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C. Diff Kills, Dengue Hurts, Lumps Suck, Oh My. {Antibiotic Frustration & Caution}



Like I mentioned, this past week was the longest I have been away from the blog--- ever. And if it weren't for the posts I had scheduled the previous week, it would have been two weeks away. I've been saying I've had something going on but I wasn't sure what. All I knew was that my blood work kept coming out "perfect. perfect. perfect." but something wasn't right.

Well it turns out there was a few things going on. Nothing particularly health related---- mostly a lot of cause and effect type situations and complete unexpected finds. I do urge you to read through this--- even if you're not sick and in need of antibiotics and even if you're as healthy as can be (like I was).

Okay, So I've started and re-started this post ten million times (slight exaggeration). It's just that each day is so different. Sometimes I'm getting better, sometimes it seems like I'm getting worse, and some  days I'm getting calls from the CDC that they did in fact find Dengue antibodies in blood--- confirming that this month has been one incredible shit show. You know though, the main thing I want to talk about it just antibiotic use-- I mean, sure we all hear warnings and things like that, but it's pretty surprising to me how little doctors will actually say about the serious side effects and consequences--- at least the doctors I've dealt with.

You know, I'm not against modern medicine or western medicine. I've taken ibuprofen for headaches and wrist aches. I got some extra shots before heading to india. And I've taken antibiotics and other meds before. But I do try to stick to the more natural side as much as I possibly can. It's been a long while since I've taken an antibiotic. And with the exception of my wisdom teeth removal, it's been a long time since I've taken anything other than advil for... well, anything. I've given Alex a lot of flack in the past two years for taking (my own personal opinion here) too many antibiotics. It's been a long time since he has, but over and over again I would tell him it wasn't a good idea to do it. And yet, I found myself in a position, saying "better safe than sorry" taking the antibiotics, and ending up with a deadly superbug in my gut. I feel a lot of frustration over the whole thing. I'm having a hard time understanding why these things aren't more well known. I mean, and even for myself, who's dealt with candida issues in the past (thanks to-- you guessed it, an antibiotic)-- I really had no idea what the reality of c.diff could be.

C.diff kills 15,000-20,000+ people a year. At a minimum. Yes, it's true that many of the people who die from it had previous complications or are in nursing homes--- but thats not the only people who die from it--- and even if it was, thats NOT OKAY. And the reason for c. diff? Most of the time? antibiotic use. The cure for c. diff? More antibiotics. And even then, there is a 20% return rate. I'm frustrated. I'm frustrated for myself in taking the first antibiotic in the first place. And I'm frustrated that the isn't a bigger focus and warning of this bacteria.

So do antibiotics create C. diff? No. C. diff. spreads easily. Spores break lose and sometimes-- in one way or another end up in your gut. I had c. diff in my gut. There's a good chance YOU have c. diff in your gut. And that was all fine and dandy, because I am (or was) a healthy person, with a healthy gut. All my good bacteria (flora) kept the c. diff in check I take probiotics, eat fermented food, keep my sugar intake to a minimum, and keep my vegetable in take very high--- I was good. Until I took an antibiotic. And BOOM, all good flora in my gut was killed off and the c. diff took over. And just like that, you're stuck. I'm stuck. I feel like I'm fighting an uphill battle trying to regain a months worth of malnourishment, dehydration, and whatever else. Do I still have c. diff? Yep. I'm fighting it. I'm fighting this deadly bug away, fighting what seems to be the remains of a viral infection, fighting my own anxiety and fear, and fighting to get my vitality back.

I was weeks out with the c. diff. I lost ten pounds. I now suffer from tremendously low blood pressure. I shake when I eat. I would have probably died had one doctor not finally admitted me and given me the proper stool test. That is real. I'm in an okay place now, but it got bad. Really bad. I'm cringing thinking about it. And I'm nauseous of the thought of it ever coming back. Because it could--- and hell, it hasn't even left yet. How do you know if you have c. diff in your gut? You really don't, so whatever you do, proceed with unlimited caution when it comes to antibiotics.

