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In December of 2019, my husband got sick with C. diff. It was after he was prescribed antibiotics for what they thought was a case of diverticulitis. In hindsight, it’s clear he may have simply had C. diff all along. He was treated with vancomycin after the C. diff diagnosis and was instantly feeling better. He’s one of the fortunate ones.

In March of 2020, I became very ill. I had what seemed like a sinus infection and C. diff, and told my doctor that at the time, via tele-visit, but it was suggested I had Covid because “so much time has passed since your husband’s C. diff” and Covid was surging in our community. So, I isolated myself; prepared to wait it out. Unable to stay hydrated because of the vomiting and diarrhea, I went to the ER where I was also told I had Covid. No tests for covid were done, but that was their best guess.

I suffered with extreme nausea and diarrhea. I was unable to get out of bed for more than bathroom visits. I stayed isolated because “It could be Covid”. Through the entire ordeal, I was tested for Covid three times, all negative, even for antibodies. I had many other doctor’s visits during this time. Some said I was “just anxious”. Some ordered tests that were inconclusive. My primary care doctor, at my suggestion, finally tested me for C. diff and it was negative. But I came to find out that the lab used had errors in their system, and they weren’t handling C. diff tests correctly. So perhaps that was not a correct result. But not knowing that, my primary care doctor decided to try some antibiotics to address my month-long sinus symptoms, even though I still had very severe GI symptoms. If I didn’t have C. diff before, I got it then.

Fast forward to June and the GI doctor I’d been sent to told me “you are just anxious. all your tests were normal”. But I knew anxiety couldn’t make me this ill. By then it’d been about 4 months in bed, and 45lbs of weight lost. So, I reached out to a GI doctor who had done a routine colonoscopy on me years ago. He instantly thought I must have C. diff, and possibly always dis. So, he ordered another C. diff test, and it was positive. This was at the end of June. I started vancomycin and ended up in the hospital 4 days later anyway, with hemorrhagic diarrhea and a swollen colon. The hospitalist told me I was lucky to be alive. I honestly barely remember the stay, aside from being worried about getting covid on top of C. diff.

I have since had C. diff return three more times. I was treated with vancomycin, and it would always come back, the last time as long as 8 months after being “cleared”. I was referred to an infectious disease doctor who prescribed Dificid, which I learned is the best antibiotic for C. diff, but not prescribed due to the cost. I was potentially eligible throughout this two year cycle for an FMT procedure, the gold standard for recurrent C. diff, but it was cancelled by the FDA during the pandemic. So, I had to wait, and took Dificid while awaiting the procedure, which I finally had in August of 2021. I still worry C. diff will return and I am still often very sick. Not as much as I was in 2020, but C. diff has damaged my colon, and I have extreme post infectious colitis. As long as I stay clear of C. diff, it’s a small price to pay. What made the entire ordeal so much worse were the misdiagnosis (complete with medications that can make c-diff worse), the medical gaslighting (I can’t tell you how many times I was told it was just “anxiety”) and the specter of covid-19.






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