The scariest parts of getting floxed, for me, were the cognitive losses that I experienced. I lost my memory, my reading comprehension, my concentration, my ability to connect with people and have a meaningful conversation, my ability to understand what was going on at work, etc. I felt stupid. I felt as if my IQ had dropped significantly. My job, which I had done with ease before getting sick, suddenly felt difficult. I had trouble reading; books that I could previously understand with ease, suddenly became incomprehensible.
It was horrible.
Having my muscles and tendons not work like they used to was scary, but losing important aspects of my mind was terrifying.
I had always thought of myself as a smart person and to have that taken away from me was so, so, so difficult. Losing my memory, reading comprehension, concentration, etc. made me question my identity as a “smart” person. If I didn’t have those things, was I still smart? Was I still capable? Could I understand things that I needed to understand to be able to do my job, connect with my loved ones and identify myself as intelligent?
All of those questions went through my head. Both the questions, and the honest answer of – I don’t know – were difficult to deal with.
I tried lots of things to get my mind back. I’m not sure how much of a difference any single thing made, but cumulatively, they worked. I got at least most of my cognitive skills back. I’m not any slower mentally now than I was before I got sick – or at least I don’t think I am.
There’s not a protocol for what to do to get your brain back after getting floxed, so I had to guess about what would help me. I tried various things. Here are the things that seemed to help:
- Time. First and foremost, time helped. Getting back to a place where I felt as intelligent as I did before I got floxed took time. It was one of the last things to come back, but it did come back. I have recovered my memory, reading comprehension, concentration, ability to follow conversations, etc. Time was my friend. It healed my cognitive wounds along with my physical wounds.
- Meditation. Meditating helped me to gain my concentration back. If you can concentrate on your breath, you can concentrate on a book. Both are pretty difficult when floxed. Concentrating on the breath while meditating is difficult for non-floxies too. Attempting to do something that is difficult (meditating is simultaneously the easiest and most difficult thing in the world to do) helped me to do other things that were comparatively easy.
- Suduku puzzles. I did a suduku puzzle a day for at least a year. It engaged my brain. It helped me to concentrate.
- Reading. Practice makes perfect, as they say. I kept reading and eventually it got easier.
- Writing. I think that writing the articles that I have put online has helped me to organize my thoughts, remember information, etc.
- Researching. The articles about how fluoroquinolones affect cells are not easy. They’re actually really, really hard. Learning the language that is in the scientific journal articles that I now read for fun (well, to figure this stuff out, but I am doing it voluntarily so I suppose that it is “for fun”) has exercised my brain.
- Lecithin. I supplement lecithin. I think that it has cleared up some of the brain fog that I had. Here is an article about the benefits of lecithin – http://www.diannecraft.org/improving-your-memory-with-lecithin/ One thing to note is that lecithin is soy based so be forewarned of that if you can’t eat soy.
With all of those things, and some luck, I have recovered my mental capabilities. My brain fog has receded. My memory, reading comprehension, connectedness and concentration are as good as they were before I got sick. In some ways, I may even be smarter now than I was before I got floxed. I didn’t read biochem journals for fun before I got floxed. I didn’t know what lymphcytes or reactive oxygen species or acyl glucuronides were before I got floxed. I know what those things are now (okay, so I don’t really understand acyl glucuronides, but who does?).
I know that the loss of mental capabilities the happens with fluoroquinolone toxicity is really scary. Please try to believe that it will pass and that it will get better. It did for me. My mind recovered along with my body. I sincerely hope the same for you!
Thanks for another great post, Lisa! Another supplement that is supposed to help tremendously with healing the brain, plus repair DNA damage in the body, plus help with chronic fatigue is NADH. NADH has apparently been shown to even reverse the effects of Alzheimer’s Disease (as opposed to just slowing down the effects), and it is supposed to tremendously help those with Parkinson’s Disease as well. Since getting floxed myself a year ago, adding NADH into my daily supplement regimen has given me the energy to get through the day again. I take 60mg of NADH per day. I think it was the NADH that made the biggest difference for me, although it is always difficult to tell since I now take 30 supplements per day to try to help with my symptoms. Anyways, there is a great book on NADH with tons of scientific evidence of NADH’s power, written by the scientist who first stabilized NADH. It’s called “NADH: The Biological Hydrogen” by George D. Birkmayer.
Just so y’all know, the irony of the type-o in the last paragraph isn’t lost on me. Apparently my proofreading skills have not fully returned. The sentence should read, “I know that the loss of mental capabilities that happens with fluoroquinolone toxicity is really scary.”