So what else is new? Well, like I said, A Dengue confirmation. Yes, really. C. diff and Dengue. Where did I pick up Dengue? Who knows. A mosquito in India? Maybe. But the reality is, I was hardly bit there, and the mosquitos found me since coming home--- at least 15 new bites in my own home in one week. Anywhere is likely. What else? It's been a shitty month guys. No pity parties here, but it's been shitty. The doctors also found a lump in my brain. What is it? Honestly, I don't know yet. Hopefully nothing. Hopefully another lump to add to my cystic collection (I have them in my ovaries, one in my kidney, one the size of a golf ball moved from my breast, I have lots of lumpy friends in me). Hopefully something that doesn't grow any more than it should. Could be anything, but in my head, the doctors are right about this one, when you look for something, a whole lot of other things will come up. This came up. I do plan to follow up in the next month--- once my overall health is better. But for now, the joke my mom keeps telling people, is that I should play the lotto--- because really, what are the chances of all of this?


Oh how fast things can change in one month. I've grown more fearful and fearless in the process. Countless moments of sheer horrific panic. And countless moments of feeling this need to embrace life and just run--- run as fast as I can-- everywhere. I don't have the energy now, but I will and I don't want to hold back. Life is short. And life is stupid amounts of fragile. Cheesy yes, but there is absolutely zero promise of tomorrow--- or one hour-- or even one minute. We're here right now. That's the only guarantee we have. We've gotta love every crazy minute and make every single moment worth it.

Thanks for being here guys-- for being part of this crazy, whirlwind life.

I've made a timeline of this past crazy month--- mostly for my own records, but absolutely to share too, in case you were curious of how this all came together (or fell apart-- depending on how you look at it). I feel like I should keep pressing on how serious antibiotics are and the deadly things that can come from taking drugs that are too easily handed out--- but I won't. But do do do please second and triple guess everything you put in your body. You've only got one body, and you're the only one responsible for it, so do all the research and fight for it.




So lets start over a month ago.

The week of March 11th, I return home from two weeks in india, happy healthy, no concerns whatsoever-- other than the lingering (and growing) pain in left arm (my dominant arm) from my previous carpal tunnel. I take the week to get over jet lag, catch up on family time, and work.

Around this time, I'm sitting at my desk late at night and picking at my finger--- this is nothing new. I've picked at myself since I was in 4th grade. A finger gets irritated. As time goes on it gets more red and blistered. I'm not sure if it's infected or not--- but maybe.

March 24th. Marlowe and I have plans to head to Miami. My finger is not looking so great still and my wrist pain is creeping into my arm even more. I think "better safe than sorry" and I head to an Urgent Clinic office to see if it is something I should worry about. They prescribe an antibiotic. I go home and read through the labels--- like I've taught myself to carefully do. And I see that it recommends not to take if you're allergic to penicillin (I am).  I was already on the fence about taking it--- since in general, I try to stay away from antibiotics as much as possible. I'm annoyed. I call office and explain that its in my chart that I'm allergic to penicillin and ask for a change. They call in Cleocin (Clindamycin) into the pharmacy. I pick it up on my way to Miami. I read over label and debate for an hour. Side effects like diarrhea that can happen days, weeks, months later? Crap. I don't know. But again, I think "better safe than sorry." I take the antibiotic as directed. We spend the rest of the few days having fun in Miami, at the beach, hanging out, at farms, petting goats, all the good things.

The night of March 26th, we drive home. My arm pain is still increasing. I lose feeling in my arms when I hold the wheel, especially my left arm. I'm still on antibiotics. The week continues this way.

March 31st, the pain has spread to both my arms a I feel weak. I lose feeling (other than pain) constantly in my arms. It hurts almost all the time. My sister in law goes into labor. By 4pm,  I'm happily on the way to the hospital to celebrate the birth of my new new niece. I hold her carefully and try not to focus on the pain in my hands and arms. I'm shaking. I feel week all over. As I go to drive home I think, I should probably turn around and see if I can get help. It no longer feels like carpal tunnel, but I know the pain had been in my wrist for months.

April 2st. I am done with the antibiotic. I head to the hand-doctor for an exam. He says we can work on the main pain in my hand that I've had for months. He x-rays my hand and see no bone problems. He offers a cortisone shot. I agree. I have pain from the shot but my hand begins to feel better. I hear the news of my cookbook, I want to celebrate. I go out to dinner and drinks with friends. I start showing off how easily I can move my hand without pain. No pain.

