• LOCATION: California
  • AGE: 72
  • LENGTH: 8 months
  • SOURCE: Community Acquired

I am a healthy active older woman. On March 1, 2019 I had an explosive episode of diarrhea, out of the blue, no idea what caused it. The smell was indescribable, like nothing I had ever experienced in my long life. That was the beginning of a long saga I’ll try to condense here. I’ve always had IBS-C so this was very unusual. I thought the diarrhea would pass, but when it didn’t after a few weeks, I saw my primary doctor who ordered a stool test, negative. As symptoms continued, I saw a highly rated gastroenterologist at a major medical center in San Diego. He ordered another stool test, also negative and ordered a colonoscopy after which he diagnosed me with diverticulitis and put me on Augmentin. My symptoms further worsened over the next few weeks, so I saw yet another GI specialist who thought I hadn’t taken enough antibiotics and put me on Flagyl and Cipro. My condition took another turn for the worse. Another stool test was negative. 7 months had now passed and life had been upended for my husband and me. I was desperate to stop the diarrhea, so I took an Imodium (though I’d been advised not to) so I could get out of the house for a few hours. That night, I awoke with fever and feeling extremely ill. My husband drove me to the ER at Scripps Memorial in San Diego where I was given immediate attention due to my condition, and diagnosed with C. diff in the ER. CT scan showed no sign of diverticulitis, so that diagnosis was an error and the treatment for it had made my C. diff worse.

I was in the hospital for 3 days on Vancomycin and discharged when I felt better. But my ordeal was far from over. After 2 long courses of Vanco, each of which failed as soon as the tapering dose started, to the point of frank bleeding, my original GI doctor suggested FMT. Now the story gets short. I got the transplant in Oct 2019 and from that moment on, never had another C. diff symptom. Instant relief. When I finally had a BM a few days after the transplant, it was normal for the first time in 8 months and I could see pieces of sloughed off tissue which must have been from the lining of my colon as it began to heal. I have been wanting to write this story, and now feel I can, as it has been almost 4 years since this happened. I am so grateful for Fecal Microbiota Transplant. I truly believe it saved my life. I don’t know why all those stool tests early on were negative, but beware they can be wrong for a lot of reasons. On a side note, my IBS-C was completely cured by the FMT also, and that lasted for a good year or more. Now I’d love to have another FMT for the IBS-C, but it’s not an approved use unfortunately. I hope my story helps someone!

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