Brook B’s Story

Female 2I use to be a very energetic person who loved life to its fullest, I loved to run with my dogs, bike, hike, kayak pretty much anything to stay moving and be outside… that is until my life changed the fall of 2012.On 9/5/2012 I developed a strange painful rash that did have a bull eyes appearance on my back that I had looked at by a docter on 9/6/2012. He told me I had shingles or possibly Cellulitis and sent me home with 2 different antibiotics to treat shingles and cellulitis. I did also ask him about the possibility of this being a sign of lymes disease and had requested that to be tested. The test did come back negative. Not sure if this is related or not, but seems to be a good point to start with noticing issues in my life.

On 11/29/12 I was feeling horrible over the past several days that warranted a trip to the Doctors office. After several blood tests and a urine test I was diagnosed with a kidney infection based on my symptoms and test results didn’t think that was really quite right, but I didn’t argue with the doctor. I was given an intramuscular injection of Rocephin and sent home with a prescription of 500mg Cipro to take twice a day for the several days. I took one of the Cipro’s before I went to bed but later on that night I had terrible pain in my chest and had difficulty breathing . My husband took me to ER where they discovered I had pneumonia and NOT a kidney infection. The hospital administered Levofloxacin intravenously and sent me home with a 14 day prescription of levofloxacin. That next morning when I woke up to terrible pain in my left elbow that hurt so bad I could barely move my arm. I also felt very light headed, dizzy and sick to my stomach. I stopped taking the Cipro and continued the Levofloxacin as prescribed. I searched the internet for the side effects of taking levofloxacin as this drug made me feel worse than the pneumonia did and discovered that both Cipro and Levofloxacin were black listed and caused severe reactions such as tendon rupture muscle and nerve damage to only name a few.

On 12/1/12 which was a Saturday so I went back to the walk in clinic and asked the doctor to give me a different antibiotic as I was experiencing bad side effects and extreme joint pain but this doctor said that is a good strong drug and will knock the pneumonia out and to stay with it. On Monday 12/3/12 I called my primary Doctor and said there has to be something else other than Levofloxacin to treat my Pneumonia as this drug is making me feel worse plus of all the horrific side effects that I was experiencing. He agreed that the drug is probably causing my joint pain and put me on Zithromax. I had to take 2 rounds of this as the pneumonia hadn’t cleared up with the 1st round. I was also given a pneumonia vaccine to prevent future outbreaks.

Through the next few months my energy level depleted, I was short of breath and was in a lot of pain all over but particularly my elbow. I couldn’t even brush my teeth or zip my pants without pain. I had gone to see an orthopedic specialist to help deal with the pain in my elbow. I had several corticoid injections over the next year which did help alleviate some of the pain. At this point my primary Doctor did think it was a reaction to the Levofloxacin but didn’t say much else about it.

In January of 2014 I started noticing different symptoms that had affected my balance to the point of falling down if I wasn’t hanging on to something for balance. I also had developed pain, tinnitus, sensitivity to sound and sometimes muffled sounds along with peripheral neuropathy surrounding my right ear into my neck , head & cheek. I had also undergone several other blood tests to check for Addison’s disease, Lupus, RA, Lymes, Thyroid disorders vitamin deficiencies. I had seen an ear nose and throat specialist, under gone an MRI to check for anything unusual. Had a colonoscopy/Endoscopy to rule out Celiac disease and everything I have had tested has comes back negative. I mentioned to my doctor many times that I believe my issues were a direct affect from the drugs Cipro and levofloxacin, but he said he didn’t think that would be the case anymore as that drug was given to me a while ago.

Today is March 12th only 3 days after my 44th Birthday and I feel like I am living in an 80 year old body. I have a hard time doing anything without pain I try to push through it, but it is very hard most days on my physically and mentally. I just want my healthy life back.