April 4th. I wake up and feel weak once again. I'm shaking as I drive north to pick up Marlowe. I want to climb in bed. The pain has officially moved everywhere. All my joints and muscles hurt. I have no signs of cough, cold, sore throat, anything, but the joint and muscle pain is everywhere.

April 5th. Easter morning. I wake up. Diarrhea. Over and over again. The joint pain comes and goes. The diarrhea is persistent.

April 7th. I follow up with another hand doctor. I tell him my pain has moved from my hands and wrists to my entire body. He suggests I should have a nerve study done. At this point I'm still using the bathroom 15+ a day.  My shaking and crying is uncontrollable at this point. My entire body is bent over backwards in pain. The diarrhea continues. The pain has moved into my head and neck. I worry. I can hardly stand. I have Alex drive me to the ER. I tell them my concerns. Outrageous amounts of bowel movements. Pain throughout my entire body. A low grade fever. Chills. I tell them, I went to India, I fear listeria or another stomach bug. I tell them I was on an antibiotic. The name begins with a "C" but I don't remember what. They offer me an IV and morphine---this does ease pain, but I know it's a bandaid to a serious issue. We request a stool sample. They say no. They offer me anti-diarrheal medicine and nausea medicine. I tell them, what about my shaking, my pain? They have no answers. They say my blood work is perfect. And send me home and tell me to follow up for a possible auto-immune disease. I know that this is not okay. I know that there is something in my stomach and an anti-diarrheal is a death wish. Whatever is in my stomach needs to come out. Looking back now I am so grateful to have known better. The anti-diarrheal would have made things significantly worse.

April 8th. The shaking and crying continues. I go to the chiropractor so he can look me over. I receive no treatments yet. He agrees many of my symptoms mimic an auto-immune disorder.

April 9th. I head to the primary care doctor. I tell her my story. She runs blood work. Wants to check my levels. Says she wants to have some more tests done. I go home and almost pass out.  At this point the chiropractor has gone over my tests and I follow up with him. My joint pain is slowly starting to go away--- I still feel terrible, the diarrhea continues, but I'm walking almost upright.

April 10th - 15th. I spend the rest of the week with on an off joint pains but feeling terribly weak. From time to time I sit up and I lose all the color in my face and feel like I've been put in a bubble to pass out in. Dropping blood pressure. The diarrhea continues. Sometime in here I receive back results from basic blood work "perfect" --- I know. Sugar levels "good"--- I seem to be in great health according to everyone, but I know I'm not. We make a phone call to the CDC to inquire about chikungunya. A small stretch--- but I have all the symptoms, exactly. Possible to obtain in India, but also here in the states. The CDC hears my story and becomes increasingly interested in my case. They are helpful, they give information and calls me into the health department for more tests. They also believe I could have a possibly case of chikungunya from a mosquito. They test me for Dengue too--- just because. And they tell me they will follow back up with the results, but it would take a while.

April 16th. I have a brain MRI in the morning. "With and without contrast." I finish half of it and panic when it comes to the contrast. I head home, feeling defeated. Feeling weak. Feeling like I'm going to pass out. An hour later, my doctor calls and tell me she has results and to come in. I assume results for b12 blood works and lyme disease tests. She tells me I don't have MS (I figured I didn't), but there was an incidental finding in my MRI. A 1.6 centimeter lump in my head. She tells me it could be a few things, and to follow up with contrast so that they can have more clear results and to see if it grows. An hour after being home, I start shaking. I feel terrible. My blood pressure keep dropping and I can hardly stand. This continues the rest of the day and evening. At dinner and three times after. Whatever it is thats causing it, is not getting better. I cry and say I need to go back to the ER. My mother takes me. We are there from 10 pm until 4 am until they finally admit me into a room.  Blood work keeps coming back clear. HIV, no. Hep A, no. Rheumatoid factor, no. The doctors decide to start me on Flagyl. For parasites and for C. diff. just in case. They think it's likely.

April 18th. I am woken up at 5 am and moved into a rom across the hall, a room by myself. A few hours later, the infectious doctor comes in and tells me everything has come back as a NO--- until finally, a yes: C. difficile. Contagious. I'm in a caution room. I continue on Flagyl "first line of action." I continue on IV for my extreme dehydration. The attending doctor would like to send me home. The infectious disease doctor disagrees. He comes in an explains the main cause of death is often dehydration. I'm two weeks out (almost three at this point) with diarrhea. I've been completely malnourished, dehydrated, my blood pressure is dropping. He says I will stay until I have three or less bowel movements a day. And I stay. At this point, I have developed permanent ringing in my ears and popping as well. I have constant blurred vision. I can hardly function. Every time I go to eat, I shake. I feel like I will pass out. I twitch. I feel crazy. Really crazy. I tell the doctors over and over, "my brain does not feel right."

