I remember the day perfectly, it was Monday, April 23, 2018. I had a super fun week ahead of me. I was turning 42 on the 26th, I had birthday festivities planned for the whole week. I also thought I possibly had a kidney stone. I had some discomfort but wanted to stick it out but decided to go to the doctor because of my “big birthday week.”
At the doctor, they discovered that there was bacteria in my urine, which was odd, since I had absolutely NO SYMPTOMS or even discomfort of a UTI. They prescribed CIPRO, 2 times a day for 10 days. I had not had a UTI in 20 plus years but I just wanted to be good for all of the festivities so I took it. I did read the warnings but stupidly thought, that’s not going to happen, they just have to say that.
Well, by the third pill, the pain in my legs was excruciating. I was a boot camp instructor and was complaining during class. One of my clients, who is an ER nurse, told me to stop taking the Cipro, it sounded like a reaction. I immediately stopped, but it was too late. By that evening, I was unable to walk without extreme pain. I laid down and when I woke the next morning, my legs were better but I called the doctor anyway and they prescribed something else. That Friday, they called me and let me know that I did NOT have a UTI. So, all of this was for nothing.
Then weird things began happening, I usually have two cups of black tea in the morning and one in the afternoon, but all of the sudden I began having heart palpitations from the caffeine, it was like what I picture a heart attack feeling like. Then I attempted to have a glass of champagne on my actual birthday and I was spinning after one ( I can hold my own when it comes to champagne). I attempted working out and did a very light workout and after it felt like every joint in my body was inflamed, to the point that I had to ice.
I was devastated, I began reading everything on fluorquinolone toxicity which caused me so much more anxiety. I was on every Facebook page and kept reading all of these horrible things. I purchased the Fluoroquinolone Solution booklet and began putting everything into play. My doctor said he had never heard of my symptoms from Cipro that it usually only affects the achilles, so I switched doctors and told the new doctor I wanted to do everything in the Fluoroquinolone booklet and she wouldn’t even look at it because it wasn’t written by a doctor. She did bloodwork, everything was perfect.
Over the next month, I tried everything, magnesium, perfect eating, saunas, NAET, CBD, you name it, nothing helped. The smallest bit of exercise hurt my joints, so I basically quit exercising. In June, I sought out a naturopathic doctor that someone else used with great success. I began going to her with devastating results. Although she supposedly successfully helped others with this, it was devastating to my body. She explained that the second process of my liver wasn’t functioning properly so she prescribed a detox. I do believe the detox helped with my liver function and helped with the future filtering of toxins but it erupted a horrible second Cipro wave. I suffered a brachial neuritis that affected both my brachial plexus and eventually my lumbar plexus, also known as Parsonage Turner Syndrome. Basically, every nerve in my body was inflamed. My right shoulder paralyzed and the pain throughout my whole body was excruciating. I couldn’t put any pressure on my arms, so what little sleep I was able to get, I laid like a mummy on my back. I was no longer able to do anything, I lost 20 lbs of muscle in 3 weeks via neurological atrophy.
No one had any knowledge on what to do with Cipro toxicity. The doctors I visited couldn’t find anything wrong with me. The MRIs showed tendonitis but no nerve compressions or interactions and the nerve conduction test didn’t show any nerve damage, so they just suggested doing physical therapy to help with my paralyzed shoulder, which had now become frozen. The PT place I started at was fine, but I wasn’t making any great strides. The pain was so intense, just a slight touch to my skin was brutal. I was still perfectly following the clean eating, no alcohol and no caffeine. I was depressed, here I was, once this powerhouse, athletic woman and now I couldn’t even drive, walk my dog, hold my children or feel safe going anywhere.
By the beginning of August, the pain started moving into my legs, hips and feet. Half of my right leg was numb, my left knee cap kept slipping out of place because the nerve that services that muscle was so inflamed that I could barely walk. I was only able to wear loose clothing because anything that touched my legs caused skin pain. My legs felt prickly and my toes felt like they were sticking together. Many times it would feel like water droplets were dripping on my body or the muscles were ripping away from the bone. I was miserable and sad. I wore splints on my wrists and my knees. I had tried everything, holistic and beyond with no avail. I sought out a different neurologist who diagnosed the neuritis, explained how they can just happen from toxins, surgery, illness or even without an explanation. She did another nerve conduction, which again showed no nerve damage and sent me to continue physical therapy, as there is no treatment for Cipro Toxicity.
