As if Carmen isn’t going through enough, she continues to battle C-diff (Clostridium difficile). I wasn’t familiar with this lovely condition so I will give you a brief description, in case you are ever unfortunate enough to have it! Thank you to my sister-in-law for giving me a first-hand experience account! If you don’t wish to read this, then skip down below!

C. difficile bacteria are everywhere — in soil, air, water, human and animal feces, and on most surfaces. The bacteria don’t create problems until they grow in abnormally large numbers in the intestinal tract of people taking antibiotics. Then, C. difficile can cause symptoms ranging from diarrhea to life-threatening inflammations of the colon.

Signs and symptoms of this potentially life-threatening illness include: profuse and watery diarrhea, fever, abdominal pain, blood or pus in the stool, nausea, and dehydration. In severe cases (which we pray Carmen does not develop), C-diff can cause kidney failure, a hole in the bowel, a ruptured colon and death.

There are three treatment options: antibiotics- metronidazole (Flagyl) or vancomycin, probiotics and in severe cases surgery to remove the diseased portion of the bowel. Often, several months of treatment are required.

So, how do you avoid this vile disease? Avoid antibiotics unless you have to have them. Take probiotics. Wash, wash, wash, wash, wash your hands! If you are in the hospital, be a pain and make sure the staff is practicing excellent hygiene too! But, sometimes this condition is inevitable.

I’ve been cleaning everything in our house the best I can and we are on triple-hand-washing duty! Bleach is supposed to be good at killing C-diff spores but anti-bacterial cleaners supposedly do nothing. PLEASE pray that Carmen gets over this ASAP. PLEASE pray that Dave, Lauren and I and Carmen’s night nurses do not get C-diff.

Oh, and Carmen now has thrush and a diaper area yeast infection. I think I am going to go insane! I have been giving Carmen a super strong probiotic recommended for chemotherapy patients and I think I am going to add Saccharomyces boulardii probioic. I read that S. boulardii is specifically recommended for C-diff. Hopefully this probiotic combined with Flagyl will knock this stuff out.

Happy Birthday to sweet Amelia! Amelia turned 2 on Monday and has Tay Sachs. Her mom, Sarah, often leaves messages on our site. You can read more about this beautiful little girl here, http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/ameliaalford.

Big thanks to Tatiana for picking up Carmen’s prescription on Monday and Karen for dinner! Thank you Karen for taking Lauren to school this week and for all of you who so kindly bring Lauren home. And thanks to the lawn mower/weeding fairy! We will have to take a look at our security cameras so we can see what all you do out there! Ha!

Since I am a total nerd, here are a couple of pictures of C-diff.

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