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Ironically, I was waiting for a call from Mayo Clinic to see a specialist who could help me with my MD pain. I was put on a 3-4 month wait list. During this time, my back pain progressively got worse and was accompanied by diarrhea and vomiting. I also had a hard time catching my breath. I was losing a ton of hair and my teeth were hurting. I lost 20 lbs over the course of 6 weeks and anytime I put food in my mouth, I had to spit it out right away. I knew something was wrong!

Nothing sounded good and I had no appetite what so ever. I lived on saltines and Gatorade to stay out of the hospital and keep hydrated. The pain persisted and I went to the ER. They gave me a morphine shot and sent me home. That helped a bit, but the days went on and I still had horrible cramps. I then requested a stool sample as I knew something was still wrong. BE YOUR OWN ADVOCATE!

The doctor’s office called me back and said “we have an answer! You have C. diff.” I thought, “Great! We know what kind of stomach bug I have, lets get some meds and get rid of it.” Little did I know, it was a deadly infectious disease. It’s formal name is Clostridiodes difficile meaning “difficult to kill.” Although it is somewhat rare, it is usually found in senior citizens age 65+ or if you have been in a hospital setting. Around 85% of people catch it from being on an antibiotic for something simple like a root canal or orthopedic procedure where you got an infection and need antibiotics. The other small percentage is called community acquired. That is where I got mind. I picked it up likely on a door knob at the hospital when I was having a routine test done. C. diff causes 500,000 infections each year and kills 29,000 people annually. Anyone who has taken antibiotics or recently has been in a healthcare setting is at risk.

Having so many CT scans, MRI scans, blood work draws, X-rays, and barium swallows, I was ready to not be in a hospital setting. I also received flagyl on my first round and believe that wasn’t the best option until I did my own research and found out vancomycin or dificid are the best. So far, I am a 2 times survivor. Unfortunately, I didn’t kill the germ the first time around with 2 treatments, so I had to go on a tapered dose of medications to get rid of it. This is called re-current C. diff or antibiotic resistant C. diff. It takes longer to kill, and each time you relapse your percentage goes up higher and higher for a recurrence. There is no cure for this, only remission. If this comes back a third time, I will have a procedure done called an FMT (fecal microbiota transplant) at Henry Ford in Detroit or Milwaukee. Yup, it’s just what you imagine. But I am happy to have a plan in place.

It can come back at anytime and living with that is hard to deal with. I can no longer take an antibiotic unless it’s life or death. I take probiotics and eat kefir and things I never ate before trying to keep a healthy gut microbiome. This has affected me in every way possible, both mentally and physically. I had to take 2 months off of work because of my illness. I just wanted to post this as awareness for C. diff and to please only take antibiotics if you REALLY need to and also WASH YOUR HANDS after going to the bathroom and limit the spread of this deadly bug!

Mentally and physically this has taken a toll on myself and my family. I no longer want to live in fear of this deadly bug. One day at a time my friends. Lets hope that a cure will be here soon or an FDA approved FMT enema or pill will be out for everyone to have access to and not have to travel around the US for it. Spread awareness! Almost no one I knew, family and friends, had even heard of this deadly disease.








Community Acquired

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