C. difficile was debilitating. C. difficile controlled my daily life and determined what I could or couldn’t do. I stayed home most of the day. If I did go out, I always worried about where the nearest bathroom was. I happened to be on leave from teaching to care for my youngest child. I was thankful for that, because there is no way I would have been able to teach school while dealing with C. difficile. C. difficile also affected my eating habits and weight. I kept losing weight because food did not agree with my gut. I had a limited variety of foods that I was comfortable eating. Mainly protein and starch.
In July of 2015, I was diagnosed with C. difficile about two weeks after a bad reaction to Clindamycin. It was initially treated with Metronidazole. This lasted two weeks without much relief as well as negative side effects. Then I was treated with Vancomycin, which gave some relief and I was able to function more in my daily life. However, when I finished the round of treatment, the C. difficile infection came back. Then, I was given another round of Vancomycin. This vicious cycle continued for months. In December of 2015, I was referred to Dr. Khoruts. I finally felt like I had reached someone that knew what he was doing. I knew I was in good hands, and I was happy to participate in his study of capsule intestinal microbiota transplantation. I received the capsule treatment in early January of 2016. Unfortunately, the capsule treatment proved to be unsuccessful. In February of 2016, I received a fecal microbiota transplantation via colonoscopy and it proved to be a success! I was officially considered recovered in April of 2016. I did have bouts of post-infection IBS for many months after that, but I had my life back and I am so thankful. I was able to go back to teaching the fall of 2016 and have been enjoying life again ever since. I am thankful for Dr. Khoruts, the donors, and the research team. Without them, I would not be where I am today. I am joyfully living my life again.
C. difficile was the worst illness I’d ever had. It was physically and emotionally draining. It wasn’t until I was referred to Dr. Khoruts and his team that I felt safe and that there was hope for recovery. Dr. Khoruts and his team were always available to answer any questions or concerns I had and share their expertise in the field. They were and still are my safety net. I am forever grateful to Dr. Khoruts for his expert care, his compassion, and ultimately the successful intestinal microbiota transplant that gave me my life back.