*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.
On July 28, 2014 I was given a round of Cipro for a stomach infection at a local hospital. I only took 2 of the 6 pills that I was prescribed because within 24 hours after taking the pills I developed the following symptoms: severe pain in my joints; psychotic episodes that left me feeling like ripping off my skin and difficulty breathing. It literally happened in an instant, like a bomb went off in me. I called the hospital where they prescribed me the Cipro and they told me to ‘finish it’ and that what I was feeling was ‘a normal reaction’. I decided not to finish the medication and despite only taking two pills, the symptoms continued to get worse over the next 2 months. Within one week, the joint pain got worse, feelings of madness and depression, twitching, numbness in my legs and insomnia increased. Within 2 weeks, my joints began popping, my legs and arms would go numb; severe pain in my leg muscles and achilles tendons and severe insomnia set in. My finger joints began swelling and my skin burned as if it were on fire. Within 4 weeks I developed severe neuropathy all over my body; I could not walk, sleep, my legs would twitch and ached as if they were to explode and the numbness in my face caused occasional slurred speech. These symptoms lasted for months and as of today, March 10, 2015, most of the nightmare is gone, except for occasional hip pain, inability to stand for too long, popping bones and an twitch in my legs and arms. As of today, I cannot run and still have a hard time climbing stairs. I am overcoming this but I’m not out of the water yet, I still have lots more healing to do.
During my illness, there were weeks when I was unable to drive, weeks when I could not walk, weeks when I could not work and the fear was exhausting. Eventually I used a cane to get around, stayed at motels to avoid commuting and even lived at work. I had to get a new automatic car because I could no longer drive my stick shift. Somehow I managed to keep my job. I fought everyday and still do, but it’s getting easier. I was in so much pain but I refused to give up. This journey compelled me to dig deep into my soul for the answers; never before had I been disabled and I was determined to find a way to heal.
What did I do to heal? Note that I am not a doctor and my method of healing is not meant to diagnose or treat any disease. I’m not sure what healed me: time or not listening to the doctors who prescribe Cipro when they offered more pills and drugs to combat the toxicity. Maybe it was my naturopathic approach to healing with foods and homeopathic remedies; my mind; my spirit; God; who knows. Nonetheless, I am getting better with each passing day.
Here’s what I’ve done over the last 7 months to survive this tragedy: there are three areas of healing that I considered: my physical body, my mind, and my spirit:
Trust your intuition. The first step to healing is understanding that you know your body best. Don’t let anyone tell you that this [your symptoms] are in your head; what you are experiencing is real and if you think it was the fluoroquinolones (Cipro) that caused this to you, then you are probably correct. The many doctors I saw went to great lengths trying to convince me that it wasn’t the Cipro that caused my disability; they seem to defend their pills like a religion. The doctor that prescribed me the Cipro immediately dismissed my claim that it was the medication and told me not to conduct medical research on the internet. A secondary doctor was more supportive but insisted that he had never heard of fluoroquinolone toxicity. Both doctors, oblivious to the effects of the medication they so confidently prescribe, never did any research on Cipro, otherwise, they would have found what we’ve all found. Instead they opted to remove a bullet with another bullet – they offered me painkillers and one even offered anti-depressants, claiming that I was exhibiting ‘psychotic’ episodes due to a false ‘self-diagnosis’. I realized they were wrong and I refused all synthetic drugs. I was on my own, or at least that’s how it felt.
During my illness, I’ve been to over 8 ‘FDA approved’ doctors, from neurologists, orthopedics, osteopaths, internists and general practioners – all of them were left scratching their heads. All they could do was to offer me synthetic drugs, from painkillers, anti-depressants, steroids, you name it. I was terrified to take any pills, even Advil. Not one doctor ever mentioned eating healthy, drinking water, naturopathic remedies or even positive thinking – for them, it was all about pills, pills, pills. I lost all trust for ‘mainstream’ doctors and our medical system. As my symptoms got worse, I grew even more desperate, so I reached out to the Quinolone Vigilance Foundation (www.saferpills.org) to find some answers. Through the foundation I met a new friend, he was a recovering Floxie, who would inspire me to take a natural approach to healing. To me, at the time, he was the expert. He knew so much about the drug and the research that I followed his every directive: juicing, raw foods, magnesium, potassium, iron, glutathione treatments, saunas, rest, rest, rest.
