“It could be worse; you could have recently been diagnosed with cancer like a friend of mine.” These words recently spoke to me by a co-worker ring through my ears with the frustration only known by those suffering from FQ damage. Feeling misunderstood I answered “Yes, but at least those with cancer have a treatment system available.”
This frustration is played out every day in the lives of those damaged by fluoroquinolones (FQ’s). As I have described before, those that have had the happen chance to have been damaged by FQ’s understand what I am talking about. These drugs, if they hurt you, they create the perfect storm: they damage you then prevent you from getting help to heal. In a sense, you fall into a hole. A black hole that is extremely hard to extricate yourself from.
After all, if I have cancer, diabetes, COPD, or most any other malady, I would have a medical system that would at least acknowledge my problem and suggest an appropriate treatment. But those with FQ damage, through no fault of their own, are hurt by the medical community, then as if to add insult to injury are shunned and marginalized by the very same medical community that hurt them in the first place.
Even after dealing with this for more than two and a half years, I still find it quite amazing that in the 21st century with all our technology and supposed compassion for the sick and ailing, we, the floxed, have fallen into a hole, while in plain sight of the rest of society; A hole that the medical community denies the existence of. Oh I know that there are other diseases, conditions, and sicknesses out there that have no cure. But at least they are acknowledged by the medical community. Those folks do not have to convince their doctor that their plight is real before attempting to get any help.
Often times this ignorance goes farther into our personal lives with family, friends, and co-workers who do not understand our plight. After all, how can I have something that the medical community denies exists even though in a sadistic irony is documented in medical literature? Surely we must be stark raving mad. For most of us, we have someone close to us, whether it is a wife, parent, child, sibling or another floxed friend, that because of love helps us through this horror. Every day I thank God for these few people that support me, because there are days when that is the only thing that gets me through the day.
I often tell floxies that if they have a doctor who believes them, listens to them, understands that traditional therapies usually do not help, and is willing to help them symptomatically then they better hold on to them because it is a rare find. Recently I had a long time doctor friend of mine, who is considerably older than me; ask for sources of where he could find information on what I am experiencing. I gave him several website addresses. The next time I saw him I could clearly see that he had read and understood the data. He looked at me and said, “I had no idea that these drugs could cause such horrific effects.” I looked at him and simply said “Thank you.”