Tag Archives: Mental health

The Loss of a Loved Community Member

The “floxie” community lost a wonderful person last week. His name is Marc Thavenot, and Levaquin killed him. Marc struggled with fluoroquinolone toxicity for three years. He fought for his life every day of those three years. However, in November 2018 he lost his battle.

Officially, his cause of death was suicide. But the truth of his situation is much more complicated than the simple label of “suicide.” I suppose that all suicides have more to them than simply someone taking his or her own life. There is always a back-story.

Marc’s back-story is that he was tortured by a combination of fluoroquinolone toxicity (Levaquin), benzodiazepine damage, and Lyme Disease. On his web site he described his situation:

“In October 2015 after I had a fall and broke my hand i was put on a drug called Valium which is a benzodiazepine for anxiety and insomnia. Then 3 weeks later I was given an antibiotic called Levaquin for what the doctor thought was a stubborn ear infection. Little did I know that not only are these two drugs dangerous by themselves but are contraindicated when given together and risk for toxicity goes up tremendously. Upon taking the second dose of Levaquin, day number 2, I awoke at 4am with the most terrifying symptoms one can imagine. I felt the most horrific impeding doom, burning all over, ringing in my ears, blurry vision, panic, anxiety and fear unlike anything i could have ever imagine. For the next couple weeks these symptoms persisted along with the most brutal insomnia one can imagine with no sleep for days on end. Having already been dealing with having Cerebral Palsy my entire life this was just life shattering yet I had no idea what was yet to come. A couple months of this and things began to get worse with hallucinations, blood pressure spikes, body temperature deregulation, bone pain, shortness of breath, adrenal crashes, immune system crashing, GI problems, food sensitivities, rashes, teeth pain. It was just absolute hell everyday and i was completely unable to function and no doctor could figure out what was wrong.”

For three years Marc dealt with these issues and more. One of the more devastating symptoms that Marc dealt with was tinnitus that ruined his ability to do his job as a music producer and sound engineer.

Marc tried many things that he hoped would help his situation. Tragically, none of the things he tried cured his fluoroquinolone toxicity, benzodiazepine damage, or Lyme disease.

Perhaps with more time some of his symptoms would have faded, or maybe a cure for fluoroquinolone toxicity, benzodiazepine damage, or Lyme disease would have been found. Perhaps the thing that would have helped Marc to turn a corner toward healing would have come in a few more months, or a few more years. Tragically, we won’t know if solutions would have come to Marc. His time here is over, and that is so, so, so horribly sad.

Like many, maybe most, people, I struggle to find the right words to say both to a person who is suicidal and about a person who has committed suicide. I am not equipped emotionally, nor do I have the right training professionally, to say the “right” things to/about people who are suicidal. So, I have steered away from the topic, and suggested that people reach out to suicide prevention hotlines and mental health professionals. I still suggest both of those things. The National Suicide Prevention Hotline can be accessed through http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ and 1-800-273-8255. The people who answer the Hotline calls have tools and resources to help steer people away from suicide, and I hope that people use the Hotline as a resource. However, I’m bothered by my own suggestion that suicidal people “reach out.” I’m bothered by the suggestion because Marc DID reach out. He reached out to to many of us in the floxie community, including me. He asked questions and he sought advice, and he was given guidance to the best of our ability. But nothing helped, and his health continued to decline until he couldn’t take the pain any longer. Now he’s gone. I wish I had done more to help Marc. I wish I had known the right thing to say to him, or the right advice to give him that could have possibly shifted his path. I wish he was still here.

I know that there are others in the floxed community who feel guilt over not “doing more” to help Marc. I’m sure that you all did what you could. I did. But I wish I had done more, and I feel bad about not doing…. I don’t know…. more. But as a friend pointed out, why are we feeling guilt while the people who gave Marc the drugs that killed him feel no guilt or remorse about their role? The pharmaceutical company creators of Levaquin, the FDA (or the equivalent on Trinidad and Tobago), the doctors, etc. played an active role in poisoning Marc, but most of them have no idea, and they feel no guilt, while we do, and Marc is gone.

I hope that Marc’s family and friends know that the thoughts and prayers of many people throughout the world who “knew” Marc through the fluoroquinolone poisoned community are with him and them. He was clearly loved, and he is missed.

