Healing from Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Takes Time, Perseverance, Strength, and Kindness

Ruth wrote this as an update/guest post. You can read Ruth’s story of fluoroquinolone toxicity in “Ruth’s Story – Cipro Toxicity.” You can also listen to Ruth’s story through her episode of The Floxie Hope Podcast. Ruth has offered her insight and wisdom to thousands of “floxies” over the years. As of the publishing of this post, her story has almost 1,600 comments. If you read through them, you will see how Ruth has generously given her time, insight, wisdom, and advice to those who are struggling. The comments are just a small sampling of what she has given to the fluoroquinolone toxicity community. Ruth has given so much to others while going through the ups and downs of fluoroquinolone toxicity herself. She is a kind, thoughtful, generous, person, and I am honored to call her a friend. As you will see from the post below, she can use a bit of encouragement and appreciation, so I’ll take the time to say thank you to her. THANK YOU, RUTH! 

Floxiehope update 7/19/18

I’m not 100% healed yet. I had another relapse lasting a few months during the second half of this school year. My blood pressure kept going up in response to doing just about anything. I felt overwhelmed just about all the time. Earlier in the school year I would go work out after school and feel marvelous afterward. When the relapse started by the time my teaching day ended my blood pressure would be up way too high for me to exercise. This caused my base line blood pressure to hover around 140/90, which is what happens when I don’t do any cardio. But by the end of a day it would be 170/110 or higher.

Friends kept telling me to go on medication for high blood pressure but I just didn’t feel like my problem was with the cardiovascular system. It seemed like my autonomic nervous system was sending the wrong message and that was what was ramping up my blood pressure and heart rate. If I was about to be eaten by a bear, this would have been an appropriate response. My body was responding to the stimulation of a normal teaching day as if I was in mortal danger. But like most flox symptoms, I knew this could stop happening at any moment, and I really did not want to be on strong antihypertensives when that happened.

Since the school year ended I have been feeling better. Still mildly hypertensive, but better. I need to clean up my diet and exercise more. I’m working on that but I have not been checking my BP right now as if it is a little high that upsets me, which is counterproductive at this point. I don’t get that feeling of increasing anxiety, of things being overwhelming or of my blood pressure sky rocketing. If anything I feel a lot more normal than I have for years.

Not being able to work out definitely hurt me when fireworks season started, so I got really sore. At first my back hurt, then my core and abs hurt and then nothing hurt and I could lift whatever I needed to. It was amazing how fast my body recovered and gained strength. I’ve been more motivated to work out and especially to strengthen my core.

I would say the most troubling aspect of my post flox life right now is new floxies who ask me for advice and then get completely freaked out that I still have relapses and am not symptom free. They accuse me of lying to them. They block me on Facebook. They tell me I have not really healed very much and they need to find someone to talk to who has healed. Once again, I felt the temptation to turn my back on the flox community forever. It seems that since I didn’t heal 100% some floxies feel I have nothing to say. I almost believed them.

But my story is my story. My healing journey is my own and no one else’s. It is my belief that I will see 100% healing but I think it will take between six to seven years total. I think the very stressful job I had prior to this year pushed my nervous system to make more repairs and when it did that I felt it. I think this year I pushed myself way too hard doing administrative tasks for teaching with a nervous system that still does not like too much of that kind of thing. I love my new school and Wisconsin has merit based pay for teachers. I put in a lot of time on grades and lesson plans so that at the end of the year I had the documentation I needed to show I did my job. It pushed my nervous system when I was spending ten hours on my day off doing stuff for school. That’s a long time to sit and enter data into a computer. For anybody.

I think also there is an emotional aspect to dealing with getting floxed and I couldn’t do it right away. I couldn’t even cry without it feeling like someone was squeezing my brain. I didn’t have normal emotions for years. Aspects of my personality were missing that didn’t come back until year three. Suddenly, this school year, I had the emotional capacity to ask, “What just happened to me? How do I feel about this? Am I coping all right with this?”

I was so busy though, working so hard at my teaching job and I did a lot of arranging music for my choir this year also. They do better with three part music than four part, so I arranged public domain hymns into three part choir anthems. Between the two jobs every spare minute was spent concentrating, bent over a computer screen. But my brain didn’t want to concentrate on all that stuff or on teaching my classes, it wanted to process what had happened to me when the flox bomb went off in my body and brain four years ago. Some of what I was experiencing toward the end of this school year may actually have been PTSD.

So as fireworks season winds down and I have more time I am working at healing not just my nervous system but my spirit. I’m giving my brain time to just do nothing, think of nothing. I’m giving my body time in nature to just experience things like swimming and hiking. I have had to let go of the dream of a perfectly clean house before school starts. I have had to allow myself time to heal. Not physically. I am pretty much physically healed. Time to heal mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

I probably am still lacking a few receptors for gamma amino butryic acid compared to if I had not been floxed. I do believe that those will be replaced eventually because I believe in neural plasticity.

I am still a bit low on magnesium, but now it takes working hours in 95 degree heat and humidity for me to notice it. My teeth started to feel loose while I was drenched in sweat working to set up fireworks shows, but as soon as I took some magnesium they tightened up and the anxiety I had felt building went away. I used to notice symptoms of magnesium deficiency like that if I didn’t take some every two hours just sitting around indoors.

