Sherry R’s Story
Believe it or not, it has been over 17 years since I put two and two together that I was a victim of being “Floxed”! In May of 1997 after a hysterectomy and being discharged from the hospital at the ripe old age of 46, I became quite ill two days later and was back in the hospital with an unknown infection. For 5 days I was IV’d and for 5 days I thought I was going to die. Every tendon hurt, every muscle, my heart raced, I couldn’t remember words, my eyes were blurry, my stomach was badly affected, panic attacks started to set in, tingling, burning, numbness, yet when I complained to the nurses and the doctors, they just thought it was my “condition.
When they told me I needed to take a walk, my knees were giving out on me. They were so painful. Again I questioned this, but they had no answers. After I was discharged I was given Floxin pills to continue for several more days.
In November of 1997 I had bronchitis and was given Cipro and again in February of 1998. I had no clue that this group of drugs was the culprit until the last dosage in 1998. I then went onto what was then called the “Internet” and searched and searched for these horrible symptoms I was experiencing and found a Yahoo Forum for the Fluoroquinolones, ( from now on will be called FQs) and bingo that was me! I was on this forum for several years. I went from doctor to doctor trying to convince them that these drugs did this to my body. They looked at me as if I had ten heads. They couldn’t believe that these medications could stay in one’s body for that long. I was crazy. I would bring them papers to show them proof and one doctor said to me that the medical community would use these papers for toilet paper! Needless to say that was the last he saw of me.
In 1999 when my son was 23 he took Levaquin unbeknownst to me. He couldn’t get out of bed for at least 6 months. We both went from dr to dr searching for answers, carrying research papers with us. My son is still not in great health with many tendon and thyroid issues as well.
I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, IBS, a thyroid condition, Hashimotos, Costrochondritis and neuropathy of various types of unbeknownst origins. Here are some pills to take, no thank you doctor. My body is way too sensitive, but unfortunately I had to be on Xanax for my panic attacks. I had my gall bladder removed in 1996 and do believe that I was given FQs back then, but have no record. I found my records and in 1994 I was given Noroxin which started he demise of my health. My liver functions were 1100 in 1997 right before my hysterectomy which needed to be postponed until they became normal again. They thought it was hepatitis but again, no known origin. In 1999 I had to have a special procedure called an ERCP done to see what was going on with my liver as the functions were going up and down and the pain unbearable.
I never truly healed. I just went about my life in pain and “learned” to deal with it. I learned that I would have these really bad flare ups for a day, a week, a month and then be “OK” for awhile. I never thought that what I am going to write below was ever going to happen to me again.
In March of 2013 I needed to have a facial nerve decompression due to a hemangioma resting on a nerve which made my face twitch and spasm. All my paperwork said I was allergic to the FQs. It was discussed with the surgeon. I told them again at pre-op. As they were wheeling me into the operating room I said no FQs! I am sure you know where I am going with this one. When I was being discharged the next day, the nurse handed me a prescription for FLOXIN ear drops to start 10 days after surgery. I was loopy but aware enough to be livid. I asked who prescribed these drops. She said the doctor. She also said that since it was a solution form and not an IV or pill, it was not the same. I yelled back, and said then you take them. It is still an antibiotic and has to get absorbed somewhere. They called in for another prescription.
I was not feeling well after the surgery but didn’t know why. All my other floxed symptoms were 100X worse than they were prior to this surgery. I got a copy of the operative report and lo and behold they administered FLOXIN SOAKED GELFOAM PLEDGETS in my head before they stitched the area up. (These take 4-6 weeks to dissolve) Although the doctors said this “small” amount of solution could never do the damage it was doing to my body, I knew differently. I am still so sick and getting worse. My eyesight is very bad and they can’t find a reason. The neuropathy in my feet, the tendons in all of my body, the panic attacks, the brain fog, my memory- all bad and the worse part? I can’t work any more. I can no longer be a productive working person in society.
In 2011, my 93 year old Dad, sharp as a tack, had fallen in his home and a neighbor brought him to the hospital. He lived in Florida, I lived in NC so before we started to drive, I spoke to the nurses and said just make sure he gets no Fluoroquinolones although I have no idea why you would give him any because he fell, but just in case, remember NO FQS. When we arrived 12 hours later, my father was hallucinating really badly and had no idea who we were. I asked what happened and they said they THOUGHT he had pneumonia so they gave him one bag of Levaquin. He never stopped hallucinating and 6 weeks later he died and although he had an aortic aneurysm that was being watched for many years, the Levaquin is what did him in.
