Staying Positive


Because of the insidious nature of this illness, it is more important than ever to keep a positive outlook. Not only are you going to be inundated with horror stories, devastating statistics, and very little support from the medical community, but you will most likely be battling some depression, anxiety and fear, all of which can lead to an altered state of mind and some extremely negative thinking. It is my humble opinion that negative thinking can put your life at risk under these extraordinary circumstances. For this reason, you must be very careful to keep your eye on the horizon. This syndrome takes a big toll on your life and it doesn’t resolve itself quickly, so you need to protect your mindset and build up your endurance. That means not weakening yourself with unnecessary stress. So, as a rule of thumb, if it is not necessary, and it takes your energy, ditch it. Protect yourself from anguish at all costs. In fact, right now I am on a “need to know” basis concerning stressful information in my peripheral life. For example, if my neighbor gets robbed, I don’t want to know about it because I will worry, and that won’t help anyone (especially not me), so my husband shields me from that type of information. This is a big deal for me, partially because I am nosy and partially because I am a control freak! I want to know EVERYTHING, but as it turns out, NOT knowing is good too! So monitoring your input is crucial. Think about the people in your life. Do they support you? Do they stress you out? Do they take energy from you? Think about the TV you watch. Does it cause you to worry about things outside of your control? Does it depress you? Does it scare you or overstimulate you? Once you start looking at all facets of your life, and making good choices and appropriate changes, you will begin building a life that supports a positive outlook, and that is exactly what you need right now.

And as it turns out, when the life you have always known is suddenly threatened or becomes unrecognizable, finding God is pretty common. Of course “God” can mean something different to each of us, and what God means to you may become a big part of your story. Staying positive often takes one on a path of spirit, and if this brings you comfort or peace, it is a very worthy undertaking. In my experience, nothing can bring you down faster than a bad attitude, negativity, anger, or fear. In fact, I have found fear to be the most destructive emotion when you are seeking wellness. So first and foremost, ditch the bad attitude, resist the negativity, and start looking, no matter how deep you have to dig, for something, anything, to keep you positive. I strongly recommend reading (if you haven’t read Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now, this is a great place to start), meditating, inspirational movies, light socializing (even if a friend just stops by for 20 minutes it will help you to feel a little normal), daily time outside in the sun (20 minutes a day is recommended if you don’t have sensitivity), a spiritual practice, colorpuncture and doing as many normal things as you can manage. So far, these things have worked for me.

On the flip side, there are some things that have NOT worked for me at all, and have made staying positive extremely challenging. The most damaging is surfing the web. Yes, I realize you are on the web right now, and that is why I made this website! I hope this website will give you stuff to think about and process that won’t bring you down! So again, success stories are welcome and encouraged! PLEASE! Anything that gives a person hope when their lives have seemingly been destroyed, is a good thing. I have not found a lot of good things on the internet. There are so many sites that discuss Cipro side effects and they have nothing encouraging to say at all. Almost everything I read describes a hopeless situation and a devastating prognosis. I have found far too many websites where people list their devastating ailments and talk about how nothing helps. I have seen many stories that resembled my own, and had a wretched outcome. I hope no one will take offense by my NOT wanting to read all of these very tragic stories, please do not misunderstand, I have a tremendous amount of compassion for these people, and I wish I could do something to change their circumstances, and I know they need to vent and that many of them are just hoping to find some help. Its just that when I am feeling as low as I think a person can feel without actually seeking death, I need to know that a positive outcome is POSSIBLE. I don’t really care how likely or probable that outcome is, I just want to know that it exists. If it is possible, then I will keep fighting, seeking and enduring. So, if you are going to surf the web, be careful. Use your Google wisely, and as soon as you recognize a website to be one that has the potential to destroy your outlook or squash your hope, get off the internet and go read a book or call a friend. Do not stay up all night reading real life horror stories and relating them to your own condition. Nothing good can come of that, I promise.

18 thoughts on “Staying Positive

  1. Before I express mass amounts of gratitude for the existence of this website, I’d like to share the little journey I took in order to find you in the first place:

    6 weeks ago, I was a hot mess 27 year old chick singer for several professional bands in the Houston area. It was not abnormal to find me leaping from a speaker on a Friday night in true Rock & Roll fashion. I was a VERY active and involved mother of the most beautiful two year old boy you have ever seen and spent hours chasing after him and my lab at the park. I lived in high heels, went mudding with my guy friends on weekends, loved to fish and hike… you catch my drift.