I used to have to eat breakfast and take a magnesium pill the moment I woke up. Now I walk two miles or more before breakfast and I don’t always remember to take magnesium before I do it. I have noticed that my legs don’t hurt no matter how much I walk or stand. It takes a lot for me to get physically tired. So I am making progress, and I definitely think my cells will once again be healthy and filled with magnesium and I won’t have to take as much as many magnesium pills as I do now to keep them that way.

I think what really remains for me to reach 100% healing is for me to completely come to terms with what happened to me, to recover from the PTSD the experience seems to have caused. I was in a situation in which my body was failing me, I didn’t know how bad it was going to get or even if I would die. The flox bomb going off can cause some shell shock. Only if you have experienced it can you understand that, and realize I am not meaning to diminish the PTSD experienced by our soldiers. But like them, keeping busy can only delay the PTSD symptoms. Eventually, our mind says, “Hey, this thing happened, and it was really bad, and I really need some help to cope with it, because I really couldn’t cope at the time and I’m not sure I can now.” We can get physical symptoms that are a manifestation of our inability to cope– like my blood pressure and heart rate constantly becoming elevated. I wasn’t overwhelmed with my teaching duties, per se, although I may have pushed a little nervous system healing by doing so much computer work. What really caused my last relapse was my absolute need to stop, to pause, to reflect, to heal from that flox bomb. Not physically. That part of my healing is very nearly complete. I need to heal mentally.

I need to stop and rest so that my mind can process what happened and be ok with it and pause and see that I really am ok now.

I think what I have to say has value even though I am not 100% recovered yet. It would be nice if there were some magic pill, a miracle cure that could make flox damage go away instantly. There’s not. And even after the physical damage heals, there is the emotional aftermath. Personally, I think someone who has coped with the flox bomb for four and half years may just be able to give better advice about coping with getting floxed than the person who managed to heal in a few weeks. Even if a floxie does everything the quick healer did it does mean he or she will heal as quickly. We are all different. There are no guarantees. There is no protocol for treating FQAD. It’s great when someone can share a supplement they took and someone else feels a bit better from it, but none of us are sharing overnight cures, because there are none.

Getting floxed does a tremendous amount of damage to the human body. That the body can heal it is amazing. That it can take a significant amount of time to do so is frustrating. That it sometimes cannot heal all the damage is a real possibility. Talking to people who healed slowly, who faced the fact that they were damaged badly enough that they may not heal all the way, is going to provide wisdom that is way more important than what supplement or treatment you could try.

I have always believed that improving parasympathetic nervous system function was at the core of healing floxies. Learning coping skills is all about choosing “rest and digest” over “fight or flight” no matter what is happening to you. Not saying it’s easy. But it’s a choice of learning to live life despite your circumstances, or deciding your life is over because your circumstances aren’t good. I have learned to make a great life for myself even when my circumstances were pretty crummy.

When I look back over the past four and half years, most of my memories are good. There are some pretty horrible ones in there too, but once I got past about month four or five, I could live even with the symptoms I had. When I look back on those times I remember the things I did, my accomplishments, and the people I spent time with. I really don’t remember the symptoms I was having, or if I do it is in passing and they certainly don’t dominate my memories.

Here’s something else to consider. How many people do you know with perfect health? Everybody has some issue(s) they are dealing with. Some of the middle aged women who work at my school have told me of their struggles with menopause and I have to say, other than that rough stretch toward the end of the school year, I generally feel a lot better than they do. I’m floxed, yes, but I can think of a lot of people who aren’t floxies who aren’t as healthy or as active as I am.

I’m four and a half years out and I still have some healing to do. But when I look at where I started compared to how I feel today, I know I am blessed. I’m incredibly saddened when floxies decide I have nothing to say to them because I didn’t heal 100% yet.

I think we need to treat one another better in the flox community. I actually know of some people who healed 100% who no longer are willing to support other floxies. Perhaps the behavior of floxies seeking help actually drove them away from the flox community. When seeking out advice of another floxed person, it is important not to forget that this person probably went through hell and may still be struggling with issues, struggling to cope with what happened to them, just as you are. Most are happy to share advice and emotional support, but few of us are medical professionals and we aren’t getting paid to help other floxies. We do that out of the goodness of our hearts. If advice we give isn’t helpful, then say thank you and move on. But don’t expect any floxie to have the magic bullet. There isn’t one. It is going to take time for you to heal.

Our society does not like to admit that some things that are painful are going to be that way for awhile. When I was widowed back in 1993 I had friends tell me that if I was still feeling sad in a month or two there is probably something wrong and I would need to get some professional help. I know a floxie who was prescribed Benzodiazepines because she lost a loved one. When she took Cipro it threw her into Benzo withdrawal, but she would never have been in that situation but for this idea that any suffering is intolerable and must be medicated away. This may be why our medical system does such a terrible job of treating chronic illness. It is quicker to prescribe a pain pill to get rid of the symptoms than to really dig into the cause of the illness.

