I got C. Diff - twice!

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I got C. Diff - twice!

Postby capmikee on Wed Jun 10, 2020 8:34 am

Hi everybody,

I want to share my experience here and ask for your insights if you have any knowledge about C. Diff (Clostridium Difficile).

For the last 5 years or so, I have been trying an experiment intended to help maintain my skin microbiota. I was inspired by Jessica Green's research into environmental engineering and hearing about the "Mother Dirt" brand of bacterial deodorant.

The experiment was basically putting dirt on my skin. I keep house plants and a pot of soil in the bathroom. I wash my hands with soap after using the bathroom but I don't use soap in the shower. After washing, I put the soil from the plants on my hands and then I rub my pits with my hands. For five years, this seemed effective at controlling my body odor (or at least everyone was too polite to tell me otherwise!)

But just a couple months ago, I took a course of antibiotics (Clindamycin). My doctor prescribed it so she could lance a cyst on my scalp. Boy do I regret that now! I did make a point of consuming as many different probiotic foods as possible - sauerkraut, creme fraiche, umeboshi, pickled jalapeños, live commercial apple cider vinegar, etc. And of course I continued to inoculate my skin with dirt.

For two weeks I felt pretty much the same way I always do - that is, I had some gut issues, but nothing unusual. But then I got really bad gut issues. For two more weeks I waited for them to go away, and they didn't. Finally I got some tests done and found out I had a C. Diff infection. I had not been in a hospital at all, mostly just staying home except for that one time I went to the doctor's office to have a cyst lanced.

I took a course of Vancomycin and eventually felt better. I continued my routine but added a few more probiotics, like commercial kombucha and homemade root beer. But after a couple of weeks, I got sick AGAIN. When I called the doctor, she said it was common to get reinfected with C. Diff and I needed to clean everything with bleach.

I started another course of Vancomycin and prepared to clean my apartment as soon as I was feeling well enough. I just finished that second course and I've scrubbed the bathroom down hardcore with bleach, and also the wettest areas of the kitchen and all the doorknobs and light switches in my apartment, and gently wiped down my electronics with a bleach-dampened rag. I've also laundered my sheets and underwear with bleach. I feel really uncomfortable with all this bleaching! I wonder if I'm just making the environment even more friendly for whatever pathogens are left. But I don't know what to do at this point.

I've stopped inoculating my hands after washing them but I do still use a little dirt as deodorant sometimes. But I really feel like I'm in the dark with this. Almost everything I've looked up online about C. Diff refers to cleaning in hospitals. And, not surprisingly, I haven't found anything about whether it's possible to get C. Diff from soil, or anything about biodiversity in soil microorganisms in the context of C. Diff. So I don't know if I'm making things better or worse!

I'm really afraid of getting sick a third time. Besides feeling terrible, Vancomycin is expensive! And I want to try to rebuild my gut flora. Does anyone have any information about preventing C. Diff that isn't categorically microbe-phobic?
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