Levaquin, benzodiazepines, and Lyme disease killed Marc. He was tortured by the illnesses brought on by these pharmaceuticals for years, and I can’t say that I don’t understand how they could lead to his suicide. But, with all the love and respect in the world to Marc and his loved ones, can I please encourage all my floxed friends reading this to not go down the same path? Death is permanent. With death there is no hope or chance of healing. For every day that you are alive, there is a chance that healing will occur. There is the chance that discoveries will be made that will lead to cures. There is a chance that your body will cross a threshold toward healing. There is a chance of joy. There is a chance of love. There is life. There is hope.

I hope for strength for each of you. I hope that you get through fluoroquinolone toxicity. I hope that your body, mind, and spirit heal. I hope that you maintain hope, and that tomorrow (or the next day, or the day after that) brings the healing that you are hoping for.

I hope that Marc’s loved ones know that he touched the lives of many people throughout the world. He is missed, and our community is in mourning.

*****

Marc’s friend Nicholas asked me to share this message. It includes Marc’s last message.

Marco and I were friends since we met in 1999, best friends since 2002. We had a business together and we helped each other through some tough times and eventually, unwillingly, we were forced to dissolve the business for economic reasons and a shift in the landscape of home studios. It wasn’t easy. We had our differences of opinion and that coupled with other developments in my own life caused us to grow distant for a while though we frequently spoke via phone and message. We overcame our differences, our defunct business, and leaned on each other again and became brothers.

Over the last 3.5 years of him suffering we visited when we could, but spoke at least 3 or 4 times a week minimum for 30 mins to 3 hrs depending on how he was feeling. During the last 2 months, we spoke every day. I am recovering from my own issues, and I always hoped that he was doing the same, but it never came to pass.

Most people couldn’t endure watching him suffer. It was my honour to do so and help him through it, but to all who feel a ‘how’ just know, he understood. He often lamented that all those that surrounded him before had disappeared, but he knew how hard it was to watch someone suffer. He held no grudges.

Above all he wanted me to pass on this message so that people could know what he went through, what this drug, this dangerous ‘last resort only’ drug that is still treated like it was Panadol, did to him.

He was suffering from brain fog, which will be evident in his writing. I think it brings the message home with greater strength…

Marc’s words:

I wanted to write to you to thank you for all that you have done. Not once did I think that you didn’t do everything possible for my well being

The more I understand of my situation the more I realize I’m stuck in a very complicated viscous cycle. Iv just had a lot of trauma in my life that Iv struggled to let go of and it’s not because I have not tried but because it’s trsuma I have to relive everyday from young I was in pain and it was a physical and emotional struggle to do simple daily tasks even though I didn’t show it I certainly felt and I kept strong and pushed through. This built up trauma eventually weakens ones immune system and emotional health which I why I struggled so much with depresseion even though I didn’t show it as much

My accident breaking my hand was another trauma that started the ball rolling and then having surgery introduced anesthesia that also did not help the situation. Then came the final blow the levaquin which obviously damaged me in very serious ways I’ll never know for sure but I know was never the same after taking that drug.

I cannot begin to describe pain Iv felt everyday with having to live with CP. it was agony that existed both emotionally and physically. Then getting floxed and experiencing absolute nightmare symptoms daily And then to have so much taken away and have having fought to heal only to get worse and relapse due to who knows what. Fq toxicity is no joke and it has been just too much for me to deal with I have no life. This is not living.

