The prescription was for metronidazole, brand name Flagyl. According to the FDA this drug is NOT specifically approved for treatment of giardia, but is prescribed for that. How is it that the FDA knows this drug is commonly prescribed for the treatment of giardia, but they haven't approved it for that use? I have no idea. Remember that I was having more frequent stools with blood in them. I was not having diarrhea when this started. I took the Flagyl and diarrhea started within 24 hours. It continued to worsen and I also noticed that my throat seemed to be getting irritated and swollen as well. Could this be my first allergic reaction to a medication? After 3 days I decided I couldn't endure the full 10 days of treatment and called the doctor's office.
An actual doctor was on call and he seemed confused that I had been prescribed Flagyl without having diarrhea and more confused that the medication had actually given me such bad diarrhea. I explained to him that I was so sick now I would end up in the hospital with severe dehydration in a couple more days. He instructed me to stop taking the Flagyl, which I gladly did. Testing several months later would show I no longer had giardia anyway. Another interesting development occurred during this few day period.
I remembered that one of my aunts had colorectal cancer when she was very young. I called and talked to her. I know that many diseases can have similar symptoms, but I was scared after speaking with her. I was 30, and she had cancer in her late 20's. When I described my various symptoms to her, she got very upset and said that was how she presented with cancer. She told me she wished I did have cancer. Now there’s something nobody had ever wished on me before. Her reasoning was that after 1 operation she was cured and some intestinal diseases aren't so easily cured. I called my doctor's office and told them about my aunt. They seemed a little upset with me for not telling them at the office visit that I had a family history of colon cancer. I apologized and simply said, "I forgot". It's not like we all sit around keeping carefully logs of all the ailments that have ever affected any member of our family tree. Maybe we should. Maybe such logs could come in handy sometimes. My appointment for colonoscopy was moved up.
Waiting seemed to be the hardest part. I really wanted to know what was going on with me. I had seen colonoscopies as a medic, so I kind of knew what to expect. But, it is different being the patient. There was something I had not anticipated that goes along with the colonoscopy - the bowel prep.