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.
Great post. You are not alone, as you know. It’s been two years and counting for me after being floxxed by only 2 levaquin pills – life changed. We’ve got to keep going.
Thank you for your comment (and sorry it took me 2 months to reply!). You’re right, we do have to keep going – what else can we do? I hope you find some relief soon. I was still pretty bad off at 2 years out, but worlds better now in comparison.
Wow! Your story exactly resembles mine with adverse reactions to Cipro. I was given Cipro with Vioxx and not one doctor, pharmacy, or hospital cared what they were doing to me at 26 years old. I had all over body weakness to the point of needing a wheelchair and a host of other bizarre symptoms. They blamed me instead of the medication. Willful ignorance by the medical community. Kudos to you for continuing on and living your daily life despite the pain and anguish. That is pretty much all anyone that experienced this horrible pain can do anymore. That, and get the word out and hoping someone will listen! I wish you well and admire your strength to write a blog!
You took the words right out of my mouth! Nicely written. For me, the last 8 years, the worst. That’s when I finally figured out what was happening to me … I had lots of time to teach myself to use a computer while BEDRIDDEN! My suspicions prompted me to do a thorough search for my prescription histories from all pharmacies that I could remember, dating back 22 years which was the first time that I had had bizarre disabling issues with my body. Bizarre because nothing had happened to bring them all on. What did I find … Norfloxacin! So I mapped out a timeline from then, of every time ‘the bizarre’ repeated … and lo and behold, one of my Ciprofloxacin prescriptions was there!
Well … armed with that, I had thought that now I was going to be understood and to be able to get help. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA
YOU KNOW THE REST OF THE STORY.
Sometimes, I think that I would have been better of not ‘connecting the dots’ because it’s only served to increase the pain and frustration!
Anyone traumatized by the Adverse Reactions to the point of now suffering from PTSD, as myself?
As a shadow of my former self, I must fade away for now.
Thanks again for creating this platform to vent.
If there are any Canadians out there suffering from these drugs, please make yourself known here and we’ll try to connect. (possible Class Action!)
Hi Carolyn. Thank you for your comment, and sorry it took me so long to reply. I know what you mean about part of you wishing you hadn’t connected the dots. Part of me wishes I could have remained blissfully ignorant of this issue as well. It’s absolutely insane that so many of us exist in the world, knowing our plight is being largely ignored while more and more people join our ranks on a daily basis. Someday FQ Toxicity will be recognized, though – there will simply be too many of us to be overlooked any longer. Oh, and yes, I also suffer from medical-induced PTSD. It was so bad in the beginning that I would cry and have a panic attack before making a doctor’s appointment over the phone. It’s gotten much better, but I still have it. I hear EMDR therapy is wonderful for PTSD, but it’s really not feasible for me right now. Maybe someday. Anyway, I’m sorry for all you’ve been through as a result of FQ poisoning, and I hope you find relief from your suffering soon.
Thanks for your reply. I wonder if it’s possible for you to send me my past comment in it’s entirety. I meant to copy it before I sent it. I have been procrastinating about writing my story because of the time & pain it will take to do so. That comment to you was my first attempt. Thanks, Carolyn
PS: Glad to see you are back!
Sure, Carolyn, I’ll send it in a few minutes. Let me know whether you get it. I totally understand – it was hard for me to write my story as well, but I forced myself for the DC rally booklet. Now I’m procrastinating writing my MCS story. It’s just so hard to revisit the hardship and despair from those early days.
All your posts mirror my own situation… 95%. I’d love to communicate privately .. esp. about the ass issue. Sorry.
The website is giving me problems though. Thx. Carolyn
I’ll send you an email, Carolyn, and you can reply. 🙂
Thank you for your comment, Cat. Believe me, this blog would never have happened had my brain not improved from those early days when I could barely string two sentences together! I wish you well, too. I’m sorry for your suffering, and hope that you experience healing eventually.
How are you doing now….hopefully better! I was also floxed 10 times ….last time 1-2013….with severe crisis. Hope you are doing better.
I also completely fell apart. Was a special ed teacher became a student. Couldn’t read, drive or think,,,,,felt I would die.