Me...before Cipro ended my life
If you are taking Cipro, you are being poisoned. If you value your health, your body, your ability to walk and live an independent life--I suggest you take the time to read my story. It's a bit long, but there is no way to summarize the past three years of my life in any less space.
In October of 2009, just days after my 30th birthday, I made a visit to my doctor regarding recent pain I'd been experiencing in my bladder/prostate/kidneys. None of my tests came back showing any type of bacterial infection, so he suspected I may have prostatitis and made the fateful decision to prescribe me the antibiotic Ciprofloxacin. He'd prescribed me Cipro once before and I'd taken it without any apparent problems, so I figured this time would be no different. His only warning to me: Stay out of the sun, as Cipro can cause sun sensitivity. That was three years ago now. I HAVE BEEN COMPLETELY CRIPPLED AND UNABLE TO WALK EVER SINCE. I have lost absolutely everything as a result. My mobility, my independence, my income, my savings, my credit, my dreams for the future, my hobbies, my friends, my pain-free body, my hope, my quality of life, my car, my faith in humanity--IT'S ALL GONE NOW! Even the things I used to consider the "small things" in life--gone. Everything I ever had or was capable of is now GONE.
Let me back up a bit. I ended up taking Cipro for just six days (2 x 500mg pills a day) for a grand total of 12 pills. Other than the fact that it wasn't helping my bladder pain, everything seemed fine while actually on the drug--I had no immediately apparent adverse reaction to the drug whatsoever, no foreshadowing of the horror that was about to become of my life. I was still going for nightly walks around my neighborhood, working out, etc. It wasn't until ten days AFTER I'd taken my last pill that the bomb went off and my body began to fall apart. On the night of October 25th, 2009 I was lying in bed watching TV when I started to notice a slight pain in my left achilles tendon. My mind immediately went to the Cipro, as I'd read in the drug insert that Cipro can cause tendonitis and (according to Bayer, anyway) most commonly affects the achilles tendons. Let me expand upon Cipro's warning label for a moment here. I'm not one of those people who didn't bother to read the drug insert that came with the medication--I most certainly did. I stood right in Walmart's pharmacy and read it before I even left. It warned of what's described as possible tendon "problems" (ha!) that are most likely to occur in people over 65, people who've had liver, kidney or heart transplants, or those who take it along with steroids. None of those things even remotely describe me. And again I had in my head that I'd taken this medication once before and was fine, so surely I'd be fine taking it again. NOWHERE ON THAT WARNING LABEL DOES IT SAY ANYTHING ABOUT THE TENDON "PROBLEMS" BEING POTENTIALLY PERMANENT!!! Nowhere! Nor does it say ANYTHING about Cipro's documented ability to melt the CARTILAGE out of your joints (did you know it could do that!?!? Me neither--until it was too late!). Had I been warned of even the smallest risk of either of those things I would have returned those pills on the spot and demanded another, safer medication from my doctor. There is no WAY I would ever risk being permanently disabled or having the cartilage eaten out of my joints in order to treat some bladder/prostate/kidney pain!!! I'll come back to this topic a little later, let me get back to my story before I get myself carried away!
So I'm lying in bed, and at this point the pain in my left achilles tendon was still very faint. I tried to tell myself it was all in my head--that I was just being paranoid--or that maybe I'd just walked around the block one too many times that evening. Still I found it odd, as I'd never in my life felt pain in any of my tendons. It sounds stupid now, but I'd never known that your tendons could even feel pain. Well by the next morning the pain had increased tenfold and was now affecting my right achilles tendon as well. I began having to walk very slowly and even staggering to my kitchen became difficult. It felt as if my tendons were going to snap like rubber bands. At this point it became very clear that this was not a figment of my imagination.
I spent that day researching achilles tendonitis online trying to figure out how to treat this. It's laughable in retrospect, but I was elevating my feet, applying Icy Hot, etc. If only I'd had any clue of what I was dealing with and what I still had coming. The Cipro drug insert states if you experience any tendon adverse effects to contact a doctor immediately, so I scheduled myself for the first available appointment with a local podiatrist. At this point I still wasn't too terribly concerned--obviously the doctor would be able to do something for me, right? Otherwise Bayer wouldn't be recommending for me to go to one…right? (More on that in a bit as well!)