Everyday since since I took that drug levaquin iv felt unattached, like my Head was filled with cotton and I couldn’t focus. every bit of sleep I got which was minimal I woke up to me extremities feeling like they were being crushed and burning. The main symptoms that were horrific with adrenal surges and BP spikesc of 210/110. Then it would drop to low 90/50. I have internal vibration that felt like if I was hooked up to a low voltage shocking station. I have severed moods swings with crying fits for no reason, my body felt heavy like someone filled me with lead. I feel completely exhausted but couldn’t sleep because i felt this pressure in my back my head that squeezed my head almost like if I had a parasite octoputus like thing in my head. Everyday I have severe abdominal pains that would feel like someone stabbing me with a knife. My mid and lower back would ache feel tense. I had several parts of my body feel numb and go completely week on a daily basic. My teeth would ache everyday. My jaw would be tense. My ears suffered horrible as they would be extremely sensitive to sound and burn life fire inside. I have nerve pain all over my body . I have stabbing bone pains in shins and arms. My vision is double blurry and not what It was. My chest feels like someone sucker punched me in the soloplexus. I have skin burning all over which feel so bad sometimes even taking a shower hurts. I feel like I’m out of my body with extreme brain brain fog fatigue and pressure all over my body and when I push to do anything I feel pressure all over my body with fatigues like some sucking energy out of me get worse. fingernails hurt and have arthritis like symptoms that make it hard to type play guitar etc. I have severe digestive issues with bloating constipation food intolerances. I can’t tolerate the sun or groups of people which makes going out or liming with friends almost impossible. My ears click with damaged euststion tubes so I hear things louder and sounds like resting a glass down on a table or a speaker phone would hurt my ears and I would hear audible distortion in my ears if I tried listening to music even at very low levels. All of these symptoms and more iv have endured from the day I took those pills. It’s now over 3 years and I still experience all of them in groups randomly everyday. Lack of sleep and depression have been a huge challenge as iv been not able to work feel joy do daily activities etc. fq toxicity is no joke and it ruins lives. Iv had countless doctors tell me it’s in my head it’s anxiety disorder. Bullshit. Cause after 2.5 years of hell I went on to antianxiety medication which barely helped. Except I feel more sedated but still can’t sleep. Fq toxicity can include damage of receptors in the brain that are responsible for managing our neurotransmitters. It can cause dna damage. Vegus nerve damage. Totally destroy your microbiome. Damage to mitochondria which is your main cells Responsable for energy production. It can damage immune function and send you body into extreme fight or flight which it did for me. Allowing infections viruses etc to wreck havoc as they have the oppertunity. After extensive testing in my journey to try and heal. I’m positive for Lyme , babesia , Scarlett fever, ebstein bar, cmv, herpes hsv 1 7 and 8, hpv. Rubella and a collection of parasites. What I did find out was I didn’t get my cerebral palsy from lack of oxygen at birth which usually leads to full body defects and speech problems. I had a different cp which is common with cmv virus infection in the nervous system. This would explain all my life I struggled with being unable to relax and have an easy time with relationships because my nervous system was compromised. It was difficult for me to be social. Well thing is the levaquin I took activated that virus and made it much worse along with everything I mentioned above so my cp got worse I now I’m forced to walk in crutches. Fq toxicity damages cyp450 liver engine pathways which responsable for metabolizing herbs drugs etc. no longer can I take pain killers thc or several other things that could have helped ease my suffering. This has affected me greatly as it’s affected my detox pathways and left me unable to detox like a normal person. Which creates a very toxic environment in your body which leads to more symptoms due to leaky gut and poor methylation.
These are things doctors are commonly unaware of and is why Iv had no real help because there really is no solution to what iv been going through. After 3 years and I’m actually worse off now after everything I’ve tried I really don’t know what else to do. All I know is life is absolute torture everyday and a struggle and I never knew someone could feel so bad. Only one who has experienced this could ever possibly get it.

I want everyone to know that there is so much more to what’s was going on with me that I would take a lifetime to explain. But the pain and torture that I go through nigh and day over and over again is just too much for one to endure. So please if your reading this don’t be angry or mad or sad or hurt because you think Iv done a bad thing. Know that I’m free of the worse pain and torture that I could ever imagine and please feel a sense of ease knowing that I no longer suffer. I know I’m my heart that my soul is in a beautiful place. And that it was just stuck in a sick body.

Fluoroquinolone Warning Labels Updated to Include Low Blood Sugar Levels and Mental Health Side Effects

On 7/10/18 the FDA announced that fluoroquinolone (Ciprofloxacin, Levofloxacin, Moxifloxacin, Ofloxacin, and a few others) warning labels are to be updated to include adverse effects on blood-sugar levels, as well as serious mental health effects:

Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics: FDA Requires Labeling Changes Due to Low Blood Sugar Levels and Mental Health Side Effects

This is a HUGE development! To have the FDA acknowledge that fluoroquinolones cause both hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), and that the effects of hypoglycemia include:

  • confusion
  • pounding heart or very fast pulse
  • dizziness
  • pale skin
  • feeling shaky
  • sweating
  • unusual hunger
  • trembling
  • headaches
  • weakness
  • irritability, and
  • unusual anxiety

is a massive move in the right direction for patients and advocates alike.

Additionally, in the same announcement, the FDA noted that the following mental adverse effects can occur with fluoroquinolone use:

  • disturbances in attention
  • disorientation
  • agitation
  • nervousness
  • memory impairment
  • serious disturbances in mental abilities called delirium.

Fluoroquinolone toxicity victims have long known that fluoroquinolones cause both blood sugar disturbances and serious mental health adverse-effects.