I went to a therapist for a session who suggested I “try” my old things. I had literally shut down to the world around me. So, I shut out going to dinner, listening to music (reminds me of exercise) or having a cocktail. Then I decided to try. I ate non-organic food for the first time in 3 months and had champagne….I was ok. Nothing bad happened. So I decided to try marijuana…..finally, I was relaxed. I had a ton of pain but I started to enjoy the things that I had cut out. Life was much different but I realized that I needed to try to enjoy the things that once made me happy because this was the only life I had, so I tried. It would be more than a year before I would truly be successful at this.
In October, I finally found what was going to help my recovery. I entered the neurological re-engineering program at Barwis. The program helps people with neurological injuries and/or diseases. The place was perfect, they train professional athletes in the same area as all of these people with these neurological disorders. I was no longer in a depressing, hospital, physical therapy setting. I was in a highly motivational arena with music blasting, athletes kicking ass and on any given day, a person, who was once bound to a wheel chair, was now crawling on the ground or using a walker.. My PT honestly saved me. He had worked with a couple of people with Cipro toxicity and several that had also suffered a neuritis. He explained that it was important that we keep moving, even with all of the pain. He explained that by not moving, I would get worse. He told me to try to forget the pain, it’s just pain, it wasn’t an indication of “injury” in my situation. I believed him and just kept going.
I kept pushing. Slowly, things started coming back. I regained full range of motion in my once paralyzed shoulder, with constant muscle activation, I began getting stronger, I could do pushups on a wall, then on my knees and then full pushups. The muscles in my legs began to fire again, the numbness started getting less and less. I started noticing my knee was holding for longer periods of time. It took about 18 months for the pain of fabrics against my skin to go away.
In August 2019, I decided to revisit the neurologist again. It had been a year since visiting a doctor. I got so tired of them acting like I was a hypochondriac and nothing was wrong so I only saw my PT because he knew what was happening was real but I decided that I should have them redo my nerve conduction tests as I still had a lot of nerve responses. My numbers had all improved. The neuritis had healed. The test now read that I had bilateral radiculopathy at C5 and L5, However, my MRIs do not show any nerve compression, therefore, it is determined that I have nerve inflammation and damage at those 4 nerve roots. My neurologist was thrilled with my numbers and told me that I’m going to have good days and bad days. I have way more good days and the bad days are just a bump in the road and short lived.
In December 2019, my PT and I decided that I had successfully finished the program and was ready to be on my own. I wasn’t back to where I was pre-Cipro, but I realized that all of the weird prickles, pain and slight deficits are now a part of me, they don’t define me and they don’t control my happiness. I really believe movement is the answer. I was in so much pain for sooooooo long, excruciating pain, but with constant movement, I’m healing.
Today is July 26, 2020- Life is good. Granted, we are in the midst of a pandemic, but my Cipro Toxicity seems like a thing of the past. I feel as though I’m pretty “cured.” I have some deficits, weird sensations and some nerve damage but now I feel that I am physically and mentally 95% better. I lift weights most days of the week and ride my bike daily!
Here are the things that I believe have helped my recovery are
- MOVEMENT- it hurts but you HAVE to do it. Find a good PT.
- A huge support system- My friends and family were pivotal in my recovery
- Marijuana- I really believe it helped my pain-it’s a controversial thing but worked for me. I took capsules and tincture, I did not smoke it
- Celery juice- I did this every day-still do
- Got off ALL Cipro Toxicity Groups on Social Media- they caused too much anxiety. I got sucked into reading about all negative things. When you fill your head with negative ideas, you’ll be negative
- Read a lot of success stories on Floxie Hope, made me believe it can get better
- Finally stopped Googling everything. The answer could only come from me.
- BELIEVING I would get better, never giving up! Not just having the desire to get better, putting in the work EVERYDAY to get better. There were days in the beginning that I was always negative and miserable but I changed my mindset (very hard to do) and things began to change.
- Positive self- talk. I beat myself up and destroyed myself via my thoughts. Learning to change that made all of the difference.
Here are the supplements I take:
- Ester C -500 mg x 1 a day
- Vitamin D- 2000 mg x day
- Fish Oil 1000 mg
- Chelated Magnesium- 100 mg as needed, my blood levels are good so I only take if my nerves are bothering me
- Ubiquinol 250 mg x 1 day
- 25 billion Probiotic x 1 a day
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.