and a half of constant diarrhea. Her pediatrician at that time told me some babies just have bowel movements after every feeding. My baby was going every hour! After one sick visit and frequent calls to the pediatrician's office, we were advised to change her formula to soy. I brought a diaper with me to the office, but it was not tested for a possible infection. I was told over and over again it was either a virus or a reaction to her formula. Two weeks prior to this, I had stopped nursing, so formula in general was new to Molly's digestive system. I listened to the pediatrician and changed her to soy formula, but the diarrhea continued with the same intensity.

The clock continued to tick and every day she seemed a little worse. I noticed a gradual decline in Molly's overall demeanor. She was quiet, stopped babbling/cooing, didn't smile as often, and was not blowing her silly bubbles. She is a strong girl, so she was not overly fussy and never developed a fever. To others, she may have appeared fine. In my gut I knew something was wrong. Finally my pediatrician suggested we try to see a GI, but I was told that it was not an emergency. Disregarding my pediatrician's lack of urgency, I called a GI that day and was able to have Molly seen that afternoon. We had the test results back with a positive for C. diff the next day.

Molly was treated with Flagyl for 10 days. She responded immediately! We were ecstatic! Two weeks later, the C. diff returned. I will never forget that moment. I walked into her nursery in the middle of the night and I could smell it. My heart sank. As a new mom, I had never experienced this type of overwhelming helplessness. Why could I not fix this? I told my husband at 2am with absolute certainty that it was back. He laughed it off and said I was crazy. I knew and unfortunately, I was right. She again had C. diff.

We started the second course of Flagyl the next day. Molly again responded quickly to the antibiotics. She has been off the medication for 2 weeks. I am constantly sick with worry that it will come back again. When will I stop being paranoid? I bleach and wash everything she comes into contact with, but it makes me insane that I cannot see the spores; where they may be hiding in our home. Does she still have it? Her GI will not retest her unless she displays symptoms. We have started a probiotic in hopes that it will help a reoccurrence. Molly is the sweetest and happiest baby. She should not have to go through this this young.

We have since changed our pediatrician. We are now seeing one with more of an understanding of the infection and the rate of reoccurrence. He feels strongly that Molly developed C. diff as a result of Clindamycin transferring through my breast milk. I was prescribed the antibiotic a few days after I delivered her due to an infection I developed around my episiotomy. My obgyn assured me I could continue to nurse and Molly would be fine. Had I known the potential risks of taking an antibiotic while breastfeeding, I would have stopped to protect her.

I am eager to educate others about this infection and how antibiotic use plays a huge role in its development. Nursing mothers should never rely on their physician's word that an antibiotic is safe without doing their own research. Today, Molly is laughing and smiling, so my family is able to take a deep breath and enjoy our little fighter!

Please help PLF to continue to raise awareness of C. diff by donating today.

Last Updated on Saturday, 01 November 2014 07:45
 
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Disclaimer: The information on this website is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. The Peggy Lillis Memorial Foundation disclaims any liability
for the decisions you make based on this information and ecnourages you to visit your doctor if you suspect you have Clostridium difficile.