These beautiful words were written by Catherine Zimmerman:
Grief and loss are a part of living with fluoroquinolone injuries. While living with this post drug-induced reality, we must take time to grieve. Whether you are the survivor or supporter of the floxed, part of recovery includes tending to grief.
My adult son was floxed in October. I took a leave of absence from my job to support him and his family during the early days of complete disability. His profound loss of health, the many unknowns about the extent and trajectory of his injuries and the uncertain pathway to healing create a context for a complex grief process. Yet little has been written about the need to acknowledge our grief, and the important work of mourning. Grief occurs as the result of how profoundly fluorquinolones change lives, thrusting individuals and families into a state of disequilibrium caused by illness.
There are many potential losses associated with fluoroquinolone injuries including the loss of health and all the small daily activities and certainties that health affords. Roles such as family breadwinner or athlete may also be altered, and the many small roles that make up the simple pleasures of daily life – may also be beyond reach. A person who has been floxed loses the certainty of health. Changes may occur in terms of how life is centered… now time, energy and money are consumed by managing symptoms and how to survive and heal the body. An image of oneself as strong and capable may be replaced by an acceptance of the how fragile we really are, if one little pill can so totally alter our lives.
Each perceived loss is felt and therefore must be grieved. It is necessary to mourn our losses… even as family members, caregivers and supporters. If those we love have been floxed, their lives and ours have been altered. As a mental health professional, I recommend acknowledging these losses through a conscious grief journey. Be willing to learn about grief and mourning. Find the courage to talk about your grief. Surround yourself with those who will listen. You are not crazy and you are not alone.
Thank you, Catherine, for so beautifully articulating how many fluoroquinolone victims and loved ones feel.