I took Cipro off and on for about 10 years for recurring UTIs. I discovered in July of 2016 that Cipro was causing my rapidly declining health.
My symptoms included knee pain/tendonitis, hip pain, memory loss, cognitive processing delays, brain fog, headaches, insulin regulation problems/prediabetes, night sweats, anxiety, panic attacks, extreme sensitivity to noise, sensitivity to light, dry skin (very dry and cracked skin on feet that resembled athlete’s foot), sensitive skin (while removing a band-aid, pieces of the skin on my arm came off), insomnia, and chronic fatigue.
This illness affected all areas of my life including work, relationships, and my ability to be physically active. For many years, I was an active runner and it was one of the truest joys of my life. When I was ill, I grieved a lot of things about my pre-illness life, but I especially grieved the ability to wake up early and run by the lake. There are many things in life that bring me joy, but one that’s top on my list is a sunrise run by Lake Michigan. It makes me feel so alive and connected to the natural beauty in the world.
Sometimes when driving down Lake Shore Drive, I would get teary-eyed seeing other joggers out doing something that seemed so effortless and natural for them, yet I was at home struggling to walk up my stairs. I am now 100% recovered and recently finished a 31-day running challenge called Marcothon. Runners from all over the world commit to running every day in the month of December, including Christmas Day. The challenge is to run at least 3 miles or 25 minutes, whichever comes first, each day. I completed the challenge with flying colors and it was everything I hoped and dreamed. I consider it one of the great blessings of my life to regain my health and to be able to run again.
When I was sick, I read recovery stories over and over again and while no one story was exactly like mine, I took something from every story and applied it to my own journey. So here is my recovery journey and hopefully something in it will offer hope and helpful information for someone else.
1. Acupuncture – I did this treatment for about 3 months. The pain started to dissipate after about 6 weeks.
2. Neurofeedback – I did this treatment twice a week for about 10 weeks. This helped with my memory issues, brain fog, cognitive processing, anxiety, and headaches.
3. Vitamins & Supplements – My naturopathic doctor ran intracellular nutrient testing to see which vitamins and minerals I was deficient in. I was taking about 30 pills a day at one point. I took all of these for about 6 months before starting to ween off. (Vitamin A, B-complex, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin K2, Magnesium, Calcium, D-ribose, CoQ10, Acetyl L-Carnitine, Zinc, Copper, L-asparagine, Chromium, 5-HTP, Curcumin, NAC, Kavinace, Probiotic) Prior to going to the naturopathic doctor, I used the book The Real Vitamin & Mineral Book by Shari Lieberman to put together a supplement plan for myself.
4. Plant-based diet – I cut out all meat, dairy and animal products and focused on eating a diet high in micronutrients and low in saturated fat. I used the nutrition advice from Dr. Neal Barnard (Reversing Diabetes) and Dr. Joel Fuhrman (Eat to Live).
5. Meditation – I started practicing Yoga Nidra and began cultivating a meditation practice using the techniques I learned in those classes. I use several apps to do meditation at home including Headspace and Insight Timer. I meditate at least once a day and sometimes twice daily. Yoga Nidra is a specific type of meditation that allows the body to enter a deep state of relaxation that promotes healing. More information about how this works can be found here: https://www.yogajournal.com/meditation/your-brain-on-yoga-nidra
6. Mindbody connection/tension myositis syndrome treatment – I used the techniques in Dr. John Sarno’s book (The Mindbody Prescription) to deal with underlying issues that were causing pain. After following the techniques in that book, all my remaining pain went away.
7. CFS Unraveled (https://cfsunravelled.com/) – This site has great videos on how chronic pain and other issues manifest in the body and I used the techniques outlined here to put together my own treatment plan. The recovery stories are also inspiring. Although the site isn’t dedicated to FQT, I do think that the antibiotics I took triggered the same response in the autonomic nervous system that many CFS and fibromyalgia sufferers deal with.
While I was sick, I read a lot of recovery stories, not just of people who were affected by fluoroquinolone toxicity syndrome, but stories from people who’d overcome all kinds of illnesses and injuries. One story that really resonated with me was the story of NBA star Stephen Curry. Early in his career he had recurring ankle injuries. Through those injuries he had to find a way to get stronger and through his recovery and adjustments, he became a better player than he ever was before. He’s now one of the best players the NBA has ever seen. I took inspiration from his story and vowed to myself that I would come back from this and be a better version of myself than I was before the illness. And I’m happy to say that that is now my story. I’m physically active again. I run regularly. I do indoor cycling, strength training, and everything I used to do back when I was at my peak activity level. All of my symptoms are gone and I’m completely pain-free.
** 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.