Prepared for the unexpected: How Henri beat C. diff

<img class="wp-image-33861 size-full" src="https://mdthinks.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/prepared-for-the-unexpected-how-henri-beat-c-diff.jpg" alt=" Henri after being treated for C. diff "width =" 800 "height =" 526 "/> Henri and his sister, Lucienne

From his birth, Henri was very responsive – to everything.

When he was a baby, he was allergic to milk and soy, which caused eczema throughout his body. Its allergies mean frequent infections of the ears and sinus infections.

As a child, he was anemic and insufficient. He had two urinary tract infections (UTIs) with fever.

At the age of 3, he had a circumcision because of repeated UI.

At age 4, a sinus infection spread to his eye socket. Every sunscreen on the market gave him (and still gives him) an eruption.

At the age of 5, an insect bite in the ear resulted in a cartilaginous infection requiring antibiotics.

Suffice to say that I am always prepared for the unexpected with Henri.

At the age of 6, during the summer of 2016, Henri had a swelling above his right eye. I could not find the cause, but his eye was starting to swell, and given its historical history, I was worried.

I watched and waited, but as the swelling worsened and spread to her eyes, I decided to take her to the emergency department near us at Rhode Island. They said that it was absolutely necessary to deal with antibiotics because of the risks associated with orbital cellulitis . I am always careful not to over use antibiotics, but I checked with two other doctors, both of whom insisted that it was absolutely necessary, even though we thought that swelling was probably due to an insect bite at its root.

<img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-33862" src="https://mdthinks.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/1512739530_611_prepared-for-the-unexpected-how-henri-beat-c-diff.jpg" alt=" Henri with a bump on his eyes before being diagnosed with C. diff "width =" 800 "height =" 530 "/>

Exactly one week after Henri finished his antibiotic treatment, we were 20 minutes into the two and a half hour commute to my parents' house in New York to celebrate my daughter's birthday, when Henri said that he had to use the bathroom immediately. I ended up having to stop 4 times on the way to New York so that he uses the bathroom.

That night, he developed a fever of 102.8 and I immediately knew something was wrong. It was not just an insect bite.

Clostridium difficile or C. difficile is an infection that causes debilitating diarrhea and is often prolonged with the use of antibiotics.

I immediately called Henri's pediatrician, who told me to give him two weeks before worrying me. Three weeks later, Henri always went to the toilet at least 5 times a day with very loose and watery stools. The doctor ordered a crop, not expecting to find anything. But I was not surprised to receive a phone call from her at 11:15 that night. It was something. Henri had C. diff.

Meanwhile, Henry had started the first year with C. diff. – embarrassed and uncomfortable. In the following months, he followed two cycles of antibiotics, with a relapse between the two, a different antibiotic treatment followed by a relapse, and he was going to start a second course, when I had requested a referral to a pediatric gastroenterologist.

We had seen a urologist in Boston in Waltham for the circumcision of Henri and I had been very impressed. I immediately called the Boston Children's Hospital and I summoned it a few days later. Dr. Lori Zimmerman performed endoscopy and colonoscopy to rule out any underlying intestinal problem and recommended that we consider FMT. She sent us back to Dr. Sonia Ballal .

Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) is prescribed as an effective alternative to the long-term use of antibiotics in the treatment of infectious diseases such as C. diff. The procedure, which is performed under anesthesia, provides preselected and healthy human donor stool to a patient via a colonoscopy or nasogastric tube.

Dr. Ballal met us and gave us the news we were hoping: Henri was a perfectly simple candidate for FMT because he had no underlying health problems; his C.Diff. was just from antibiotics.

After suffering six months of medication and relapses, Henri was transplanted in March.

He missed 22 days of school this term. It was a difficult, frustrating and scary time for the whole family, especially since there was not much information on the pediatric FMT. Drugs were expensive, it was difficult to track school work and it was difficult to make sure we did not put other children at risk for infection.

<img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-33860" src="https://mdthinks.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/1512739530_529_prepared-for-the-unexpected-how-henri-beat-c-diff.jpg" alt=" Henri at the hospital for a C. difficile infection "width =" 800 "height =" 532 "/>

Although it took some time for his intestines to normalize, Henri is now a happy sophomore who no longer has C. difficile. We feel lucky to be on the other side of this experience and to have benefited from such support – from the Boston Children's team, the ## 147 ## # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # 39, Henri's nurse and the freshman, our senior pediatrician and our families. And we feel it, so grateful that FMT was available – for us, the procedure was really a game changer.

For more information on FMT, send an e-mail to FMT@childrens.harvard.edu .

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