Information about the effects of fluoroquinolones on blood-sugar can be found in these posts/articles:

Information about the mental health adverse-effects of fluoroquinolones can be found in these posts/articles:

Additionally, the book, Bitter Pills: Inside the Hazardous World of Legal Drugs by Stephen Fried goes over his wife Diane’s severe psychiatric adverse reaction to a fluoroquinolone (Floxin/ofloxacin).

WE know about the blood sugar and psychiatric effects of fluoroquinolones. The FDA does too. Now they have acknowledged that they know about these horrible, life-altering, sometimes life-threatening effects of fluoroquinolones.

This acknowledgement from the FDA is a big step in the direction of getting fluoroquinolone toxicity more widely acknowledged. However, whenever there are updates to the warning labels, there are many people who say, “so what? It’s just a warning label that no one pays attention to. When is the FDA going to really DO SOMETHING to fix this problem – like find a cure for fluoroquinolone toxicity and/or remove FQs from the market?” Those people have plenty of good points, and I went into some depth in addressing them in the post, “Change the Warning Labels: Why it Matters.” In that post, I assert that one of the things that changes to warning labels does is open the door for people to sue the drug-makers:

“Warning labels themselves may be useless, but during the time when a warning label has things added to it, they can be a great tool, and a big gun we can use against the pharmaceutical companies. The ONLY times lawyers are willing to take cases to sue the drug companies are when warning labels change. For example, when the fluoroquinolone warning labels were adjusted in August, 2013 to note that permanent peripheral neuropathy is a possible effect of fluoroquinolones, several law firms took cases of those who are suffering from peripheral neuropathy after taking fluoroquinolones. Before the warning label changed, they wouldn’t take the cases, because, appallingly, you can’t sue drug companies for hurting you, you can only sue them for “failure to warn” of the harm they’ll do. It’s a really stupid situation and stupid system. BUT, the time when warning labels change is the brief period of time in which you can sue the drug companies for “failure to warn” and it’s the brief period of time when we have the chance to fight the pharmaceutical companies.”

Everyone who has suffered from hypoglycemia or mental health issues post-fluoroquinolone exposure now has a window open to file a lawsuit against the pharmaceutical companies that made the drugs that hurt them. Here are some law firms that have taken fluoroquinolone-harm cases in the past:

There are others too (feel free to let me know if you know of firms that are taking these cases). I hope that Bayer, Johnson & Johnson/Jansen Pharmaceuticals, and all the generic producers of fluoroquinolones pay for the harm that their products are doing to people, and I encourage all victims to seek justice through the legal system.

I hope that this warning label change will help fluoroquinolone toxicity victims to gain acknowledgement and justice. Everyone who has been hurt by these drugs deserves both.

 

 

The Floxie Hope Podcast Episode 5 – Rose Casanova

Floxie.Hope.Podcast.1800.72.dpi

Rose joined me for Episode 005 of The Floxie Hope Podcast.  In this episode, Rose shares her journey through fluoroquiolone toxicity and discusses how getting floxed changed her perspective on medicine.

You can listen to Episode 005 of The Floxie Hope Podcast through iTunes –

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/floxie-hope-podcast/id945226010

It will be greatly appreciated if you log into iTunes and leave a review of The Floxie Hope Podcast.  Subscriptions through iTunes (or any other podcatcher) are greatly appreciated too.  Thanks!!

You can also listen to the podcast directly through this link –

http://www.floxiehopepodcast.com/episode-005-rose-casanova/

Thank you very much for listening to The Floxie Hope Podcast!  Getting our voices out there, and telling our stories, is helpful.

Thank you, Rose, for sharing your story!!!!

 

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We must take time to grieve

These beautiful words were written by Catherine Zimmerman:

Grief and loss are a part of living with fluoroquinolone injuries. While living with this post drug-induced reality, we must take time to grieve. Whether you are the survivor or supporter of the floxed, part of recovery includes tending to grief. 

My adult son was floxed in October. I took a leave of absence from my job to support him and his family during the early days of complete disability. His profound loss of health, the many unknowns about the extent and trajectory of his injuries and the uncertain pathway to healing create a context for a complex grief process. Yet little has been written about the need to acknowledge our grief, and the important work of mourning. Grief occurs as the result of how profoundly fluorquinolones change lives, thrusting individuals and families into a state of disequilibrium caused by illness.

There are many potential losses associated with fluoroquinolone injuries including the loss of health and all the small daily activities and certainties that health affords. Roles such as family breadwinner or athlete may also be altered, and the many small roles that make up the simple pleasures of daily life – may also be beyond reach. A person who has been floxed loses the certainty of health. Changes may occur in terms of how life is centered… now time, energy and money are consumed by managing symptoms and how to survive and heal the body. An image of oneself as strong and capable may be replaced by an acceptance of the how fragile we really are, if one little pill can so totally alter our lives.

