I’m not the man I used to be

My life has changed in the last 3 months and sadly it’s for the worse at the moment. The impact of the adverse effects from the Ciprofloxacin I was prescribed have had a dramatic impact on my quality of life and of those around me. When the plethora of symptoms started to appear, abruptly and almost simultaneously, I went from a relatively healthy and active 46 year old guy to a man that felt 20 years older overnight. I was unable to walk even short distances, unable to sleep, I was suffering ever changing pains and neuropathic symptoms and the end result of this is that my emotions and anxiety levels have been on a rollercoaster ever since.

Am I getting better? That’s the million dollar question that no one can answer. I have seen some improvements, my legs although weaker are not as painful as they were a month ago although this varies from one day to the next. However the muscle loss is very noticeable which not only means I have less strength but also that the muscles tire very quickly. The areas on my legs, arms, shoulders and neck where tendons join to my skeleton and muscles are tender and often give me sharp pains, likely due to collagen damage. My joints grate and click all the time still and I hope that there isn’t more damage being done there. My left elbow has been sore and painful for 6 weeks or so now and isn’t showing signs of improving. I do have much less pain that relates to peripheral neuropathy i.e the burning sensations, painful eyes, twitches, tingles, vibrations etc.. are 90% better. I do have sore/numb teeth at the moment, the odd eye twitch and the odd pain in a finger here and there but it’s not restricting my life.  My sleep patterns have improved since I started drinking tart cherry juice, whether that’s a coincidence I don’t know but I’m getting 5 to 6 hours sleep instead of the 3 to 4 I was getting before I started drinking it so that is an improvement .

The way this reaction has aged my skin, leaving me with wrinkles, age marks and new moles in such a short time has both concerned me from the medical aspect in that I have no idea what processes are going on inside my body to cause that and also from the emotional aspect in so much as I feel older when I look at myself in the mirror, I don’t like that very much at all.

It’s clear that these drugs and many others chip away at our bodies natural defenses and often without it being apparent to us or the doctors around us. Sure, we may appear to recover from an infection but at what cost? What damage has been done that is sat waiting to manifest itself at a later date in some other illness or condition. I was prescribed a drug based on a “hunch” that it might help but not told of the potential risk and I am angry about that. These are peoples lives that may be affected forever, I’m sure that more thought would be taken on prescribing these if the patient was a relative of the doctors or the doctors themselves.

So how am I “feeling” at the moment? Not great if I’m being truthful. Every day I wake up and I wonder how the day will progress, will I have some new symptom or will an old one raise it’s head? I continue to “treat” my condition by eating healthy, taking supplements to try and support the bodies natural healing and trying to stay positive. What else can I do?  The psychological aspect of this is the most difficult to counter, for me at least. This whole thing couldn’t have come at a worse time as I was already dealing with the whole reaching “midlife” situation. The time of life that for many people is difficult to come to terms with and is certainly made worse by not having your parents around anymore. The feeling that each year passes ever more quickly and that the time to do all the things on your bucket list is rapidly decreasing was bad enough but to now have all of that put on hold or possibly even have things you may now never do is pretty devastating. Not that I’m rolling over and giving up, I’m determined to get back to health but some days it feels like an enormous mountain to climb and there is no guide to lead you to the top and no maps to tell you how far is left to go.

I’ve found both comfort and anxiety from researching this condition online. Often we go searching for reassurance and confirmation that something we are experiencing others are experiencing also. This knowledge that we are not alone can at times offer comfort, “I’m not alone after all”, “others are going through the same things that I am”. But it can also have the reverse effect at times when the the harbingers of doom arrive and try to erase any amount of hope you have that you might get better. I’ve seen situations were it almost seems like a competition is going on as to who can have the most severe or long term condition and that every ailment they have must be as a result of “floxing”. Then you read the “oh and I had this before floxing” and “I’ve always had xxxx but it’s worse now” etc.. and you question everything that is being said. The problem is no one really knows whether all the conditions they have are as a result of taking these medications or whether they would have ended up with some of them anyway but it’s easy to put 2+2 together.

It’s very frustrating when you see someone asking for some positive comments about people’s recoveries and the first response is something like “Forget it, you’re screwed, there’s no coming back from this… bla bla bla”. Whether that’s the thruth or not neither party knows because some people, probably lots of people, do get better to some degree. Those comments are not helpful in the slightest and only serve to demoralize the people concerned, which seems to be the goal for some people.

Then again I have made contact with some very supportive people who have gone through or are going through this nightmare. There are groups out there who can offer support and not remove the hope that you will recover. Hope is incredibly important, it’s hard to hold on to, but essential to keep you focused. The recovery stories on Floxiehope.com at least offer a chance of recovery however long that might have taken.

So today I’m not the man I used to be, in many ways. My physical body has taken a beating and I just hope that time will help it recover. My emotions are up and down from one day to the next and that has a huge impact on my outlook for the future but I’m holding on to that future with both hands.





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