Anyone who has dealt with grief knows the time line my friends suggested when my husband died was way out of whack. The floxie time line is more similar to the grief time line than anything else I can think of. And like grief, it may never totally go away. It will never be as if you had not loved and lost. You are forever changed. It will never be as if you were never floxed. I am forever changed because I got floxed even if I have more healthy mitochondria then when I started, if every cell of my body is brimming with magnesium and all my antioxidants are functioning beautifully and if I have more GABA receptors than I started with, I still experienced the flox bomb go off in my body and it was beyond horrible. That experience will always be with me as much as the moment I heard that my husband had been killed.

A few Sundays ago I played a hymn in church that had comforted me after Danny died, and suddenly I was crying so hard that I couldn’t sing and it was like I was 25 years old again and going through all that grief the first time. Some wounds don’t ever really go away, but you can live with them. You can survive and thrive and sometimes, even grief feels good. I can cry again without it feeling like someone is squeezing my brain. How I cherish that blessed release tears can bring!Now I can cry about the flox bomb too, and probably, if I live to be 80, there will be a day that a certain memory hits me and I cry about getting floxed all over again.

I am just asking floxies who seek advice from other floxies to keep in mind that what we are all dealing with is a chronic illness. It lasts a long time for just about everyone. Some people are able to heal from it, which is amazing and wonderful. But even those who don’t heal, but learn to cope, have done a tremendous thing and overcome a lot. They should be celebrated and listened to, because learning to cope is over half the battle, and some scars are simply going to be there forever. It is way past time for the medical community to stop doing this to people. But at least we can treat each other well.

** The story above is truthful, accurate and told to the best of the ability of the writer. It is not intended as medical advice. No person who submits his or her story, nor the people associated with Floxie Hope, diagnoses or treats any illness. The story above should not be substituted for professionally provided medical advice. Please consult your doctor before trying anything that has been mentioned in this story, or in any other story on this site. Please also note that people have varying responses to the treatments mentioned in each story. What helps one person may not help, and may even hurt, another person. It is important that you understand that supplements, IVs, essential oils, and all other treatments, effect people differently depending on the millions of variables that make each of us unique. Please use appropriate caution and prudence, and get professional medical advice.


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31 thoughts on “Healing from Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Takes Time, Perseverance, Strength, and Kindness

  1. Lisa houg July 20, 2018 at 12:06 pm Reply

    Thank you Ruth- beautiful post!! Thank you for taking time to help us and I think you are totally right about our emotions needing to heal also! Thank you so much🙏

    • Ruth Young July 23, 2018 at 8:41 am Reply

      Thanks for reading it! I hope you find healing and much happiness!

  2. keith July 20, 2018 at 12:27 pm Reply

    My wife… very similar. 4.5 years out… she goes for months living a normal life, even working out (man what joy that brought)… and then she does something common for anyone else and she reinjurers herself.. but.. and this is a big BUT… it no longer takes months and months to repair herself. often just a few weeks. It seems as though her body has finally figured out how to heal, albeit slowly. unfortunately, when she slips back it is depressing… and thats when i have to remind her how far she’s come. Thank you Ruth for this post.

    • Ruth Young July 23, 2018 at 8:46 am Reply

      Thanks for sharing. It helps so much to hear of others who are in a similar place in their healing at about the same point in time away from the initial exposure to fluoroquinolones.

      We all needs those reminders of how far we have come. As I get closer to total healing I find that little annoyances bother me a lot more than they did in the beginning and I have to work hard to cultivate the feeling of gratitude that was so natural before. I was just so glad at first that I didn’t end up in a wheelchair for life and that my nervous system calmed down enough that I could be comfortable in my own skin at least part of the time! So at first when I got symptoms or little flares they didn’t concern me at all.

      At 4.5 years out I feel like I am more angry, more prone to becoming bitter and more frustrated by what are comparatively very small setbacks. But then I pause to remember how far I’ve come and my life looks pretty darn good.

      I am glad to hear that your wife is getting better and able to get back to working out.

  3. Melanie July 20, 2018 at 2:16 pm Reply

    Very true Ruth about those new to floxing thinking we have nothing to say because we still have symptoms. You and I have talked about this before.
    It’s sad.
    There is no magic bullet. There is no time line. We are all so different. That is just the reality of floxing.
    I’ve come a very long way from where I was and for that I’m grateful. I will always try to be positive.
    Negativity causes me stress and flaring.

    • Ruth Young July 23, 2018 at 8:52 am Reply

      So true! I am at least glad to be at a school where the students really seem to enjoy my class and for the most part behave very well for me. Stress is just not what anybody needs, but especially not floxies. Someone else will have to make a difference in the lives of urban students, but it can’t be me, at least not for a very long while.

      I think we all look for that magic bullet initially. We all want everything to go away overnight. But once I realized it wasn’t going to I calmed down and took more of a long term approach. I thought about supporting my body so it could heal rather than finding some miracle drug or treatment that would force it to heal faster. I feel like I know how to work with my body a lot better now.

      We both have come a long way. Eventually, I am going to get down to your part of the country to visit some other floxies in your neck of the woods. Maybe we can all get together then. I would really enjoy that.