Each perceived loss is felt and therefore must be grieved. It is necessary to mourn our losses… even as family members, caregivers and supporters. If those we love have been floxed, their lives and ours have been altered. As a mental health professional, I recommend acknowledging these losses through a conscious grief journey. Be willing to learn about grief and mourning. Find the courage to talk about your grief. Surround yourself with those who will listen. You are not crazy and you are not alone.

Thank you, Catherine, for so beautifully articulating how many fluoroquinolone victims and loved ones feel.

 

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The Silence Around Fluoroquinolone Toxicity

I posted this – http://www.hormonesmatter.com/epidemic-silence-adverse-drug-reactions/ on Hormones Matter on October 17, 2013.  It was originally similar to the post below but I changed and edited it until it became what I submitted to Hormones Matter.  I still like the earlier draft and since it’s more Flox focused, I thought I’d share it on here.  As always, thanks for reading!

The Silence Around Fluoroquinolone Toxicity

One of the more bothersome feedback loops that keeps the dangers of fluoroquinolones from being recognized is that people stay silent about their pain and suffering, and therefore their pain and suffering is not recognized or appreciated, and everyone in the medical field gets to continue to think that these drugs are safe and that adverse reactions are rare. Seeing is believing and they don’t see it, in part because people aren’t screaming. Of course, there are people who are screaming at the top of their lungs about the pain and suffering caused by fluoroquinolone antibiotics who are systematically disregarded, and that’s a problem that has bothersome consequences and feedback loops as well, but it’s a topic for another post. This post is about people suffering in silence about the pain that Cipro, Levoquin, Avelox or Floxin has caused them.

People stay silent for a variety of reasons. There is a lot of shame associated with getting sick. People feel bad about what they can no longer do. They feel responsible for the role that they played in taking those pills, or insisting on them from their doctor, or administering them to their child, and they hide in shame. Also, a lot of the adverse effects of fluoroquinolones are CNS related, meaning that they can adversely effect many areas of mental health. People are notoriously ashamed and silent about mental health issues. It is easier to deal with anxiety, memory loss, depression, panic, etc. alone, in silence, than it is to speak up about what happened. After all, if you speak out about experiencing mental health issues, you run the risk of being labeled as crazy. Additionally, Fluoroquinolone toxicity takes its toll on every system in the body and therefore it is difficult to describe what is going wrong. How does one explain, to anyone, that EVERYTHING is going wrong? It’s too difficult and people sound and feel crazy, so they stay silent. When people ask their doctor about the possibility that the drug that they took caused the myriad of symptoms that they now experience, and the doctor denies that it’s possible that the drug that they prescribed could do what it has done, people assume that their doctor is right, or that they at least aren’t entitled to question their doctor’s expertise. After all, their doctor went to school for a long time and knows what they’re talking about… right? So people assume that they are wrong, their doctor is right, and they stay silent. There are a variety of other reasons why people stay silent about the travesty that is Fluoroquinolone Toxicity. All of them feed into the real risks of these drugs being under-recognized. The silence is, sadly, as much of an epidemic as the pain.

A friend of mine went to a Psychologist to help her to get through the mental and emotional trauma of being Floxed and she told me that, as she was telling the Psychologist her story, the Psychologist started to cry because a few years ago her (the Psychologist) knee swelled up and she experienced over-all tendon inflammation after taking Levoquin. When she asked her Doctor about it, her Doctor told her that the Levoquin couldn’t possibly be the cause of her pain. She knew differently but didn’t say anything. She recovered and didn’t think much of the period that she went through with painful, inflamed tendons much again. My friend’s experience and story validated the Psychologist’s pain, suffering and notion that Levoquin was the cause of her tendinitis, and it freed her to be able to acknowledge that she too was a victim of fluoroquinolone antibiotics. Before my friend visited her, the Psychologist thought that she was wrong, or the only one, or that her Doctor must know better, or that her story didn’t matter enough to scream about it – after all, she did recover – and she suffered in silence. She didn’t get the support that she deserved. She didn’t get the acknowledgment that she deserved. No one saw her pain and suffering because no one, including her, acknowledged that it existed.