Aril 21st. The shaking, everything has continued. My diarrhea seems to be lessoning, but also seemingly due to the fact that I am unable to eat. I feel nauseous all the time. I feel awful, most of the time, with a few moments of sanity where I feel like I can sit and talk-- almost like a normal person. But I am ready to go home. I don't feel safe in the hospital anymore. And I'm ready to go.

April 22nd. At home, things get worse. Without an IV, I am struggling. The shaking is uncontrollable. I feel insane. And I repeat it over and over and feel as if no one is listening to me. I take another dose of Flagyl, and I cannot speak. I lay in bed, shaking. I am scared. I fear that I will never feel normal again. We call for a drug change. Only two options for c. diff. Flagyl or Vancomycin. I make the switch. I have a mild panic attack in the process. Alex holds my hand and tells me I'm fine, over and over again he repeats it, but I cannot stop shaking knowing I am putting another unknown drug into my body. 20 minutes go by, and I see he is right. It was my fear, not the drug. I am okay. And I ask to go for a walk. I wake up to throw up in the middle of the night, but the next day I feel okay. The vancomycin works directly in my gut and doesn't go into my blood stream. The side effects, for me, are a sometimes nauseous feeling, otherwise I am fine--- and hoping to get better.

So before I end this incredibly long post, I want to mention, again, caution with antibiotics. But also, as I mentioned on instagram, if you know something is wrong, do not take no for an answers. If I had been admitted int the hospital the first time around, I would be in a MUCH MUCH better place right now. Sure, it still would have been hard, but I wouldn't have hit the level of malnourishment and dehydration and I had hit. I wouldn't have to be working so damn hard to feel "almost normal." The hospital experience I had was horrific from moment in to out. Some nurses were kind. But there was very little done to actually listen and access personal needs. It didn't matter if I was a 300 pound man or a 100 pound girl--- everything was protocol without real thought. One doctor stood by my side and said that I was far behind in the healing process, I was in the deep of it for too long. Without the one doctor, I'm not sure how I would be today. I'm lucky to have had not only the one doctor, but also my family by my side to advocate for me. Not everyone is so lucky. So please, please, please, if you know something is wrong, ask for help and fight for yourself. One life. One body. This should have been handled the first time. It wasn't, but I'm sure as hell going to fight to make sure I'm okay now.

And now, here I am--- days later. Ups and downs. Sometimes I still feel like I might pass out when I eat. Sometimes I feel like my brain is half on. Occasional chest pains. A ringing that keeps me awake at night. But I'm okay. On the mend. Frustrated, but seemingly on the mend. My gut is still struggling and I only have a few short days left of the antibiotic and I know the c. diff is still in my gut-- my I'm hopeful. My diet now is limited. Incredibly limited. Some cooked vegetables, better purred. Purred black beans. Black rice. And thats basically it. I'll be sugar and gluten free for a long time. No fruits. No roughage. No white starches. No alcohol of course. No soy. No tomatoes. And of course, still being vegan. Very very limited. I've upped my probiotics-- even though I know the vancomycin is killing them. I am now deficient in iron, vitamin d, minerals, amino acids, and probably many other things. I got the call today confirming the Dengue. Sort of unbelievable. But I'm patiently working on and waiting on feeling better. And maybe my mom is right, maybe I should play the lottery-- because really, what are the chances?

On my to do list: lots of probiotics and even more soul medicine--- hoping for some sun, lots of laughs, and great company. Three of the girls from our India trip are arriving as I type (it's wednesday night)--- they've promised me lots of dancing for my soul-filling therapy. I am grateful.

I hope you all have a wonderful week friends. Thanks for being such a great support system.

Don't take antibiotics, eat good food, wear some bug spray ;)


UPDATE Sept. 28th: still fighting to get better--- 6-7 months after becoming ill. They've put me in a "post infectious c diff box" its quite silly. Basically, they confirmed I had c diff, are pretty sure I had some sort of viral mosquito thing, and have absolutely zero advice for all the lingering symptoms. I've developed a few allergies, I have random fevers, and get tremendously dizzy and off from time to time, but I'm getting better. It's truly crazy how long I've been sick.