      You have certainly come a very long way. I think I told you there was once a time that I thought you weren’t going to make it. People who are feeling desperate need to know that– that other floxies have seen some pretty dark days and come out of those times stronger than before. I celebrate your recovery, Melanie, and I’m sure you will continue to see more improvements in the months and years ahead.

      • Preston October 10, 2018 at 1:26 pm Reply

        I think you are very correct about stress. My mother suffers from issues related to her breast cancer. I feel worse throughout my body when I begin to feel stress due to her feeling really badly or struggling mentally or physically. I have to really put my faith in God that He has a plan and that He will carry me through. Thank you for not turning away from us even though many have been unkind. They are acting from a place of great fear and actually loss. I am only about 4 months out from being floxed and I am so thankful for people like you who take time to share with others. God is using you and your experience to help others. Thank you.

  4. Dee July 20, 2018 at 4:27 pm Reply

    Ruth. Well said!!! I am 13 months out and improved a lot! The first few months of being floxed you helped, advised, supported and guided me through many tough days! You answered my questions and gave me hope, encouragement, support and honest realistic info on being floxed! It made a difference for me in my healing journey! Many floxies who have written their recovery stories move on and don’t answer questions of new and scared floxies. I assume that bring floxed was an experience they wanted to leave behind them. You have chosen to be a support to floxies and are always there to offer advice, guidance and support. YOU make a difference for many floxies that are healing!! Bless you for caring and having a big heart! And may you continue to heal your spirit finding peace, calm, joy and above all good health to come for many years ahead!! ❤️Dee

    • Ruth Young July 23, 2018 at 8:55 am Reply

      I am so glad you are continuing to improve and that I was able to help you. I can remember writing to you on my very long lunch breaks at school (one perk of being just 60% of full time) and remembering my own early days of being floxed and how difficult they were. It does get easier. I’m glad I was able to make a difference in your life during that dark time. I hope things continue to get brighter for you.

  5. Elaine Berkowitz July 20, 2018 at 5:18 pm Reply

    Thank you for as honest, heart warming narrative of your miraculous journey! I was floxed four and a half years ago, and recovered about 2 years ago. I took a Zpak 6 months ago for an acute sinus infection, (I hadn’t taken any drugs before that) and am in a flare ( swollen legs mostly) histamine issues, but grateful it’s not neuropathy like the first time. I’ve had to readjust my lifestyle and go back to looking at old files, that I thought I would never have to refer to again.Yes, back to epsom salt baths etc
    However, I KNOW I will recover, hopefully soon, and in the meantime I’m counting my blessings as I’ve been through worse.

    My best, always,
    Elaine xo

    • Ruth Young July 23, 2018 at 8:57 am Reply

      Yes, you can recover again. When I took antibiotics for a sinus infection post flox they helped initially and then caused all sorts of issues– but they all resolved. Eventually. Sometimes it is good to go back to the things that helped us heal at first.

  6. Mary July 20, 2018 at 8:30 pm Reply

    I hope one day to have the patients to read your post, it’s just too overwhelming.

    • Ruth Young July 23, 2018 at 8:58 am Reply

      I know that overwhelmed feeling. I hope things improve for you soon.

  7. Nathaniel July 20, 2018 at 8:57 pm Reply

    Excellent update. Thanks for taking the time. It’s important to know there’s a broad spectrum of time, symptoms, recovery, experience etc with FQ toxicity. I’m glad for those who heal in less than a year and wish that for everyone. I wished it was me. But it’s not. You’re right in saying that the information from the long term sufferers is more important as time goes on than list of things to do right away to get better. I hope all get better, but if you don’t, you’re going to need support and information as you navigate your own unique timeline and experience when this.

    We’re on a small boat crossing a wide ocean. There’s so many challenges and there’s no easy shortcut. Some make it to the other side sooner than others and some are at Sea for a very long time. But there’s always hope you will reach the other side some day and knowing there are others out there with us in their own small boats somewhere is deeply comforting.

    • Ruth Young July 23, 2018 at 9:03 am Reply

      Awesome comment! So eloquent! I love your description of boats crossing a wide ocean. Very apt metaphor.

      Are you the Nathaniel who lives in my area? If so, I hope we do manage to connect in real life soon. It’s always great meeting other floxies and being able to offer support and encouragement to one another face to face instead of just through messaging or over the phone.

      I often pray for floxies everywhere, those I know and those I don’t know. There are so so many of us. It is horrible to know that there are so many of us– and oddly comforting at the same time, knowing that others have passed through this experience and survived so we will too. Can’t help but think that we are near the point at which there are too many of us to be ignored anymore. I think we are at a tipping point and the cavalier use of fluoroquinolones is about to end for good.

