Infecting others…

Terribly worried today. My younger sister, whom I live with, has been suffering from diarrhea for almost three weeks now after every attempt to eat. In the last week, she has worsened considerably and is experiencing abdominal pain, nausea, sweats, and the occasional fever. It looks like C.Diff to me, but I’ve been holding out hope that it’s something else. Stool tests have been done, blood work has been taken, but her results aren’t in yet.

If it is C.Diff, it means I need to get myself tested again. I was never tested again after my lengthy treatments for C.Diff. I asked to be, but my doctors told me there was no point because I had fairly normal stool at the time, and my IV antibiotic treatments had gone on for so long – they seemed to think that nothing would have survived that. I’ve always felt differently. Given the symptoms and post-infection complications I experience, I’ve always felt that I’m a carrier of the bacteria, though not always experiencing the severe diarrhea. I’d like to be tested with the newer, more sensitive test Rhonda mentioned in a different post. The trouble I always run into is with the labs. They see a non-watery stool and refuse to test it, because they seem to believe that a person can’t have C.Diff if their stool has any degree of formed-ness. I’m going to speak to my doctor and get him to send a letter to the lab with my sample explicitly asking for testing to be done with the newer test, regardless of how my sample looks at the time. If I still carry it, I need to be treated again, and I need to know so that I can best protect the people around me.

And if it is C.Diff, and if my sister didn’t pick it up from me, then I need to be crazy-careful that I do not pick up a new infection from her. It’s so hard to see her like this – my worst nightmare come true. My biggest fear has always been that I might, through some oversight, cause one of my family members to become infected. It really brings the “leper” feelings back, in that I keep thinking I ought to just live alone and separated from others so that I can’t infect and kill anyone. Nasty, nasty disease. But I have to square my shoulders, keep those thoughts out of my head, keep up the bleach cleaning routine, and do my best to help my sister. At least I know some tricks for abdominal pain relief!

I’ll keep you all updated on how this turns out.

-L

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2 thoughts on “Infecting others…

  1. **Disclaimer!! If you do not want to read indelicate things–skip this post!

    Well, we know how important it is for her to be tested right away!! The sooner she gets on the meds and taper, the better the chances she will not have a recurrence.

    As for you, my biggest clue was the odor. C-diff has that horrid distinct odor, which lasts even a while after you are over it, but if that odor is not present now, LadyPrimal, I would say you are fine.

    Unfortunately, like me, you may have learned too late about the bleach! I was relying on sanitizers for a month or more before I found out. That means theoretically, I could have left spores all over the house! (Unlikely, as I am such a thorough hand-washer, but just missing one spore . . . might be a nightmare!)

    One of the things that always stood out heavily in my mind was, what about pulling up my pants? We all know with explosive diarrhea, it is hard, even with special wipes, to be sure your bum is clean all over, then you pull up your pants, and go wash your hands, then proceed to disinfect the bathroom. But what, if BEFORE you can wash your hands, you have even ONE spore on your hands that is then deposited on the waistband of your pants? What if the next time you tug up your pants, or take them off for bedtime, or any time you adjust them, you touch that lingering spore and then you leave it somewhere outside of the bathroom–just waiting for you to touch wherever again? I see this as just one of many ways to infect or reinfect without even being aware.

    So, LP, what I am saying is that your sis could have it through no fault of yours, but she MUST get in and get tested!!!

    Hang in there!

    Hugs, Rhonda

    1. I had c diff by antiobiotic for a long time was on vanco over 3 months now they tested me why I was still on vanco said its gone but still haveing severe pain right side no pain med diearrea is still there and always tired they did test and chose to tell me now I have IBS but symptoms are the same before I was complaining about headaches and consipation swelling all over body now I have diearrea never stopps and right side lower pain now they trying a new diet but the truth is I did not eat much already. And pain stabbing pain now I have to live with it

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