Kristin Weber put her story of fluoroquinolone toxicity on Hormones Matter. I encourage you all to read it:
It is beautiful, thoughtful, poignant, honest and heart-wrenching.
Here are some of my favorite quotes from it (all are direct quotes, re-printed with the author’s permission). She writes beautifully and I get shivers reading her story.
“Now imagine spending three entire years dealing with this, suffering in ways you never imagined possible, every day bringing a new version of misery. Some days you can’t walk without pain. Some days your hands and feet burn all day. Some days a migraine slurs your speech, and makes you feel cross-eyed with distorted limbs, and joints twisted up like a pretzel. Some days you feel electrocuted; other days fatigue leaves you with leaden limbs, a supreme effort required for every move. Some days you’ll experience all of the above, and then some.”
“Your small child will grow into a young adult. Much later, you’ll grieve the time you lost with him while in a sickly fog, struggling to work and maintain a semblance of a life. You’ll find yourself making post-death requests to the universe, just in case there is an afterlife, to please let you come back and spend that time with your child. Please let you immerse yourself in those precious, fleeting moments, and enjoy and love him without the weight of illness and misery and constant worry that overshadows any joy life holds.”
“Then, a miracle will occur: like a phoenix rising from the ashes, little glimmers of your long-lost self will begin to return. You’ll remember who you are beyond this sickly, lost person. You’ll realize that beyond your suffering lies an untouchable spirit that will always exist. That illness cannot break you. It may seem to at times, but it cannot change who you are at your very core, no matter how much pain or suffering your body is experiencing. This thought will comfort you in inexplicable ways.”
“The second gift will be in recognizing the lessons which surviving hardship brought you – lessons about perseverance, inner strength, self-worth, confidence, humility, compassion, and forgiveness – and realizing you wouldn’t trade the growth born from these lessons, even if it meant reliving your health struggle all over again. (Though you will still long to have learned them less painfully, would that have been an option.) You’ll realize that, paradoxically, your isolating, alienating illnesses indirectly revealed your underlying connection to everyone you share the world with. You’ll know that although you wouldn’t consider illness a friend, it has certainly been one of your most powerful teachers.”
“You’ll know that saving even one person from the suffering you endured will be worth the potential disbelief, and even ridicule, that may come your way through the telling of your story. You’ll know that you no longer need anyone else to validate your illnesses, or any of your experiences, for that matter. Because, ultimately, your health ordeal has taught you to stand in your own truth with confidence – no matter what others believe, no matter how they might judge you.”
“We also need to change our response to people living with mystery illnesses our medical establishment does not yet acknowledge or understand how to treat, hopefully with more open-mindedness, curiosity, and compassion instead of judgment and dismissive skepticism. Think about this: didn’t most newly discovered illnesses, at one time, begin with a general lack of understanding and acceptance within the medical world? To act as though today’s medical knowledge base is static and impervious to change via new discoveries is misguided and harmful. But every time people – especially doctors – dismiss patients with a condescending disbelief in their illness, clinging tightly to old paradigms, they are effectively halting further scientific understanding for themselves, and potentially the rest of the world as well. They are also denying vital support, empathy, and care to people who suffer.”
Every word in FLUOROQUINOLONE POISONING: A TALE FROM THE TWILIGHT ZONE touches my soul. It’s a profound and beautifully-written story, and I encourage you all to read it in its entirety (it’s 4 pages long, be sure to scroll through each page) and to share it with loved ones. Thank you, Kristin, for speaking out so eloquently.