    Then, a little over a month ago I came down with some kind of nasty throat infection. I’ve had issues with my tonsils my whole life, so it was pretty standard procedure. Go to the doctor. Get an antibiotic. Kill evil virus. Move one with life. However, in an annoying twist of events, my regular doctor was booked for two weeks solid and couldn’t see me right away. Desperate, I went to a walk-in-clinic near my house.

    They first put me on Amoxicillan which surprisingly didn’t work, so I went back and they gave me something stronger. Levaquin… a drug that I had never heard of before in my life. But whatever, they said it would kill evil virus in no time, so I popped the first one before I was even out the pharmacy door.

    Four days later, I woke up with horrible pains in my feet. I thought it was odd since I hadn’t really partied the night before… but I had been wearing some killer heels, so I silently cursed them and went about my day.

    The weird part is that the pain never went away. In fact, it started spreading up my legs and into my knees and sometimes my lower back. I couldn’t understand what the heck was going on, but I blamed it on a million different things and figured it would just correct itself eventually. I found it was usually really bad right when I woke up, but once I got going and moving around it was basically fine.

    But then it got worse… and kept spreading. Every day when I woke up, a new part of my body hurt and everything else hurt worse than the morning before.

    By Tuesday of last week, I could barely walk. Everything was in pain. I could hardly lift my son when a few weeks before I could carry him in one arm and my entire keyboard rig in the other.

    I finally admitted that something was seriously wrong and went back to the doctor (yes the same clinic because I had decided at this point that I “liked” them). They were very concerned with my symptoms and tested me for everything under the sun. Arthritis, mono, auto immune disorders, tons of STDs even though I’ve been with the same man for over a year now, the list goes on. At some point during my conversation with the doctor however, she said in an off-handed kind of way “So this started a few days after starting the Levaquin? It could be a side effect, I suppose. We’ll look into that too.”

    I brushed it off thinking that there’s no way an antibiotic could cause this.

    Later that night, I was obsessing over WebMD and trying to diagnose myself when her comment popped into my head and I decided to look it up myself.

    I suppose I don’t have to tell you what I found.

    I believe my immediate reaction was to rush over to my boyfriend’s house where I cried in his lap for HOURS because I was so terrified.

    In the week since, I have been back to the doctor twice. First they told me that “Levaquin does not cause this” and prescribed me another antibiotic because my white blood cell count indicated a bacterial infection. Today, their theory was that I was having an allergic reaction to “one of the antibiotics” I was given and they prescribed a corticosteroid which I didn’t even bother to fill and will not be taking.

    I can still walk… kind of. Sometimes. I am completely incapable of taking care of my son and that job has fallen to my mother… who is… resentful and certainly not willing to care for me AND him. I live with her, thankfully… but my room is upstairs and I luckily have a sweet little brother willing to bring me water if I text him.

    My shoulders are in probably the most pain and are extremely swollen. My inner thighs pop and click. My knees often buckle completely when I try to stand.

    So, I’ve been desperate for help and information as you can imagine. But everyone I spoke to was so negative and all the websites I found were so terrifying that I couldn’t read them for long. Then, by searching “Levaquin Ozone cure” I came across a random thread on facebook from several months ago. In it was a guy named Bill who claimed that he was going to try Ozone therapy. At that point, I didn’t care that I was contacting a total stranger and sent him a facebook message.

    Bill? That guy is my new hero. Not only did he not mind, he sent me TONS of information on what worked for him. He was also incredibly positive, helpful and friendly.

    One of the things he did also was link me to a number of websites that he liked… this being one of them. I am happy to say that I am FLOORED by the overwhelming positivity and hope that I have found here. This is EXACTLY what I have been looking for and I can’t thank you enough for what you’ve done simply by putting this together.

    I want my life back… and I REFUSE to sit here waiting for this to get worse. I will do whatever it takes to get this crap out of my body. For my sake, for my SON’S sake… because he deserves a mother that can walk, damn it!

    Thank you again. You are incredible. I promise that when I’m better in 6 months or less, I’ll write a survival story for you.