  8. Karen July 21, 2018 at 9:33 am Reply

    It has been a little over a year for me. Here is MY personal progress. I can relate to the rapid heart beats, like a sudden surge of adrenaline, yes, like running from a bear. But I ignore it. My tendons that were “eaten” sometimes hurt. But I ignore it. My knee tendons that caused me not able to walk for over six months hurts less now. I ignore it. My headaches are harder to ignore, but they are less frequent. I guess what I am saying to all of you is that I believe it does get better, quarter inch by quarter inch. Keep pushing forward. Keep believing that things WILL improve because they will and they do. Maybe not as fast as we all want them to improve, but things are so much better for me. I can walk now. I can walk without crutches now. I can walk without a cane now. Pain? Yes. Perhaps it is my new fact of life. I move on. Why? Because whatever time I have on this earth I am going to try to focus on the positive things that ARE in my life. Do I feel like my “old” self? Heck no. Will I ever? I don’t know. I don’t know how far I will go to becoming me again, but I know one thing. All I have is today and I am not going to waste today…neither should you. Is this hard? Of course it is! Is it a terrible injustice and do I think the people who allow others to be injured should be in jail? Yup. But dwelling on the negative starts a negative response in my body. I feel it. Sometimes I can’t be positive. Sometimes I fall back into allowing the constant pain to win. I am human. You are human. But after some wallowing, get back in the saddle. Rejoice in small successes. You will look back and say, “I was so much worse.” I have five affected friends. Each suffer in a different way and each has had such an uphill battle. One is still in a wheelchair. Been there, too. We all have had to hear negative comments by unbelieving doctors or nurses. We have all been ridiculed by family or friends. BUT we all have kept moving forward. IF you are so despondent you want to take your life, CALL SOMEONE. I went online to the suicide help line.
    Reach out to all of us. Read comments that are positive. If you begin to read something and it is dragging you down, stop reading!
    THINGS WILL GET BETTER. Slowly. Not overnight.
    And the reality is that your reality is now different.
    The successful people accept each new accomplishment, each new success.
    Yes we get tired.
    Yes we hurt nonstop.
    But we must not give up.
    We must advocate to get this damn drug OFF the market!
    We must spread the news to everyone NOT to ever take these drugs.
    Pain sucks. Life’s obstacles now are many.
    WE are not alone and WE are all going to improve!!!!
    That’s the bottom line.
    I am not hurting as much as I was.
    I can walk without my wheelchair, walker, crutches, and cane.
    When I am tired or sleepy, I rest or sleep.
    I work when I work. I work when I can. I stop when I can’t.
    I support others. (like here writing to you)
    I support my floxie friends in my life.
    Recovery is slow.
    Not in one day, one month, one year….but minute by minute….accomplishment by accomplishment.
    Keep positive. Keep moving forward. WE are bigger than just being a “floxed” person.
    Accepting where we are and that we will get better…..makes us better.

    • Ruth Young July 23, 2018 at 9:08 am Reply

      Wow, what an inspiring comment! Awesome, thank you! I can totally relate to everything you are saying.

      People may perceive me as being positive all the time, but of course that isn’t the reality. I need reminders too, that I can make it through this all the way to the end. I like that you said we are all going to improve and that’s the bottom line. I am still recovering, still improving, I’m going to get there.

      You are an incredibly strong person. The opportunity to meet strong, wonderful people like you is what makes the flox community so wonderful. We have our negative people and no support group is perfect, but I continue to meet truly incredible people who have overcome getting floxed with admirable strength and courage.

  9. Sarah July 21, 2018 at 12:43 pm Reply

    Couldn’t agree with you more Ruth! I’m also 4.5 years out and after several month of being fine overdid some physical stuff (a walk-jog to catch a boat) that put my ankles/feet into a a rough relapse. The relapses are definitely becoming more spread out, so something is happening inside. I too believe I have good advice to give to newcomers and I also take the time to go online and help the most desperate questions if I have some ideas of what helped me. I’m so sorry you have experienced negativity to helping someone, that is sad 😦 Ignore them and keep going!!!

    • Ruth Young July 23, 2018 at 9:16 am Reply

      I agree with you– as relapses become more spread out something good is happening inside of us. That is a great point. When I focus on a one month relapse in year three I am ignoring eleven months that were pretty good, some of them symptom free. When I focus on my three month downturn this year, I forget that the other nine months of the year were pretty good, some of them symptom free. It is our human nature, I guess, to look at the times that were not good and allow thought of them to dominate. But that’s not logical to do that at all.

      I really appreciate your comment, because just that little reminder that my relapses are very spread out has helped me get my head in a better place than where it was this morning. This morning (even though I have had basically no symptoms to speak of for weeks) I was worrying about whether I would have another downturn when school starts. It’s head games like that that will really defeat anybody dealing with a long term illness.

      So you are right, we definitely have a good perspective for floxies less far along in their healing journey. We don’t just see what is coming, possibly, with our ongoing prognosis regarding old, new or worsening symptoms– we know what kinds of head games our mind is going to throw at us after years of dealing with this. Sidestepping those is all part of healing from this. Thanks for taking time to go online and help people. I believe we are making a positive difference in the world by doing that, even if some do not appreciate it, and even if not everyone benefits from the same things that helped us.

  10. Madge hirsch July 21, 2018 at 2:31 pm Reply

    Thank you Ruth. I have found your recovery story very encouraging. You were much worse affected than I have been but at the moment I seem to be on a plateau with a worsening of my tendinitis and a late onset of neuropathy . I am three years out and at 66 I wonder if this time I will heal. I believe I have been floxed before and it took years to recover and even then something caused a relapse after 12 years! Not knowing what was happening to me did not help and of course did not stop me being floxed again. I am just lucky to be mildly affected compared to a lot of people. I am astonished that people can be so negative towards you because you are not 100% healed. They should be grateful that you have tried so hard to help others. I really hope that you do find complete healing. Maybe you should be a bit kinder to yourself !

    • Ruth Young July 23, 2018 at 9:24 am Reply

      Thank you so much for your kind comment. You are right on point saying I need to be kinder to myself. I am having to come to terms with the fact that my worth as a human being is not dependent on how productive I can be. I would never apply that standard to anyone else and I have worked with patients and students with both physical and mental challenges. I valued each person as a unique individual with much to offer, even if they couldn’t hold down a job and bring in a paycheck. I don’t give myself that same consideration, so I really haven’t been allowing myself time I needed to rest and recuperate. Floxies have great wisdom to offer each other. Thanks for sharing some with me!

  11. Docdent July 22, 2018 at 7:13 am Reply

    Dear Ruth,
    your Symptoms are so similar like mine and thats why i am very interested in your story and your treatment. Do you still take antioxidants, vitamins or other ?
    My floxing is 15 months ago (Cipro for Endometritis) and i am still suffering from brainfog, dizzyness and eye problems.
    In the first months the symptoms were anxienty, panic attacks, dizzyness, daemonic vision after closing eyes, insomnia, hypoglycaemia, depression, first restlessness, later fatigue, bad compulsive thoughts, dry eys and mouth…
    I think i will be better after the 2 years mark.

    Which treatment was the best for your paychological symptoms?

    • Ruth Young July 23, 2018 at 9:33 am Reply

      I think meditation helped me the most with the psych symptoms. So I guess it should not be surprising to me that I get downturns when I stop doing it.

      I don’t take as many supplements as I used to. I still take magnesium because if I stop everything comes back. It takes longer to come back so I do think I am making progress there.

      I still take Idebenone, which is an excellent antioxidant, but I take it because it has a positive effect on brain chemistry and I battled depression long before I got floxed.

      I take NAC now and then, which is an excellent antioxidant, but I take it for its snot busting capabilities when I get sick, not to treat flox damage anymore.

      I feel like my body pretty much healed. I don’t feel like I have any issues anymore with runaway oxidative stress and mitochondrial DNA damage. Physically I am doing great. My tendons feel like they healed all the way. I’m able to build muscle really fast like I used to. I have unlimited walking and standing tolerance. Everything came back as far as my connective tissue and musculoskeletal system are concerned.

      My remaining issues are cycling autonomic nervous system imbalance and some symptoms that match exactly the symptoms of protracted Benzodiazepine withdrawal, so I am pretty sure most of what is left is due to lost GABA-a receptors. It seems like they would have upgraded by now, but there are cases of protracted Benzo withdrawal lasting ten years. So there is a precedent for this type of damage taking a long time to reverse. I think it takes longer for the floxed to recover GABA receptors because ours were not downgraded by a natural pruning process in response to a medication tricking our body into thinking we had too much gamma animo butyric acid. Our receptors were just obliterated. Our body will make more until we get back in balance. I am convinced of that. But I think the time line is way longer than most people imagine, in some cases.

      I like your description of “daemonic vision after closing eyes.” I totally experienced that. It is a crazy, scary journey. But I do believe it will get better for you. I am better in most areas now. I do believe I will heal all the way within another couple of years. And it sounds like many of the issues you still have are ones that healed all the way for me, so I hope you can take comfort in that.

      • Docdent July 23, 2018 at 3:38 pm Reply

        Dear Ruth,
        the Benzo withdrawal symptoms are really like my symptoms. And i have never taken Benzo or other brain effected medicine like anti depressivum. Now i can understand the symptoms like ataxy and dizzyness. The cerebellum has alot of Gaba receptors which are destroyed by fq. Ataxy and dizzyness were my first symptoms with anxienty. Its like a puzzle and now i can understand it.
        For Gaba healing:
        – meditation and time
        – good nutrition and antioxidants
        – magnesium
        – no stress

        Thank you alot and God bless you!

  12. Victoria Foster July 22, 2018 at 2:23 pm Reply


    Thank you for sharing the details of your ‘floxing’. I will write my story soon but suffice it here to say, I am beginning my thirdof year of dealing with the results of a routine thyroid blood draw by a very well-known medical firm, i.e. Mersa that was treated with Cipro then Levaquin for approximately 25 days. Every ligament and tendon in my body has been weakened to the point that I still have to have my ribs, feet, shoulders reset every few weeks. I learned about 8 months after (April 2017) the diagnosis of Mersa that the antibiotics given to me had literally poisoned me. Since July of 2016, I have had approximately 100 doctor appointments/treatments and about 50-60 injections such as Pro-Lo etc. My eyes, clear thinking, liver, kidneys have been affected. Probably more but I took it upon myself to get a blood analysis (which the clinic said they did not do), to learn of the spiroketes, biofilms and other dibilitating things were in my blood–thus, running through my heart, brain etc., which is what the doctors said we needed to prevent! Normally I work in the summer months but in 2016 and 2017 and this year, I have not been able to; as you know, alot of rest is required. My saving hope is that I live near an Amish Naturopath, who has done more for less money to improve my situation. At one point the doctors had me taking over 27 supplements every day; when I cut back to just my thyroid and one multi-vitamin, mineral powder, plus 2 drops to fight the blood issue, my overall health improved. Although I resumed working in the classroom from Nov. 2017, I was let go (LI-FO) because of “..time…” The lst semester teacher who evaluated me did not take into account that I had to use the elevator to get the students and return them to class, as I could not negotiate the stairs. By Dec. of 2017 I was down to a level 1 pain and was feeling pretty good. On January 23, 2018 on a return trip from the doctor’s office, I had a deer/car accident that totaled my car. I was not seriously injured, but within a couple of days the soreness I had felt in my right hip from the seatbelt, just became worse and the pain level returned to 9 out of 10, where it has remained. Every two months I return to the Naturopath to recheck my blood. Last Monday, he told me the red blood cells were clear, no spirochetes hiding anywhere or biofilms that now it was time to work on repair, since we continue to control the pain. The stress of fighting with the insurance company, and just the longevity of the effects of Floxies is extremely stressful. Because the clinics require out-of-pocket payments, since Medicare etc. still do not approve of Integrative/Alternative medicine, the Mersa-antibiotic poisoning has cost me thousands of dollars that frankly has ruined me. But, I am determined to beat this and be restored to much better health than these past two years. Like you, I was a runner (although not so much recently), but I have always gone the extra mile to have good health. I’ve never had anything like this and I am angry that I did nothing to cause this diabolical situation! I continue to put my health first and will not stop. I am in my 70’s and never expected to have a serious medical condition–both of my parents were health conscious and lived full lives, 75 and 86; I plan to stay around longer but I worry as the quality of my life going forward. I have talked to several people who have also suffered from being Floxed, but a doctor who contracted Mersa from a heart operation where it took from 5-7 years to fully recover from the Mersa. Many people do not continue to monitor their blood composition, etc., and have seemingly resumed their lives. I look at them and just know that this stuff is a ticking time-bomb that will surface later if not monitored. Last summer I noticed a bump that was very itchy on my right ring finger that seemed to be growing under the skin. I wasted no time in checking it out and sure enough, it was another Mersa eruption!!! Back to the Naturpath who recommended Borage leaf for soaking and for wrapping the fresh leaf itself around my finger to draw out the infection. It worked within about two weeks. After a nurse practioner at the clinic told me “…you can just open this up when you get home and get the rest of the infection out…”, I went right to the drugstore in the Amish community nearby and sure enough again, the druggist had the tar-like stuff called PRID that healed and sealed my finger! I just want to encourage to you never give up or give in to these monsters–be it the medical community who seems to have blinders on, the FDA and the pharmaceutical companies who continue to pour this stuff into unsuspecting patients. If there is a group I could join in this fight, please write it for all to see. To anyone reading this, and especially Ruth, keep fighting, resting, and praying for however long it takes. Never lose hope for a better tomorrow!

    Victoria Foster

    • Ruth Young July 23, 2018 at 9:43 am Reply

      You have truly been through the wringer with all you have gone through. I’m glad you are finding natural methods to deal with the MRSA infection. Sad that even though natural cures work (sometimes better than the traditional medications) insurance plans won’t pay for them. Interesting that the Amish know of things that are able to help you. I have sometimes reflected on the fact that before the big pharmaceutical companies came along, people were able, most of the time, to recover from illnesses and infections. We’re given this picture of a world in the past where any little thing that happened to someone’s body, they just died from it, and thank goodness we have modern medicine today to save us.

      Certainly, you can find cases today where the person afflicted by a specific disease or injury would probably not have survived 100 years ago. But how many more cases are there of people injured or even killed by prescription drugs? How often were those drugs needlessly or wrongly prescribed? Modern medicine doesn’t have to dominated by greed making it so horrible, but it is. It could be a good adjunct to older herbs and therapies that used to help people, but instead the two sides are positioned in opposition to each other.

      Thank you for your encouragement and I wish you luck on your healing journey.

  13. jerriemills August 7, 2018 at 7:06 am Reply

    I see you. I see me in YOU. I was floxed early 2014 — only found the FQT support group mid 2017. I cried for an hour. JOY. I was finally not alone. It has been the most difficult period of my life. I ‘m now 60 and I know beyond any doubt – I just thought I was a survivor before. Being floxed and then the medical community basically for the most turning their back or trying to label symptoms as something else… well like you, lets just say PTSD is real…I knew without a doubt what caused my ailments… I knew without a doubt I was not allowing negativity be added to my world, It was tough enough. Natural healing, God centered approach to it all. I beleived and still do, we are wonderfully made… the body can heal — maybe not 100% but it can heal… time is the biggest factor. Although I must say adding just a couple of the anitoxidants suggested like NAC and then hyuronic acid really helped me along with vitamins. I too think 6-7 years. I thank God for YOU and floxiehope and all the encouragers. I’m so glad you are still helping people in the groups. You help me. Jerrie

