Survivor’s Guilt after Fluoroquinolone Toxicity

Guilt is such a useless emotion.  It induces stress and anxiety for no good reason.  Guilt feels horrible.  It feels like a kick to the gut; a twist in the heart and the soul.

A particularly useless form of guilt is survivor’s guilt.  On top of being useless and destructive, it’s narcissistic.  I feel better but you still feel lousy and that makes me feel bad – as if I have any control over how you feel.  Yuck.  Seriously, it’s disgustingly narcissistic.  It is ridiculous and I know it.

Yet I feel it.  I have been having horrible survivor’s guilt lately.  My stomach has been in knots over the fact that people are suffering.  It hurts me to hear stories of pain and hardship, and it especially hurts me to hear stories of injustice.  Everyone who has been hurt by the pharmaceutical industry, who is suffering because of a stupid drug, is suffering not only physically, but also from a grave injustice.

I want to stop this injustice from occurring.  I see the injustice.  Not everyone sees it.  It’s not real to most people.  But I see it.  It is very real me and to all the other people who have lived through it or who are affected by it.  I see it, but I can’t seem to stop it, and this makes me feel horrible.  I feel guilty.  I feel guilty about not doing more to change the system.  I feel guilty about not warning the people who got hurt after me.  I feel horrible about not doing more.

It’s funny that this feeling has come up as I’ve started to do something about the travesty that is Floxing (I’m thinking that this blog is “something” – you can disagree).  While I was doing nothing, just focusing on healing myself, not focusing on changing the world, I didn’t feel guilty about anyone else’s suffering.  Now that I’ve started reaching out to people, now that I see that my words can have power, I feel horrible about the fact that I’m not doing enough, that my words don’t have as much power as I’d like them to, that I didn’t use the power of my words earlier.

I’m sorry.  I really am.  I’m sorry for your pain and I’m sorry for not preventing it.  I’m really sorry for being narcissistic and whiny about it too.  And I’m trying.  Truly.  I’m doing what I think I can.  These systems that we’re fighting are really big and powerful.  But I’m still trying.  I’m doing my best.

I am way too sensitive to be an activist.  I’m way too sensitive to be a fighter.  But I don’t really see what choice I have.  People are being hurt.  I have to do something to stop it.  I have to try.  The world needs people who try.  Who am I not to try?

So, I’ll deal with the higher blood pressure and the stupid, stupid guilt.  I’ll even deal with knowing that I’m a narcissist.  Because this fight is worth fighting.  Hopefully I’ll learn how to make it less painful at some point.


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16 thoughts on “Survivor’s Guilt after Fluoroquinolone Toxicity

  1. Lola Campagnuolo September 3, 2013 at 2:00 pm Reply

    Excellent as usual…

  2. erin September 3, 2013 at 2:08 pm Reply

    This fight is worth fighting. Excellent self discovery here Lisa. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER GIVE UP. We will stop this or die trying.

    • bisa1979 September 3, 2013 at 2:52 pm Reply

      Yup! Thank you for all that you’re doing, Erin!

  3. Anna Zolotnitskaya September 3, 2013 at 2:35 pm Reply

    Thank you for everything you do

    • bisa1979 September 3, 2013 at 2:54 pm Reply

      Thank you, Anna! That is too kind of you. I appreciate your kind words none the less. 🙂

  4. Jan Bush September 3, 2013 at 4:13 pm Reply

    You’ve touched many lives and that has created a chain reaction that does more than you can imagine! May your light keep shining bright!

  5. Lisa September 3, 2013 at 7:19 pm Reply

    You may call it guilt but I would call it inspiration to those of us still fighting the fight. I have improved a great deal and my heart aches for those who took so much more of this devastating medication than I did and are much worse off than I ever was as hard as that is for me to imagine, Your story along with the other success stories offer HOPE, something that is hard to find but so necessary for healing. Thank you for that.

    • bisa1979 September 3, 2013 at 9:07 pm Reply

      Thank you, Lisa! I am so glad that you have found hope for healing through these stories! I hope that you continue to get better indefinitely.

      I appreciate the comment and the compliment! For some reason it’s difficult for me to say, but you’re welcome. I’m glad that I could help.

  6. Mark September 8, 2013 at 3:56 pm Reply

    Don’t feel guilty. The industry that prescribes these drugs without much warning is at fault. I would just like to tell you that this blog really is helpful to me. I am 20 years old and I got floxed with Cipro about 2,5 months ago. I am experiencing different problems each day and almost each couple hours. At first my physician didn’t believe me but after a hospital doctor, who checked my progress, told me he had other patients before with reactions i suddenly had the support of my physician. My father has trouble with it but a lot of other family and friends are supportive and helpful.

    I am confident i’ll get over this as over the last few weeks some of the problems seem to go away all be it slowly. Like many of the stories here said it takes a lot of time and rest. For now i am struggling with muscle decrease and pain. Did you experience anything like that when you were floxed?

    Again a big thank you for writing this blog. It really helped me when the only things i could find were stories of pain.

  7. Mary January 6, 2014 at 11:19 am Reply

    I am empathic and sometimes I had to walk away from the forums as my healing wouldn’t progress if I am worrying about others. It is difficult. Thank you for sharing.

    • Lisa Bloomquist January 8, 2014 at 11:36 am Reply

      Me too. I get just as angry about the pain that others are experiencing as I do about my own pain. I recovered, thank God. I hope the same for everyone. If there is anything that I am doing to put a dent in this attrocity, well, I am succeeding at something. It’s worth the pain – for me.

      Thank you for your comment! Finding a balance is difficult. I hope that you find a good one that includes both health and empowerment. 🙂


  8. Suzanne January 6, 2014 at 12:54 pm Reply

    In this case, doing something is always better than doing nothing. Don’t feel guilty. Feel blessed. Know that those of us suffering are happy you have healed. That is a good thing! Take breaks if you need to and fight when you can.

  9. John October 19, 2014 at 5:54 pm Reply

    Thank you Lisa

  10. Nick October 19, 2014 at 6:02 pm Reply

    Do not feel sad, weak, or guilt. Embrace your angst, your love, and your fury! You are a great person, and are doing great things.

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