That night things began to get worse, and fast. I was washing my face before bed when all of the sudden both of my thumbs locked up on me. I literally couldn't move them. This was my first realization that whatever was going on inside me was serious. The drug insert didn't mention anything about hands locking up! I more or less freaked out and went online to Google information about Cipro adverse reactions. What I found absolutely HORRIFIED me. People talking about having to use wheelchairs and crutches for months or even years after ingesting just a few pills. They even had a name for this condition--they call it being "floxed". There are entire online forums devoted to victims! I just remember reading these things and feeling such anger boil up inside me--WHY DIDN'T MY DOCTOR TELL ME ANY OF THIS!!!!! Then I quickly went into denial mode telling myself, "Okay--that's what happened to these other people, but that's not what's going to happen to me. I'm only 30, I've never had tendon problems in my life, I didn't take it with any steroids, I'll be fine. I'm not floxed. These people are probably all exaggerating or hypochondriacs anyway. They're probably just blaming all of their health problems that they would have had anyway on the drug." As I continued scrolling around on my laptop, I developed what I can only describe as rapid-onset carpal tunnel--all of the tendons in my wrists began to severely tighten up to the point where I could barely type or move my hands at all. This literally came on instantaneously. Over the next eight hours or so I began to develop severe arthritic pain in all of my fingers. Like I was suddenly 150 years old or something, it came on SO suddenly it was unbelievable. It reminded me of that wedding scene at the end of the movie Beetlejuice where the bride and groom are aging rapidly and falling apart. THAT IS WHAT CIPRO DOES TO YOUR BODY. I should also mention that Cipro is only one drug in the class of antibiotics called fluoroquinolones. Other antibiotics in this class include Avelox (another poison made by Bayer) and Levaquin. Both of these drugs are just as harmful as Cipro if not worse! (It's hard for me to fathom anything being worse, honestly…I think I'd have been better off ingesting rat poison and chasing it down with a gallon of bleach).
Anyway, the next day was my appointment with the podiatrist. I was sure, in my naive head, that I would go to him and he'd have the antidote to this as the drug insert implies. I limped out to my car to go to my appointment, and when I pulled the handle to open my car door, all of my finger joints pulled apart!! It was like something out of a horror movie--like my hands were literally coming apart and becoming disjointed inside. I drive to the office barely able to grip the steering wheel only to arrive and have problems filling out the patient paperwork because my hands could barely grip the pen. When I finally see the doctor, I tell him that I just completed a course of Cipro a week and a half or so ago, and that I'm now experiencing the tendon side effects. I told him that when I'd initially made my appointment only my feet had been affected, but that now my hands and wrists were hit as well. Imagine my surprise when he not only had no help to offer me, but he flat out DENIED that Cipro could be causing my problems! I showed him the drug insert I'd brought with me that clearly states Cipro can cause tendon "problems" and if you experience any of these "problems" to see a doctor immediately. And here I was with the drug insert in hand being told Cipro doesn't do that!? I'd officially entered the Twilight Zone. He recommended I go to a rheumatologist to get tested for auto-immune disorders--lupus, MS, rheumatoid arthritis, etc. This, of course, scared the shit out of me.
My condition continued to rapidly deteriorate further every single day for the next three months. I would wake up every morning to yet MORE bodily horrors which ripped throughout my body until literally every single muscle/tendon/joint/nerve/connective tissue in my body was affected. I ultimately had no choice but to move back home with my parents in Michigan, where I have remained ever since. I am now 33 years old, unable to work, housebound and essentially bedridden living in a dark and depressing room in my parents' basement. A far cry from the independent life I had had in San Diego. A far cry from anything I ever even fathomed possible, for that matter. To call this a nightmare is a vast understatement. Nightmares end…this does not end.
I of course followed the podiatrist's recommendation and got myself in to see a rheumatologist who tested me for all sorts of auto-immune disorders. They all came back negative. I went to a second rheumatologist and had the tests repeated. Negative. I don't have an auto-immune disorder...I was poisoned by Ciprofloxacin.
