• LOCATION: International
  • AGE: 66
  • SOURCE: Community Acquired

I took a pet sitting assignment in February 2019 and was staying in a senior’s condo when I suddenly came down with the symptoms of C. diff. This was strange because I was perfectly fine upon arrival, hadn’t been taking antibiotics, and hadn’t visited the hospital. But the lady who I was pet sitting for told me at length that she had bowel problems the doctors had diagnosed as IBS. I suspect that she might have been a carrier for C. diff and I might have caught it from her, and picked it up off the surfaces around her apartment or in the hallways.

No one talks about communicable diseases in senior’s condo buildings but it seems logical that with so many seniors in these places, as in senior’s residences or hospitals the likelihood of C. diff being present would seem high and this condo was located across from a hospital. I  assume there was frequent traffic coming and going from there.  She went on vacation and I was left alone with a little dog and a case of C. diff. Although the symptoms didn’t start until after she had left, so she didn’t know I had it. For 14 days I loaded up on high doses of probiotics, hoping watery diarrhea would turn around but it was obvious I was going to need help from an antibiotic as well. Every morning I awoke with cramps and ran to the bathroom. I had to wear disposable underwear overnight just in case, and when I went out. It may have been a mild strain because it didn’t seem to affect my appetite or ability to function other than the early morning episodes of diarrhea, and trouble sleeping because of the cramps. Finally, I made a trip to Emergency and was given a prescription for Flagyl and advised to do a stool test. The test came back positive for C. diff and I went onto Flagyl for eleven days. Flagyl is a drug that always works for me and without any major side effects so I was grateful for it. However, although it corrected the problem for the first 2 days, I continued to have loose BM’s for several weeks afterward. Then followed the telltale symptoms of a yeast infection – burning, itching, discharge, swelling.  My family doctor had never heard of this coming on the heels of C. diff but I was familiar with it. I went onto a self-prescribed herbal treatment and did several apple cider vinegar and water enemas at home which helped greatly and cleared up the problem, at least for the short term. Now two months later, a program of Flagyl, very high doses of probiotics (800 billion per day or more), 6 different kinds of probiotics, kefir, yogurt, homemade yogurt, and herbal medicine – Mycozil, Berberine, Boswellia, Grapefruit Seed Extract and Olive Leaf, I am on the mend. I am waiting for the results of the second stool test to see if I am finally clear of this.

Take the initiative and try different things – especially with probiotics you can do very high doses (if you can afford it) and combine them with kefir/homemade 24-hour yogurt. Another good practice is to pulse dose and/or tapered dose of antibiotics which some doctors are using at the same time. It’s important to spend as much time putting in good bacteria as is killing off the bad and persistently building back your bowel flora. Rest, and eat healthily.  This bug can be cured.

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