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Texas

Natalie


I was 14 years old when I contracted C. diff. I was out of town with a friend’s family and became very ill very quickly. I had severe hives all over my body as well. The family took me to the ER where we were. My parents were called and told to hurry if they wanted to see their daughter alive. They stabilized me long enough at the hospital, but because it was a small town my parents opted to hurry me home to our hospital. I was hospitalized for about 2 weeks. It took a few days for the doctors to actually diagnose me.

This was 24 years ago, and since then I’ve birthed 3 children. I’ve experienced intense (no medications) labor. I’ve always said none of the labor experiences have been as unpleasant as the pain of C. diff. The cramping involved was so intense and chronic. There was lots of diarrhea and lots of throwing up as well. I had itching all over, as well as dealing with the hives (though it did lighten during my hospitalization). During my stay, I vividly remember feeling that I was going to die. I felt peaceful about it and wanted my parents near me. I remember telling them goodbye without blatantly telling them what I thought would happen.

I was sick prior to going with friends out of town, so I was on antibiotics. That may be a link. We had also gone on a family vacation to California not long before, so we think that there was a possibility I contracted it from the ocean. Following the hospitalization, I recovered fairly well, in that I could go back to school and resume activities. I had lost about 20 pounds–which was a lot for a petite 14-year-old girl. I looked sickly but got an appetite back soon. I stayed with my specialist and was referred to others, as I kept having flare-ups of hives on a smaller scale but it was very miserable for me.

I had a couple of years where I did frequent blood work to monitor several things, but the most concerning were inconsistencies with my liver. I also was diagnosed with IBS. I developed rheumatoid issues which might not even be related, but it seemed at the time that illness set off a whole storm in my body.

I’m so grateful I was young and healthy to handle the illness. I had no idea until reading some of these stories that people may suffer from the illness itself for months or longer.

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