Tag Archives: Film

Floxed Friday – Why Don’t You Sue?

Every Friday Michelle Polacinski, a Floxie as well as the Director and Producer of ‘Floxed,’ sends out a newsletter to those who have subscribed to the ‘Floxed’ newsletter. The Floxed Friday updates are always interesting and thoughtful, and Michelle has given me permission to share them here. 
 
If you would like to receive the Floxed Friday updates directly from Michelle, please subscribe to the Floxed Documentary email list. You can subscribe through THIS LINK. Subscribing also helps Michelle to gain funding for the Floxed Documentary, and she doesn’t send out spam. 
 
The following was written by Michelle: 

I’m writing this next to a large window and a view of falling snowflakes, gently floating down to the ground below, causing accidents and exciting skiers everywhere.

Skiing is a big, big deal for me. I learned when I was 4 years old in the middle of the woods in Upstate New York. My dad, a trophy-winning freestyle skier, known for his backflips and helicopters, gave me a pair of used thrift store Rossignols with the chickens at the top and gave me poles meant for a much taller child as we hopped over sticks and fallen trees together.

After racing on a team in high school and teaching skiing for 6 seasons, it’s easy to see that I’m enamored with the sport.

Skiing was and still is one of my favorite activities. When I was floxed, I couldn’t walk or hike for awhile. I was one of those floxies who crawled to the bathroom and lost 20 pounds in merely weeks.

I was no professional athlete floxie, but come winter, I was terrified that I would never ski again.

I was one of the lucky ones. While many floxies remain forever disabled, forever unable to walk again or run again, I got better and could ski again. To be fair, skiing is not a tendon-heavy sport, so it was easier to get back into it than, say, rock climbing or weight lifting or running or whatever other people do to stay fit.

I’m not bragging about it at all, but I was able to go backcountry skiing a couple days ago after we got a huge snowstorm and discussed my *former* disability with another skier I met there.

“Why don’t you sue?”

He actually didn’t ask me that question, but most people do when I talk about getting floxed. The answer is a complex one.

Many have tried and many have failed to win, including successful lawyers with floxed loved ones or doctors who have been floxed themselves. Lawsuits, including class action ones, have come and gone since the late 70’s, but fluoroquinolone antibiotics are still on the market because “there is enough warning for patients,” and “look at all those black box warnings!”

We disagree. We think that there needs to be much more education about Fluoroquinolone Toxicity, for medical professionals especially, but also better informed consent for patients.

It’s easy to blame the doctor who prescribed the antibiotic, but the fact of the matter is that many doctors are not adequately warned of the risks themselves. Doctors, like Mark Ghalili, DO, have been floxed. If that’s not an example that they are not properly informed, I don’t know what is. Today, Fluoroquinolone Toxicity is regularly taught in medical schools all over the USA, but I want it to be a mandatory lesson.

It’s regular practice for pharmacy technicians to remove the lists of warnings and pamphlets about the drug in order for it to be “easier” for patients, or so they say.

Who is to blame, really? Is it the drug itself? The drug had no intention. It’s an object, a creation. Is it pharmaceutical companies? Pharmacists? Investors?

Many floxies choose to blame themselves. “I shouldn’t have taken that drug,” they lament. “It probably happened because I’m too old, I was too sick, I took ibuprofen for a headache, I didn’t read the pamphlet, I have the MTHFR gene, I didn’t Google it, etc. etc. etc.”

It’s easy to blame the victim, even when the victim is never at fault . . . so who is to blame?

Instead of focusing on the blame, I’m focusing on solutions. Our team is focusing on how we can end this floxie epidemic once-and-for-all, with adequate educational campaigns and, hopefully, a huge, awesome documentary. Let us know if you want to help with the campaign and we’ll add you to a list for when the time comes.

Look out for YET ANOTHER podcast (originally recorded in June, I think!) coming out next week. We talk about how I became a filmmaker and get a little more into what it’s like to work in the film industry.

Have a great weekend and thank you for your continued support!

Best,

Michelle
Floxie, Director, and Producer of ‘Floxed’
#nonewfloxies #floxeddoc

*****

Floxed Friday – The Rise of Floxie Education

Every Friday Michelle Polacinski, a Floxie as well as the Director and Producer of ‘Floxed,’ sends out a newsletter to those who have subscribed to the ‘Floxed’ newsletter. The Floxed Friday updates are always interesting and thoughtful, and Michelle has given me permission to share them here. 
 
If you would like to receive the Floxed Friday updates directly from Michelle, please subscribe to the Floxed Documentary email list. You can subscribe through THIS LINK. Subscribing also helps Michelle to gain funding for the Floxed Documentary, and she doesn’t send out spam. 
 
The following was written by Michelle: 

We’re in Los Angeles, home of the entertainment industry, the most prevalent researcher on Fluoroquinolone Toxicity, nostalgia, and the doctor that floxed me. Ahhh it’s good to be home… and it’s weird to be home.

We’re shooting two very important interview subjects out here and we are very excited about what’s to come. During every interview, we learn something new that we didn’t know before. Did you know that on certain tests that doctors have to take in med school, “Cipro” is the answer to “What do you prescribe for a UTI?”

That was the case back then, but it’s not the case now.

Before diving headfirst into the entertainment industry, I was on track for medical school. I attended a pre-med summer camp for interested high school students in Boston, where I wore pant suits and attended conferences with a coffee in my hand as if I were a full-blown adult.

In college, I took classes on Animal Behavior and Microbiology, auditing Immunology by accident, and making friends along the way.

A lot of these friends, but not all, ended up making it to medical school. I was eternally grateful when they flooded me with facebook messages, skype calls, emails, and texts asking me the details about what happened to me. They were both alarmed and very curious.

