Post #1 –
I had been very active on this group until I made the decision that reading about so much suffering was more than my psyche could handle.
It all began back in April 2013 after a three week therapy of 500 mg twice a day of Cipro. My life changed in so many horrible ways they are too many to list. Fear, terror, the PN symptoms were indescribable. My whole body was compromised, my mental state was extremely fragile. I experienced so many moments when I did not believe I could deal with it all one more day. Every new symptom threw me into a tail spin that I believed was going to end with my crashing and burning. Every day was a 24/7 attempt to hold myself together. Be able to work, function, not lose my mind. Being around me for my family (especially my wife) friends, co-workers was truly a drag, a huge downer. But only those of us who have lived the nightmare can truly relate to that of which I speak.
So many of you told me that with time my condition would improve. Words of encouragement were so very much appreciated, but for me it was difficult to believe comprehend. The stress of my FQ poisoning and everyday life (especially a very stressful profession) had me stuck in an extremely high level of fear and anxiety that I truly feared I was heading toward a nervous breakdown.
Through all of it I have been extremely proactive in seeking help that could get me to a better place. Traditional medicine and all the tests ,changed nothing, but only confused me even more. Homeopathic practitioner, an Acupuncturist with a long and successful history for treating pain symptoms (and more) and competent masseuses and a Psychiatrist helping me with anti depressant, anti anxiety medications (although I would rather not be taking any) have all contributed to my improvement and a sense if relief. I still have a ways to go after 10 months and I know not if I will ever be back to my pre FQ poisoning, but I do remain optimistic. Exercise which has been at the center of my daily life had come to a complete halt, I have been on our Elliptical machine several times a week and seem to be tolerating the effects of this form of exercise. What I have learned over these 10 months is to not lose hope, to search for alternative forms of treatment which may help, bring one back to a more tolerable state of daily life. I hope that my sharing may bring some sense of hope to those who have just joined this group and to those who are still struggling with their own FQ disaster.
Stockdale’s Paradox: regardless of how horrible our circumstances, how incredibly our present condition, we must persevere, must believe that we will survive, overcome, Keep the faith, do not give in, give up. You too will have your own story of healing to share.
Lisa’s note – I asked Stu to let me know in about a month if he still felt ready for me to post his recovery story. About a month after he posted the story above, he sent the following update –
It has been about a month since I last sent Lisa an update. Now in my 11th month of having been poisoned by Cipro 500 mg twice day for three weeks. I did not believe that I could truly survive the symptoms of PN that I had been left with during the first four months of their onset. The burning and coldness and pain in both of my shins, calves and feet were indescribable. There truly were days when I did not believe that I could make it through another day of my life as it had become. The stress related to constant worry and fear led to a level of anxiety, that in itself had been making me even more ill.
With the help of a psychologist and psychiatrist and some medication (cymbalt 30mg, 1 mg clonazepam and 25 mg elavil) I was able to get my anxiety under control. And having been unable to exercise after a life time of running, biking, nyc marathon, triathlons, etc. (which I had participated in for 33 years) being brought to a dead stop added another level of a daily existence which was hard to digest. I listened to others in this group who told me to keep the faith and things will get better.
After seeking help from an endless list of traditional medicine docs and tests and than turning to a Holistic practitioner, I have now been for 13 acupuncture treatments (trigger point needling, qua sha, and cupping) in conjunction with visiting once a week a masseuse that is doing deep muscle massage treatments.
I would like to say that I am 100% better, but I truly don’t know if I will ever get there. I am on my Elliptical machine 3-5 days a week (this activity has seemed to be the least bothersome to the symptoms I still have). Twitching in my calves, some soreness and low level pain in both feet and a coldness in both feet that just seems to not want to quit. However, I am so much better than I had been many months ago and remain optimistic that I will continue to improve. For those of you dealing with your own personal struggles, don’t give up hope. Remain positive, believe that you will get better. Going down the road of dark thoughts (as I found out myself) only makes you feel worse.
Stockdale Paradox ” Retain faith that you will prevail in the end, regardless of the difficulties – and confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be”.