The ugly monster that lives inside me. Five years out of surgery and with all the life changing ways I have adjusted to my new normal, nothing defeats me like this infection. In my previous posts I have mentioned how my beloved rescue Staffy Bella had “diagnosed” me several times with this awful disease. The last couple months I have been living in a sort of denial of how sick I was, I didn’t have her with me anymore to warn me of how sick I was and I didn’t want to listen to the inner voices in my head that something was very wrong. Only someone who has had this debilitating illness can truly understand it’s effects on the body. The diarrhea may be perceived as just a nuisance to some people, but the reality is it is physically draining. Imagine going to the bathroom 10 times before 8:00 am and going to work being on your feet all day and trying to pretend that you are fine. Dehydration sets in rather quickly as do the other symptoms of nausea, fatigue, pain and tenderness in the abdomen that feels like your body was a punching bag for a champion fighter. You are hungry but you can’t eat, you don’t go out because you know you will be sick, you can’t even enjoy the comfort of your partner for fears of being sick. In my case it also adds to my IBS symptoms and exacerbates the pain from my back surgeries. I also have the perfect storm of being allergic to most antibiotics. Currently there is only 2 antibiotics that can treat recurrent C-Diff and I can take Vancomycin but it comes at a hefty $500 copay for a 10 day supply (I will be on for close to 3 months) Insurance companies and pharmaceutical gouging will be another blog post! In addition to the cost, Vancomycin also makes me very sick to my stomach, but it is a necessary evil to fight this disease. I have explored other treatments, in 2016 I had a Fecal Transplant which involves taking healthy stool from a donor and transplanting via a colonoscopy into a sick person. Gross I know, but if you get passed the gross factor, Canada and other countries have been performing for decades. I won’t get into specifics but suffice to say, after my transplant I was rid of the infection for a year and a half. Fecal transplants have about a 95% success rate compared to antibiotics to cure C-Diff, but many people like myself with recurrent C-Diff may need repeated transplants. In my case, I believe I was reinfected after suffering from a kidney infection back in February – a transplant does not protect you from this as antibiotics are a cause of C-Diff as well as a cure sadly.
As I write this I am fighting the urge to throw up from the Vanco and trying to find a way to get fluids and nutrients into my body to feel stronger, it is a constant battle that I will have for the foreseeable future, but I will get thru it again. I will have days like today that I will allow a little pity party, try and shake it off and dig deep to find the strength – I WILL FIND IT and hope to beat it once and for all!