    – Brie

      1. Hi Lisa,

        Just go the “my favorite links” page in this site and scroll down to find the link to the ozone doctors. Best wishes, Nikki

  2. hi all!!

    just discovered this site and i love that it is trying to come from a positive place…i literally JUST discovered that cipro poisoning was the cause of my YEARS of issues. it’s been almost 8 years since i took a round of cipro for a UTI. suddenly, my world just crashed. i felt like i was living underwater….the only way i can describe it is that i felt every cell in my body was poisoned. i really don’t want to hash out every troubling symptom and the ups and downs of the years but most of my ADR’s were and are mental…anxiety and depression cycling which all started with this incident, as well as very difficult to manage hypoglycemia. until now, because every dr. i saw said there is no way cipro would have caused this, i never made the connection. i never took another antibiotic and i never knew why, i just must have subconsciously made the connection that they were BAD.

    anyway, i wanted to share a few things that i sort of discovered accidentally. i have made more improvement in the last year than in all 8 combined and i credit it to my almost daily practice of HOT YOGA. it can be bikram or just hot vinyasa. i believe it is the combination of the mindfulness breathing (this can not be underestimated) and the sweating/detox.

    i recommend the site

    i think when something like this happens we develop all sorts of fight/flight reactions that only hinder our healing. we hold our breath, we overbreathe, etc which only exacerbates every symptom on the planet.

    my biggest issue is that i have such a huge fear of taking any sort of pill/drug/herb, almost disabling. just recently, i had to take vermox for my son’s pinworm infection (the joys of motherhood) and had a total breakdown about it, although it is NOT a flouroquinolone and has no toxic effects listed anywhere i could find. i think a big part of it is PTSD from my initial floxing.

    can anyone help me out with this? i know it would be beneficial for me to take some drugs. i have the most amazing, compassionate doc on earth. he wants to do TMS on me (look it up) which is drug free. but it’s just the fear that’s there. how do you knwo which pills are OK and not live your life so afraid of having another incident?

    more than anything, i agree with nikki here about staying positive. DON’T go on the boards and read the horror stories. Floxing is no different from any issue people deal wth. i have a friend with late stage lyme disease – that’s no walk in the park. she finally turned the corner with MEDITATiON and mindfulness. don’t walk on the dark side, stay in the light. recovering at 100% is possible for anyone. trust me when i tell you i have been on the dark side, i have been to hell and back and since this experience, i have had the most amazing, beautiful moments of my life full of complete gratitude, love and limitless energy. i’ve gone through a pregnancy and have the most amazing gift of my son. was it difficult? to say the least. but i know my best days are ahead of me. i have to be an example for my son – i have to accept the setbacks, breathe through them, and keep searching for the inner peace. it’s there for all of us.

  3. one other thing that i wanted to clarify…i know a lot of you have extreme pain and issue with mobility and are thinking that you can’t possibly do yoga…if you can lay on a mat for one hour and breathe, you can do it. you can be in a wheelchair and go to bikram. start somewhere!!

  4. Prescribed Cipro August 21, 2012 for minor infection. Thy thursday evening August 24 after fourth dose (of 20 prescribed) started feeling a little discomfort in right groin area which got a little worse on Friday. Did not start making a connection until Saturday night but didn’t think it could be the antibiotic. Finally after Sunday of hurting so bad I quit them (10 pills total) and also had a full blown panic attack with irrational thoughts and vomiting …
    Went to dr on Monday and he couldn’t believe it was the Cipro but changed antibiotics anyway and told me to take ibuprofen for the pain until it went away. After 24 hours of being off the Cipro my anxiety levels dropped like a brick.
    Worked through Wed but was really painful walking or setting and even lying down as the pain had went from my right groin area to my buttocks and all places in between it felt. Ibuprofen was not doing much so alternated Tylenol as well. Laid around and rested from Wed nite through Friday night (football game to see daughter perform for first time). Rest seemed to help lessen the pain. Also started taking hot epsom salt baths twice a day. However setting there for four hours had me hurting Saturday again so rest and plenty of pain meds. Saturday evening I began to walk around a little more and kept taking the epsom salt baths. Sunday I could tell a noticable improvement in the pain and my mobility. I could walk around some off an on without lots of pain and actually decreased the amount of pain killers i was on (from 3 ibuprofen every 5 hours with 2 tylenol in between depending) to taking 3 ibuprofens every 7 hours with a few tylenol. By Sunday Sept 2, still seeing some improvement, took ony 2 tylenol all day but still took ibuprofen every 6-8 hours. Went to a friends home with a pool and used floatation devices to keep weight off of my legs (which i had started feeling tightness running down the backside of for a couple of days) and excercised mildly for a couple of hours. Monday about the same. At work now setting at desk trying to get my mind off the pain/discomfort.
    Short version is very slowly I feel I am getting better. I have been off of the Cipro for 7 full days now and there is improvement. Not sure how long the rest of this recovery is going to take but I’m hopeful that I’ll have a full recovery.
    I hope this gives you hope that as I am getting better slowly you can too. I also saw all of those horros stories when I googled Cipro after making the connection and thought I was doomed.

