On February 3, 2020, I had a left breast lumpectomy and sentinel node dissection for breast cancer. On February 8, 2020, at around 10:00 pm I suddenly got pain and an urge to run to the bathroom, that’s when diarrhea started. Within an hour I was also vomiting and feverish. I waited too long that night to have my husband take me into the emergency room. At first, I thought I had food poisoning or something until it turned red with blood. The pain was unbearable. I had taken three Imodium the day before for what I thought was my irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which now I know was a grave error.
The ER told me I had C. diff. The likely cause, they believed was from pre-operative antibiotics given to me a few days before. I was given three bags of IV fluid and IV Vancomycin and sent home with that prescription for 125 mg four times a day for 10 days. Within 24 hours of my diagnosis, my husband was in the ER with the same thing – C. diff. He was put on Flagyl and recovered right away, and has had no lingering effects. I was able to get a little better, then things started up again. I returned to the ER, and this time the ER doctor prescribed Vancomycin 250 mg four times a day for 14 days. Still no changes, and then I saw the gastroenterologist who took me off the antibiotic and told me to take pre-biotics twice a day.
I’m now going on day 40 with no improvements. Some days are worse than others. My doctor’s office called to schedule a flexible sigmoidoscopy which is coming up soon. Prior to the C. diff and over my lifetime, I have had Salmonella, Giardiasis, and Cryptosporidium, all severe and nearly fatal cases. At this point, I am assuming my colon is so extremely damaged that my conditions will never improve. I’m worried that I will end up losing my colon.
I’m now learning which I didn’t know before, that there are many people who never get better. I feel that the medical community could do a better job with education on C. diff, as cases and the severity are increasing. I have not been able to work and may never be able to again. My paid time off is used up, and so the burden is now on my husband. I’m so blessed to have such a supportive man in my life.