Day three and things were changing rapidly. Dr. X brought Sean into his office and told him that he had researched c-diff and could indeed treat him. He said further tests for the presence of infection were unnecessary as the infection is considered gone when symptoms subside. The doctor in Germany had said three negative tests were needed to confirm the absence of c-diff infection.
He switched from flagyl to vancomycin for antibiotic treatment. According to his research, the new antibiotic would clear the infection within 10 days and he would be home by Labor Day.
Dr. X did call the CDC and they recommended confinement to quarters as c-diff is infectious. Sean would stay in his room with the exception of making the 3/4 mile hike to the hospital three times a day and attending formation each morning. He was not to spend time in the medhold dayroom with other soldiers.
Dr. X also cancelled the appointment with Dr. D because he felt (with his vast knowledge of the infection) that the new antibiotic would clear it up. Sean had to travel to the next town by taxi to pick up the new medications because the pharmacy on base did not carry it in stock. As an added bonus, since he was not given the prescription through the post pharmacy, he had to call and argue with TriCare (military insurance) to get them to authorize the prescription and pay the cost.
I decided that instead of taking a “wait and see” approach, I would be pro-active and get things moving quickly. I called the offices of our US Senators and Representative for South Dakota and asked each of them to make an inquiry regarding Sean’s care and possible transfer to an actual medical facility.
Within an hour, I had the name and number of a patient representative on base and a meeting was arranged between Mr. L and Sean for the next day. One thing I have learned through this experience is that nothing makes things happen like a call to the Senator’s office.