  5. How are you doing now Chet? I am 16 days post flox and I seem to be getting worse rather than better, new symptoms like severe arm pain and continued anxiety are troubling me. At this stage I am terrified that my whole world is about to collapse in on me. I posted my story on ‘your survival stories’. I promise to keep everyone updated, especially with improvements. I can’t tell you how encouraging it is to hear of people getting better from this.

    1. You will get better. The early stage is awful to say the least. My anxiety developed 2 1/2 months after feeling the ankle pains. The first 2 months after noticing the anxiety it was horrible, at around the 3rd month I noticed improvement, at 4 months I felt like me again, but at 5 months mark I noticed recurrence, but it is much bearable than it was.

      1. Hi Cipro Poisoned,
        Thanks for the encouragement. The mental aspect to this is unreal, I’ve always been a fairly level heded sort of person but this awful poison has totally unhinged me. I can’t wait to feel like myself again. I’m taking Bach Rescue gums which seem to be helping somewhat, even if it’s a placebo it feels like something, and it’s a natural product. It’s nearly 10pm here, I dread the nights, the sleepless or awful dream filled nights, the nights sweats and the heart pounding and the despair that only really hits in the silence (well tinnitus fulled silence) and dark. But it WILL get better, I have faith and am going to try to be more positive and less wallowing in ‘why me’s’
        Please let me know how you are continuing to get on, I wish you full health.

  6. Pam — I’d like to add my encouragement to what’s already been expressed by others. I’m 16 months out, and though I still have some pain in my feet, legs, and knees, I’ve come a long, long way. I’m 60 and my knees weren’t all that great to begin with. In fact, I’m scheduled to have a full knee replacement in November. But I do still have connective tissue problems throughout my body which I absolutely attribute to the Cipro, not aging.

    On the bright side, I can now get out and walk or get on my bike most days. Between flare-ups, I have periods of feeling almost normal. During those times, my challenge is to try not to overdo it. Sometimes “too much” is adding another block to my walk. Before Cipro, “too much” was adding another MILE to my walk!

    Your description of your mental state is EXACTLY what I experienced. In fact, I don’t know how many times I told my husband, “I dread the nights.” Your post brought all that back in a very physical sense — it was truly awful. Note I said “was”, because after a couple of months those problems resolved almost completely. Now for the whole story — I consulted a psychiatrist, because I literally became a raving lunatic, insomniac at night — panic-stricken and even suicidal. The doctor gave me a mild sedative, which I only took at bedtime, and only for a few weeks. These helped me relax and fall asleep. Occasionally I still “start” abruptly just as I’m falling asleep, but I’m able to breathe through it and calm my mind on my own. Now I use melatonin and occasionally valerian, but no pharmaceuticals.

    There’s no way of knowing what your physical recovery will look like. Everyone’s so different. But you will improve with time and attention to a pure, fresh, healthy diet. So many bodily systems are affected. Your stool color may reflect a disruption of good bacteria levels in your intestines. It could also indicate that your liver is overwhelmed, not only by the drug itself but by the toxic effect it has on cells. If your gut is disrupted you will not absorb nutrients. This can cause depletion of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids necessary for nerves and muscles. Many of us probably experience low B12 levels, which can cause peripheral neuropathy, tingling, and numbness. Oral B12 may not be the answer if you can’t absorb it. Until the body can begin to absorb and utilize nutrients in food and supplements, no real healing can begin.

