Post Edited (Carrie J) : 9/22/2007 3:02:58 PM (GMT-6)
Carrie,Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to my post. I am sorry I didn't see it sooner as I have not been able to be on the pc too much.
Boy you are right, simple routine procedures just aren't so routine with our bodies are they?
You mentioned that you were on two IV antibiotics. Those would have been Flagyl and Vancomycin. Clindamycin is a front line offender when it comes to causing C. Diff.
I wanted to explain a little bit about how c. diff works. C. Diff is a bacterium that lives in spore form outside of the body. This enables it to protect itself, because while in spore form, not much can kill the nasty thing. Hospitals and nursing homes are notorious for having c. diff, or clostridium difficile bacteria ALL over every surface. Light switches, door knobs, chair rails, elevator buttons etc.
If you have a healthy bacterial colony in your colon, then you can ingest (accidentally of course) c. diff and not be harmed. Your normal healthy bacterial flora stay intact and do not allow the c. diff to colonize your gut.
However, if you take an antibiotic, especially a broad spectrum one like they gave you for your abscesses, these antibiotics wipe out ALL bacteria in your gut, except for c. diff, which has become a super bug and immune to antibiotics.
There are only a few antibiotics that it is not immune to. Flagyl is one, vancomycin is another.
about 75% of people that acquire c. diff are cured with one or two rounds of flagyl or vancomyicn. THe other 25% go on to have reoccurring, relapsing c. diff. Every time we try to go off of the antibiotics, we relapse and get very sick all over again.
It has been a long arduous process, and I am still having complications. I just took stool samples in this morning to see if I am once again relapsing.
So both the hospital and the treating physician were correct. You probably did pick up the bug in the hospital, and it was able to colonize because you had antibiotics.
The only way that one can have the spores introduced to their body is oral. It has to be ingested. So wash wash wash wash wash those hands! Hand sanitizer does nothing against c. diff so that will not help you. Sure wish I had known that when I was in the hospital!
I know all about the strange stools, those of us who have had c. diff can tell some pretty scary stories hehe.
You asked if I could be treated with IV antibiotics. They have found that unless a patient cannot keep anything down (which I can) then there is not a need for IV antibiotics. Flagyl gets into the colon fine, and vancomycin taken orally only gets into the GI tract and not the rest of the body, which is a good thing, because those of us who have had to take or who are taking vancomycin are at greater risk for developing what is called a VRE. A Vancomycin Resistant Enterococcus. A very serious hard to treat infection.
Isnt being sick just a load of fun lol?
Thank you again for your reply Carrie, I am so happy that you are no longer dealing with C. Diff.
Did they tell you to ALWAYS be very careful in the future about taking antibiotics? They should also have told you to vigilantly take probiotics, yogurt of kefir will work just fine.
Wow, that's very interesting info about c. diff. that I never knew!! I think it's worse for you to have reocurring, relapsing c. diff. versus having it more severely like I did (unable to keep anything down), since the treatment cleared it up for me. That's awful to be affected by it chronically, especially since you have other serious health problems as well. I think it's good, though, that you are so very well informed.
No, no one EVER told me about being careful in the future about taking antibiotics, so I'm very glad you have. I was on abx last year quite a few times (Zithromax, and Mephron), and I didn't have any problems, but I did make sure to have yogurt daily.
I noticed it your signature "UCTD, probable lupus" as well. To make a long story short, my family doctor suspects I have SLE, and I went for a ton of blood work on Friday. If you don't mind, may I ask you how you were diagnosed??? I was dx'd w/ FMS in 2001, but my health declined further in late 2005, with worsening chronic low-grade fevers and worsening profound fatigue and muscle weakness. I saw an ID specialist re the fevers, and eventually it was decided that I have an autoimmune disease, which my family doctor suspects is systemic lupus. The only things we don't share in common are chronic fatigue syndrome and RLS.
If you're up to it, perhaps you can share your story with me.
Thank you so much for sharing your story. I would have replied sooner, but I was sick in bed with a minor cold and major nausea. You certainly have had a really rough time for a number of years. My story is similar in that I have never been the same since 2000; I contracted the flu four times that year, which was very unusual for me. The low-grade fevers lingered throughout 2001 onwards until late 2005 when they became chronic high-end low-grade fevers (up to 100.9 - 101 F). My functionality since late 2005 has also decreased significantly due to extreme fatigue and weakness, etc.
2004 was definitely a very rough year for you. That's so ridiculous when doctors say it's anxiety. When the infectious disease specialist mentioned that I have had Depression, I said, "Yes, but depression doesn't cause fevers." I can relate somewhat to the weakness you described. I have too many days that I can't brush my teeth properly, wash my face, lift a plate from the cupboard, wipe the counters, etc. It is, as you have said, horrible. I call the weakness and fatigue "grotesque." You were right at that time that they were missing something. I think you would agree that we have a gut instinct that tells us when something is wrong.
I was also dx'd w/ fever of unknown origin in early 2006 by a locum at my family doctor's office. He ran a ton of blood work to no avail. Then, I saw the infectious disease specialist who confirmed that what I have is "chronic high-end low-grade fevers." My family doctor said the distinction doesn't really matter at this point, since a fever is a fever. It is my family doctor who suspects I have lupus; he ordered a bunch of blood work which I went for last Friday. I'm a bit anxious about it. Last year, I tested positive for the anti-smooth muscle antibody and the smooth muscle titer.
That sounds so awful about what happened when they went to do the laproscopic appendectomy. From what I understand, you were in hospital for one week, then marginally OK (I like that term, "marginally OK"...) until your dental infection. I also had a very bad dental infection (something about a bone infection and systemic) after a four canal root canal in 2000. The year 2000 was a nightmare for me, and 2001 was no picnic either because I had to stop working in February. I spent most of that year in bed reading novels; I read more than 40 novels that year! Of course at that time, I had no doubts that I would get better, but that's not the way things have turned out. You know about my 2003 hospitalizations, and how my health has deteriorated much more since late 2005.
Darlene, I know you didn't ask me about my story, but I wanted to share with you due to some similarities. What also struck me about your story is that the doctor(s) said that lupus is a high probability in your case. Of course I'm new to lupus and I'm not a doctor, but it seems that all of your signs, symptoms plus your positive ANA would much more than meet the 4 out of 11 criteria. Again, I'm really not sure how it all works. Perhaps you'd enlighten me when you get a chance?
Thank you again so much for sharing, Darlene. I really hope that the C. Diff. will clear up for you, and then that you will be able to take prednisone and Plaquenil so that you get some overall improvement (hopefully your GI tract will tolerate too). And, is it true that these meds actually help prevent your lupus from progressing? Take good care!
Post Edited (Carrie J) : 9/30/2007 12:07:26 AM (GMT-6)