I went out on a date a few months ago with a guy who was clearly Floxed but he didn’t know it until I told him my story. He had been treated with multiple types of antibiotics for a “chest infection” that was really acid reflux that was making him cough incessantly. He kept going back to his doctor for more and more powerful antibiotics because the mild antibiotics that he was given didn’t get rid of his cough – of course, because it wasn’t from an infection. His doctor eventually prescribed him Cipro and he had an adverse reaction to it. Most of his adverse reaction was mental (but he also lost his endurance and had an increased heart rate that he struggled to get down). He had a severe anxiety/panic attack and he thought that he was about to die. His sister flew to the U.S. from Sweden to be at his side because he thought he was dying. He lost his memory. He lost his composure and was barely able to do his job in software sales. He was clearly sick. But he stayed silent because he was ashamed of having mental issues. He never connected his sudden onset of mental health issues and the antibiotics that he took, and thus his doctor got to continue to think that he was a healthier than average person and that Cipro was a perfectly safe drug.

I have always talked about what was going on in my body and mind. Silence is not something that I have ever been afflicted with. I have always felt the need to be understood, to be recognized and for my pain to be acknowledged. I am lucky enough to have friends and family members who listen to me. Despite being a talker, I still felt like I lost my voice for a while. I felt like I couldn’t really explain what was going on. I felt like there was a wall between myself and those that I was trying to talk to. I think that feeling socially isolated is a symptom of being Floxed and that it’s really difficult to explain something like Floxing to people. It is ABSURD that a prescription antibiotic that is used all the time could cause my body and mind to explode like it did. I knew that what I was saying sounded absurd, and that people didn’t understand what was going on, so there was that barrier to my voice being heard. It didn’t stop me from yapping though. 🙂

I hope that all of you who are afflicted with silence start screaming about your reaction soon. It’s not okay that you were hurt by a prescription antibiotic. It’s not okay for these drugs to take away your ability to walk, your ability to think, your ability to speak, etc. I hope that you all gain your voice back, that we are all heard, and that this absurd situation starts to change.

 

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The Shame of a Pharmaceutical Induced Illness

I have noticed some shame associated with floxing.  I have felt plenty of shame.  I haven’t wanted people to know that I was sick.  I haven’t wanted people to know how I got sick.  I haven’t wanted people to know that I’m dwelling on being sick or that I’m participating in support groups.  I certainly have felt some shame associated with having mental health issues – a lovely part of floxing.  I have felt shame at how I dealt with getting sick – badly – something that I can at least partly attribute to my mental health issues that were caused by getting floxed.  I have felt shame about the fact that I can’t do the things that I used to be able to do.  I have felt shame about my anger.  I have felt shame about not getting better more quickly (and I am a fast recovering Floxie).  I have felt shame over the fact that I’ve changed, that I’m just different now.   Lots and lots of stupid shame.  I have noticed that other people seem to feel shame about being floxed too.  They use a pseudonym when participating in the support groups, or they ask for things not to be shared with their friends or family members.  Shame, it appears, is part of being Floxed, for many people.

I wonder where this shame came from.  For me, in some cases it was justified.  I really did deal horribly with getting sick.  I was anxious, had psychotic thoughts and sought validation of my sickness and thoughts of my impending death.  My family was worried – justifiably.  And maybe it’s okay to feel a little ashamed of the fact that I’ve dwelled on being sick.  It’s not healthy to have a sickness form your identity.  More importantly, it’s not helpful.  But I really shouldn’t have been ashamed of getting sick, or any of my symptoms.  It’s not my fault.  And the fact that you got sick is not your fault.  And I shouldn’t have felt ashamed at the pace at which I recovered.  My body, mind and spirit healed as fast as they could.  Yours will too.

Shame, I think, ultimately stems from fear that you won’t be loved.  That you won’t be loved as a sick person.  That you won’t be loved as a person who can’t run, or play football, or dance, or whatever.  That you won’t be loved as an anxious person.  That you won’t be loved as a person who isn’t as smart as you used to be.  That you won’t be loved as a tired person.  That you won’t be loved as a Floxie.  So you hide your sickness, your anger, your pain, and you feel ashamed.

I’m not sure what to say to any of you who can empathize with this post, other than stop it.  Stop feeling ashamed.  Stop hiding.  Stop being afraid.  And you may just find that you are loved just the way you are, busted tendons and all.

You are sick.  You are not broken.  You are not less.  You have nothing to be ashamed of.  You have no reason to hide.  You are loved.  Even if you are sick and scared and can’t move or think, you are loved.  You are loved by your friends and family.  Even if you don’t feel the love from them, don’t believe the love from them, you are still loved because love is within you.  You are loved.  You just are.

 

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