I was prescribed Cipro 500mg for 7 days in August 2011. I ended up only taking 5 pills before this nightmare started, in which I immediately quit taking the pills. Neither the doctors, or the pharmacists warned us of the potential dangers of these drugs, or that it was such a STRONG antibiotic and that it even has a black box warning on it, and after reading online, I had one of the pre-existing conditions it said NOT To prescribe these drugs for…and still, nobody warned us. We thought it was just another simple antibiotic that I’ve always taken. I was only 22 years old, and prior to cipro I was in relatively decent health. No medical problems, no physical issues….After taking just 5 pills…my life as I knew it had been taken away from me. Instead of going out with my friends, or working to save up money to go off to college, I was stuck at home in bed/on the couch, going to stores in wheelchairs, and watching all my friends and family go about living their normal lives while I was stuck on the sidelines. This is my story, and I hope it will not happen to anyone else.
In the first week I had a severe toxic psychosis reaction, crying for hours every day, I had the debilitating suicidal thoughts which I’d NEVER had before, extreme anxiety and depression. I then went on to have wide spread tendinitis in my ankles, knees, elbows, wrists, and hands. I couldn’t walk very far, and I had to use my hands carefully or the pain would get too bad. All my joints were severely swollen as well. I was in so much pain daily, that I couldn’t even wash my own hair, cut up my own food, or even text on my cell phone. My mom had to help me with EVERYTHING. I’d have to lay in a chair all day with ice packs and heating pads everywhere trying not to move. I had the muscle wasting, and muscle pain. I had the peripheral neuropathy nerve damage. I had the tingling, muscle twitching, and the severe pain from it on occasion. I dealt with severe brain fog every day, unable to even focus to watch TV. This made driving hard and having conversations with people difficult. I developed extreme digestive issues and lived with nausea, bloating, and discomfort every day. I have developed severe food intolerances and sensitivities. For 2 years now I have only been able to tolerate eating 5 vegetables, and a few nuts every single day, and can only get down about one meal a day. My body has to be extremely malnourished by this point, but theres nothing I can do about it since I am intolerant to just about everything.
It has now been three years since I’ve been disabled and sick from taking Cipro. I am now 25 years old, and still cannot live any semblance of a normal life. Every day I battle extreme fatigue, extreme brain fog, muscle atrophy weakness and pain, circulation issues, light sensitivities, food intolerances and food allergies, chemical intolerances, depression and anxiety, nausea, bloating, no energy, and a host of other problems that pop up daily. I have been living at home for 3 years, unable to do much to help my family who supports me, and that breaks my heart. I want nothing more than to be able to be an independent 25 year old who can support herself and live a “normal” life. It is hard for me to go out of the house to do anything, because I’m always feeling too bad too. It is extremely hard to have to miss out on most social occasions because I am feeling too bad to attend. I’ve had to miss the past 3 year’s holiday celebrations at Family’s houses, because I felt too bad to travel and be gone all day. I’ve missed out on seeing numerous family and friends over the years. Not being able to eat is also a hard thing that I still deal with. So many social aspects revolve around food, and I can’t partake in any of them. It is hard for me to even see my family eat, and I still get sad when I know people go out to restaurants and such when I can’t go. Every day is the same for me. I spend most days laying at home in bed or on the couch, doing my best to feel well enough to even concentrate on the TV, hoping for the day to end quickly so I can go back to sleep. On the outside, I still look normal. Looking at me, you wouldn’t know that I was sick. I always get “but you look so good!” all the time, and it always makes me mad when people say that to me. Because I know they expect me to feel good, if I look good. So a lot of times, I just let people think what they want, because why does it matter anyway? But it does hurt my feelings sometimes. Floxing is an invisible illness in most cases, and this makes it extremely hard to make it aware to other people. I just hope people can realize that just because someone may look normal, you have no idea what battles they’re facing daily. Taking Cipro changed my life in such a way, that I wouldn’t wish this upon my worst enemy. Its no way to live. But now all I can do is spread my story and hope and pray that it touches someone enough to keep them from ever taking this medication. I will do everything I can to spread the word and make sure this doesn’t happen to anyone else. Eventually, the public HAS To become aware of these dangerous drugs. And one more final note, always know and remember that YOU are your own best doctor. Doctors don’t know everything, and can actually be wrong about what you need in a lot of cases. I used to have blind trust in all doctors, but I’ve realized, we are our best doctors. Always do your research before taking new things…and listen to your body. That’s my story….My last words for here…Stay away from Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics!