Most of us have taken
antibiotics prescribed by our physicians. But let me tell you the horror story of what
happened to me when I was prescribed an antibiotic for
a "cold" that persisted for three
months and would not go away.
In 2009, I caught a cold while on an airplane coming back to
Augusta from New York. The woman to my right was coughing her head off and I was trapped
in a small area that re-circulated air and germs.
I knew this scenario was trouble. Soon after the flight, I started to cough all day and
all night long, propping up so many pillows behind me that I was sitting up in bed. I was
full of mucous.
A physician prescribed Levaquin, an antibiotic of the Fluoroquinolone (FQ) drug class,
which I took for 7 days as directed. That and using a NetiPot for rinsing out my nostrils
cleared up my problem. I was elated. However, strange symptoms began to slowly appear. I
had severe stomach cramps at every meal. My
spatial orientation was screwed up. I sat in a chair that I thought was right behind me
but was 5 feet away and I landed on my rump. My balance was off and so was my grip. A bag
of groceries fell right out of my arms.
Then the area between my right wrist and forearm became very sore and tender. I was
misdiagnosed, as it turned out, with tennis elbow and sent to a physical therapist who put
a contraption on my arm that emitted cortisone. The therapist noticed that my neck seemed
stiff and asked me to try to bend my head to my shoulders. Not only could I not come near
my shoulders, but this exercise caused exquisite pain. By the time I got home, I felt
continuous sparks coming out of my arm and my neck
|muscles were in constant
spasms. Several days later, I felt like someone had hacked into both shoulders with a
hatchet. The pain was intolerable! I cried myself to sleep for weeks. Then I had insomnia,
sleeping no more than 2 hours a night for several months.
Exhausted and wrapped in cold
packs, I sweated profusely. My body stiffened and I could not move. My husband had to
carry me, bathe me, wash and dry my hair, feed me and dress me. I started to have seizures
and myoclonic jerks-- jack-knifing myself out of bed and onto the floor. My blood pressure
was erratic, as were my blood sugar readings: spiking over 300, then within hours dropping
down to 40. I fainted with the lows.
The skin on my upper torso felt like someone had poured hot acid on it and I was being
burned alive. My husband and I were both scared to death. What was going on? I had been to
more than 15 doctors, most of whom thought I was a nut
See THE "CURE" page 9