I’m glad you asked. I though it was an apt name for my blog, as it’s my attempt to grow as a person in the midst of my hardships in this world. What hardships? Well, I was poisoned by the antibiotic Cipro almost 6 years ago. As a result, I have numerous health issues which have gone unacknowledged by the medical community. While my daily life is not nearly as hellacious as it was the first three years, I have enough leftover ailments to remind me of my ordeal on a daily basis. Good times.
But why dystopia? After all, aren’t we living in a free society, and arguably the best in the world at that? I could expound upon the subtle ways most of us are actually enslaved under the guise of freedom, but instead I’ll focus on the reason I’m writing this blog to begin with: my particular hardships are not unique. Thousands upon thousands of people are becoming ill through chemical and pharmaceutical poisoning, and many of us are thrown to the wolves by our doctors and left to rot on our own. Instead of being helped when we most desperately need it, or even shown a modicum of compassion by those to whom we have entrusted our health, we are cast aside and labeled mentally ill. Some, like me, are told we have Conversion Disorder. In other words, we’re making it all up in our minds, and our bodies are becoming sick as a result.
Meanwhile, pharmaceutical companies KNOW Fluoroquinolones are powerful chemotherapeutic agents capable of producing severe adverse reactions, but they purposefully minimize warnings and over-inflate these drugs’ safety profiles. Similarly, chemical companies know MCS is a real, physiological condition, yet they, too, minimize the potential of their products to cause it, and actively try to discredit MCS as a real disorder. Why would they do that? Duh…these multi-billion dollar industries have a vested interest in keeping these health issues quiet. I mean, it makes sense: why WOULD they acknowledge them? It would shake the very foundation upon which their sickening fortunes (pun intended) are built. Like true abusers of power, they don’t acknowledge their role, but instead blame the victim. We’re somatizing, you see. Googling too much. We impressionable dolts need to stay off the internet – there’s a mass delusion afoot! As one of my former doctors said in the midst of my worst suffering, “There’s no such ‘syndrome’ caused by Cipro. I think you need Prozac.” I think he needed a bottle of Cipro shoved up his ass, but I digress.
Anyway, my point is that not only are countless people being poisoned every day, but the extent of the problem is being vehemently denied and minimized by not only corporate giants, but doctors, and family and friends of the victims as well. We are often labeled crazy conspiracy theorists, and then cast aside from society, left on the sidelines to watch the rest of the world being slowly poisoned while we suffer alone. People just can’t fathom that an FDA approved antibiotic is capable of causing such extensive damage to the human body, so they bury their heads in the sand. Some people I know have even decided to take Fluoroquinolones after witnessing what they did to me. I can’t say I blame them, though. They trust their doctors and the FDA just like I did, until my horrific suffering shattered that trust. Hopefully they will never exceed their body’s threshold of tolerance for Fluoroquinolones, or they’ll become intimate with a level of suffering they never imagined possible. Then they’ll learn that nobody is doing anything to figure out what happened to their bodies, or how to fix it. (Well, some members of my support group are trying, but results take time.) They’ll be on their own like I was, praying their suffering only lasts a few weeks, months, or years. Longing for the days when a simple over the counter medication could provide relief. When a doctor visit for an ailment would yield results, and they could move on with their lives. Because once you’ve succumbed to Fluoroquinolone poisoning, those days are over – possibly forever.
All of this sounds a little goddamned dystopian to me. Actually, it’s such a fucked up aspect of our world that I have a hard time functioning in it. Many times I have longed for the courage to leave this Twilight Zone marathon I seem to be living in. (Or is it more Groundhog Day? Eh – it’s kind of both.) But, I won’t. After much physical and mental suffering, I decided to make the most of my remaining years on earth by living the best possible life in spite of my hardships, in spite of the dystopian way the world seems to be operating. I am determined to flourish as much as I possibly can – to synthesize my suffering into growth through whatever adverse conditions life brings, until my time is truly up. Like flowers that bloom in the harsh winter, or grow triumphantly through cracks in the concrete, I will persevere. My flowers might be fucked up, distorted mutations of my former self, but sometimes distortions are beautiful in their own right. And sometimes great beauty is an unexpected byproduct of pain.
So welcome to my dystopian flower garden, fellow sufferers and casual observers alike. Let’s see what blooms here in the “After Cipro” version of my life.