After getting floxed I developed a significant amount of skepticism toward Western Medicine. I realized the damage that Western Medicine, especially pharmaceuticals, can do, and I stopped believing that doctors can fix many issues. I learned that Western Medicine is really lousy at dealing with multi-symptom chronic illnesses of all types–including the ones that are recognized (like autoimmune diseases)–but especially the ones that are not recognized (like fluoroquinolone toxicity) or ill-defined (like ME/CFS, fibromyalgia, etc.). I saw that there is very little that can be done to help people who have suffered from iatrogenic illness, and that often (though not always, of course) when Western Medicine doctors encounter a patient who has been hurt by a pharmaceutical or medical procedure their response is hostile or ignorant.

With that knowledge, I proceeded to tell myself that I was better off without Western Medicine. Despite my insurer’s pleas, I refused to sign up with a primary care physician (out of laziness and inertia as much as fear and adversity) and I told myself that I was healthier and happier without getting poked, prodded, and possibly poisoned by doctors. For the most part, my avoidance of the Western Medical system has been serving me fine. I have been healthy and happy for many years.

However, I recently had an issue that needed to be fixed by a Western Medicine doctor – or, at least the tools of a Western Medicine doctor. I needed a minor surgery. A scalpel and Novocain were necessary to fix my issue (an issue that is somewhat embarrassing, has nothing to do with fluoroquinolone toxicity, and that no one wants to envision, so I’m going to do my best to get through this post without saying exactly what it was). No diet changes would cure me, nor could acupuncture, nor could exercises, or anything else other than a scalpel (the Novocain wasn’t strictly necessary, but it sure made getting cut easier for everyone involved). So, I went to a surgery center, got my minor surgery, and am on my way to being healed. The doctor who fixed my issue was good. He was kind, thoughtful, and he did what he needed to do to fix my issue in as quick and painless a way as possible. I am grateful to him for what he did, and I’m glad that the technology to quickly and easily fix my issue was available.

Western Medicine is really good at fixing well-defined problems that involve scalpels and other cutting tools. Western Medicine put me back together.

About a week after I got my issue fixed, my mom fell and broke her hip. She needed a partial hip replacement and she got one. It’s still a recent development, and it’s TBD how well she was put back together, but, my point is that Western Medicine doctors are good at dealing with broken bones (and pus pockets). They also have good tools for numbing people and knocking them out. The painkillers that they have are also quite effective (though not without consequence). I’m hopeful, actually fairly confident, that the doctors did a good job putting my mom back together, and that she’ll recover well.

I wish that Western Medicine was as good with multi-symptom, multi-system, complex illnesses as it is with broken bones, pus pockets, and other issues that can be fixed with surgery. I wish that fixing gut microbiome dysbiosis was as common and easy as fixing a broken bone. I wish that hormonal imbalances were as easy to detect and cure as an abscess. I wish that adverse drug reactions were easy to detect, and that the promise in all the commercials of “see your doctor if xyz occurs” resulted in a doctor who knew how to treat and cure adverse drug reactions. But Western Medicine isn’t good with multi-symptom, multi-system, chronic illnesses – it just isn’t.

But they are good with broken bones and surgeries, and I am very, very, very thankful that I got my issue taken care of, and that my mom got a surgery to put her hip back together.

Western Medicine has its place. And as much as I’d like to avoid doctors, I’m going to go to them when necessary. I’m guessing that you will too. I really wish that they were better at treating fluoroquinolone toxicity and other similar issues – or even better at treating the symptoms of fluoroquinolone toxicity. Maybe someday.