Empower your mind. You will heal! You must be headstrong. To do this I began listening to online meditations, self-empowerment tapes, doing mantras, prayer, positive self-talk and creative visualization. I tried everything. The websites on Cipro can be helpful, but limit the fearful posts about Cipro – reading all the horror stories can scare anyone. Remember, everyone is different, you will heal! My mantra(s): “I am strong and healthy; my bones are strong and healthy; my muscles are healing; I am feeling better and better every day; I am loved; I deserve a healthy, vibrant life; I am full of energy; my body is intelligent; I am healing and attract all things that will heal me; I love myself… you get the picture. Say it over and over in your head, out loud, scream it, feel it, believe it!
Your food is your medicine! Detox, detox, detox! I did my research and tried different naturopathic remedies. I still eat only ate only raw, organic, non-gmo foods; tons of fresh juices such as beat juice with cilantro, oranges, carrots, apples, wheatgrass, etc. I eat as purely as possible which means no processed foods, meats (organic meats may be ok), corn syrup, refined sugars or alcohol. I have used medical grade cannabis as an approach to healing with great results; research shows that CBD cannabinoids, (medical marijuana oils low in THC) can help with neuropathy, pain, repair cells, and assist with sleep, which is fundamental to healing (these oils are not legal in most states, but fortunately where I live, I can legally posses the plant oils). The CBD has helped me to sleep again and has helped with energy and decreased my neuropathy greatly. I eat tons of sardines (rich in omega oils), green foods, and of course supplements as follows: 2 or more liters of water everyday, preferably 8ph balanced or higher; food-based multi-vitamins, Angstrom quality magnesium, zeolite, ProImmune to increase glutathione levels, glutathione IV treatments, magnesium IV treatments, acupuncture and Chinese herbs. I also would take magnesium baths and I applied magnesium to my legs for pain. I went to healers of all kinds from hypnotherapists, reiki healers, and many more – anything I could do to create a sense of peace and vision for a better life. Yes, it was expensive and yes, all of my money went to healing… but not even the best health insurance could have saved me, that’s the sad part. Most of us have to rely on each other and the power of natural remedies to heal our condition.
Each week that passes, I feel better and better, although, some days, the pain comes back, but it goes away much faster now. I’ve learned a lot from this condition but the one lesson that keeps me grounded is that my health (your health) is our greatest gift and asset; if you have your health, you are the richest person in the world! I’m grateful to be walking (almost normal), driving, and eating healthier than I ever have in my life. It brings me great joy when people see me now and say, ‘wow, you look great, you look healthy and stronger’. I learned that so many people care for me. I am so grateful.
You are healing; you are strong; you can overcome this. It will take time. Remember, everyone is different.
If you need to talk or need someone to listen, I’m here. Many former Floxies were there for me during my disability and I hope I can help you; feel free to email me at email@example.com and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
Remember: I am healing everyday; I am strong and healthy!
** 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.
Great story, thanks for sharing! Glad you’re on the mend 🙂
Glad to hear you are doing better. I too have improved greatly. I just wish I could put some weight back on. That, and the neuropathy is the biggest issues for me.
Oh THANK you for sharing your story of health and healing. Especially the verbal affirmations. That is inspiring me to not feel so defeated.
Very happy that you’re healing and may the healing continue until you’re better than ever! 🙂 Thanks for sharing your story!
Wow… what an empowering testimony.. Bravo. My wife is 13mos out and took the same natural 100% organic route as you.. Ten months of hell… and than by month 11 things suddenly began to improve.. and slowly improving ever since, albeit some depressing setbacks along the way… but just as you said.. the recovery is now quicker than it was in the early floxing days.
Thank you Phillip for sharing your story and your recovery with us all..I wish you well!
keep my fingers crossed. i was floxed at about same time. exactly same experience with doctors. i cant wait time when i am healed completly. still having difficulties, but getting better each month thought there are some flares occasionally.
thanks for sharing your story, phillip, is your insomnia improved?
People we need to work together on this one. Very important!
Cipro was just mentioned on Joe Rogan’s podcast:
(@ 28:35 after she talked about anthrax)
This podcast is listened to by millions of people on itunes, ustream, his website joerogan.net and youtube. We NEED to ask him to cover it in one of his next podcasts and even better to invite Lisa!!! 🙂 He is very open about every subject of interest and very direct and honest without having to answer to any sponsor or media group.
PLEASE send him requests to invite Lisa and cover this subject.
