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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » How contagious is c-diff? Not wanting to go back to my local lab...

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Author Topic: How contagious is c-diff? Not wanting to go back to my local lab...
unsure445
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Yesterday I went to have some blood work done at my PCP's office and as I was sitting waiting for the tech to get ready a doctor came in and said she had a patient that needed to be tested for c-diff in the bathroom next door.

I never used the bathroom.

I literally held my breath until I was out the door and tried not to touch the doorknob but did, because I was in such a hurry.

I got home, threw my cute shoes out, cleaned my steering wheel, floor mat, etc.. with bleach cleaner, not straight full strength bleach but cleaner with bleach in it. I then wiped this all down again a second time.

So I am freaking out that just being in the building with air vents etc.. and touching the doorknob the doctor touched will be an issue. I keep reminding myself the doctor may have washed her hands before wandering around touching doorknobs.

Am I crazy? reassurance would be welcome. I know there is nothing I can do. Its my family I hate to put in jeopardy as they use my car and aren't as diligent about thorough hand washing as I am.

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unsure445

Posts: 824 | From northeast | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TF
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Well, I got c-diff about 6 years ago from antibiotic treatment given to me by an impatient ENT.

I am married. I had the c-dff diarrhea for 11 days before I went to my pcp. She told me to go to the ER for a quick diagnosis.

I collected a stool sample in the middle of the night, put it in the refrigerator, and then I went to the ER with it the next morning. (I had researched how to save the stool sample.) I had it in a container and that container inside another container in the refrigerator.

I tested positive for c-diff and then got treatment and eventually was cured. It took a smart gastro to cure me, not the first one I went to.

So, I had the c-diff for about 3 or 4 months before I was cured. That means that during this time, there were periods in which I was jumping up in them middle of the night running to the bathroom having diarrhea. Sometimes I didn't make it on time and it soiled my underwear.

My husband was in the same bed as me, using the same bathroom as me and the same house as me and I was cooking all of our meals.

I instructed him to be sure to use HIS towels and not to touch my towels. I threw away the soiled underwear. Other than that, I didn't wash down the toilet with bleach, etc.

I was sure to wash my hands after each occurrence of diarrhea. I had 11 bowel movements per day for 11 days, many in the middle of the night prior to my diagnosis.

So, imagine what my husband was exposed to, including air, etc.

Yet, he didn't catch it. My second gastro who cured me said that if his antibiotic treatment didn't work, he would give me a stool transplant. I said I wanted to use my husband's stool since I trusted that he was healthy.

He said that was fine.

So, the doctor was not afraid of being in my presence and he was not afraid of using my husband's stool to treat me.

I don't believe we had sex during the 11 days I was undiagnosed because I was so ill from the c-diff, but I probably did have sex with him during the 3-4 months it took for me to be totally cured because we have sex regularly.

Still, my husband never got ill.

I hope this gives you some peace of mind.

I never washed down the toilet with any special cleaners, etc. We slept in the same bed the entire time, and we drove the same car every so often.

If you are frightened because of hearing stories of c-diff spreading in nursing homes, I can understand. But, in a normal home or setting, not full of very old, very weak or sick people, the spread of c-diff to others would be due to carelessness.

The employees in the ER didn't treat me any differently from anyone else. They didn't fear being near me, breathing my air, etc. They didn't treat me like I had the plague and neither did any of the people in the various doctors' offices that I went to for treatment.

Posts: 9931 | From Maryland | Registered: Dec 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Keebler
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-
http://flash.lymenet.org/scripts/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=131809;p=0

C. Diff - Clostridium Difficile

Prevention Measures - Links set
-

Posts: 48021 | From Tree House | Registered: Jul 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
unsure445
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Thank you TF and Keebler! TF, I am glad you recovered, 3-4 months is rough! Wow.

Very glad to hear your husband was okay too. Thanks for sharing this story, I appreciate it very much.

I am so vigilant with my health and with many years of chasing symptoms, infections, having tests, I hate to be exposing myself to serious illnesses and as you said, what you read online is pretty dire.

Keebler, thanks for all the information. I am diligent with probiotics and s. boulardii so hoping that keeps things in the clear for me and hoping the bleach cleaner killed anything I may have picked up in the office and brought into my car.

You have to hope these places clean properly but who knows.

Thank you!

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unsure445

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Keebler
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I hope you can dig your shoes out of the trash. A door knob cannot spread any disease, by the way - unless you kiss it. Just wash hands. I'm very much against hand sanitizers, though, as dangerous chemicals, in my view.

Just wash hands prior to eating, food prep, dental flossing, etc. I like to use a fresh paper towel before putting hands in mouth, too.

Just never touch eyes other than with a clean tissue (and keep tissue box away from toilets) and keep hands out of mouth otherwise. Just common sense things.
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Posts: 48021 | From Tree House | Registered: Jul 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Lymetoo
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You'll be OK .. c.diff is everywhere. I'm sure we encounter it every day. We just don't know that we do. If we use a public restroom, we should be very careful.

I think the main danger is our own internal eco-system and whether or not we take PPI's or tons of antibiotics. We increase our risk of c.diff by having a weak gut.

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--Lymetutu--
Opinions, not medical advice!

Posts: 96222 | From Texas | Registered: Feb 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
unsure445
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Thank you Lymetoo for the rational thought process. You are absolutely right!

I think I need to be done disinfecting the surfaces I barely touched now. [bonk]

Keebler, I think we are a lot alike in our hygiene thought processes. Thank you!

Thanks again TF!

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unsure445

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Lymetoo
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You're welcome! We are here for each other!

--------------------
--Lymetutu--
Opinions, not medical advice!

Posts: 96222 | From Texas | Registered: Feb 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
bcb1200
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You already have C-Diff. Everyone does. The issue is when you are on abx the good bacterial that keeps C-Diff in check gets killed and C-Diff can take over.

Suggest you look into taking S. Boulardi which is a great supplement to prevent C. Diff.

--------------------
Bite date ?
2/10 symptoms began
5/10 dx'd, after 3 months numerous test and doctors

IgM Igenex +/CDC +
+ 23/25, 30, 31, 34, 41, 83/93

Currently on:

Currently at around 95% +/- most days.

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Lymetoo
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That is true also!! Just like we all have yeast in our gut.

--------------------
--Lymetutu--
Opinions, not medical advice!

Posts: 96222 | From Texas | Registered: Feb 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TF
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"C. difficile bacteria are found throughout the environment — in soil, air, water, human and animal feces, and food products, such as processed meats. A small number of healthy people naturally carry the bacteria in their large intestine and don't have ill effects from the infection."

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/c-difficile/symptoms-causes/dxc-20202389


"C. diff bacteria actually exists all around us. It’s in the air, water, soil, and in the feces of humans and animals. Many people have the bacteria in their intestines and never have any symptoms."

http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/clostridium-difficile-colitis#1

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tickalert
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I've had C Diff numerous times.

Right now I've been C Diff free for a year.

I found out I had all kinds of other fun things going on which mimicked C Diff.

I found it almost impossible to get rid of since I battled it for 8 years.

I was about to go the C Diff route.

I continue taking probiotics and S. Boulardi (high dose for now) to keep it away.

My protocol for lyme and co infections doesn't include antibiotics.

I'm doing all herbals.

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tickalert
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Typo I was about to go the stool transplant route when I finally fell into remission.
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