The week before Thanksgiving I came down with more gut issues. I knew it wasn’t diverticulitis again, but I wasn’t sure what it was. I also knew it was something different and somehow knew it was something bad.
I had an endoscopy already scheduled for November 16 so I decided to keep that appointment. I was going back in for this follow up scoping to make sure the polyp I’d had removed in 2017 had not regrown. While I was there, I told the GI doctor all of my symptoms and asked that he check me again for celiac although my symptoms didn’t quite match that disease.
After the endoscopy, the doctor told me to stay on an all liquid diet all weekend to try to rest my gut. It didn’t work. I was to call Monday if I was still sick. I was sick all that weekend.
Monday I called in sick to work and I called the GI doctor. He sent me for bloodwork Monday and to pick up a stool kit. I collected my samples (yuck) Monday night. I dropped the kit off Tuesday morning.
By Tuesday, the bloodwork showed I had elevated white blood cells and inflammation, both indicating an infection. I had called in sick to work again because I was too sick to be of any use there.
Wednesday morning began with a phone call from my new primary doctor asking who had ordered the stool specimen and telling me I have a clostridium difficile (c. diff) infection. She didn’t want to wait for me to hear from the GI doctor and immediately called in a prescription for vancomycin. Shortly after she called, the GI doctor called with the same news and further instructions. They agreed vancomycin was the best medicine.
It was a rough Thanksgiving. No turkey at our house. Friday I asked work and the GI doctor if I was eligible for disability. Work told me to stay home. The doctor agreed.
I am now on disability until I finish the fourteen day antibiotics course. I am told I did the right thing staying home because this type of infection is very hard to contain in a group environment. I bleach everything at home; that would be impossible and awkward as hell at work. Not to mention I’m useless at the moment. I visit the restroom multiple times per day and I sleep a lot with a heating pad on my belly.
I got c. diff from taking too many antibiotics. It is most common in people who take antibiotics for long periods of time. In September I had a urinary infection. My doctor prescribed nitrofurantoin. It didn’t work. I got sicker and the infection went into my kidneys. The doctor switched me to cefdirin. In October I went to the dentist for a sore tooth. I ended up having an emergency root canal on a badly infected tooth. It was a painful nightmare. The dentist prescribed clindamycin. Almost a week later I was still in a lot of pain so the dentist switched me to cephalexin.
I took four different antibiotics in two months’ time. All this strong medicine killed off all of the good bacteria in my gut, and even though I take probiotics every day, it didn’t help. The c. diff grew and took over.
I’m down eight pounds this month. I’m down twenty-seven pounds from where I was before the diverticulitis bout I had in 2017. I told my hubby I’m the incredible shrinking woman. Of course now that I’ve had this, it can always come back. Taking antibiotics in the future can bring it on. I hear it’s quite common in hospitals and nursing homes. People can die from it, too.
I’m glad my new primary doctor and the GI doctor are on top of things. I have already been back to the GI doctor for a follow up. I feel a little better each day, and I have blood drawn again next week to check my white blood cell count and to check for inflammation. That should tell us if my infection is better. If all goes as planned, I might return to work on December 6.
Fingers crossed I continue on the path to wellness.