Early into med school, they didn’t know much about what to expect, but a few years later, those same people reached out to me again, “just to let me know” that they had just taken an entire lesson on Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Syndrome and that they were told only to prescribe fluoroquinolones in near-death situations.

Naturally, my former academic peers shared my floxed story with their classmates and later, I had messages from other friends in nursing school who learned about FQT/FQAD.

At Chowder Fest this year, a woman made a sly remark about my “intelligence” when I propped the door to the bathroom open with a garbage can and we ended up talking about Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Syndrome just for a girl who was peeing to raise her arm over the stall and scream, “Is that CIPRO?” She learned about it in a Biology class studying for her Bachelor’s Degree.

I know it’s hard to have hope if you’ve been floxed, particularly if you’ve shown no signs of improvement, but there is hope in education. There’s hope in the future.

We hope that once finished, we can use this documentary as an educational resource for doctors and other medical professionals alike. Just talking about it seems to spark awareness and hopefully, change.

Have a great weekend!

Best,
Michelle Polacinski
Floxie, Director, and Producer of ‘Floxed’

*****

The Bleeding Edge and Parallels with Fluoroquinolone Toxicity

Have you seen the documentary The Bleeding Edge? It’s a wonderful film about the hazards of medical devices that I highly recommend. It’s currently (August 2018) available on Netflix. If you haven’t seen it, please do. It is an eye-opening, thought-provoking, insightful, frightening film.

The Bleeding Edge features stories from people who have suffered adverse reactions to various medical devises and procedures. Victims of Essure, mesh implants, metal hip replacements, and robotic surgical procedures report the harm done to them by these devices and procedures in the film.

The Bleeding Edge is a stark and scary reminder that, unfortunately, too often doctors are not abiding by the Hippocratic Oath. “First, do no harm” has gone by the wayside as these products and procedures maim their victims. Compounding the tragedy of the harm caused by these devices or procedures is the fact that, in many cases, there are safer devices or procedures available that would have had the intended results that the patients (and presumably their physicians) sought. Tying a woman’s tubes is a safer method of permanent sterilization than Essure; ceramic hip replacements are safer than metal ones; physical therapy can strengthen the pelvic floor and relieve symptoms of incontinence as well as mesh can; and, a surgeon’s hand may be a safer tool than a robotic arm. However, these safer procedures were not performed on the victims featured, or on thousands of other people, because the entire medical system ignored their Hippocratic Oath. Doctors (or administrators or insurance companies) were swayed to use these newer less-safe methods by marketing, efficiency, money, or ignorance–and patients were hurt in the process. It’s not okay, and steps back toward the basis of medicine in the Hippocratic Oath are, sadly, necessary.

There are several parallels between the experiences of people hurt by fluoroquinolone antibiotics (i.e. “floxies”) and the people featured in The Bleeding Edge. The adverse reactions to Essure are particularly similar to adverse reactions to fluoroquinolones. Adverse reactions to Essure look, and seem to feel, an awful lot like autoimmune diseases. Likewise, fluoroquinolone toxicity looks and feels a lot like an autoimmune disease. Essure adverse reactions are often severe and they affect multiple bodily functions. The women who had adverse reactions to Essure often suffered from permanent disability, even after the metal springs were removed from their body. Likewise, even long after fluoroquinolones “should” be out of a person’s body, the effects remain. Unfortunately, both Essure and fluoroquinolone adverse reactions can be permanent.

Like those featured in The Bleeding Edge who suffered from the toxic effects of metal-on-metal hip implants, fluoroquinolone victims often experience psychiatric adverse reactions. Fluoroquinolones can induce many serious mental health symptoms, and the FDA recently added “disturbances in attention, disorientation, agitation, nervousness, memory impairment, and serious disturbances in mental abilities called delirium” as highlighted adverse reactions to fluoroquinolones. Fluoroquinolones can also induce psychosis. The patient featured in The Bleeding Edge that suffered from psychosis, tremors, and other serious mental adverse effects from a metal hip replacement, is an Orthopedic Surgeon himself, and he “said he would never have believed neurological problems could come from orthopedic devices, if it wasn’t for that experience, and now tests the cobalt levels of his patients if they complain of having Parkinson’s or dementia-like symptoms.” (source). The victims of metal hip replacements are often told that their symptoms are simply a result of getting older. Fluoroquinolones are given to people of all ages, but those who are over 30 are often told that their symptoms are from “getting old” not from the drugs.

None of the adverse reactions featured in The Bleeding Edge are what one would intuitively expect an adverse reaction to look like. Who would think that a type of hip replacement could lead to psychosis? Who would think that a sterilization procedure could lead to a permanent autoimmune/neuroimmune disease? Similarly, who would think that a commonly prescribed class of antibiotics could cause multi-symptom, chronic, illness that has a lot in-common with these illnesses brought on by medical device adverse reactions? It’s absurd and unbelievable. It’s true though. Adverse reactions don’t look like they are “supposed” to look. They aren’t intuitive and they aren’t easy to identify.

Hopefully The Bleeding Edge will reform how patients and doctors alike view medical device safety. I hope that it also reforms how people think about adverse reactions generally, and that recognition of the connections between adverse drug and device reactions and multi-symptom, chronic, “mysterious” diseases starts to enter mainstream consciousness.

Watch The Bleeding Edge. It is a great film that has a message that needs to be heard.

Sorry, I don’t know how to squeeze this in gracefully, but several of the victims featured in the film had their intestines fall out of their bodies post-hysterectomy via robotic surgery. Is that not one of the most horrifying things imaginable–to have your intestines fall out of your body? Aaaaaaagh!!! Floxies can at least be thankful that our organs generally stay inside our bodies.