45 comments:

  1. Hi!! I've been reading your blog for a long time, but this is my first time commenting. Firstly, I'm so sorry about all of your health problems. C. diff is a serious illness, and it sounds like a harrowing experience. However, discounting all antibiotics is also serious and dangerous. When used correctly, antibiotics are life-saving! If you have time, I highly recommend this radio show (transcript included) on the benefits and drawbacks of antibiotic use:
    http://thedianerehmshow.org/shows/2014-09-18/new-thinking-about-treating-cancer

    Also, have you heard of fecal transplants? They've been shown to cure C. diff within 1 day! I'm not sure how common they are across the US, but the Mayo clinic has a good, informative article on them.
    http://www.mayoclinic.org/medical-professionals/clinical-updates/digestive-diseases/quick-inexpensive-90-percent-cure-rate

    Good luck with your health. I hope you feel back to normal ASAP!

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    1. Hi dear! No one is discounting all antibiotics--- like I said, not against modern medicine, just saying to learn more about each one and its side effects before jumping into taking them.

      And yes to fecal transplants! They aren't approved by the FDA so they're not so easily done--- but there is a place somewhat near me that offers them-- but only after many failed antibiotic attempts. Hopefully it wont come to that!

      Thank you!

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  2. Oops, sent the wrong link before (although that is also an interesting/informative episode!) Here is the one concerning antibiotics:
    http://thedianerehmshow.org/shows/2014-07-10/why-overuse-antibiotics-may-be-linked-asthma-and-obesity

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  3. Drea, so sorry to hear that you are going through this. I appreciate you sharing you story so that more of us can be conscious consumers of medicine. Thoughts and many prayers as you regain your health!

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  4. Wow. That was a lot, but it was well worth the read. Thanks for sharing your insight here, and I'm so sorry you're dealing with such crappy health issues. It's kinda scary to think that a person with as clean a diet as yours (judging only by what is shown on the blog) can still face these kinds of issues. I'm sure Alex and Marlowe have been taking great care of you, though! Feel better soon. Super, super soon. Xo

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  5. Sending huge get well hugs from Ireland, I understand your frustration and fear completly. To be a small voice in a sea of white coats, knowing all the while that something is not right, but not having the jargon or medical knowledge to prove it without sounding like a raving hypocondriac. Hoping you start to feel more like your lovely self soon. Slainte xx

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  6. I am so so sorry this happened to you. I hope you are back to normal soon. I know this must have been devastating.

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  7. Oh Drea, you've been to hell and back I think. I'm so very sorry, you must have been terrified, especially as no-one in the medical profession was either helping you or diagnosing you. I do hope you heal well and as soon as possible. I don't like the over-use of antibiotics either. Doctors here are very quick to prescribe them for every little thing. You are in my thoughts tonight, look after yourself sweetie. Wishing you well, CJ xx

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  8. My daughter got c-diff when she was only 2 months old. I got an infection in one of my breasts and was given antibiotics for it so when I breastfed her, the antibiotics went through me to her. She was very sick the first year of her life and we didn't truly understand what was going on. Reading this reminds me that c-diff can return and I should keep that in mind with her. I'm so sorry you went through this! I learned with her that when it comes to the health of you or your child NOBODY will be as good as an advocate then yourself. I fought hard for her and really felt like I had to because the doctors sure weren't going to.

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    1. oh my goodness, that is SO scary! I'm so glad you guys fought through it. <3<3

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  9. Oh my gosh. This is terrible! I'm so sorry you're going through this. I hope things start getting much better soon.

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  10. Preach on sister! Always trust yourself and be your own advocate. I learned that the hard way. For 20 weeks I told my OB about the excruciating pain in my right side and was repeatedly told it was round ligament pain and to drink more water. At 33 weeks pregnant I was finally admitted to the hospital for emergency abdominal surgery to remove a necrotic torqued ovary with an apple-sized tumor. If a hospitalist hadn't advocated for me, my OB would have sent me home and me and my baby might have died.

    I hate that you had to learn that "stand up for yourself when you know something is wrong" lesson too, but I am so happy you are feeling almost okay and you are using your platform to teach others. Thank you.

