Now 39 years old, I suffered from C. diff for two long years before I was diagnosed. After seeing numerous specialty doctors, it was my family doctor that finally ordered a stool sample. I was first diagnosed in September of 2011. I was initially prescribed Flagyl, but the infection came right back. Next, I was prescribed Vancomycin. Unfortunately, the infection came back again after just three weeks.
The doctors in my area knew nothing about C. diff. When symptoms arose for the third time, the specialist that I was seeing told me that there was no way the C. diff could be back. I had lost twenty pounds in three weeks; the doctor told me that I had an eating disorder and needed a mental health evaluation. At that point, I felt that I had done enough research on my own, and knew that the infection was back.
I found an infectious disease specialist in another state who prescribed a liquid compound of Vancomycin. That had seemed to work well for me. I thought that I was in the clear. Unfortunately, six weeks later, the C. diff came back. The infectious disease specialist I saw previously (my hero) referred me to another doctor (my angel) who performed a Fecal Microbiota Transplants (FMT). I was identified as a candidate.
At this time, things were progressing quickly with the infection. I was suffering–unable to eat, drink, work, sleep, love, or simply live my life. The week prior to my transplant, the FDA put a halt on all FMTs. You can imagine my devastation; I still don’t even know how I got through it. I was taking Vancomycin six times a day, just to get by. I thought for sure I was going to die. Thankfully, I was ultimately able to have the FMT.
I have been C. diff free for ten months. Every day I pray that I won’t have another recurrence. Every day I’m scared that I will. I feel blessed because there are many, many people still suffering from C. diff and aren’t as lucky as I am. That disease took four years of my life away. I can barely remember 2013. I almost lost my job–a career advocating for crime victims’ rights that I had for fifteen years. Now that I’m back to work, I can be an advocate again. I would like to put my knowledge and experience to good use and advocate in any way that I am able to help battle this horrific disease.