Do you remember that scene in The Matrix where Neo (Keanu Reeves) is offered the pills by Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne)? He has the choice, he can take the red pill and see the real world, or he can take the blue pill and remain in the façade world, the Matrix. He takes the red pill and he breaks out of the fantasy façade world and enters the real world – a place of destruction and suffering.
I took the red pill. I actually took 14 red pills. I’m not sure which one triggered the reaction in my system that changed my perspective entirely, but I see the world differently now, as a result of being floxed. It would be horribly narcissistic for me to say that I see the “real” world now and that few others do, and I don’t mean that. What I mean is that I see the world differently now than I did before, and that there are some things that I believe to be true that never even occurred to me before. I broke out of my own personal Matrix, with those pills; those 14 fateful, life-altering pills.
This perspective shift is not unique to me, or to being floxed. Whenever people experience a betrayal, whenever something that they assume is safe and protective turns out not to be, their perspective changes and they see the world differently. Usually this is a bad thing. People become jaded and bitter, assuming that they are going to get hurt again because they got hurt in the past. I would like to think that this hasn’t happened to me. I’m still pretty trusting. But I do see things differently. I’ll let you judge for yourself if these things that I now believe are jaded and bitter or if they reflect the “real” world.
I now see:
- No one is looking out for patients. The FDA isn’t (duh). Doctors, Pharmacists and the other people directly involved in the medical system aren’t. The legal system isn’t. No one is. The medical system doesn’t get to be the 4th leading cause of death of Americans by having the proper checks and balances that focus on patient safety and protection. (Of course, there are plenty of individuals who are looking out for the best interest of patients, but the system, as a whole, is not.)
- Much of medicine relies on magic, not science. Officially, the mechanism by which fluoroquinolones cause tendon, CNS, kidney, liver, etc. damage is unknown. (source 1) Scientists and doctors state, most of them truthfully, that they have no idea how these drugs mess people up. It is also claimed that much is unknown about the way these drugs work to kill bacteria – the thing that they are supposed to do. If the mechanism by which a drug works, and sometimes doesn’t work, is unknown, the reliance is on magic and faith to get the desired outcome, not science. Doctors claim that their pills and potions are backed up by science, but they’re not. They’re backed up by faith in a broken system. BTW – the mechanism by which fluoroquinolones both kill bacteria and damage every cell in a person’s body is by forming a poisonous adduct to DNA. This was found, then immediately ignored, in 1998. Here’s the article – http://www.jbc.org/content/273/42/27668.full (source 2)
- Doctor’s rely on anecdotal evidence all the time, but patients aren’t allowed to.
- No matter how many peer-reviewed, scientific journal articles show the danger of a drug, doctors will believe that the scientific evidence supports its use until it is removed from the market. Similarly, no matter how sick a drug makes people, it won’t be taken off the market unless…. I’m not sure…. Because flat-out causing cancer isn’t enough to get Humira (source 3) and Enbrel (source 4) removed from the market. Perhaps damaging the DNA of humans will be enough to get fluoroquinolones removed from the market (read source 1 and 2), but I doubt that it will be.
- Fluoroquinolone damage is everywhere. A large portion of the people who are diagnosed with autoimmune diseases, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, leaky gut syndrome, anxiety, depression, dementia, arthritis etc. are actually suffering from fluoroquinolone toxicity. (Of course, those diseases are real on their own, and there are many factors that cause them, but fluoroquinolone toxicity is one of the causes that isn’t even considered.)
- If enough people repeat a mantra enough times, it will be seen as true, no matter what the evidence against it. It almost makes me laugh, reading articles that point out the damage that fluoroquinolones can do to mammalian cells that follow that presentation of damning evidence with the conclusion that they “have an excellent safety record.” (source 5)
I could go on, but I’ll leave it at that.
I have largely healed from getting floxed. I fluctuate between 95-100% of my pre-floxing capacity. Life has continued. As I live my normal life, and feel fine while doing so, the memories from being sick fade. Sickness is no longer my reality. It is no longer shaping my day-to-day life. It is no longer warping my perspective and shattering my trust in the medical system. Normalcy has resumed and the trivial has, again, taken over. It would be easy for me to go back into the Matrix, the façade world where I don’t understand how “mysterious” ailments occur, and to think that the systems that are in place to protect and sustain us are working as they should. Undoubtedly, it would be healthier for me to leave my “Floxie” world behind and to go back to what everyone else considers to be the real world. As a healthy person, I can do that if I choose to.
But I’m choosing not to. I’m choosing to stay in the “Floxie” world. I am choosing the version of reality, of truth, that I had when I was sick. It may not be the healthiest thing in the world for me to do, but it feels like the right thing to do. People are sickened by these drugs every day. Their world is shaken to the core when their health, their pain-free, happy, trusting existence is brutally stolen from them. It seems like the right thing for me to do to continue to see their pain, to acknowledge their struggles, and to fight the broken systems that are perpetuating the sickening of innocent people. It feels right to stay in the dark and gloomy “real” world and fight the Agent Smith’s of the world who want to keep us trapped and sick. So I will continue to do so. The Matrix, with its niceties wrapped in naiveté, is enticing, but I prefer to know the truth.
- Sarah H. Elsea, Neil OsheroffST, and John L. Nitissll, Cytotoxicity of Quinolones toward Eukaryotic Cells: IDENTIFICATION OF TOPOISOMERASE II AS THE PRIMARY CELLULAR TARGET FOR THE QUINOLONE CP-115,953 IN YEAST* Vol. 267, No. 19, Issue of July 5, pp. 13150-13153, 1992 THE JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY 0 1992 bv The American Societv for Biochemistrv and Molecular Bioloev. Inc. Printed inn.’S.A. http://www.jbc.org/content/267/19/13150.full.pdf+html
- Arkady B. Khodursky and Nicholas R. Cozzarelli, The Mechanism of Inhibition of Topoisomerase IV by Quinolone Antibacterials* 10.1074/jbc.273.42.27668 October 16, 1998 The Journal of Biological Chemistry, 273, 27668-27677. http://www.jbc.org/content/273/42/27668.full
- FDA warning label for Humira – http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2012/125057s232lbl.pdf
- FDA warning label for Enbrel – http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2012/103795s5507lbl.pdf
- Stahlmann R., “Safety profile of the quinolones,” Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. 1990 Nov;26 Suppl D:31-44. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2286589