So after my feet, hands and wrists were attacked, literally every single part of my body followed suit over the course of the next three months…and what a horrific downhill slide those three months were. NOTHING has been spared. Even my teeth have been terribly affected (but you won't find THAT listed on the warning label!!!). Yet another extremely important thing the Cipro warning fails to mention is that if you become floxed by the drug, you won't just get one or two of the things listed on that warning label--you'll be stricken with MOST if not all of them, all at the same time! In total, those 12 poison pills have caused me over 40 different adverse health problems, many of them severe and disabling in and of themselves. Before I list them, I should point out that--other than the recent bladder/prostate/kidney pain I'd been experiencing at the time--I was an EXTREMELY healthy, physically active person prior to taking Cipro. I went to the gym religiously, I could literally swim for miles, I'd walk absolutely anywhere I could from my house (to the store, to the bank, to the library--anywhere that was walkable!), and I'd never had ANY prior tendon issues or injuries whatsoever. I didn't smoke, didn't drink, was always very conscientious of what I ate, never drank soda, I didn't lie out in the sun--I took extremely good care of my body!!! To a fault even. Never broke a bone, never even had a cavity! But ultimately none of my healthy habits would matter, because all it took was six grams of Cipro to completely and utterly destroy my body in more ways than I ever fathomed possible. I never in a million years saw it coming. Those 12 pills have caused me ALL of the following adverse health effects:
- Crippling body-wide tendon/joint/connective tissue issues beyond all comprehension. I cannot even begin to explain in words how God-awful devastating and horrific this is. Bayer likes to call this tendonitis? This is NOT tendonitis--this is tendon DESTRUCTION. Tendonitis heals, this does not heal! Literally every single tendon in my body has been affected, even my jaw. My tendons now "catch" and become entangled. And by NO MEANS are my tendons the only connective tissue that that stuff destroyed--it has maimed my fascia, muscles, skin and cartilage as well. As it turns out, Cipro attacks ALL collagen-containing connective tissues. Forget the whole slew of other injuries this poison has caused me, the connective tissue problems ALONE are absolute devastation. The word "problems" doesn't even come close to describing this.
- Nerve damage. That poison has caused severe peripheral neuropathy affecting both my legs and arms. Terrible muscle weakness (at times so severe it feels like my legs are becoming paralyzed), pins & needles, buzzing in my feet, numbness, burning pain in the souls of my feet, bouts of severe skin sensitivity (feels like I'm badly sunburned), uncontrolled muscle jerking and fasciculations, ulnar neuritis that was so severe for the first year that at times my eyes would tear up from the pain, and all sorts of other odd "out of this world" nerve sensations. My arms and legs 'fall asleep' EXTREMELY easily now…even from doing seemingly simple things like sitting in a car or sitting on a hard chair for more than a couple of minutes. Prior to being floxed I didn't even like taking aspirin--now I have to take pain medication (morphine, methadone, tramadol & neurontin) every night before bed or else I cannot sleep, as the nerves in my legs flare up and feel like they are being sliced by thousands of tiny razor blades. From the looks of it I'll be on pain medication for the rest of my life now thanks to this.
- Severe vision damage. This came on overnight, starting with intense eyeball pain. The pain in my eyeballs was so bad that if I wanted to look at something to my side, I'd have to turn my entire head or my entire body (which was also severely painful) because moving my actual eyeballs hurt so terribly. My close-up vision became blurry, and at a distance I began seeing double. I ultimately developed not one but two torn retinas causing me to have blind spots in my vision, along with numerous floaters that dart in front of my eyes at all times, light sensitivity, crazy after-images when I close my eyes and thousands of tiny little flashy things that go off like fireworks when I look out a window or am outside in natural light (which isn't very often, being that I'm crippled). These visual disturbances are terribly annoying and distressing, and serve as a constant reminder that something is terribly wrong with my body. I will have to have my retinal tears monitored for the rest of my life now to ensure I don't go totally blind.
- Torn fascia in my left ankle, both knees and right shoulder. These are HORRIFICALLY painful and affect the structural integrity of the entire limb as well as exacerbate my peripheral neuropathy. In case you don't know, fascia is a very thin yet strong layer of connective tissue that weaves in and out of every muscle in your body. It allows muscles to glide smoothly over one another, and at the same time literally holds you together. When it tears, shit comes apart! My fascia tears have NOT healed, but they have created very painful and restrictive adhesions throughout my legs. Are fascia tears anywhere on Cipro's warning label? NO. They are not.
- Shrunken leg muscles (or shrunken tendons which in turn pull my leg muscles extremely tight--I can't tell). All I know is that my thighs/calves are pulled 24/7, and they don't stretch--they only tear! It literally feels like all of the muscles/tendons in my legs have turned into tough, inflexible rawhide beef jerky. I cannot bear weight on my left foot or knee or place my foot flat on the floor anymore because my left calf muscle is so tight/shortened that it will actually rip.
- Severe rapid muscle wasting. I was very lean to begin with--6'3 and about 165lbs at the time I was poisoned. I dropped down to 139lbs within about a month--all muscle. GONE. Especially hard-hit were my legs. I developed a deep, terrible aching in the core of my legs during the same period which may or may not be a direct result of all the muscle wasting. Regardless, the pain remains to this day and is often so intense it makes me want to tie a rope around my neck and kill myself. My muscles get so severely sore that at times it literally feels like I've been brutally beaten within an inch of my life or have been in a horrible car accident. To think that a handful of pills taken over THREE YEARS AGO can still be causing me this much God-awful pain is beyond anything I can even comprehend.
- A few weeks after my initial poisoning, I developed a vasculitis rash all over my lower legs and feet--thousands of tiny red "blood" spots underneath my skin. All the hair fell out soon after and has never returned. The spots have faded somewhat but still persist to this day (pic). A good while later, similar spots developed on the backs of my arms which have not gone away either. I've also had issues with the backs of my hands (pic).
- Feet turn purple and blue and get ice cold, as if the blood supply to them has been choked off. They no longer look like my feet, but rather feet that belong to a corpse.
- My big toenails turned yellow and developed large, raised horizontal ridges on them. According to my rheumatologist, the nail ridges indicate that a traumatic shock has occurred to my system. Ya think!? UPDATE: As of 7/2014 my big toes have been experiencing random bouts of severe pain around the nails for no good reason. At times it actually feels like they're loose & are going to fall off, and they've even oozed blood on a several occassions.
- Severe and unrelenting plantar fasciitis (not listed ANYWHERE on the warning label).
- Non-stop tinnitus. Constant screeching and ringing in my ears which continues to this day. It is so loud it has actually woken me up at night.
- My skin, which I used to get compliments on before I took Cipro, broke out with terrible acne soon after my initial poisoning and developed hundreds of little clear bumps--like granules of sand underneath my skin. At around the one-year mark my facial skin (which was always oily before) literally turned hard, became severely dry, and now turns over extremely rapidly to the point of sloughing off in huge unsightly chunks 24/7 (pic). No amount of lotion even comes close to helping. Forget becoming crippled--if you at all value your looks, Cipro is NOT the poison for you. The skin on my face is now ruined--not only is it severely dry beyond help, it has developed numerous blotches of hard, crusty, scaly orange/yellowish discoloration. pic1 pic2 My skin has become so fragile and easily angered now--I can no longer use any of the products I once enjoyed, as my skin can't handle anything with chemicals in it. Even something as simple as drying my face with a bath towel has resulted in this on a few occassions now. It is horrific what this stuff can do to your skin. And don't even get me started on all the wrinkles I've suddenly developed as a result of all this dryness...the skin around my eyes is now all cracked up like something you'd see on an 80-year-old!
- At the same time my skin dried out, so did my eyes, ears and mouth (a condition mimicking Sjogran's syndrome). I now have to use special ointment at night to prevent my eyelids from fusing to my eyeballs and causing potential serious damage to my corneas. I now wake up with my lips stuck to my teeth whereas before taking Cipro I used to drool all over my pillow at night. These things might not sound like a big deal, but they are…the dryness issues very much add to my never-ending misery.
