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North Carolina


I am a 68 year old retired nurse. I was infected with C. diff in the spring of 2002 at 46 years old.  I developed watery diarrhea, abdominal pain, cramping, and eventually blood streaked. I tried to tough it out, thinking it was a GI bacterial or viral illness. I had just relocated to North Carolina and I tried to stay active, working. But everything I ate went straight through me. After several weeks I saw a PCP. I was misdiagnosed with a GI bug and treated with Cipro. After a 2nd visit my stools were tested and I was diagnosed and treated with Flagyl. I was given a second round, the first course ineffective.

In the preceding 10 weeks, I had been prescribed clindamycin for 10 days prophylactically for upcoming dental work. Adding to this, I was able to recall an experience in a dialysis center where I was employed as nurse. It was all around the same time period, taking the clindamycin for upcoming root canal and the following event. While training for a new position in dialysis an unhoused man came to dialysis for treatment and he had been incontinent with watery diarrhea and had liquid bowel movement from head to toe. Along with another dialysis tech, we attempted to clean him up for him to be able to receive dialysis. We were in a tiny enclosed space, minimal supplies, and certainly not the appropriate type of cleaning supplies. We continually  changed our gloves. We wore disposable gowns.  It was a real concern for me that this was typical in their practice that an unhoused person would come in in this condition and the facility seemed so limited in the ability to clean this person up safely with understanding of proper infection control. “Bottomline, dialysis is lifesaving when kidneys have failed” is how my mentor responded. We were in a small enclosed space, tiny bathroom, without proper cleaning supplies, we cleaned him up the best we could so he could receive treatment. There were so many things wrong in that event, I have worked in infection control and my experience and knowledge later had led me to believe this may have been another contributing factor to my developing such a virulent strain of c-diff. I did not stay at that job. 

Since 2002, I have tested positive for C. diff with onset of symptoms 3 separate times. Once in 2011, while working in a hospital as a nurse and after taking Cipro for a respiratory infection, I tested positive for C. diff.  I was treated with Flagyl which was ineffective, then again with vancomycin. In 2014 after a knee procedure, I was given IV clindamycin. I actually said to the surgeon right before anesthesia and after hearing nurse say she was going to hang Clindamycin, “I can’t take Clindamycin, I have a history of C. diff.”  Within days after the surgery, I had watery diarrhea and severe cramping. I went to the ER, was given IVs, and my stool tested positive for C. diff. I was treated with vancomycin. I saw infection control doctor after that who advised I should not take any antibiotics. 

9 years later in November 2023, I went to Urgent Care for a respiratory infection. I was treated with Cefdinir and prednisone. Following treatment, I had 2 trips to the ER for severe abdominal pain and diarrhea. I received treatment for dehydration with IVs both times, 2 separate stools tested weeks apart were negative for C. diff. I was treated empirically, first with Flagyl and then vancomycin and advised to stop because stool specimens were negative. I saw Gastroenterology and an endoscopy was performed with a diagnosis of H-pylori. Treatment completed with tetracycline and Flagyl, Pepto Bismol, and a PPI for 14 days. 

While waiting for a colonoscopy in May 2024 following an abnormal CT scan done previously in ER (showed thickening and inflammation in my colon consistent with colitis) I developed stool changes that looked like blood. I had pain, burning acid sensation, barn like odor to my stools, and I tested positive for C. diff. I saw a Gastroenterology NP who recommended Dificid and Vowst. I am trying work out being able to manage extremely high copays, patient assistance program and am told it could be long wait for Vowst enrollment. It is challenging to advocate for oneself when you are weak and sick. I remain hopeful and understand this will not be easy to navigate as I continue to age. I am depressed and recognize that mind gut connection is a real thing. When medications and nutrients cannot be absorbed properly, it adds to this disease process.






22 Years


Community Acquired

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