Ronda’s Story – Cipro Side-Effects

Ronda FQWall

My name is Ronda, I’m 34. I’m an editorial consultant in California. I’ve always been a pretty athletic and active person. As a kid and teenager, I took many dance classes. Walking 5 or 10 miles in a day has never phased me, as I’ve never owned a car, and I’ve always walked where I needed to go. I had muscular legs that always got me where I needed to go. From August 2010 to March 2012, I lost 80 pounds after beginning a running regimen. I have participated in two firewalks – one before floxing and one after. That’s the kind of person I am. I’m sorry if my story is a bit long, but I feel like I have to get it all out. In March 2012, one morning, I woke up at around 3am in a lot of pain. It felt like a UTI, and I’d had them in the past. I’d drink some cranberry juice and that would be that. I had cranberry juice, but the UTI didn’t seem to go away. A day later, there was blood in my urine. My then boyfriend, now husband, took me to Planned Parenthood, since I didn’t have any health insurance. They ran a culture, but found no bacteria. They gave me Sulfa “just in case”. I took most of this medicine, but not all because I tend to have sensitivities to medications/chemicals and this one gave me a nasty headache, hives, asthma the works. It was making me pretty darn sick, and I was really mad because they weren’t supposed to give it to anyone who had a history of asthma/lung problems. I was feeling worse than I had when I started it. I figured it was fine that I didn’t take the last two doses since things had cleared up and there wasn’t any bacteria anyway. Not quite a month later, I woke up in that same awful pain. Only this time, by noon, not only did I have blood in my urine, but there was tissue in it as well and what looked like pus. Now, let me say that I knew it wasn’t a miscarriage – both b/c I’d just menstruated and because the birth control device – a diaphragm – was still in place. (I’m sorry if this is TMI, but it’s relevant, I swear.) So…reluctant go to Planned Parenthood again after they’d already messed with me so much, we went to the local clinic. However, we were turned away because I didn’t have any health insurance. After going to the hospital’s clinic and being told it would be a few hours before I could be seen (and seeing how dirty the waiting room was) and the fact that I was hunched over, unable to stand up straight, we reluctantly went to Planned Parenthood again. The nurse said that I must have a really nasty UTI and that it must have really nasty superbugs since they hung out since the last time. Once again, I gave a urine sample. I had no reason to believe otherwise; after all, it felt like some of the UTIs I’d had. The only difference was the tissue. She gave me a 3 day 500 mg course of Cipro. Since I believed that I must have a really nasty infection, I didn’t question the authority or whether I should wait to start the antibiotic regimen until when they received the results of the culture. They were sending out for it, and they would have it back on Monday. I went in on a Thursday, and began my course immediately. I read the box warning, and made note to call as soon as I had a reaction, and I followed all the rules – still thinking I had some sort of superbug multiplying in my bladder. After taking the first dose, about an hour later, my head began to hurt. I associated it with the bladder infection, not the medication. The headache continued the next day, though my then fiancé and I went for a walk anyway. I’ve always been one of those unless it’s actively killing me, I’m going to get out and do stuff people. The third day, Saturday came, and I felt worse. I hurt everywhere. Honestly, I thought it was because I’d pushed myself too much the previous two days, so I rested. I never associated it with the medication even though I had read all the warnings. I wasn’t sure that the medicine was causing the kind of pain I was having. I had only one dose left anyway – Sunday’s morning dose. The clinic was closed until Monday, so I couldn’t call my physician to ask whether I should stop taking the medication. Still thinking of the superbug, and figuring that if it was the medication the pain would go away after that last dose, I took the last dose Sunday morning. What happened about an hour later, myself and my now husband will never forget, because it changed our lives forever. I got up and had breakfast, and as I ate, I progressively felt worse and worse. After eating, I went to lay down in bed again. Within about twenty minutes, I was screaming in pain. I gave birth, vaginally, to a 9 pound, 11 ounce kid with a 22 centimeter head when I was 20. That pain had nothing on this. It was the worst pain I’d experienced in my entire life. I began screaming. My fiancé came running in. I couldn’t move. I was completely weak, and I felt like I was paralyzed from the neck down. He helped me get up anyway. I was in tears. He thought if I could stand up, then maybe I was okay. It was almost impossible, but he brought me to a standing position. I felt as though I’d been hit by a train, backed up over, then run over again. Everything in my body hurt. Since I didn’t have insurance, I refused to go to the hospital – knowing that doing so would mean that he and I would be paying for it for the rest of our lives… and thinking, still, that the pain would go away in a few hours when the medication got out of my system. Continue reading