  14. greendingy September 15, 2018 at 12:58 pm Reply

    Hello Ruth,
    I do not know you, nor have I had any constant contact or support from any of the floxed groups. But I do go onto the support sites often. One thing I noticed, overwhelmingly, is the utter panic and desperation in those who are facing the physical symptoms from being newly floxed and how persistent they can be when searching and asking for solutions. They can be downright rude and seem to forget that everyone on this site has and is suffering as well. I understand their fear. I think we all do. But your experience with the floxed community(not being appreciated, dispelled anger, etc.) is something I can see happening if someone puts themselves out there to help. The ones you help can be so overwhelmed they become dependent on every word. And disappointed if what you offer is not helpful. I have come to understand that many of these people have never really been sick before. This is the first bad thing to happen to them. And it is a very bad thing for sure. They have not the coping mechanisms, and many are young. I am certain you have helped many. We do not know these people, their history, their psychology. Yes, our bodies are different, and our reactions to the FQ are different, as are our reactions to supplements. But more important, we are very different in how we approach life when it becomes a scary thing not n our control. And that is what you have been the unfortunate victim of. People who do not have the tools to calm themselves, to be patient. To accept that they are not in control and not get angry at others for their own short comings. This should be addressed, you have done so here. Thus, instead of reviewing my own story, I wanted to address the reason you updated us in the first place, and to make your point about what it means to be helpful in a community in which we are all unequal. Thank you.

    • Preston October 10, 2018 at 2:36 pm Reply

      You are totally correct greendingy. This is the first major thing to ever go wrong with my body. I’m 28 and this shook my world. Until this situation, I was blinded by the naiveté of youth. I had never had much more than a cold. It was normal for me to take 1 sick day each year for a cold or something of that nature. I’d never been really ill before. I’d surely never dealt with all of the various issues that being floxed caused. I’d never had tendon pain, heart trouble, GI issues to beat the band, joint pain, muscle pain, anxiety, or real fear of death. All of this was utterly overwhelming. The relapses are frustrating. I’m going through my first fairly significant one. I of course put my body through considerable stress when I had to move apartments. I did most of the lifting myself. But I am thankful I was well enough to do what I needed to do at that time.

      My most significant struggle now, is the fear of my Achilles tendons rupturing. Both of my Achilles tendons began hurting the same day about 2 months ago. They are my most constant pain. Otherwise, I still am gluten intolerant and have random muscle twitching all over my body, but I’ve learned to ignore that for the most part.

  15. Kristina March 5, 2019 at 5:09 am Reply

    Thanks for sharing your perspective. I have been struggling for 2 .5 years. My CNS seems to have healed but my Peripheral nervous system and muscles are still struggling. I needed to hear this.

    Can you tell me the most important element of your healing process?

  16. VLF July 25, 2019 at 1:27 pm Reply

    Best advice: listen to your body–do not ignore signs and symptom. I nearly died from the MERSA. After months of excrutiating pain, due to 20 or so days of careless Cipro and Levaquin antibiotics, I sought help and was told, “…you’ve been poisoned by the antibiotics!” Result was the horrible pain all over my body was from relaxed/collapsed tendons and ligaments. It was painful to move but especially tough was the leg and foot pain as I had to work (substiute teaching). By 10 a.m. every day I could hardly walk but I kept going. My ribs and the cuboid bones in feet had collapsed or were floating. Months of D.O. treatments and acupuncture/medical massage I was not improving. Started seeking Osteopathic opinions; told there were no ligaments in my right hip and only correction would be hip replacement surgery. The MERSA came from a blood draw by a well known diagnostic company, which is what started the infection, 2016. Last month, June 2019 after beating several bushes for help, the most miraculous result of hip replacement surgery—I walking without pain for the first time I can remember (other back problems prior to 2016). Anterior procedures on hip are healed, walked without aids within 2 weeks. Doctor has said I could be the billboard for Anterior procedures. Now my body is totally responding from damage that began with the fluoroquinolones and that some doctors still refuse to believe the damage that is being done by these poison pills. I also attribute my determination to beat this to a strong faith. Along the way I contacted alternative medicine and Amish Naturopath practitioners for advice. I truly believe the combination of the best of each brought me to today. DO NOT GIVE UP! LOOK FORWARD TO A GREATER PURPOSE FOR YOUR LIFE AND DO NOT BELIEVE JUST ONE DOCTOR. DO YOUR RESEARCH AND KNOW YOUR OWN BODY. I am fortunate that I must have good DNA and allergies are probably the most serious health issue over the years. I eat pretty normally, do not smoke, would never use illicit drugs and question every recommendation any doctor gives me. I am blessed that my journey took me to one of the greatest surgeons in the country and whom, when I first met and talked to, listened to what I was saying. He answered all questions and I knew when I researched this doctor, that this was the right doctor by divine appointment! YOU CAN RECOVER BUT DO NOT IGNORE WHAT YOUR INNER VOICE AND YOUR BODY TELL YOU!

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