Cassie M’s Story

Female 2My experience started with a complaint of stomach pains and diarrhea. Going into an Urgent Care facility, where I was prescribed Metronidazol. Then made an appointment with my regular doctor, once I’d finished the prescription and the pain continued. Not knowing what was causing it and the doctor tossing around ideas of what it could be, I agreed to try another antibiotic “Cipro”, coupled with a higher dose of metronidazol. This was in August 2012.
Within an hour of taking the first Cipro pill I had a terrible head ache and felt dizzy. No real biggie. That really doesn’t even seem worth mentioning now. Later on in the evening though, I started feeling like my muscles had turned to mush. It was very unsettling to try to stand up. My legs were wobbly, like a new born deer, so I didn’t take another pill and instead laid on the couch for the rest of the night, waiting for this uncomfortable feeling to wear off.
When I went to bed I was feeling the same, till about 3 am in the morning when I awoke to an extreme crushing pain in my left knee. No words can describe how bad it hurt. It was so intense however, that my only option was to get up. I was barely able to put weight on it and when I did it hurt so intensely, crying was unnavoidable. I was scheduled to work that day and was left with no option but to call in sick for the very first time in over a decade. Calling my doctors office begging to be seen for my reaction to the drug. My own doctor was booked for the day and so I saw a different doctor instead. My blood pressure was elevated, which hasn’t ever happened to me prior to this either. I explained to the doctor and nurse practioner everything that had happened from the time I’d taken the pill, explaining that this had to be a reaction to the Cipro, but the doctor argued that it wasn’t, while examining my knee and making me an appointment to have an MRI done that same day. The nurse practioner however was sympathetic, looking up my drug’s potential side effects online and saying she didn’t understand why he responded in the way he did.
My MRI came back with inflammation, but didn’t show any tendons tears or other visible damage. Only the swelling and extra fluid on the knee, proving at the very least… something had aggrivated my knee. If it wasn’t the Cipro, the only other explanation would had to have been laying on the couch for hours and doing absolutely nothing the day before??
By the third day my entire body hurt. It was like something out of a horror movie. All of my joints felt like my knee the day prior. I could actually hear them popping when I’d try to move, but after my experience at the doctors office the day before, it seemed pointless to return. By this time I’d also researched online what was happening to me and was further horrified reading there was no Cipro cure. It was a petrifying thought that I may not be able to work again or that I might not even be able to walk by the fourth day, since the effects up to that point seemed to have been worsening.
Luckily though, by the 4th day my mobility started to improve. I was still in a lot of pain, but it had lessened some, especially in my knees and walking had become easier. Doing other things like taking a simple bath however, my neck popped painfully when I tried to lift myself out of the tub once I was done rinsing my hair. The pain just seemed to keep moving around like it was playing hop scotch in my body.
It’s since attacked my joints at random, except for that one day when all of them seemed to be hit at once. My pain over a year and half later dwindled to “I never really knew when it’s going to hit me” but sometimes I’ll be limping for no apparent reason and people would inevitably ask “what did you do” when an ankle or a knee or both decided to give out. It kept me up every night with pains in my muscles and Cipro had turned into something that had taken over my life somewhat, because I knew to the exact day when the symptoms began and exactly what it was that did it to me.
I do believe I suffered from mild peripheral neuropathy, with burning sensations across my arms and calves. Heart palpitations. Sweating without reason out of no where. A random tightness in my chest and shoulders, that made it hurt for me to breathe or move. Most of these symptoms would pass within 10-15 minutes and didn’t happen daily. Most recently would be chronic headaches, coupled with nausea and what felt like crawling/chills across my skull. I’m not certain that the headaches were to do with the Cipro, but I’m absolutely 100% certain my joint/muscle/tendon pains were.
My health history, prior to taking Cipro over 2 years ago
I only visited the doctor once or twice a year for my routine thyroid check during the last decade.
I’ve suffered carpal tunnel like symptoms twice over 15 yrs apart, which were attributed to my thyroid and went away with an increased dosage. During that time I also suffered from mild depression and mood swings, which also went away with an increase in dosage.
When I was in my early 20’s, right after being diagnosed with hypothyroidism, I remember having a couple bouts with Chronic Bronchitis and being prescribed antibiotics. Then I had a double eye infection, but was misdiagnosed with a sinus infection and took more antibiotics. I’m not sure what kind, but now think that they may have been Cipro or another fluoroquinolone.
I had a very unusual event happen back then, when I was a waitress, where both of my ankles started hurting for no reason. My doctor at the time (Dr. Campbell) could see the swelling and gave me anti-inflammatory meds, but we didn’t know why, so I saw a podiatrist who said I had fallen arches and was hypermobile, prescribing shoes with ankle support. It eventually went away and only returned when I took Cipro.
The major gap in time between then and now has me convinced I was given Cipro or one of her sister drugs before.
After words, in my late 20’s, we had a planned pregnancy and even made it up to 12 wks. Then a heartbreaking miscarriage and a D&C. We haven’t ever tried again.
That’s my entire medical history at 37 yrs old!
I didn’t make a routine of seeing the doctor and I still don’t. Not once for a cold or anything petty. I regret now, more than anything, going in with a complaint of stomach pains when all of this began. Before taking Cipro I was perfectly healthy! I was physically fit, with great muscle tone and could truly do anything. After words though I couldn’t run, dance or do anything physical for over a year without suffering terrible pain in my joints and tendons. It was very scary and all from just ONE tiny Cipro pill!