Dad home from hospital with c- diff infection!!!!!!!!! Help!

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Hi, my dad is very ill, and near the end. He is in, and out of the hospital constantly. I live with with him, and am his primary caregiver. The trouble is that his none of his Dr.'s informed me about how contagious this infection is. They also neglected to tell me the precautions to take to avoid catching it myself! He has been home here with this nasty thing on and off for two months now. I was just told by a nurse friend of mine that I had to wear gloves all the time when handling anything he's used, and for all cleaning. Well, it's a little late for the info now don't you think? I am worried that I may already have caught this thing even though I have no symptoms. My friend told me that I'm young and healthy enough (yeah right 52!) to have more of a resistance to it. My concern though is that I've had many surgeries in the past (10), and have quite a bit of hardware in me including both hips, and an ankle. I've also had four bowel obstructions two of which required major surgeries. I am also after five years of caring for him completely stressed out beyond comprehension (but I know you guys know all about that!). I am worried that my immune system may be compromised due to all of these things. My friend told me I need to wear latex gloves all the time when near him, cleaning the house and handling anything he touches. I am thank God a good hand washer, and use bleach when cleaning his bathroom but I've touched tons of stuff including his bed linens, utensils, medication bottles and of course him!!!! I want to know if anyone has caught this nasty thing, and how do I know that I don't already have it? I just want as much info as possible because if I catch this thing it will be really bad both for him as well as myself. Any info will help! Thanks guys

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Ten years? not likely. Your bowel has number of bacteria in it, but a healthy gut keeps them in balance. In fact the cure for C-Diff is called fecal transplant. Yup, a poop donation restores the normal flora balance.
Common example: puppies eat their own poop. This enables them to recycle bacteria they need for a healthy gut. Baby bunnies do the same thing.
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Could C-diff be something that has been ongoing for years, maybe 10, without being detected?
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My Mother in Law is in hospital now recovering from near fatal C-Diff. Hers was self-inflicted!! She was refilling old antibiotic and steroid prescriptions and self medicating. This is an "on the go" woman who still works part time, so we didn't know what she was doing, we now have learned that her PCP referred her to a gastro to figure symptoms out and of course she didn't go because in her words "she is smarter than those people". She never followed Dr. instruction about diet or follow ups and she almost died from it. It got to the point that her PCP was releasing her from care due to non-compliance. Please educate yourselves about every illness you expose yourselves to, while it may not be a problem to you, you may be taking the germs to others who it could kill. This C-Diff is a tough one because it seems to never die, be careful and take GOOD care of yourselves.
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Thank you mrsbit! Yes, that's exactly what happened to dad. He was cleared of it in the hospital, but got it back almost as soon as he came home. I've been basically been doing what you suggested but am concerned because I've had so many bowel obstructions. Basically aside from extreme stress including losing a lot of hair I'm okay. I just feel so run down, and overly stressed that I worry what would happen if I caught it. So many people have told me how extremely contagious it is that I just panicked. Your advice, and info helped me feel much better. Thank you for the reply, and God bless
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My mom had it as a result of a hospital stay and was "cleared" of it before returning home. She had it in her diaper while waiting to return home. I knew it was contagious (they isolate c-diff patients in the hospital), and was mad when she came home with it. This is strictly a digestive illness. I too panicked when I had to deal with it but the truth is it is under control by the natural bacteria in the digestive tract. It's only when we take antibiotics to fight another infection that we have to be concerned with it taking off. If you do take antibiotics then make sure to take probiotics (from any local drugstore) to keep the good bacteria in the intestines. If you have trouble with diarrhea then be aware of consistency and how long it lasts. It needs to be controlled with special antibiotics immediately. If left uncontrolled it can do damage to the intestines.
I went online to find out more about how to control it. I found out that antibacterial gel (alcohol) doesn't kill it. Neither does most of the cleaning products with bleach in it. I mix 1 part bleach and 9 parts water to spray everything. During the time she had c-diff I washed all her clothes in hot water with high doses of bleach. It ruins nice clothes but you don't have a choice. You may just choose to replace clothes when your dad is cleared of the c-diff. You also need to wash all other clothes following a bleach water cleaning load in the washer.
If you have any other questions please ask. I know how difficult this is. It made me crazy. I was never a germaphobe before but now I fight it daily! We can get through this!
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