As a physician assistant, I was familiar with C. diff and had treated it often in my clinic, but I severely underestimated the toll that recurrent infections could take on your life. When the first round of C. diff started, I had just given birth to my daughter, and also had a 2.5 year old at home. I was unable to fully participate in my children’s lives due to diarrhea, as well as the significant fatigue and weakness that came along with it. The idyllic summer that I had envisioned spending with my young family was instead spent largely in the bathroom, hoping that one day it would not return. Ultimately, I experienced three episodes, and each time, it physically and emotionally depleted me in a way that I have never previously experienced.
After the birth of my daughter, I required several rounds of antibiotics for mastitis. Upon completion of the antibiotics, just when I started to feel well for the first time in my daughter’s six weeks of life, I woke up feeling off, with chills, fatigue, and diarrhea. I knew almost instantaneously that the antibiotics that I had taken for weeks had resulted in infection with C. difficile; but what I didn’t know was that it would negatively impact my life for many months to come.
The first round wasn’t so bad. I took the antibiotics for the C. diff with prompt resolution of the symptoms. I tried everything within my power to support what flora I had left; I was exercising, eating loads of fiber, fermented foods, taking probiotics, and drinking adequate fluids. Again, just when I started to feel well and had the opportunity to enjoy life as a new mother of two, it struck again. And again.
After the third round and an unpleasant trip to the emergency room for fevers and dehydration, I was fortunate enough to get connected with the GI team at the University of Minnesota, where I was able to receive an IMT.
I received a capsule IMT one time. It truly changed my life. Not only did the C. diff not return, but slowly, I felt my health return. I lived cautiously for the first few weeks, fully expecting the C. diff to return just as it always had. Week by week, month by month, it didn’t come back. I had my life back for the first time in many months. As a patient and healthcare provider, I feel so incredibly fortunate to have had access to the IMT treatment, and for those that have worked tirelessly to make this a safe, effective therapy for those plagued with recurrent C. diff infections.