WARNING: There’s TMI ahead. Talk of bowel issues and various degree of disgusting illness.
I have been sick for a month now. It started when I got back from my little weekend shopping trip with Heather right before my birthday. When I got home I was sick with a sinus infection and it was a bad one. I spent my birthday at our nearest urgent care clinic and at the pharmacy trying to get my medication. The doctor prescribed Augmentin, an antibiotic I had never had before.
Stomach upset and diarrhea is a common side effect of this antibiotic and I had it in spades. I spent three uncomfortable days on that medication before calling the doctor and asking for something different. The pharmacist who gave me the new prescription (Cefdinir) was incredibly rude and unsympathetic to what I had been dealing with and basically told me that I should have just stayed on the first antibiotic. The weird thing about that night is that I stood there and looked at the probiotics and debated buying one, but decided against it because we had already coughed up so much cash that week already on prescription meds.
I spent the next three days feeling AMAZING. For almost 20 years I have dealt with IBS and this antibiotic seemed to alleviate a lot of the symptoms that I still have. I really got my hopes up that maybe the antibiotic had killed off something that was causing problems. That weekend (one week after my trip) I ran a fever and had flu-like symptoms. Looking back, I should have gone to the doctor or called them back right then. It seemed like the flu or a virus, so I just tried to get rest and stay hydrated. By Monday, the fever was gone, but I was developing other uncomfortable symptoms that landed me in the gynecologist’s office the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. Not your typical post antibiotic yeast infection either, but I’m not going into anymore detail there. My doctor told me she thought it was some irritation from the antibiotics, but that antibiotics are what she would prescribe to fix my current issue. I was instructed to finish out my course of meds and if it did not clear up I was to call her back on Monday after Thanksgiving. It cleared up within a day and once again I was feeling good.
Thanksgiving Day, Friday, and Saturday were fine. On Saturday afternoon I made some soup (and if you follow me on Twitter you already know this) that was questionable. I used some bleu cheese that was a little out of date, but unopened, and from the sources I checked online it should have been fine. When I began vomiting the next day I thought maybe that advice wasn’t the best. I was sick for three days. I have had intermittent symptoms mimicking what I thought was food poisoning ever since. And things have only gotten worse. Every single day since the weekend after Thanksgiving I have been in some form of pain.
This weekend, after symptoms took a bad turn, I got scared. My mind always goes to the worst case scenario and I knew I had to see a doctor. First thing on Monday morning I called to make an appointment with my gastroenterologist. The receptionist said, “His next available appointment is on the 29th at 2:30…want that?” I told her what was going on and she put me on hold. When she came back she said, “We’ll see you tomorrow at 10:15.” Cue mini freak out.
I sat for a long time this morning waiting on the doctor. Praying. Trying not to panic. When he came in I was able to stay calm and explain to him what was going on. I didn’t cry, YAY! (I’m prone to that, you know)
What he told me — he thinks that I had a bad reaction to the antibiotics. It’s likely that some nasty bacteria is camping out in my colon (he throw this name out there and they didn’t do any lab work today, but it sounds like it’s C. diff). And my poor large intestine is so irritated now that it just doesn’t know what to do. I had done the right thing and turned to probiotics, but the one I picked up was not strong enough. I was instructed to get one from the health food store that had at least 10 strains in it. I did that today after work and I hope that it starts doing something soon. One interesting thing about this is how my body was talking to me during this ordeal. I was craving yogurt. Because of dietary restrictions (which, by the way, fly out the window when you are this ill) I never even consider yogurt as an option. But my tummy only wanted yogurt. I think it knew what it needed.
The doctor expects this treatment to clear up whatever is going on. If it does not and symptoms persist I have a follow-up appointment scheduled 3 weeks from now. There is a chance that this infection has thrown me into the beginning stages of colitis. The next step, if I’m still not well, is a colonoscopy.
I don’t like to complain. That’s why I have stayed pretty quiet around here. Other people deal with illnesses that are much more serious and debilitating. But I have been absolutely miserable for almost a month and I’m tired. Tonight has been particularly difficult for me.
If you think of it, I would appreciate your prayers. It’s difficult with Christmas coming up and feeling like doing absolutely nothing.
Thanks for reading. I’ll keep you updated.