One of my favorite podcasts is Entrepreneur on Fire with John Lee Dumas. It’s a fun and interesting podcast that fits just about perfectly into my commute. In it, John Lee Dumas interviews business owners about their entrepreneurship journey.
Because I relate everything in my life back to fluoroquinolone (FQ) toxicity, some things brought up on Entrepreneur on Fire often made me think about flox-related issues.
One thing that is brought up regularly on Entrepreneur on Fire is the power of networking. It seems that every time I talk with someone about FQ toxicity they say, “that happened to me,” or, “that happened to my husband, wife, sister, brother, mom, dad, uncle, aunt, child, neighbor, etc.” However, it also seems that no one outside of the “floxie” community really knows about FQ toxicity. It’s a strange combination of common and unheard of. It’s as if everyone thinks that they’re a rare case, or they internalize the lack of recognition of FQ toxicity in the medical community, or they assume that there must be other factors at play because antibiotics “don’t do that,” or they get better and don’t think about it any more.
I’m honestly not sure where the dissonance lies, and I am certainly biased in thinking that I see FQ toxicity everywhere, but I wonder if there just aren’t enough people talking about it. I wonder if, like in business, what is necessary for getting the word out about FQ toxicity is a whole lot of chatting about FQ toxicity and a whole lot of networking. If all of us who know about FQ toxicity shared something on our social media sites about FQ toxicity on a regular basis (daily, weekly, monthly – whatever you feel comfortable with), maybe more people would connect the dots and start talking about FQ toxicity. If people see articles or blog posts about FQ toxicity, maybe they’ll realize that they’re not alone in their suffering, or maybe people will start to believe that their loved one who is sick after taking a FQ isn’t just “being difficult,” or maybe people will think twice before taking a FQ themselves, or giving a FQ to a loved one. Maybe, if people hear about FQ toxicity enough, they’ll see that it’s a problem, and that something needs to be done about it.
I think that there is a lot of value in in-person networking and discussion of FQ toxicity as well as social media networking. Conversations can be initiated, and a lot of people can learn about the dangers of Cipro, Levaquin, Avelox and the other fluoroquinolones if, when we are asked, “What do you do?” those who know about FQ toxicity answer, “I’m a ____, and I also advocate for fluoroquinolone toxicity awareness,” or something like that. I understand that it’s not entirely healthy to base your identity in your sickness, but, in my case it’s an accurate description of my life. I spend more time and energy working on FQ toxicity advocacy than I do on my “real” job. If we all opened up the door to talk about FQ toxicity when networking, maybe we could not only make people more aware of FQ toxicity, maybe we could chat with the “right” person to advance our cause. You never know who someone is connected to. Maybe the next person that you chat with at a networking event is connected to a powerful doctor, or someone influential in the media, or whatever.
The book, “The Tipping Point” by Malcolm Gladwell, was brought up on Entrepreneur on Fire the other day. According to the back of the book, “The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire.” One day, FQ toxicity is going to reach a tipping point where it “spreads like wildfire,” and people know that fluoroquinolones are dangerous drugs that cause multi-symptom illness. One day, everyone will know how foolish it is to disrupt the DNA and RNA replication process of bacteria and mitochondria with chemo drugs masquerading as antibiotics. One day, it will be seen as a crime against humanity that these drugs were given out to children with ear infections. We’ll get to that tipping point where everyone realizes the dangers of fluoroquinolones, as us “floxies” do. Talking about FQ toxicity incessantly, and networking and sharing information, insights and stories is how we will reach the FQ toxicity awareness “tipping point.” And once the tipping point is reached, change will occur.
As Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” We change the world, and we reach the tipping point, one person at a time. We contact people, we take opportunities that are in front of us, and we create change – through networking, sharing and talking. It will behoove us to take tips from successful entrepreneurs – network, talk, spread ideas and knowledge, sell our world-view, etc. until the tipping point is reached.