*The following is an individual’s story of surviving fluoroquinolone toxicity. It is not medical advice. Please see the disclaimer at the bottom of the story. Thank you, and please be cautious with all treatments. 

Karen’s Story –

Here is Karen’s story, written by Karen.  I asked a couple of questions, which are noted.

In the last five or so years, I had UTIs for the first time, beginning when I was 50 years old. Although I only weigh 115 pounds, I inherited a predisposition for diabetes (now prediabetic), and my blood sugar is slowly creeping up– and so were the incidences of UTIs, which can be triggered by sugar. Dealing with this new ailment, UTIs, I had heard horror stories about how painful it could be, and made sure I had antibiotics (some, maybe all, Cipro) so I could take them at the first sign of an infection. I also made sure that I had a dose before I went on an extended nature vacation in 2010… sure enough, I got another infection on the trip while in a remote national forest and took Cipro, so grateful the doctor had prescribed it in advance!

About two weeks later, I had deep aching in my legs. I couldn’t walk without it intensifying, and it felt like a vise was concentrating in one area on both legs. Wrapping them tightly cut out the throbbing, and I couldn’t walk or sleep. I tried to figure out what caused it, not yet linking Cipro. Then my hands were attacked. It felt as though bolts of electric shock stabbed the tops of my hands, and the outside edges were swollen, blue, and so painful that I couldn’t remove jar lids, open doorknobs, cut food… Sleeping was making my hands worsen, so I started wearing braces to prevent them from twisting – basically keeping the tendons immobile as much as possible.

Doctor visits began, and tests for Rheumatoid Arthritis, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Myasthenia Gravis (even have the drooping eyelids), and Lyme disease all came up negative. Since it was symmetrical on my body – although intensity of pain was sometimes more concentrated on one side – I figured it was systemic and it seemed to me that it was a tendon issue. Also, I had issues with my ankles aching and digesting broccoli for the first time.

Researching tendon problems, I began noticing a link to Ciprofloxacin… of course this is now maybe a year into my floxing. My doctor looked at me doubtfully when I mentioned my problems might be linked to Cipro. I had read that doctors won’t talk about it or even believe it, and fully expected the reaction he gave. However, the attending male nurse said it was possible I was right.

At this point I gave up on doctors.

Two years into this, I had some time on my hands for about ten days. Admittedly, I was a bit down, and didn’t make plans to keep busy with friends/family. Just felt like withdrawing and so I sat on the sofa and read a bunch of books, ate, and slept. I just barely moving around.

Well… I started feeling better. It was pretty marked improvement. I wasn’t sure if I was better due to inactivity, allowing tendons to repair themselves, or if the time would have been a factor. About this time I found the FTG (Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Group) fan page. My journey has already become history, although I do have occasional flare-ups, just now recovering today from a recent one that affected my hands mostly, and began about five days ago. Thankfully, the intensity has never been as severe as before.

Lisa’s response – Karen, your story is really interesting. So you just somewhat suddenly felt better after years of feeling bad – am I understanding that correctly? And nothing triggered your recovery other than taking it easy and resting? If I’m understanding you correctly, it sounds like your body was just ready to recover – suddenly. Kinda crazy, huh? It’s so strange that this happens at all, and that each of us experience such different symptoms, and that the recovery process is different for everyone. What is your life like now? Can you do the things that you could do before you were floxed? Do you have any advice for other floxies? I look forward to hearing more about your story, if you would like to share.

Karen’s Response – I think it was a combination of being two years from being floxed and complete rest that gave me a turning point. I have persistent relapses, but probably bring them about by trying to use my hands/legs the way a normal person would, such as vigorously scrubbing or prolonged hiking. At least the relapses are light and short, with a few exceptions. No, I can’t often do everything I could before without paying a price, but life is good.

** 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.