I really appreciate that the FDA has put the word “permanent” on the warning labels of fluoroquinolones. “The nerve damage may be permanent” is now stated under the peripheral neuropathy section of the side-effects listed. Permanent. Physicians may take note; they can do permanent damage to their patients with these drugs. It may make them think twice. It may make them realize the severity of the adverse effects of fluoroquinolones. They may see that they can do damage with these drugs that they can’t fix. Permanent damage.
While it is wonderfully validating to see the words “The nerve damage may be permanent” on the updated label for Cipro, there’s a part of me that hates that word – permanent. It’s a word that steals people’s hope. It’s a word that feeds into fear, hopelessness and suicidal ideation. It’s a word of doom.
You are not doomed. There is nothing about you that is permanent. Nothing is permanently damaged. Nothing is permanently perfect. We are all in a state of flux, all the time. Sure we’re all decaying a bit, it’s the nature of living things, but we are also growing and healing. People recover from this. They do. I did. Lots of other people have recovered too. There are stories of hope and healing on this site. Sure, it’s not a huge number of stories right now, but the site has only been up for a couple of months and, well, the people who have healed have moved on with their lives. If I may be so audacious, I would say that MOST people recover, with time. It’s a really long, rough, painful, scary road, but people get down it. People get to the end. They recover. I hope that you can find the strength to believe that you will recover too. If you can’t find that strength today, I hope that you can find it tomorrow. Because this life is worth fighting for. Not only your health, but your hope and your spirit are worth fighting for as well.
As someone said in one of the fluoroquinolone victim support group sites, “no side effect can be proven permanent until you’re dead.” True.
So hang in there folks. I know that it’s a trite thing to say, and I apologize for that, but I mean it. Just take one breath at a time. You can get through this. Bayer and Johnson & Johnson may have kicked you, but they didn’t kill you. You’re still here. You can recover. Have hope. Try. ‘Cause it’s only permanent if it kills you, and it didn’t.