Skip to main content
International

Megan


Last year, just as the COVID pandemic started to break out, I felt pains in my head, I felt dizzy and I was tired. I went to see the doctor and I was told to go and get some blood tests done. They found out I had glandular fever. This was bizarre, as I have had the same boyfriend for the past 5 years. My immune system was weakened by this infection. A couple of weeks later, I got bitten by a spider. The bite caused lymphangitis (inflammation under the lymph glands under the skin), and as the venom spread from my wrist to up to my armpit I was told to take antibiotics. I took amoxicillin for 8 days, and then when the bite didn’t go away, I had 8 more days of pristinamycin.

After this, I went to eat at a restaurant a couple of weeks to a month later, and in the following days, I couldn’t get off the toilet. I spent 10-14 days with severe diarrhea, unable to work. I went to do a stool test, only to find out I had the dreaded C. difficile. I was given metronidazole for about a week and hoped this would go away. It caused severe acid reflux, to the point where I was sick, unable to keep any food down, fainting, and I ended up hospitalized. I had to have an endoscopy and, even after not eating or drinking anything for 12 hours, they found enormous amounts of acid in my stomach. I was put on an antacid treatment.

I thought that was the end of C. difficile; however, a month or two later, I was back on the toilet again despite my efforts of cleaning my house with every single antibacterial product under the sun. I read up and found that apparently, antacid reflux medicine can cause you to relapse.

This time they didn’t diagnose it straight away. I was put on ciprofloxacin until I ended up keeling over again and back in the hospital.

I then was put back on metronidazole. A couple of days later, I had a severe reaction to the medicine, I couldn’t keep anything inside of me (both ways), and I ended up back in the hospital.

At this point, I had lost 6 kilograms. I couldn’t stand, and I most certainly couldn’t work. This was during the COVID pandemic when everyone was confined in their homes. I ended up going to the hospital to get a 10-day treatment of vancomycin. They gave me 40 injection bottles that I had to mix with water (as the nurses weren’t available during COVID to inject me). After those 10 days, I was cured but was still very tired and very fragile from the whole previous couple of months.

I was off sick for a total of 2 months last year. As you can imagine, this isn’t something that my boss took lightly. The relationship deteriorated and so did my health. I was never told about post-infectious IBS after my C. difficile episodes, and since then, my stomach/gut/intestines have never fully recovered (it is now about a year later). I struggle with food, keeping it inside me. I struggle with pain in my abdomen and intestines, and I have chronic issues with diarrhea.

This is one of the reasons I left my job and decided to work from home.

You are never fully warned about the long-term damage that antibiotics can cause to the gut flora or the traumatic experience of C. difficile. What they don’t tell you about is the emotional trauma (it’s true, we all stress we are going to have a relapse), the financial loss or the stress of managing a job whilst being severely ill, and the long term lasting effects that you have to deal with after.

Age


26

Gender


Female

Length


161

Source


Community Acquired

Other Stories


Length: 2 Months

JULIA W.

In February 2020 I was prescribed both clindamycin and cefalexin for a breast abscess. Three weeks after I finished my course of antibiotics, in March 2020, I started to have severe, painful abdominal cramping and diarrhea. Each day became worse and worse until I was up through the night and couldn’t be away from the toilet for more than half an hour.

Length: 6 Months

Ken

It started with a rash on my back that I suspect started from the barber I was seeing.  Scratching it made it worse. I went to the doctor’s office and was tended to by a PA. It was decided that this infection should be treated with a broad-spectrum antibiotic.

Length: 2 Months

JULIA W.

In February 2020 I was prescribed both clindamycin and cefalexin for a breast abscess. Three weeks after I finished my course of antibiotics, in March 2020, I started to have severe, painful abdominal cramping and diarrhea. Each day became worse and worse until I was up through the night and couldn’t be away from the toilet for more than half an hour.

  • Length: 4 months

    Sue G.

    I was pulling vines and weeding in my yard when I felt something on my forehead. An hour later I noticed four small bumps on my eyelid. My forehead was sensitive and swollen. I drove to Urgent Care nearby and a very young nurse practitioner prescr…
  • Melanie

    As a nurse, I had heard of C. diff and treated many patients with it. I never imagined I’d soon become a patient myself. In January of 2023, I was prescribed antibiotics for what I thought was a dental infection. Shortly after, I developed chronic…
  • Length: 2 months

    Kristi M.

    I had a severely infected tooth, but my dentist misdiagnosed my tooth abscess for a more serious facial infection and referred me to the local emergency room. I was given IV Clindamycin, and was sent home with a 10 day prescription for Clindamycin…
  • Suzanne Dee Gorman

    The first time I had C-diff I had spent two months in the hospital waiting to give birth to my daughter during which I had triplets to which I lost two. I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl via cesarean section.  A week later, I was still in the …
  • Marlon

    I had C Diff about April 2023, I didn’t know then what it was. It started with a lot of gas, then it continued with diarrhea once a day, then it went to ten times a day. It got so bad that I couldn’t hold any stool as soon as I at I had to use the…
  • Joan Hardin

    There are several strains of C. diff, ranging from the extremely virulent type that killed Peggy Lillis so quickly after she took antibiotics for a dental problem to a milder form that I battled for many months. An overrun of the bug causes diarrh…
  • Length: 6 MONTHS

    Andi L.

    Submitted by her mother, Jennifer Lucas UPDATE: We recently heard from Andi’s mother, Jennifer, who told us that Andi’s most recent treatment was successful and she has been C. diff free from several weeks. Andi, my four-year-old has C-diff …
  • Length: 6 MONTHS

    Chris & Victoria

    In June of 2008, after a grueling first six months of child-rearing, Victoria O’Neal became ill with stomach pains and mild diarrhea. She was prescribed a wide-spectrum antibiotic, which seemed to only make the symptoms worse. After a period of co…
  • Maryann Dillon

    My name is MaryAnn Dillon. I am a Registered Nurse in the Emergency Room at North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, where I have worked for about 25 years. I have worked with Helen Biegel, Peggy Lillis’ sister for four years and we have talk…
  • Length: 1 YEAR

    Megan F.

    My name is Megan and I live in Pennsylvania. I am 29, married and have three small children. I have struggled with Clostridium difficile (C. diff) for the past year before receiving a fecal transplant, which has successfully treated the condition …