I caught C. diff. after an emergency caesarean, which led to a lot of antibiotics and a prolonged stay in hospital. I had never heard of C. diff. before and I had no idea how vulnerable I was. I was only 26 years old.
Treatment for a severe C. diff. infection is antibiotics and without them I don’t think I would have survived to be the mama and wife I have always dreamt of being. I suffered for four months with recurring infections and I still live in fear of ever needing antibiotics again.
C. diff. is resistant to most antibiotics, which is why it is known as a superbug. I was given two different antibiotics to try before I was prescribed the one proven to have the best results and lowest reoccurrence rates. I hope in the future there are medicines to prevent C. diff. infections and more antibiotics to treat it. More people are needing to take multiple courses of antibiotics to treat the infection, which costs the NHS more money, the patient suffers for longer and it also contributes to the development of antibiotic resistance.
I wish there was more help and support for people suffering from C. diff. infections - support groups, advice on diet, supplements and probiotics to improve immune function and boost gut bacteria to help your body fight infections during and after a C. diff. infection, and also mental health support. I developed post-traumatic stress disorder, OCD, anxiety, depression, paranoia and I was caring for my daughter who was one month old. The fear of my family catching it was overwhelming. I am proof that C. diff. can affect anyone, at any age. Most of the people who suffer from a severe C. diff. infection are those with weakened immune systems or chronic medical problems, but sometimes disruption to the gut microbiome is enough to cause problems in otherwise healthy individuals. I am also proof you can survive. You are not alone.
I missed the first few months of my daughter’s life because of C. diff. It broke me. It almost destroyed me physically and mentally, but I am determined I will not give up. I am starting to accept the new me and I am finding my new normal. I now make the most of every single day and I appreciate everything so much more than I ever did before. The things that seemed important to me before I had C. diff., don’t seem to matter now. I have lost a lot but I have gained a heart filled with gratitude, a head full of knowledge and a cause for which I can raise awareness. Despite everything I am happy and my daughter is thriving. We have so much fun and I am enjoying life again.
I have found support and supported other young women who have suffered with this infection and I hope others can avoid the loneliness that C. diff. causes. I hope they can avoid the fear, desperation and pain that I had to go through after my diagnosis.
It is my goal to raise awareness of C. diff. and to share the things I have learnt. I want others to know how they can protect themselves and their families from the devastating effects of a C. diff. infection.
We thank the C. Diff. Foundation for sharing this story