Jennifer's Case History
Hello. My name is Jennifer. I am 24 years old. I am currently residing in Stafford, Va. I plan to move temporarily to Nashville, TN in March through May. Then I'm off to San Diego permanently. I have been healthy prior to conceiving C.Dif. I work out six days a week weight training and cardio. I love to run.
It all started in the beginning of Sept. '98. I had a bladder infection and took the antibiotic, Suprax. After finishing the week long Suprax I developed diarrhea, severe abdominal cramps, mucas and blood in the stool.
Doc prescribed Flagyl, took 7 days, 3 X a day -- didn't help -- I was told I needed another dose. Before during and after Flagyl I requested medicine for cramps. Both Hyosophen and Hyoscyamine did not seem to help. I just discontinued their use. Started taking Flagyl again for three days and symptoms worsened with side affects (very nauseus the whole time on Flagyl).
My Doc then prescribed Vencomycin. What a Wonderful Drug (at least while I was on it). Took it four x a day ending Oct 17. No symptoms till Oct. 23rd. Had cramps, bad gas, went to the bathroom over eight x. Got back on Venko. Finally referred to a specialist. Saw GI doc Nov. 3rd. He said curing C. Dif is like a scientific experiment. You have to work with the drugs.
He suggested I take Metamusil (Citricel sugar-free taste better) 2X a day, am and pm. I thought that was contradicting, but it actually helped my stools to be more formed rather than watery. He suggested we work with the Venko --take four x a day for two weeks, reduce to three for two weeks(Nov. 19th), two for two weeks, one x for two weeks, and then zero. Well, each time I reduced the medicine the symptoms would flare back up temporarily.
November 18th, I had a sinus infection. I started taking Amoxicillin 3x a day for seven days. This antibiotic did not seem to have any affects on my C.Dif.
Had a follow-up visit with GI on Dec. 9th. I think I was taking Venco twice a day. He then suggested I take Questron twice a day. I took it occassionally. Didn't like the taste and couldn't see any real significant differences.
I din't have any symptoms from that last visit till January 1 (Yeah, happy New Year) By the way I do not drink alcohol, caffine, and chocolate seems to make symptoms worse. On January 1, I believe I was taking Venco twice a day. I had severe diarreah, ten x or more with cramps, weak, dizzy, nausea, shakiness, and chills. GI doc increased Venko to three times a day. Started feeling better after a week.
On Jan 12th still taking Venko 3X a day, I had another relapse. I also had another sinus infection(that's wierd)took Amoxicilin again.
Saw GI Doc on Jan. 19th -- He thinks the C.Dif has turned in to Spastic Colon or IBS (in other words, I don't know what you have sydrome). So he gave me LEV-Bid (stomach relaxer) 2x a day, Questron 2x a day and Venko once a day, while continuing with my Citricel. That day they took blood and two stool samples. By the end of the week everything was negative. I was so happy -- C.Dif is Gone! But, wait now I have IBS? What's that? Well, I continued to have severe sporatic symptoms.
On Jan. 26th went to bathroom 6x headache, real shaky, nausea, dry throat, hands would swell after my walk (I think this swelling was due to LEv-bid). 27th I felt better, 28th went six times, dizzy lightheaded, hard to concentrate, 28th, went six times, dizzy ahakey, lightheaded.
On Feb. 3rd saw GI Doc for a short colon. Came up clear, no signs of cancer and no polyps. But he's convinced the C. Dif is gone and I have IBS. (Of course I felt differently. I still felt like I had it) Doc told me to quit the LEV-Bid and Venko and take Citricel twice a day, increase Questron to 4x a day. He also gave me a prescription for Lomodil (which I have not taken).
On Friday, Feb. the 5th started feeling constipated. Took Questron 3x that day. On the 6th and 7th I did not take it at all. On the 8th still felt a little constipated and saw some mucas.
Feb 9th, woke up nausea, gas, mucas.
Feb 10th, I began to get all the recurring symptoms from a few months ago. When I saw my stool was blood and mucas as in the past I called the GI doc. He never seems to lisen or let me get in all my symptoms. He just says oh, you'll be fine. I asked if I could take the Venko and he said, no. It's normal to have those symptoms when you have IBS. I suggested I have another test for C.Dif and he's like, well, if you want to that fine. So, in the morning I am to expect a call from his nurse.
Well, it's currently 4:15 a.m. and I have been running to the bathroom every 5 or 10 min. with the urge to go, but only blood and mucas come out. I have severe cramps. I've taken all I could, so I popped a Venco a few minutes ago. This bacteria has been a nighmare.
I'm so happy I found this web site. I have tons of questions -- and if others have questions for me please feel free to e-mail me.
I plan to see a Naturopathic Health Consultant on Feb 15th. I will keep you all updated.
During the times I felt better I would always (except on severe days) try to do some sort of exercise. It seems to help.
Oh, one thing I learned on my own -- do not drink alcohol while taking Venko -- GI said sure drink and have fun -- I was attending a formal ball in November and I drank around four or five glasses of wine -- a big no no-- not only did I have hang-over symptoms -- I thought I was dying the next morning. I had severe sweats, body ached all over, I mean I couldn't even roll over or even get out of the bed, cramps. The next day I started feeling better. Guess you can say I learned my lesson the hard way!
I now have a problem with work. I am a substitue teacher for elementary school, but I haven't been able to work, b/c I never know when I'm going to be sick or not -- it's so sporatic. My GI doc says, Oh, you're fine-- and won't even consider disability -- just prescribed Lomotil, which actually counters the affect of C.dif not allowing the toxins to leave the body. Looks like I need a second opinion. I'm just worried b/c my ins. expires Feb. 28th. Hopefully it will all work out. How did you guys handle the work situation?
Oh, I also always wash my hands after each movement with antibacterial soap (tonight I feel like I'm not only suffering from C.Dif but from obsessive compulsive disorder -- Ha, Ha!). You've got to make sure your family doesn't get it -- I wouldn't wish this on anyone!
Update of 8-25-99
Hello everybody. This is Jennifer. I am happy to say I am finally free of C. Difficile.
I have been symptom free since May of '99. I received it in Sept. of '98. I didn't think I could function without my Venco, but I finally just slacked off. Before I tried the pulse dosing which did not help for me. While I was slacking off on the Venco, I started taking Nutra Flora (pro-biotic white powder that you mix with water). It has 8 billion Acidophilus and Bifidus. I think that's what really helped me. The probiotics help put the natural flora back into your stomach that the Venco or other antibiotics kill. I was also taking L. Acidolp (refrigerated pills).
I got the Nutra Flora at a Health Food store. The brand name is now 100% Pure Nutra Flora FOS Probiotic Enhancer. I also found an article that mentions C.Dif. in a magazine called "Health" July/August 1999 issue, page 62-66. The name of the article is Germs That Cure? (It's about a new probiotic pill). If you cannot find it at your libary, try looking it up on the internet.
I hope this information helps you. If you have any questions for me, please e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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