- Severe pain in my TEETH. It feels as if there is electric current running through every single one of the nerves in my teeth. My teeth now feel extremely brittle, like they could easily break. They also shift around in my mouth a lot more than they used to which is very annoying and uncomfortable. For the first six months or so I would constantly bite my own lips by accident while trying to chew my food, as if I was no longer able to properly control my jaw muscles. Here's a fun fact: Did you know Cipro can actually cause you to lose all of your teeth? It sure can! But you won't find THAT anywhere on the warning label! Luckily none of my teeth have yet to calcify or break off, but I know of many Cipro victims who've suffered devastating dental problems soon after being floxed. I know of one guy who had to have every single one of his teeth root canalled at a cost of $40,000. I'll tell you this: I've never in my life even had a cavity. I've always been extremely neurotic about my oral hygiene, and the day my teeth begin breaking out of my mouth or start requiring mass root-canal procedures because of Cipro, there will be a bloodbath at Bayer headquarters. MARK MY WORDS. They've already destroyed my entire body beyond recognition…don't FUCK with my teeth. Again, had the warning label said ANYTHING about potential dental problems/tooth loss, I'd have tossed that poison in the garbage where it belongs so incredibly fast (or better yet, discard it as a biohazard so it doesn't poison the water supply).
- Arthritis in my fingers and TOES! I never even knew your toes could have arthritis!!! But trust me--they can.
- Joints making gruesome crunching and popping sounds (more or less gone now).
- Extreme fatigue and weakness. Any repetitive action/motion wears my muscles out extremely easily now. I even have great difficulty SPEAKING because the tendons/muscles/whatever in my throat fatigue to the point where I have to simply stop talking. I'm also unable to stand for more than a couple of minutes. For this reason I only take showers once every 2-3 days. By the time I am out of the shower I am physically exhausted.
- Loose ribs! Talk about something out of a horror movie. I have nights when I can't even sleep on my side because one of my ribs comes loose! It literally "clicks" where the rib meets the sternum. I've spoken with other Cipro victims who've experienced the same thing--one has even had to have rib surgery to reconnect his rib to his sternum. This is clearly a cartilage issue, something Bayer blatantly OMITS from their drug warning.
- Overall extreme frailness. My body is so easily injured now it's scary. I get extremely nervous just being in close proximity to other people now because if someone were to accidentally bump into me or step on my foot or something, it would injure me. It's seriously as if I have the body of a 100-year-old person now (although I've seen 100-year-olds on television who are still a hell of a lot more active and able-bodied than I am). If I were to ever fall, it would be devastating to my joints and tendons. Luckily that hasn't happened yet, as when I do attempt to walk--we're talking from one room to the next in my house--I'm constantly grabbing for things to hold onto. UPDATE: One of my toes recently SNAPPED while simply walking from my bed to my closet on a carpeted floor (my doctor says it's likely broken, and judging from the pain I think she's right). Here's a pic of my busted toe--you can also see what Cipro did to my big toe nails, although the raised ridges have pretty much grown out now.
- Terrible night sweats during the first 2-3 months (gone now)
- For the first three months or so after I was poisoned, my CNS (brain) was also greatly affected. I experienced waves of random panic, extreme mental fatigue unlike anything I'd ever experienced before, terrible memory problems--I'd start to say something and forget what I wanted to say mid-sentence. No matter how hard I tried I had trouble remembering things people would say…I'd come home from doctor appointments and couldn't recall a thing the doctor said. I even suddenly forgot how to SPELL which was very scary for me. I've always been a very good speller but suddenly I'd catch myself drawing a complete blank when trying to type online, or spelling simple words wrong. (By the way, if you find any spelling errors on this website please let me know ;)). I essentially felt mentally retarded. I also suffered with insomnia for the first couple months. Not that it's easy to sleep when you're in massive full-body pain regardless of how you position yourself, but you get the idea. Luckily my CNS symptoms cleared up after a few months. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for many Cipro victims. While some people are hit physically, like myself, others are hit with horrific CNS side effects that can be completely devastating and last years or even become permanent. We're talking permanent insomnia, panic, depersonalization, etc. Again--this fact is listed NOWHERE on the warning label.
- The psychological ramifications I've experienced as a result of this never-ending nightmare are beyond anything I can even begin to describe. Depression from the pits of hell. I have been to hell. I am IN hell. Hell is a place on earth, and Cipro can take you there.