His twitter: https://twitter.com/joerogan
His homepage: http://www.joerogan.net
His youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzQUP1qoWDoEbmsQxvdjxgQ
His facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/JOEROGAN
Send him as many requests as possible. I already contacted him via all this plattforms but we nee more. Only if there are enough requests will he look into it, as there are many requests send his way. So please let’s all send him at least 1 message.
It’s a chance to reach a lot of people.
How many milligrams of magnesium did you take? kris
Looking at CBD. I live in CA. What kind of CBD did you use?
Great you’re doing so much better, Phillip. It is very very sad that the majority of doctors do NOT take the time to research this; defend to the death these drugs; insist the problem MUST be due to something else. They are SO brainwashed! Dr. Cohen was one of the good ones…and he is very critical of those same doctors in his book.
I would like to read a follow up since its now a year later.
Thank you so much for your story, it has given me some hope and ideas. I was floxed after my appendix ruptured right before Thanksgiving 2016. My week long stay at the hospital involved IV antibiotics and sent home with avalox, same family as cipro. Since I already had a damaged left knee patellar tendon, I freaked out when I read the black box warning on avalox and damage it can cause to tendons. By the middle of January I could no longer walk at all. It now seems to be gradually moving into my shoulders. I tried cannabis yesterday for the first time praying it would give some relief, but it didn’t. In fact my knee actually hurts worse today. I do take pain pills, I don’t think I could endure the pain otherwise. I am a young 69 because I always took good care of myself, walking every day for over 40 years, working in my yard, and even riding my own motorcycle. Now those things I loved to do seem a distant past. I’ve always been very independent but now my husband is having to take care of me, in a wheel chair. It’s like I don’t know who I am anymore. My hope is truly in God alone and being encouraged by your story and others who have made great progress. thank you! Leahlosse@gmail.com
If you can find a good ND or integrative doc (perhaps a sports medicine doctor) you might want to look into prolozone injections in the knee. They help the tissue heal naturally. (I had it done for torn meniscus and so far so good…and compared to most other options pretty cheap. Mine was $200.)
I am health coach and group exercise coach for seniors. I had a minor bout of diverticulitis and went on cipro for 12 days. Huge mistake. I could barely teach my classes. I went on another antibiotic- sulfa based- and am doing better for the diverticular syndrome. However, it’s been a long haul of almost 2 months of cipro after effects. The initial side effects: heart palpitations, naseuea, exhaustion, shoulder pain and muscle tremors. All the side effects have gone away except my movements are still shaky. They are not that noticeable, but I certainly notice them. I did the nutrition, meditation/reiki, and sunning route. I lost 17 pounds from all of this and I’m sure part of the shaking has to do with the weight loss. I’m trying to eat at least 20 to 25 grams of easily edible protein at each meal. Fish, eggs, tofu and chicken are the easiest on the digestive system. Protein helps with muscle/tissue repair and helps maintain blood sugar. I’m also trying to get 2 servings of fruit a day, plus 4 veggies (greens are good for the gut, as are veggies that are very colorful). I’m avoiding foods with seeds for the time being due to the diverticula issue. I also eat a lot of avocado for the oils. I go to the pool or the beach to get some sun – for the vitamin D. I’ve also been doing yoga every day, but very mild as my muscles can get strained easily right now. I also take magnesium, jarrow’s sublingual B-12, chlorophyll, a B multi-vitamin and vitamin C (for the nerves) and Calcium with vitamin D. I do not take the supplements every day, maybe every other day or 1 out 3 days. I think it’s better to get your vitamins from food and that too many supplements are hard on the kidneys. I’m not a big fan of taking cannibus for this type of thing, given the affect it can have on the frontal cortex and on balance. If anxiety levels are too high, your doctor can put you on a medically controlled anti-anxiety medication, which would be best to take before bedtime for better sleep. Good sleep allows your stomach to make serotonin, which is your body’s natural calming agent. That’s a general outline…Leah, see if you can get an MRI on your knee to see what is going on internally and to see whether or not you have a tear. If you are now in a wheelchair, you need to demand that diagnostic test from your physician, if you haven’t already.
Thank you! I read this mantra out loud! Thank you for yur testimony! God bless you..
Your story give floxies great hope . I was floxed about 8 months ago, and I too choose a natural approach to my recovery. Magnesium, chiropractoric care, massages, are what I contribute my recovery to, along with diet and other supplements. So agree that having a postive mindset is a key factor to recovery. Some days it’s a little harder then others, but you have to keep moving!!
Dear Phillip, I am Dan Jervis, the last one on the long list. Would you please consider sharing your story to CBS 60 Minutes? firstname.lastname@example.org