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  11. Hi Drea, First, I'm incredibly sorry to hear about all of this. Considering the fact that the doctors were less than forthcoming throughout the process, I doubt anyone has mentioned the possibility of a fecal transplant for curing the C. diff. I just finished a semester of bacteriology and we talked fairly extensively about the treatment. It's less than pleasant on the surface, but huge success has been found, especially when antibiotics exacerbate the problem or fail to cure it. I'm linking a TED talk that mentions it briefly, but this is something you might be interested in looking into. I'm sending you all of my best wishes for getting better, and I'm so sorry to hear about your hospital experience. Best, Chyy

    https://www.ted.com/talks/rob_knight_how_our_microbes_make_us_who_we_are?language=en

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  12. Oh Drea I'm so sorry you've had to go through this! Your post honestly brought tears to my eyes and I can only imagine how scared you must've been (still are!). This sounds like a truly awful stretch you've had and it's something that no one should ever have to go through. Thank GOD for that one doctor deciding to take the right move...you're right, it's ONE life, ONE body. I am keeping you in my thoughts and hope you heal quickly. Hang in there <3 <3
    ~ Samantha

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  13. Oh my goodness. I don't know what else to say other than I'm so glad you kept pushing, and that I hope you feel better soon. What a horrible month for you.

    Further to your story - my Nanna (a stubborn, strong woman who would NOT ask for assistance if she can avoid it) recently went to the hospital complaining of severe stomach pain. She'd been vomiting and malnourished for weeks before she went. And she was turned away at the hospital. Thankfully, while she was leaving, she vomited blood in the emergency room and was immediately admitted. She was diagnosed with bowel cancer and had most of her large intestine removed. If you know, in your gut (pardon that one), that something is wrong, DO NOT STOP PUSHING.

    Best of luck to you Drea!

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  14. Wow, Drea! I am so glad that you are doing better. How terrifying of an experience this most certainly has been for you. Good vibes going your way for you and your sweet family.

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  15. Yikes how absolutely terrifying for you and your family! And what an ordeal to have to go through. You're always so incredibly honest in your posts and I'm sure it helps a lot of people. I have to admit, while I'm glad it exists, when it comes to modern medicine I always try to question everything first and do my homework.
    This post just made me think about something that really shocked me last year. My boss was feeling off for a couple of months without doctors being able to really tell her what was wrong, the next thing we heard she was in hospital with pneumonia. Several days later we got the call that she had passed away that morning (in true form she had still been planning a client menu just hours before hand). How that can happen to an otherwise perfectly healthy person just today's age just absolutely baffles me.
    Anyway the journey may be long but I'm sure that your amazingly healthy lifestyle will healp speed up the recovery. xx

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  16. Oh friend, how horrible and scary! I'm so thankful you and your family fought for your care. I hate that you've been going through this and I'll be praying for your full recovery. From living through something hard and scary myself I'me learning to just focus on the day in front of me, to find the joy in it. Some days are easier than others and some days feel impossible but there will be grace for the day, if I just focus on that day. It's when I try to forecast the future, when I imagine different scenarios, or just think about the hard, long road ahead that everything goes to shit and anxiety cripples me. Praying as you recover that you will have grace for the day in front of you.

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  17. Get better soon. I have an auto immune disease where I tend to have a lot of the same symptoms, minus the diarrhea, some days are better than others. Eventually your normal will come around, but here's hoping it's sooner rather than later. Sending lots of love and positive vibes your way.

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  18. oh, boy! I was just learning about C.difficile and then I saw your post! You have really gone through a lot. Umpteen amounts of having to go to the loo is no joke, it's so stressful. While reading through I felt that your body had to go through so much. It's also heartening to hear that you are recovering. The peel and the flower of a pomegranate is very beneficial in fighting gut infections.

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  19. What a scary and frustrating time for you.
    It is good to write it down (even if it is ridiculously long ;-)), the word on the effects of antibiotics will spread. I for one will be even more careful than I already was.

