Wednesday, March 5, 2014

My Ailment: "C Diff"

I have been in pretty good health my whole life. Like everyone, I have had my share of sickness, but nothing like what I have been dealing with as of late. It all started just a touch over three weeks ago. At first I though it was just a stomach virus because everyone around our area was sick with some sort of flu like symptom. A few days turned into a week, and then a week turned into two. I then began to have stomach/bowel issues. The cramping and pain started to get worse. The smell was unbearable. I pushed it off and kept working and acting like it was nothing. My wife, Jerri, kept telling me to go see my doctor. She said it was not just a basic illness. Going to the bathroom anywhere from 15 to 30 plus times a day is not normal. And after a really severely painful night last Wednesday, I broke down and made the appointment.

And after seeing my doctor the following day, I ended up in the hospital. After being poked, prodded, and stuck with needles, I was then put through a CT scan. Because I had not been able to produce a stool sample, and because I hadn't eaten in a few days, I had lost 16 pounds. Later on that night my results came back...not good. My entire colon had thickening in the wall and was infected. Underneath my colon (trying to walk a thin line as to not be too gross) was infected as well. And since I wasn't able to produce a sample, I was diagnosed with Colitis, and also Ulcerative Colitis. I was also told I was at risk of having colon cancer.

I cried. I cried a lot. I kept thinking of my wife and two young girls. I felt as if I was letting them down. Those three girls are my entire world...and I didn't want to lose that. I had posted to Facebook about what was going on and the love and support just started flowing in. Emails and phone calls from longtime friends to cheer me up. It worked until I was alone. When you are alone and worried, many many bad thoughts can creep in...and they did. In the early hours of Saturday I cried like never before.

On Saturday morning I produced enough to send to the lab to be checked for cultures and infections. By mid day I knew what was going on. While taking Clindamycin for a severe sinus infection in late January, that caused me to be infected with Colostridium Dificile Colitis. Better known as "C Diff."

C Diff is a potentially deadly intestinal bacteria if not treated correctly. On average, it kills 14,000 people per year. It is painful and can last weeks even with treatment. Let me just say this is again, it is painful, very painful. It will take a while to feel 100 percent again, but that's OK. At least I am on the road to recovery, and that is great news. The nights have been long, the pain is intense, and sleeping is coming in large amounts. I am getting better. That is my personal mantra while awake.

I can't thank you all enough for the well wishes, prayers, and love that you have shown. The outpouring has been tremendous and I am forever grateful for that.

And to you, Jerri Jackson. I love you more than words can say. If I didn't have your support through this, your help, YOU. I wouldn't have been able to deal with this.

(This is the short version. I was in and out of the hospital and right now I still don't have a lot of energy. Hope this helps for everyone who had questions)

2 comments:

A running chick said...

I'm SO RELIEVED you have an answer! Now on to recovery! You will be as good as new in no time, Ray!

Scott Dunlap said...

An ultra you didn't expect, but will still conquer. Hang in there!