Early this afternoon, Dr. Koski, our chemo oncologist from the Cross, called to let me know that they have the results of the tests on my ‘specimen’. And, unfortunately, it looks like I am still suffering with c.Diff. Damn. But, on the other hand, this is good to know what it is.
What it is is known as c.Diff but is really Clostridium Difficile. It is one of the bacteria that can inhabit even a healthy person’s bowel, but it is not really very aggressive, unless the conditions are exactly right. The bacteria, especially the ‘good’ bacteria that you should have in your gut keeps this one under control. However, if you go through a course of antibiotics (see the Mayo Clinic website for a list of potential problem antibiotics), such as one does after a major surgery, it is quite possible that the c.Diff will get the upper hand because it is a bit antibiotic resistant. Hospitals are notorious places to pick it up. When the antibiotics in your systems devastate the ‘good’ bacteria that should exist in your gut, it gives the ‘bad’ bacterias a chance to take over, especially one like c.Diff.
It should also be noted that c.Diff throws spores, sorta like mushrooms and fungi do. It is totally possible that once you have gotten rid of c.Diff, it can come back to haunt you because the spores are still hanging about, somewhere… and can survive for up to 5 months. Take precautions! And when you clean, use a chlorine bleach-based cleaner to make sure you get those damn spores. I suspect that my re-infection is because of the spores on something.
There’s an interesting website maintained by ‘sufferers’ that you might want to have a look at: http://www.cdiffsupport.com/ . It will give you a feel for what we’re up against, and may help you get a understanding of the frustration of those who suffer from chronic digestive system issues (Crohn’, colitis, etc.) . And, as always, take at look at the Mayo Clinic site, http://www.mayoclinic.com/ for a medical evaluation of c. difficile.
So, on one hand, I got my wish; there is a pill. Tomorrow I’ll start on flagyll, again. The bad thing is that there will be no alcohol for the duration of the treatment as the reaction between flagyll and alcohol is similar in nature to antibuse. Well, maybe not being able to drink isn’t such a bad thing, although I was kinda counting on the extra calories to help me get back on track with my weight. I guess I’ll hafta substitute healthy stuff like juices, smoothies, water, iced teas instead. But I should also admit that I use that glass of Scotch before bed as a sleeping aid. Now we’ll see if my sleep patterns become disrupted, again.