    As most of us can attest, doctors can run every test known to man and pronounce them all “normal.” That’s frustrating for us and our families, because we all want answers. We want to know what’s wrong so we can figure out how to fix it. The only definitive studies I’ve seen are those involving connective tissue. Cipro and other fluoroquinolones have been conclusively shown to have an erosive effect on tendons and other connective tissue. At the same time, they disrupt the “collagen metabolism”, the body’s ability to manufacture collagen to repair tendon damage. A bad double-whammy — a slow, unpredictable recovery during which even the slightest over-use can cause more damage.

    Take one day at a time. I hope you can get through the anxiety and insomnia quickly, but please seek help for that if it’s overwhelming. You can’t begin to deal with this if you can’t think clearly and calmly and get the rest you need. Once you’re feeling better mentally and emotionally, you can begin to tell yourself, “This is what it is. I don’t know how fast I’ll get better. But I will get better.” Try to do something you enjoy every day, maybe something you didn’t have time for before all this. I was a very busy, physically active person. I’ve had to rediscover things I love, but didn’t often make time for — reading, playing piano, listening to music, knitting, meeting friends for coffee or dinner.

    I wish you well. Don’t give in to regret, anger, or despair. Don’t obsess on “what-ifs”. Things will get better.

  7. Hi VIcky,

    Thanks so much for your helpful post. This comment is so true and it is going to be my mantra:

    “This is what it is. I don’t know how fast I’ll get better. But I will get better.”

    Thank you for that. I will see how I go with the anxiety, I may well end up seeing someone about it. It’s so unpredictable at the moment, but then I’m only 18 days post floxing. One minute I feel positive in an ‘I will beat this’ frame of mind, and the next minute something will pain me, something will go numb or my eyes will go a bit blurry or something else frightening will happen and I’ll be straight back into the pit of fear and anxiety.

    My husband at the moment understands that my joints hurt, he can see that I’m pained and he accepts that, but it’s hard for him to appreciate the emotional side to this, so it’s tough to explain that just 3 500mg tablets can have such an effect on brain chemistry as to turn me into the basket case I now feel I am. He thinks I need to snap out of it, which in turn makes me feel worse because I’d love nothing more than to ‘snap out of it’. It’s really not his fault, he just doesn’t get it yet, I hope he will in time.

    Oh the dreaded nights, they are the worst aren’t they? I can feel my anxiety rise as the evenings go on, I dread going to bed and even though I seem to sometimes initially be able to fall asleep from sheer exhaustion, it never lasts more than an hour or two. The tachycardia begins, or a nightmare starts, or I wake with a start in a total sweat and that’s it, sleep over until morning. Thank GOD my husband is next to me, he is my safe haven at nights just now and I am clinging to him for dear life. I really hate to be alone at the moment, it’s almost a phobia. I need to be around people at all times, not for conversation but just so I’m not alone.

    The physical effects frighten me, I feel like my body is falling apart and it’s actually terrifying as every day seems a bit worse as though I’ve lost another part of my body, it’s like a rapid aging effect and even physically I look terrible with weight loss. Oh If only I could rewind the clock. I wouldn’t have even taken the damn tablets, but we were going on vacation and I was scared not to in case the UTI got worse. If i’d not been going on holiday I’d probably not have taken them. But that’s life I guess. Could even walk far on holiday, and have NO idea how I managed to get through the airport.

    In the spirit of trying to help myself as much as possible, I have heard good things about magnesium and I’ve been soaking in Epsom salts and today got a Magnesium oil spray. I am supplementing with Vit B12, cod liver oil, Garlic tablet, Jointcare tablet and Calcium. I’m not overdoing the supplements until I get the bowel issue under control. I’m also eating organically, and obviously avoiding alcohol and caffeine. Haven’t limited my diet otherwise as I really need to stop losing weight.

    Can you tell me if you ever suffered from the tachycardia at nights? It’s really stressful as are the night sweats. My eyes have felt off today and I could do without that starting, but hopefully it won’t lead to anything. I am heartened by your recovery story. I’ve always enjoyed walking and being active and I just feel so helpless and disabled just now and mentally paralysed by the thoughts of the unpredictability of what could happen and the widespread damage that has been, and is still being done.

    Thanks and best wishes to you in your continuing recovery.

