Lynn F’s Story

Female 1My name is Lynn F. I am 58 years old. I live in White River Junction, Vermont.

My doctor prescribed Cipro to me in June, 2014, when I was diagnosed with diverticulitis. Since then my health has deteriorated to the point that I am unable to live the life I once enjoyed and I am afraid I am going to be unable to work to earn a living. I do not want to be disabled.

My doctor has dismissed my patient complaints. This July he refused to perform any tests (except for Lyme Disease) and he refused to refer me to another physician for tests. At my July appointment he refused to have a conversation with me concerning my Cipro prescription and Cipro adverse reactions..

I have been out of work since August this year. My symptoms vacillate. Some days I am not able to get out of bed/not able to eat/not able to perform toileting without assistance and some days I am able to dress myself and leave my house but unable to exercise critical thinking skills required to survive in life (like reporting to work or like driving my automobile to another city to visit relatives). Some days I feel like I am dying.

My symptoms are bizarre. Since I received Cipro in June, 2014, I have experienced unintentional loss of body weight. I have had numerous muscular aches and pains. I have experienced cognitive impairment, ranging from stuttering and stammering for words when I try to speak to finding myself lost in my own house. I have had tendonitis in my right elbow (tennis elbow) and my left elbow (golf elbow) and my right shoulder (rotator cuff) and my left knee (tendon sheath thickening). Since July this year, when my doctor told me I need to “get a desk job and take a yoga class” to feel better, I have developed peripheral neuropathy in my left forearm and left hand, my left lower leg and toes, the left side of my face to my nose, the left side of my face across my forehead, my lips, and most recently, my right lower leg. I have strange stabbing pains in my eyes and sometimes in my feet. My skin has lost all spring and elasticity. I look like I have aged 15 to 20 years because I have folds of skin in places where I never had fat (like the back of my hands, my neck, my legs. I have lost all desire to have sexual relations. My hormones are weird,–I even came out of menopause and had a week-long period for the first time in over three years. I am fearful and increasingly distrustful of people outside of my immediate circle of family and friends. I am exhausted. In essence, I am no longer me. My life has been stolen from a drug that was prescribed to me for infection prevention.

Today I can hardly afford to eat. I cannot pay my bills. My job provides disability insurance for employees (I work at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center) but it only covers my health insurance deductions. Sometimes I have to make a choice to buy food or to go without food to buy over the counter health supplements to manage my symptoms. With no help from my prescribing physician, I have had to struggle to understand what my body is doing. I had to radically change my diet. I eliminated gluten, dairy, meat, sugar, caffeine and alcohol. Most food is toxic to me and if I eat it my symptoms worsen. Today I eat organic, locally grown and in-season vegetables. I cannot eat meat unless it is local, organic and anti-biotic free. I buy non-GMO labelled food. I am paying more for food now than before Cipro…and I am eating less.

My hope is that I can eat clean, take over the counter supplements and try to regain some health that I have lost since Cipro and return to my job without exacerbating my health condition. My fear is that I will kill myself trying to bring home a paycheck while I am sick…and dismissed by my doctor.

I am outraged that doctors hand-out FQ antibiotics to patients as if the drugs were candy. It is criminal. As for my own life,–I am grieving. I don’t recognize myself in the mirror anymore. I am too weak to fight. I am afraid I will just give up.

Stop the FQ antibiotic madness. It is immoral. It is an act against humanity.