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  20. Drea my heart breaks for you, I am so sorry this is all happeneing to you. I have been reading your blog since you were pregnant and I feel totally invested in your life. I hope and pray that you get all the correct medcial attention you need and can get your life back with Marlo and Alex. This isn't a pitty response but a I am a mama like you and our children are around the same age and I feel ya. I have had 3 tumors, in my thyroid and one was removed the other have gone away due to a good diet and green juice and all that jazz. I will send you good juju and share it with Marlo and Alex.
    Take care love
    adina

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  21. Sending lots of positive prayers and energy your way. Since a few people have posted on the important role antibiotics have when used correctly and dispensed with some discretion, I won't say more on that subject. But as a 4th year medical student getting ready to graduate and start my internship, I want you to know from my perspective, that we are taught to give out antibiotics with thought and care, if a history and physical exam indicate a bacterial infection. This should be done empirically based on what we know are the likeliest causes of various illnesses in the region, and what those bugs are susceptible to. Everything is (or SHOULD be,) evidence based.

    We are also (or at least I was,) taught to show kindness and empathy to our patients, and most importantly to LISTEN, and I'm glad that you finally found a doctor who listened to you. I'm sorry it happened so late in the game, but I want you to know that your story motivates me to never forget these lessons. It's our job to make people better, and while it's easy to get jaded in this healthcare system, you can't be a good physician without carefully listening to your patient. I think the best solution I can advise is to find a primary care doctor who you trust, who you feel listens to you, and who will advocate on your behalf when you need them to.

    Sincerely hoping you get well soon,

    Georgia

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  22. this is intense. I hope you're able to get better now that you know what you have. I recognize that antibiotics are necessary in some cases but they do have consequences. I had severe mastitis with my first child and was prescribed antiobotics and assured it was safe to breast-feed. well, turns out I should have NOT breastfed during the antibiotic use because it really messed up my daughter's stomach and it took months for her to get better.

    I really hope you get better as quickly as possible.

    Emmett

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  23. Drea, my heart goes out to you. I can't even imagine. You are an incredibly strong and resilient woman and you are going to pull through all this. I wish there was more I could say or do to help. I just believe in you and want you to know from way up in Canada (eh), I'm rooting for you like hell. Bless.

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  24. Your such a strong person <3 I hope things get better :)

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  25. I feel so bad for all you've gone through. It's terrible. I'm glad you listened to your body and persisted / pursued / insisted with the medical folks. You will be in my prayers. I hope you are on the road to recovery.

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  26. Ohmygoodness! What an ordeal! So scary. Totally agree on the antibiotics standpoint. We don't even take regular medicine very often. We just drink Noni juice. Definitely boosts the immune system. I have some experience with Dengue so I know that that on its own is not a fun experience. I had a mild case of dengue when I was a teenager (lived in Cambodia for 7 years), but my mom got a really bad case and actually had to be hospitalized because her blood platelet count was really low. Prayers for you to kick these sicknesses and to get better quickly!

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  27. What a strong lady you are, thank you so much for sharing and warning us. I read your blog for a long time, but never wrote before. Now I just had to. Sending all good vibes and energy from all over the ocean.

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  28. I really feel you. In February I contracted Dengue and typhoid at the same time (I live in Java). Serious stomach issues, serious fogginess, serious serious overall muscle pain and achiness. My whole body felt like it was slammed with hammers. It gets better! All your years of healthy eating and fresh air will serve you now. Nourish yourself with funny movies, serious relaxation and warm lovely beverages. Bless you

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  29. I've posted before to your prior post about C. Diff (been there, done that, myself). Probiotics are key - and load up with on antibiotics and after you are done with them for a few weeks as well. This month has been a lot for many people (something in the air, maybe). I found an ovarian cyst and had surgery a week and a half ago. I posted on my FB and another friend who was holding a secret posted about her surgery (total hysterectomy) to be this coming Monday. Sharing the difficulties we go through, I have found, is best. Not only do you gain information from others who have been there, you help those who have yet to go through what have experienced. Share on, my friend.

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  30. Wow, I just read your timeline. My daughter, this spring, took Clindamycin (10 day dose) three times in a row for a wisdom tooth infection that kept coming back. I loaded her up with probiotics (those Pearls). She took four pears a day and always about an hour or two after her antibiotic dose. The regular dose of Pearls is one a day, but we loaded her up. She maintained the four-a-day for a week, backed off to three-a-day for a couple of weeks, then two a day and now, two months out, she is taking 1 day still. The doctor recommended we take probiotics, but did not advise us. We made up the 4-a-day dosage and interspersed it with the three times daily dosing of the antibiotics. We get put in situations for a reason - don't know why, but it seems we do. Something will come out of all of this - eventually.