I went on the Internet once again after so many years and found far too many groups. So many wonderful people whose lives are forever changed. So many more sick people than 16 years ago and so many more that haven’t even equated their illnesses with an antibiotic their trusted doctors gave them. In one of my groups, Fluoroquinolone Toxicity, a Facebook page, I don’t think a day goes by when they don’t “welcome” another person.
Someone has to please do something about this group of drugs. They are killing us slowly. Pharmaceutical companies only care about the money they make and not our lives.
Most of us “Floxies” have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, a “disease” once laughed at by much of the medical community. This is a “disease” of exclusion since the doctors can’t really figure out what is wrong with us, so into the bucket we go. How I laughed when I first saw the commercial for Lyrica to help Fibromyalgia, even though the side effects listed on this commercial were quite horrendous. I said, a pill for a “disease” they never believed in! More money for the pharmaceutical companies!” Well, I do believe that in a few years, I will hear on the TV, a commercial for a pill that will help the people who were harmed by the FQ drugs! This new “disease” will be called Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Syndrome! Now the drug companies will get even richer!
I had left eye cataract surgery in March of 2014 and of course refused the FQ and steroid drops they give. It was an unsuccessful surgery as the dr thought it would help my eye issues. I also had my appendix taken out prophylactically in January of 2014 because of constant nerve pain in that area.
It is now over 2 years later. I am sicker than I ever was. I can not work anymore as a Finance Manager as I can’t see well, I can’t understand or remember things. My neuropathy is worse, my tendons and muscles in every part of my body is a mess and doctors, 20 years later still don’t believe us. We are labeled as crazy. Given more pills. More side effects. I personally say no thank you to any of these meds because they just mask a health issue nobody wants to admit they know about. Big Pharms win again.
I was very upset when the FDA’s August 2013 report about PN came out and EXCLUDED topicals. I called and spoke to someone there and his answer was that they could not include it because there wasn’t enough data from Medwatch. Again, I repeat, not many people connect the dots that an antibiotic that was given to them for say a UTI could do such harm to their bodies months and even years later. These drugs trigger health issues that one might have never gotten.
My mission is to make everyone aware that topicals such as eye and ear drops are just as dangerous as the other forms. Children, infants are given these drops all the time and they cannot articulate what they are feeling. Learning disabilities are probably being caused by these drops and nobody is putting 2 and 2 together. There are many cases of Crohns and Colitis in kids who had tubes put in their ears years earlier. They pour FQs into the areas during this surgery.
If the argument persists not everyone gets ill on these drugs, I truly beg to differ. I believe that these people don’t realize that little things that are hurting them are directly from the FQs. They are the ones who haven’t connected those dots. This is my analogy.
You are in a boxing ring for the fight of your life. You against FQ. You are winning. You are still standing after a few rounds. FQ is getting angrier and angrier. Then after the 4th round (could be less, could be more) the FQ starts really punching you around and you are down and out for the count. The referee calls the fight and FQ finally won.
Let me also add to the above that even IF the doctor is going to be required to warn his patients about possible side effects, this is how the conversation is going to go:
Dr: I am going to give you this prescription for Cipro (or Levaquin) but I must by law tell you that it can cause this and possibly that, BUT I doubt it will as it is very RARE, so take it because you need it.
Patient: Are you sure doctor that I won’t get any of these side effects? They seem to be terrible.
Dr: NO, as I said it is so RARE. I myself haven’t come across any patients who have had these side effects, but again, I have to tell you by law. Believe me, take them. You will be fine. Just fine.
Patient then gets sick, perhaps immediately or even months and months later and that same dr still refuses to acknowledge it was due to the antibiotics and since he explained the side effects to you, HE is off the hook for a potential lawsuit along with the drug company.
This is what we are all up against. Don’t take them and do not give them to your kids in any form whatsoever!
I also cry for the people who were given Cipro after they came down with the Ebola VIRUS or were in contact with people who had the Ebola VIRUS. I emphasize virus because an antibiotic is not going to help them, but Bayer was so benevolent in giving out Cipro for the “just in case it turns into a secondary bacteria infection” scenario, that these people, according to many many news reports are walking around feeling very ill with various health issues. Guess what? It wasn’t from the Ebola, it’s from the Cipro!