  8. Pam, yes, the tachycardia was a problem for me early on, and I’ve seen many people on this forum complain about it, too. It would wake me out of sleep in full “fight or flight” mode. By the way, I forgot to mention in my previous post: If you do seek help with relaxing or sleeping, don’t let a doctor give you Ambien, Lunesta, or similar compounds under different names in the U.K. I took Ambien once, long before my Cipro reaction, and had very strange, troubled sleep — almost like hallucinating that I was asleep. Those medications are sometimes referred to as “hypnotics”, which is a clue that they can produce unpredictable effects on the brain. There are plenty of accounts in the U.S. of people doing strange things after taking those.

    I was so taken aback by your post — I, too, started taking Cipro the day before we left on vacation to Mexico. I, too, was afraid that I would end up with a raging UTI while out of the country. Imagine my surprise when, on Day 3, I could no longer get into or out of a beach lounger unassisted; could not walk the 20 yards from our cottage to the restaurant area; and could not get up the three steps to our cottage. An email to my doctor produced this response, “Many antibiotics can cause muscle ache. It usually disappears shortly after you stop taking them. Failing to finish the Cipro could actually make your infection worse.” By the way, she never cultured my urine, just prescribed Cipro and sent me on my way. Remember what I said about not living in regret — it serves no purpose. And remember that there are plenty of people on this forum who understand when no one else seems to. All my best.

  9. Vicky, that is uncanny. I was desperate to solve my bladder issues which had been going on for about 10 days with no solution. GP prescribed 7 days Cipro at 500mg 2x a day on Friday 31st Aug, We were flying to France on the Monday morning. I only took 3 doses and knew something was very, very wrong. By the time we flew out I was in major anxiety, my heart was pumping so hard I have no idea how I survived the flight. My legs started to feel like jelly (jello to you 🙂 and I knew something bad was happening. Spent the whole holiday either sitting in a chair or hobbling about like an old woman. By the time we came home a week later I seriously have no idea how I made it to the airport and on to the plane, sheer willpower I think.
    Btw, my culture came back clear and it may be that I have something called interstitial cystitis. It seems to have calmed down somewhat since starting D-Mannose and Oil of Oregano so at least that’s something.
    You’re right about not living with regrets, we just have to do our best to make the present as manageable as possible and the future as bright as we can.
    Thanks and very best wishes.

  10. I thought I had an STI and I took 2 200mg of ofloxacin at once in a day! 3hrs after taking the drug,I started feeling pains on my right shoulder,muscle pains,eye pains and the feeling that my left ear is blocked.infact those first 2 months was horrible! Its been 11months now and I can say that I have recovered from most of the effects,but it still feels as if my ears are blocked.I have not gotten any medical help from anybody,so pls tell what I must do to recover fully.and can I still experience more side effects or I just have to continue the healing process.pls its urgent!

  11. Since mine is the first comment on this page, I feel compelled to give an update… more than two years later! Wow!

    I am going to say, first and foremost, that I am a lucky, lucky girl. Mostly because I realized almost immediately what had happened to me… and also because I found this website and a few others so quickly.

    I am happy to say that I am, for the most part, recovered 🙂 I was bed-ridden for close to two months after my original post… but at some point, I began to feel better and was able to steer my life in the direction that I wanted it to go. I still have occasional cycles when it’s cold. My feet still hurt in the mornings right when I get out of bed. But it is no where CLOSE to the pain and suffering I went through two years ago.

    I went through physical therapy and kept in close contact with a couple different holistic doctors and one very understanding rheumatologist. I supplemented, rested and exercised when I could. I soaked in hot, magnesium salt baths. I changed my entire diet. And about 6 months after the original onset of symptoms, I could honestly say that I felt like “myself” again.

    In October of 2011, I married the love of my life and we welcomed another little boy to the world in April of 2012. I am expecting another baby this September 🙂

    I would be happy to answer any questions, especially related to pregnancy after floxing (I know there’s not a lot of info out there), so feel free to email me. I’m nice, I swear!

  12. Music! My entire body is failing me and no sleep. Music keeps me positive. Music keeps me alive. Music is life. Also success stories are helpful even though I’m far gone and it has already wreaked havoc. Other people’s positivity and success stories keep me positive. Thankful for this website

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