Tami S’s Story

Female 2In Oct, 2014 I was recovering from the flu. It went into my chest and I knew I had pneumonia. I called my PCP and told her. She was on-call and not in her office so she asked if I had taken Levaquin before, I told her I did not know. She said, “that was best for fighting pneumonia” yet never said a word about the (Black Box Warning) She called it into my local pharmacy. 10 pills at 750 mg to be taken once a day until finished. My husband picked it up that evening at our local pharmacy. They also didn’t say a word about it having a (Black Box Warning) and no paperwork was included with the medication. I took 7 pills, on the morning of the 8th day I woke up and could not bend my knees or put any weight on them. In no way did I ever imagine it was because of the Levaquin. I took another pill that day and the next. I was bed ridden by then so I called my PCP’s office. The Doctor on call called me back and her first question was “are you on any new medication?” I said “yes, Levaquin for pneumonia.” She said, “stop, don’t take another pill, Those medications are known to cause tendon ruptures.” I hurt so bad that my husband to me to the ER. They said that it happens and sent me home. I made it into work off and on until Jan of 2015, by then I had become totally bedridden. I was no longer able to climb my stairs or make it to the bathroom. My doctors put me in a Cam Boot for the tendonitis in my left Achilles, hinged knee braces for both knees, a 4 legged cane and a portable toilet, so that I only had to move from the bed to the toilet while my husband worked. He comes home each day at lunch to check on me and care for me. I haven’t had any income since the first week in Jan, 2015. I had another visit with my PCPon Mar 31, where she told me she didn’t feel comfortable releasing me to go back to work. She also set me up for Palliative care. I can no longer work. I cannot stand for more than 5 minutes. I already had had two surgeries from tendonitis in my right arm from years ago after a bout of illness in the hospital 12 years prior where I had been on Fluoroquinolones (unbeknownst to me). Now my left elbow tendon hurts almost just as much as my right. I now have tendonitis in both knees, my left Achilles tendon, my right big toe and my pinkie on my right hand. I can’t even walk my dogs unless it’s an emergency and that is an ordeal that puts me back in my recliner or bed for hours in excruciating pain. I can no longer stand and cook for my husband. We can no longer go anywhere. My eyesight has gotten so bad I have to use a magnifying glass. I have absolute no appetite yet have somehow gained 32 pounds in 5 months. I can’t even go to visit my grandchildren. When they do come here, they want me to play like I used to…they don’t understand, nor should they. Each day I wake up to a new ailment. My husband’s income is barely enough to support one person, let alone two. We have enough money to make it one more month. After that, I imagine we will be living in our car…literally. We will not have enough money for electricity, insurance, mortgage, let alone groceries. I pray each night that I will wake up the next morning to the woman that I was in Jan, 2015 before that fateful day that I swallowed that first pill of poison. Thank you for listening to my story.