ALL of these adverse effects (and more) caused by just 12 Ciprofloxacin pills taken over three years ago now. Pretty hard to believe isn't it? I know. It's happening to me and I still can't believe it! To add insult to crippling injury, Cipro never even cleared up the bladder/prostate/kidney pain it'd been prescribed to me for. Nope! I am crippled for NOTHING! I ultimately ended up going to a urologist who prescribed me Trimethoprim--harmless and effective Trimethoprim--which knocked right out whatever it was that was causing my pain. That's all I'd needed. But instead, my doctor, Dr. Nirav Patel of San Diego, ignored his oath to "first do no harm" and reached right for the black box warning "drug of last resort" without ever trying anything safer first and without warning me of the potential for Cipro to PERMANENTLY CRIPPLE ME. Thanks, Dr. Patel! Thanks for destroying my life. I hope you read this. Not only did you go straight for one of the most destructive medications on the market, you didn't even bother to monitor my kidney function in order to adjust my Cipro dose accordingly. Dr. Patel just put me on the standard "one size fits all" 1000mg/day dose despite the fact I'd told him I was experiencing pain in my kidneys (Cipro is excreted through the kidneys, so if your kidneys aren't working 100% because of an infection, the amount of Cipro you take needs to be adjusted downwards so that it does not build up to toxic levels within your body and attack YOU, like what he allowed to happen with me). Unfortunately I didn't know any of this at the time…it's all stuff I've learned through countless months of research and visiting different hospitals and specialists. Bottom line: I TRUSTED MY DOCTOR AND ENDED UP CRIPPLED. Biggest regret of my life by far. I have been in bed for the past 1000+ days (and counting, with no end in sight) because of my doctor's decision to prescribe me Cipro. This was completely and utterly avoidable. None of this had to happen. The "cure" was INFINITELY worse than the disease! No words can describe the FUCKING HELL MY LIFE IS NOW!!!!!
NOTHING about my body works like it used to. I don't even recognize this body anymore…THIS IS NOT MY BODY. Those pills aged me over 100 years literally overnight! And that is NO exaggeration. I can barely even move. For months I'd have to stop myself from instinctually stretching upon first waking up in the morning because my bicep muscles would literally tear from the bone when I did! I could barely turn myself over in bed without ripping my muscles, and even when I did the fascia in my shoulders would tear from lying on my side. For months my feet were so horrifically painful that I'd pee in a cup beside my bed rather than walk 10 feet to the bathroom. This pain is unlike anything I've EVER felt before. It is absolute physical torture and I can only pray that every single Bayer employee may someday be subjected to it. Still to this day I am unable to walk more than a 50-100 feet or so, and even then it is slowly, unbalanced and with a great deal of pain. I don't even bother getting dressed anymore. I've been in pajamas for three years now. Why get dressed? I'm not going anywhere! I still have a closet full of the clothes I used to wear in my "past life" but the person who used to wear those clothes is dead now. I cannot tell you how many times I've laid in this bed and prayed for God to kill me. To PLEASE finish what Cipro started. Apparently there is no God. For all intents and purposes, I am already dead. All I need is for my heart to stop beating. It is nothing less than a miracle that I've made it this long in this condition without offing myself. Not an hour goes by that I don't get the urge to end this fucking misery. Not ONE hour. On two occasions now I've written goodbye letters to my friends and family, determined to get myself the HELL out of this destroyed and pain-ridden body. Those 12 poison pills have turned my own body into my worst enemy. Do you have any idea what it's like to wake up in the morning and not be able to get out of bed? Every. Single. Day. Over and over and over? For years? That is the reality Cipro has forced upon me. I have no reason to wake up. I used to be afraid of death, but not anymore. I very much look forward to the day I never have to wake up into this mangled, painful body again. Unless something miraculous happens in the near future to reverse whatever it is that that poison has done to me, I can't keep this up much longer. I'm just mentally and physically exhausted. As far as I'm concerned, I died on October 25th, 2009. That was the last day of my life. I've had not ONE good day since. No new memories created. No new experiences have been had. My "life" consists solely of memories now.
