Jodie M’s Story
January 31, 2014 11:40 p.m., the date and time of the ill fated day that is forever etched in my being… I woke up the morning of January 31st. 2014 with what appeared to be the beginning of a pink eye infection. I called my Dr.’s office and they called in a prescription. I picked up the prescription of Ciprofloxacin eye drops around 2pm that afternoon and began administration as per instructions. At approximately 11pm that evening I awoke to use the restroom and as I lay back in bed I grabbed the eye drops off of my nightstand and administered a round of drops. I am not certain as to how much time passed as I fell fast asleep (for the last time that I have been able to naturally fall asleep in 1.9 years)… At approximately 11:40 p.m. I was literally jolted out of a sound sleep. My entire body was uncontrollably shaking and convulsing. I mean my ENTIRE body, my lips were quivering, my eye balls were quivering, literally moving back and forth. I was profusely sweating (the last time I have been able to sweat in 1.9 years) yet my extremities were freezing cold to the touch although they felt as if they were on fire burning with pins and needles and electrical shocks. I was seeing spots and flashes of light, amidst very blurred and distorted vision. I nearly lost control of my bladder and bowels, barely making it to the restroom. I was hearing very loud ticking, roaring and flapping sounds inside my ears. My heart was racing and I had anxiety that I still have a hard time finding the proper words to articulate. The word that best describes my condition is MANIA. Literally all hell broke loose in my body and brain. There was SEVERE pain and pressure in the the occipital region of my head, neck, face, teeth, and eyes. The vertebrae/joints in my neck and shoulders were popping and cracking. It feels as if all of the protective barrier/lubricant/moisture around your bones just melts off in a instant. With the risk of sounding melodramatic, I liken it to the scene in the movie “Interview With The Vampire” when the vampires are exposed to the sun and their bodies turn to ashen. I often tell my Dr. that I feel calcified. It’s as if the drug evaporated the lubrication from my body. I have mostly left sided damage, everything on the left side. I have no explanation for this. I often wonder if it’s because I am a left sided sleeper and if the drug drained primarily into the tissues of the left side. I wonder if it’s the fluoride in the drug. Those of us damaged by this drug are left to wonder and ponder many scenarios. I awoke my husband and told him,”Something terrible is happening to me. I am in a extreme state of anxiety losing control of my body”. (I was very acute and aware of what was going on). He immediately asked, “What have you done differently”? I replied, “Nothing, but using these prescription eye drops”. We took the prescription off of the nightstand and googled, “Can Cipro eye drops cause a anxiety attack”? Google led us to a sight called, “CIPRO IS POISON”. We read the site and deduced that I was having a allergic reaction. I computed how very little exposure I had through eye drops. Truly, a very minuscule exposure yet I was in this condition. I keep activated coal charcoal in my home in the event of a accidental poisoning to my pets or grandchildren. I went downstairs and immediately started a regimen of activated coal charcoal thinking that as soon as I get this drug out of my system I will be fine. I laid in bed the entire night curled up in fetal position shaking, convulsing, mind racing like a lunatic, sweating, having auditory and visual hallucinations and PRAYING for it all to stop. The next morning I had not improved so I called my Dr. She told me to go to the emergency room. I went to the emergency room and when I was assessed I had a elevated heart rate and blood pressure but my chemistry panel, liver enzymes, etc. all were normal. I was put on a anti anxiety medication to calm my nervous system. The medication had very little impact. I couldn’t sleep. I would stay awake for days at a time. 72 hours around the clock unable to sleep. I remained in the above mentioned condition for weeks with the exception to the sweating and entire body convulsing. The twitching and convulsing lessened to just my eyes and lips after a few days and I have had the inability to sweat since that night. What transpired in the following weeks, months and now years is the following…
- A loss of vision in my left eye. My vision is blurred with a inability to correct the deficit through corrective lens wear. I experience floaters, flashing lights, etc.
- Constant and at times debilitating pain and pressure in the occipital area, face, cervical spine, teeth, ear.
- Eustachian tube dysfunction, my left ear feels full and the pressure fluctuates with the slightest change in pressure.
- Insomnia, I had to take a anti anxiety medication (lorazepam) up until 1.6 years post Cipro exposure to fall asleep. I still to this day do not fall into a natural sleep state For the past 3 months I have been able to quit the lorazepam and take a all natural sleep supplement. My severe and generalized anxiety lasted for well over a year post Cipro. I took a anti anxiety medication daily for this condition. I had to take a anti anxiety medication for months post Cipro just to get my body twitching and convulsing to minimize. I am ELATED to report that I no longer suffer from the twitching and generalized anxiety and haven’t had to use any type of medication for this for the past several months.
