Getting floxed was the most difficult thing that I have ever gone through. Getting sick, and all of the struggles that went along with it, was difficult physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. To have my body suddenly fall apart was scary. To have my mind fall apart along with my body, was terrifying. Getting floxed tore down parts of me that I thought were solid. It took what I thought were my greatest strengths, my physical and mental capabilities, and made them my weaknesses. I had to find strength in a part of myself that I previously didn’t know existed, my spirit, in order to make it through. Through trial and error, perseverance, dumb luck, support and probably some other factors, I made it. I have recovered.
Getting floxed was also the most traumatizing thing that I have ever experienced. It took me longer to get through the PTSD and shock of getting sick/poisoned than it took me to get through the physical or mental deficiencies. The emotional turmoil involved in getting poisoned by a perfectly legal, prescription antibiotic was, well, traumatizing. But I think that I have recovered from the trauma as well.
As life has gone on, as it has returned to normal, as I have gained my capabilities back and gotten over the pain and shock, I have started to forget what it was like to be sick. I have forgotten the pain. I have forgotten the desperation. I am forgetting the fear. Even the anger is leaving me.
It’s odd to forget. It’s odd to not remember a big chunk of my life (from December, 2011 through August-ish, 2013). It’s odd that something that defined my life is leaving my consciousness. It’s odd that I am forgetting what helped me and what hurt me. It’s odd that I am even forgetting the trauma, because it isn’t traumatic for me anymore. I have recovered and it’s just… gone.
It went away. All of it. Even the memories.
It’s perplexing to lose the memories of my floxing. I feel like I need those memories in order to do what I do – write about fluoroquinolone toxicity, advocate for change in how fluoroquinolones are thought about and administered, empathize and offer advice to those who are struggling, etc. But the memories are fading. They’re leaving.
It’s healthy to forget, I’m sure. I’m sure that it’s best for my mind, spirit and even body to forget the pain, suffering and fear. It’s best to let it go.
But it is odd to lose my memories. Of course I don’t miss the pain, fear or anger. But I’m a little worried that in losing my memories I will lose my passion, my drive and my purpose. Advocating for change in the policies surrounding fluoroquinolones is important, and I intend to keep doing it. As time goes on and my memories fade, I fear that I will lose focus and that I will forget my passion.
I wish you all healing. I wish you all hope. I wish you all forgetting. May you forget the pain. May you forget the sickness. May you forget the fear. May you forget the anger.
But I encourage you to not forget the fight. It’s a good and worthy fight. Though I may forget how it felt to go through getting floxed myself, I’ll try to remember that there is nothing that is okay about other people going through it. I will keep in mind that people are suffering needlessly – and that’s wrong. I will keep in mind that these drugs are being given to innocent children and that they are being hurt. It’s horrifying and it needs to stop. I’ll keep fighting. And I’ll keep reminding myself about why I fight through listening to your stories.
As you recover, when you see that light at the end of the tunnel and you know that a full recovery is on the horizon, please write down your story and, if you want to share it, send it to me to publish on Floxie Hope. If you don’t write it down, you will forget it. That’s not an altogether bad thing, but other people can benefit from your wisdom if you write down your story while it’s still fresh in your mind.
Forgetting the pain and sickness is healthy. May you get well enough to let your floxing be a distant, faded memory. The fight is different from the sickness. You can forget about the sickness while still remaining in the fight. IMO – it’s excellent to do both.