Thanks for this, as always. I was wondering if you had any tips for coping with the depression and general apathy that comes with fluoroquinolone poisoning apart from the ones above that could apply? I’m unwilling to turn to a medical professional for reasons you can imagine, especially after having my other symptoms dismissed as psychosomatic…
Anyone who is reading this post and the comments will likely find this article to be interesting – http://www.hormonesmatter.com/cognitive-testing-post-adverse-reaction-lost-opportunity/ For more information on thiamine, please do a search on Hormones Matter for “Lonsdale” to get Dr. Lonsdale’s other work. I get my thiamine through raw, crushed garlic – taken straight.
I think somebody should make a list, it may be me when i get the time, of all the supplements everybody used in the stories on this fab site and what they thought the outcome was of each one, Magnesium seems to pop up everywhere but what’s the rest, there could be a top 10 judged by usage and perceived effectiveness. add Thiamine to the list, i strongly believe, certainly in the early stages of Floxing, that if you get the right supplements and nutrients to counter act the balance in the short term you are more likely to recover in the long term, that is why i am desperately researching what’s best for brain fog only a few weeks in to my journey!
Help! I believe that my 75 year old father may be experiencing depression and anxiety (no previous history) after taking cipro. He stopped taking the meds but still experiences the symptoms weeks later. Where do I begin? Should he see a neurologist or other kind of specialist to evaluate what is goiing on, and make recommendations? I don’t know what kind of reaction I will get if I suggest this connection to his PCP who prescribed the Cipro for a ‘possible infection’ which we don’t think existed., , whom he has only seen once. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you.
We have a psychiatrist apt. tomorrow, but I’m afraid more meds may make things worse. I plan to discuss the neuro toxin concern with the dr.
I wanted to add here that under Douglas’s story, found here: https://floxiehope.com/douglas-story-cipro-side-effects/, he says that Vitamin C pulls Cipro from the brain. He simply squeezes fresh lemons into his water. I’m guessing this might be because lemon juice is high in sesquiterpenes: http://www.pubfacts.com/detail/16506842/Comparison-of-volatile-concentrations-in-hand-squeezed-juices-of-four-different-lemon-varieties. In the world of essential oils, it is said that oils containing sesquiterpenes can detox petrochemicals from the body and brain. One drop of an essential oil is equal to about 70 cups of tea made from that oil’s origin, so perhaps using the oils would be an even faster route. A lot of people add lemon oil to their water, but you want to make sure the oil is safe for ingestion, as not all companies are therapeutic grade oils.
Scott Rose, you wrote: “it is always difficult to tell since I now take 30 supplements per day to try to help with my symptoms” If NADH has helped you then why you still taking 30 suplemens? I do not understand that. Please tell me a ONE THING which help you to renove a brain fog.
Because of a horrible bone infection I developed after what was supposed to be a simple surgery, I was given Cipro for life…So for the last year and 9 days, I have been taking 1500 mgs of Cipro daily. December 22, 2015 I was told to stop the Cipro immediately — with a stern warning the infection could return and that I would have to get blood work every three weeks, for ever. But now, the Cipro effects are debilitating. Until a month ago, I thought it all was surgery related and I went from what I thought was good progress, to a fetal position at work (I am/was an art teacher.) I was forced to take disability retirement at 25% of what I was making. My hips to my feet burn and ache to the point they are immobile. My wrists burn like bracelets of fire. My arms have locked into place – like cramps and the pain when they release is horrific. The mental fog I contributed to the botched surgeries (3 in 3 months) and the anesthesia that came with them. I just never knew…I was expected to die after the last surgery…was on life support for 7 days, Little did I know the very antibiotic that saved me would eventually become poison and essentially take away my life as I knew it. I am new to this research but I am determined. This can not be my life now. Your words – all of yours- make me feel hopeful. Thank you for sharing…
How did you take 60mg of NADH daily when in package you got 30 pills with 5mg, and recommended dose is one (5mg in the morning)? You took 12 pills a day????
I took my intelligence for granted before I was floxed. I miss it so much everyday.
Lisa, Hi –
How much was magnesium a part of your recovery?
It’s been 8 months since I was poisoned by Cipro yet I’m still suffering from cognitive side effects some being brain fog, dizziness and a general feeling of disclarity if that makes sense. Did you see some improvement by this time?
April 24 2019 i was given cipro for a infection in my colon that was not verified.i was at the end of my rope.with chronic back issues already not being able eat or go to the bathroom and constant nausea and puking made it difficult just to get out of bed.since first dose of cipro things we not right at all.had bloody black loose bowels so bad went to er.since then stopped cipro but the damage was done.ive lost my memory ,my few friends have completly turned on me ,and ive lost all connection with the real world.i should never have been on this drug.ive had many falls that have damaged my back more.im having mood swings so bad no one wants to be around me let alone help
I sit confused and alone trying to wake from this nitemare and have no where to turn.so many more bad things have happened that i cant change i feel no suicide is my only way out.i hope no one is as bad as me and wish u all well.im not strong enough to fight anymore