- SEVERE weight loss, A inability to absorb, digest, process and eliminate food. My digestive system has shut down! I am a 47 year old 5″4″ woman whom weighed 133 pounds the night I administered the drops. Today I weigh 107 pounds. I have to receive IV nutrition because my body does not absorb food. I have several nutritional deficiencies that should not occur in this day and age. Vitamin C deficient for over a year. Think about that one. Vitamin C deficiency has not been an issue since the era of scurvy. Yet, despite all my extraordinary efforts to boost vitamin C, I remain deficient. Cipro depletes antioxidants, causes oxidative stress and mitochondrial damage that has a snowball effect on the body and the drug manufacturers and the FDA continue to turn a blind eye to this.
- Since the exposure and adverse reaction to Cipro, I have contracted a very serious antibiotic resistant Pseudomonas middle ear infection that traveled into my mastoid requiring IV antibiotics (according to one of the leading Otolaryngologist in CA this is a very rare infection typically only contracted by the hospitalized and immunocompromised), I have several bulging discs in my spine which I did not have prior to Cipro exposure, and I recently had a outbreak of shingles.
- Depersonalization- “A state of which one’s thoughts and feelings seem unreal or not to belong to oneself,or in which one loses all sense of identity”. For several months post my exposure, I experienced depersonalization. I lost my “spark”. I had a masked face, I felt no joy, I lived in a haze of brain fog. It was terrifying. The neuro toxic affects have been the MOST terrifying thing that I have ever experienced in my life. I am GRATEFUL that this has improved. I still have brain fog but I no longer experience depersonalization.
Lastly, FEAR,UNCERTAINTY and TRAUMA , this experience has “SHOOK ME TO THE CORE”. It’s still unbelievable to me. I cannot believe that one day, a minuscule administration of a antibiotic eye drop has had the resulting effect. I have a distinct life before and after Cipro. I can assure you there is no other cause for the downward spiral in my health. I had a immediate, extreme and violent reaction and 1.9 years later, I continue to wax and wane. I think it’s important to mention that I was very fortunate in the fact that my Dr. had no doubt that I was experiencing a neuro toxic/adverse reaction to the Fluoroquinolone eye drops and therefore, we immediately went to work trying to counteract the drug.I received the typical Western medicine battery of tests, brain and cervical MRI”s, CT scans, a plethora of blood work. I have spent tens of thousands of dollars out of pocket on holistic/naturopathic tests, diagnostics,healing modalities including but not limited to gene testing, nutritional testing, nutritional IV’s, cranial sacral therapy, acupuncture, reiki, etc. etc. etc. My tests show mitochondrial damage. My Dr. believes the drug causes central nervous system, autonomic nervous system, GABA receptor, limbic system damage. I think it’s human nature for someone reading this to say or to think, “Oh she must have had health issues, mental health issues etc. There must be some predisposition to all of this”. That is a entirely natural yet inaccurate and misconceived notion. The drug manufacturers and more importantly the FDA need to start taking my account and others accounts for what they are. I was a PERFECTLY healthy 45 year old woman whom had NEVER experienced any of the above prior to my administration of a Fluoroquinolone antibiotic. I don’t need validation from anyone, I am telling you what this drug can do. It damaged me immensely.I AGONIZE over the fact that these eye drops are administered to children. How does a child explain to you that the above is what they are experiencing?
I am very fortunate to have many resources available to me. I have a immediate family member whom is a surgeon, another whom is a attorney, both have aided in research and attempt to heal my adverse reaction. I have a exceptional PPO healthcare plan that has allowed me access to top medical professionals. I have explored every possible avenue of healing. Yet, 1.9 years post Cipro exposure I am still suffering with a multitude of damage from this drug. My story along with so many others, attests to the fact that “Fluoroquinolone’s do not discriminate”. There is not a “predisposition/at risk” profile. Administering Fluoroquinolone’s for a non life threatening and/or bacterial infection that would respond to another antibiotic is as unpredictable and irresponsible as engaging in a game of Russian Roulette. I am your daughter, your mother, your child, your sister, your best friend or YOU. This can happen to anyone. Please hear our voices…