My treatment at The University of Vermont Medical Center pulled me out of a long year of struggling with a Clostridium difficile infection. I went into my local hospital with a relatively easy to manage condition, and I came out with a major illness that was very hard to treat. I developed the C. Dif infection while I was being treated at my local hospital for diverticulitis in the spring of 2014.
I spent the spring and summer of 2014 taking antibiotics to fight the C. Dif. It was miserable. I was sick from the C. Dif and nauseated from all the antibiotics. I had no energy and dragged through every day. Each time a course of the antibiotics ended, I would have about three weeks of feeling okay. I could eat some, do some light activity, and go to work, but after about three weeks, the C. Dff would come back and I would go into the hospital to get stabilized and start more antibiotics. During this time, my brother cut all my firewood for me, and my friends and family took care of most of the chores that needed to get done.
Each time I cycled through the antibiotics, the C. Dif would return more powerfully. In January 2015, I spent four days in the hospital trying to get the infection under control. I started pushing for a new way to deal with the C. Dif because the antibiotics weren’t working. At this point, I had scaled back at work and barely did anything at home. The specialist I was seeing recommended a fecal matter transplant (FMT) to treat the C. Dif. Unfortunately, my local hospital had never done one before, and I had a very small window open to get treated before I got sick again. I went back to my primary care physician, Dr. Woods Mccahill, for help, and he took quick action.
Dr. Mccahill found Dr. Peter Moses at the UVM Medical Center. Dr. Mccahill convinced Dr. Moses of the urgency to treat me, and Dr. Moses scheduled me for the FMT five days later. I spent those days resting and trying not to get sick, so the treatment would have the best chance to succeed.
I arrived at the medical center and everything went smoothly. I met Dr. Moses and he explained the FMT treatment. He worked with OpenBiome to get the materials for the treatment. Everything went like clockwork, and I was on my way home by 4:00 p.m. Everyone I encountered was so professional and caring that it made a trying day much easier.
The treatment was effective immediately. Within 24 hours, I could feel my energy coming back, and I actually had an appetite. It’s been one week now, and I have started exercising and I am back at work full time! Dr. Moses and the UVM Medical Center have my thanks and gratitude for helping me feel like my old self again.
Learn more about Gastroenterology & Hepatology at The University of Vermont Medical Center.
Watch this WCAX-TV news segment about fecal matter transplants.
Joe Pete Wilson lives in Keene, NY and works at North Country Community College. He and his family ski in the winter and play with horses year round.