I've spent over a thousand dollars on probably 50 different supplements to try and get me out of this nightmare. None of them have done a damn thing. I've tried physical therapy. What a joke THAT was! Physical therapists (like doctors) have NO IDEA how to treat quinolone-induced injuries. Whatever that poison does to our bodies, it is NOT the same as a sports injury or an overuse injury and therefore does not respond to physical therapy the same way traditional injuries do. This is a chemical injury. Not one professional I've seen since having my body ripped away from me has been able to help me with this. Literally EVERYTHING I know about floxing I've learned myself. THERE SIMPLY IS NO HELP. Everything I had prior to October 25th, 2009 is now gone. As I mentioned earlier, I was forced to move back in with my parents at the age of 30 (I'm now 33). My mother has to do all of my grocery shopping for me, as I am unable to do it myself. I can barely make it 30 feet to the mailbox, let alone far enough into a grocery store to do my own shopping. Do you know how helpless that feels? The only time I leave the house is to go to doctor appointments once every 2-3 months. When I do leave the house, it's like stepping out into a time warp or some alternate reality. I see people going about their normal lives, but I am no longer one of them…I am now on the outside looking in. I used to be one of those people. Now I go out into the world so seldom that when I do I see new models of cars on the road that I've never seen before. New businesses pop up while others disappear. The seasons change from one excursion to the next. This must be what it's like to wake up from a coma or something. The world is passing me by while I lie in bed. Day after day after day. Days have turned into weeks, weeks into months, and months have turned into years. And I'm still lying here crippled and in SUICIDE-LEVEL PAIN with no help.
I've called Bayer countless times demanding they tell me what the FUCK their poison has done to my body, but they offer absolutely no information. They just tell me to go to a doctor. I'VE BEEN TO DOCTORS!!! THEY DON'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THIS!!! Docs just recite back to me what's on the drug's warning label as if it's fact (I'm not kidding--most doctors' knowledge of Cipro and its effects is limited to what's on that label). I spent ten grand (now in collections) on a visit to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota only to be told by Dr. Nisha J. Manek that "Cipro doesn't do this to people your age." BULLSHIT IT DOESN'T! Tell that to the thousands of people on the various online victim forums, many of them younger than me! I've also attempted to get ahold of Phil Blake, Bayer's CEO on numerous occasions. Each and every time I call, his secretary claims he is in all day meetings. She takes my name and number and says she'll have someone call me back. No one ever calls. I've never even gotten a "sorry" out of anyone at Bayer! My God, one time I bought some Crest mouthwash that ended up staining my teeth--totally unexpectedly, Procter & Gamble sent me an apology letter along with a $100 check to go and get my teeth cleaned. Bayer Pharmaceuticals CRIPPLES me and ends my life--not even an apology.
I have obviously lost my ability to work, so you the taxpayer now pay my bills. You can thank Bayer and the inept and corrupt FDA for that. I'm so glad I went through the trouble and expense of going to college so that Bayer could rip it all away from me when I was least expecting. I had much greater plans for myself than collecting SSDI and living in my parents' basement for the rest of my life. I'm so glad I worked my ass off and lived below my means all those years so that I could save money for a house and a business, only for those dreams to be RIPPED away from me by Big Pharma so that they could add another $6 to their bottom line (that's how much I paid for my prescription for disaster…$6. I want a fucking refund!). It took over three billion years of evolution to create this body of mine--the only body I'll ever have--and it took just SIX DAYS ON CIPRO to destroy it!!!
Three years later and I still cannot believe this is really happening.
*Sorry for all the swearing...I get very angry when talking about this.
**If you are currently on Cipro (or are in the early stages of a reaction) I do not want you freaking out and thinking your experience will be the same as mine. It won't be. No two people are ever floxed the same--everyone is hit differently. There is an entire spectrum of floxing which ranges from mild to severe. Most people do not fall under the "severe" category and DO eventually get better (it can still take a long time, however). Typically, the earlier your reaction occurs (i.e. while you're still on your course vs. experiencing a delayed reaction like I did) the better your chances will be for recovery. That said, if the information on this website scares you--it should! Cipro is a damn scary drug. My entire purpose for creating this site is to tell you all of the things about Cipro that no one ever told me!