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  31. im so sorry this happened to you. thank you for being such an incredible advocate for others. sending (big healing) hugs and thoughts your way. xo

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  32. I'm praying for health for you tonight pretty lady! You are on the mend and things can only go up from here!! Feel better xxxoooo

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  33. This sounds awful! I was hospitalized soon after I gave birth because of an infection in my c-section scar and it was so scary! My immune system was knocked down bc of birth and exhaustion (after a 32 hr natural labor and emergency c-section) and then we had to try 3 antibiotics before we found the one that worked. And afterwards my system was just SHOT. Luckily my OB, my care team and my GP are all very natural friendly and believe in holistic medicine (I live in pretty crunchy city, Portland, OR) and they all recommended lots of probiotics (natural and supplements), local honey, protein rich diet, etc. I also had diarrhea for several days after I consumed anything (even water) and I have to say anti-diarrhea medication is the best thing ever. I would just cry until I started it bc I just felt so awful and weak. Glad to hear you are doing better. The gut can take a long time to heal. Over a year later and my gut is still in a totally different place then it was before (although my GP thinks that this is partly due to BF hormones, which also give me weird auto-immune symptoms). Hope you continue to get better.

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  34. Thank you for sharing your story and many prayers for a FULL recovery. So thankful you and your family were able to advocate for yourself. It shouldn't have to be that way.

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  35. This sounds really hard. Im from Germany and I frequently read your blog, but this is the first time i comment on sth. here's a link to a study European scientists did on "bacteriophagues" - a virus that infects and replicates within a bacterium and apparently might be able to fight c diff. http://www.frameworksinstitute.org/assets/files/PDF/FramingPublicIssuesfinal.pdf Scientists are researching the use of phagues in fighting bacteria (people in the former Eastern block used them as antibiotics were hard to get to). Interests in the bacteriophagues renew because of resistance against antibiotics. maybe you find the article interesting although it of course is very medical :-)... Hope you get well soon.

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  36. big hugs - i hadn't realized what kind of health issues you were dealing with! i'm so sorry that you are in so much pain. but you're fighting through it. you've come this far, keep going. get better. it's so close. thinking of you <3

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  37. Drea, thank you for sharing your story and reminding me of the horrors of drugs and antibiotics. Take care of yourself :)

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  38. I'm just catching up - that is really scary. I'm so sorry this happened to you! Rest up, take care, and definitely buy that lottery ticket!
    In all seriousness, while I think that antibiotics have their place, it's so important to know about the scorched-earth they can leave behind in your body.

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  39. I do not share any of these diagnoses (well, except for lumpy breasts); however, in June I'm having a fecal microbiota transplant to deal with a host of other issues. I am going to be blogging about it. Hopefully it will liven up my very sparse and intermittent blog. Check it out if you're interested. Hope you feel better!

    http://thewholeanimalwithorganicspicyginger.blogspot.com

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  40. THIS has scared the living daylights out of me! Here in SA, doctors live for giving antibiotic scripts for my kids, with flu and infection. NOW, I am not sure I want to risk that for my babies. MAN ALIVE Andrea! Much love and hugs to you...xoxo

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  41. Hope you are doing much better. A little note on medicine and side effects. In 2009 I developed an adverse reaction to Motrin (Ibuprofen) called Steven - Johnson's Syndrome. I was very lucky to survive with my life. I had a a 10% survival rate because my SJS turned into TENS (a more severe reaction). Lost my vision, lost my skin, and was in a coma for 3 months. I am so grateful to be able to be alive now and I found a great place that restored my vision (what's left of it anyways).

    All this from taking 1 pill for a slight fever. Crazy what "help" means in terms of medicine, right? There are hundreds more of us out there that have either survived or died from this horrible horrible reaction from a medication: the most common ones being from antibiotics!!

    I consider myself very lucky to be alive. And I hope that everyone that has to take antibiotics is aware of the side effects too. Great post, and i am so sorry you got sick. Hope you are feeling a lot better soon!

    Love,
    Mariam
    www.thepetitebijou.com

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  42. Certainly living with this right now, and this is the worst bug I have ever encountered in my life.. All over an antibiotic given after the surgery of my wisdom teeth, who knew slmething that is supposed to help could hurt you just as much!! Messed up!!

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