The Recovery Story Of Julia Seaton After Levaquin
The Recovery Story Of Julia Seaton After Levaquin is remarkable and truly inspiring.
My name is Julia. I was floxed 3 times between 2012 – 2014.
My life before Levofloxacin: I was a very active 48 year old mother of two. I taught several fitness classes, small group personal training groups, coached and loved participating in endurance challenges. My body was a machine and I was proud to have 19% body fat. Pretty good for a 48 year old. I loved traveling and spending time with family and friends. I loved organizing events and considered myself a master multitasker. I would see my doctor maybe twice a year, once for my annual exam and maybe once for flu symptoms.
In May 2012, I went to my doctor with a severe sinus infection. The headache I was experiencing was relentless. It was concerning enough my doctor sent me for an MRI which did indicate a severe sinus infection but nothing scary like a tumor or aneurysm. This was a huge relief. She put me on Levofloxacin 500mg and Prednisone 10mg for 7 days and said “this would get rid of the infection quickly”.
I felt good after the first pill but through the 7 days, I started feeling very tired and lethargic. A few weeks later I started noticing pain/heat in both my achilles tendons. They were so tender and hurt to the touch. A short time after that, I developed a burning rash on my face. I returned to the doctor several times over the next 10 months trying to figure out what was wrong. I was exhausted everyday, couldn’t sleep, felt hungover/drunk, couldn’t do simple math problems or comprehend what I read. I didn’t want to go anywhere because of the rash and it was hard to stand for long periods of time. I had so many tests, blood work, went to a string of specialists and all my results came back fine. At this point, I was admittedly depressed.
In March 2013 my physician put me on another round of Levofloxacin and Prednisone saying “I must still have some infection my body is trying to fight off”. I got even worse after that 7 day round. For the next 18 months I was in the doctor’s office at least once, sometimes twice a month. I had more tests, saw more specialists still with no diagnosis or relief. Each specialist prescribed another drug to treat what I now know were side effects of Fluoroquinolone Toxicity (FT). The dermatologist put me on Accutane to treat the rash and the rheumatologist put me on Meloxicam 15mg for joint pain. I was also prescribed antidepressants but I chose not to take those. I did fill the Ambien script to help with sleep.
From the onset, I chalked the tendon issues up to my lifestyle and career. I was teaching a lot of classes, but I wondered why I went from feeling fine teaching a busy schedule to being paralyzed by the end of the day. And the change felt like it happened overnight. Looking back, it did happen overnight. So, I backed off on the number and types of classes I taught. This didn’t help. Returning to my doctor, she put me on yet another round of Levofloxacin in November 2014. No improvement and I continued to decline.
In 2017, after one of my classes, a member who was a pharmacist asked me if I had ever been prescribed a Fluoroquinolone antibiotic. I didn’t know what those were. She told me to get a printout of my pharmaceutical record and she would go over it with me. I did and all the pieces of my puzzle finally fell into place. Five years after the first pill, I had answers and I had a root cause. I felt so stupid for failing to do my due diligence with every pill I put into my body. I researched and found a functional medicine doctor in my area and started treatment with her. I gave her all the details of my FT story. After 3 months she attempted to put me on Cipro. Her plan was to kill the bad gut bacteria and repopulate the good bacteria. I walked out of that appointment and never looked back. I went on to see two other functional medical doctors and their protocols did little or nothing to help.
Then in 2018, a news story popped up in my Facebook feed. It was about Dr. Ghalili’s journey with Cipro and his healing story. I researched him then contacted his office and had a phone consultation. He gave me as much help as he could over the phone and I felt like I was finally on the path to healing. At that time he didn’t have a lot of patients, but I contacted 3 about their experience. To this day, I still have one of the voice messages on my phone. I listen to it now and again. It gave me so much hope and I used that to navigate the next two years. I wasn’t able to make the trip to Los Angeles until 2020 for treatment.
By the time I went, my body was running on empty. Those last two years of my life looked like this: 4am wake up, teach 5am/6am classes, come home, go to bed. Wake up at 11am, have a little food, go teach my noon class, come home, go to sleep (it was more like-close eyes and block out pain). Wake up at 3am, eat a little then go teach my 4:30pm class (sometime 5:30pm class), come home. Eat dinner and be in bed by 8pm. I rested all weekend to get myself ready to do another week. For 2 years, I barely existed. Mentally, I hadn’t been in a good place for a long time. I had conversations with myself about what I would do if this treatment didn’t work. I knew I couldn’t go on much longer like I was. But I knew when I went to LA, I needed to be in a healing mindset. I went ready to “will” this treatment to work for me.
I made the trip to Los Angeles in June 2020. It was a physically and emotionally exhausting trip, but I was ready to get to the other side of FT. I stayed positive through the ups and downs of treatment. I had 8 IV’s, injections, and stem cells for a total of 3 weeks. By the time I went home, I was pain free for the first time in 8 years!!! It was such a blessing to be in a room with other floxies telling similar stories. Knowing I wasn’t alone in this journey was mentally healing. I’ve met people I will be friends with forever. To this day, we check in on each other.
I’m still taking some supplements and using the sauna 3x a week and I try to get some red light therapy daily. I’m sleeping through the night, my anxiety is in check and my body doesn’t hurt. I can do math problems again and I read a novel for the first time in years. We recently went on a family vacation and it was the first time I traveled pain free. Such a blessing.
Special thank you to Dr. Ghalili and crew! You are amazing.
As of today, I’m 10 months post treatment and I’m feeling better everyday. I’m walking/hiking 5-6 miles a day. I’m lifting weights again. Jogging some. I’m active on the weekends and I have my life back! I’m going to be a first time grandmother in July and I can’t wait! Life is so good.
Please, don’t give up hope! You can recover from this and there are so many resources now. Keep a healing mindset and stay positive!!
PS – I’ve attached a list of tests I had done as well as a comprehensive list of symptoms I experienced over 8 years.
Tests I had over time:
MRI, CAT Scan, Thyroid Ultrasound and labs (multiple times), skin rash biopsy (checking for lupus/cancer), lyme, MS, liver test, hormone, stool, hundreds of blood tests.
List of cumulative symptoms:
Anxiety attacks – during sleep
Inability to process simple tasks
Dual Achilles Tendinosis
Full body peripheral neuropathy
Decreased grip strength
Excessive heat/cold intolerance
Rash on my face (burning, scaling) Chronic Urticaria
Stomach bloating (never feel full)
Sense of taste/smell changed
Change in finger/toe nails, thin ridges, thin, and brittle
Vision – large floaters, felt blind in left eye on occasion
Severe dry eyes
Unable to stay awake longer than 2 hours
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.