Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The Wounded Animal

Anyone who’s ever watched a nature show has probably seen a wounded or trapped wild animal and people who’ve tried to help them. There are usually a couple scenarios that happen. In the first scenario the animal struggles but somehow recognizes that help is here and doesn’t attack. In the second scenario the animal tries to defend itself but once freed recognizes the help and runs away. In the third scenario the animal puts up a vigorous fight; clawing and snapping at the very people trying to help the animal.

Over the years that I’ve been floxed and involved in the support groups I’ve met many different people that I’ve reached out to. Initially it was for help and then eventually to try to help others. That’s why I began this blog. It’s one of the ways I try to give back to the community that helped me many years ago when I was struggling and injured. Over the years the various reactions of other floxies have been much like the reactions of a wounded animal. Most are appreciative of the help, others are frightened and some lash out in anger and fear. Just like the rescuers of a wild animal I recognize that those who lash out are angry, frightened, and lack understanding of what the “rescuer” is trying to do. These are the people that often need help the most and yet they tend to push the very help they need away.

As a floxie and one who lives with chronic issues I’ve found those who push us away often need a compassionate response. I’ve found when they lash out my knee jerk reaction is a defensive one. However I take a breath and respond to them with the knowledge that they are in pain, suffering, angry, and frightened. In doing so I can calmly let them know that I don’t deserve to be treated poorly, was only trying to help them, and then I wish them healing fully prepared to distance myself if only for self preservation. But what I’ve found is that same person that lashed out at me will often step back, realize what they’ve done and apologize for it.

It’s important to mention that when someone does lash out it hurts. No matter how far out from floxing and the amount of recovery one experiences. From the perspective of a long time floxie who’s come to terms with what’s happened to them it’s still upsetting when you try to help someone and they take out their anger on you. So I’m not telling anyone to put up with being treated badly. I’m merely suggesting that you try to understand where they are coming from and respond with compassion. I’m also saying that for those that behave like a wounded animal and lash out please remember that those you strike out at are sick too. Please put yourself in the other person’s shoes for a minute. Ask yourself if you’d like to receive the message you’re about to send before you send it. If you feel it’s harsh then stop. Don’t send it. Tone it down and remember that the recipient deserves to be treated with compassion. We all do.

There can never be too much compassion for others in this world. Remember even if you think you’re worse off than someone else it doesn’t mean the others aren’t suffering too. It merely means their issues are different from yours. Not better or worse just different. Also remember that they may have issues that they aren’t telling you they have. Issues you know nothing about. Respond to people with kindness and they will often respond the same. Respond to people with anger and… I’m sure you get the idea. Once again; there can never be too much compassion for others.

Yours in Health and Compassion,


Monday, December 5, 2016

Holiday Survival Guide

As the holiday season approaches I think of how nice it will be to see my friends and family. I also acknowledge how stressful all the social gatherings can be. Over the years I’ve developed ways to cope with the chaos and my physical limitations which I want to share with those like me suffering chronic health issues.

The first thing that I think of with the holidays is stress. As much as the holidays are about joy, friendship, and love so too are they filled with stress for those of us dealing with chronic illness. When you’re struggling with functioning on a normal day the added organized chaos of the holidays can be overwhelming. I recently read a book that touched on coping with stress. My take away from it and what I now practice is a process of acknowledging stress when I feel it. I say “Hello stress”, smile, and mentally embrace it. I say “I know you are there” and then add “thank you for letting me know I’m alive”. I find this simple acknowledgement reduces its power over me and I go from a feeling of dread and anxiety to one of peace and looking forward to doing what was making me stressed in the first place. Please try it and let me know if it helps you too.

Before I became ill and as a mom of three boys the home was my domain. I did all the shopping, cooking, cleaning and laundry as well as working and volunteering. I’m no longer physically able to do those things so I enlist help and I recommend you do too. As an example my husband now cooks dinner as I’m limited in what I can do. So this past Thanksgiving I thought about what I could do and what we needed. We hosted a small gathering at our house which meant cooking a full meal and desserts. We love pie so two days before I enlisted my husband’s help to make pumpkin pie. Then the next day I enlisted my son to peel the apples for apple pie for me and had him there to assist me as I put it all together. Next I had him put it in the oven for me and when it was done he removed it to cool. The next day I peeled what potatoes I could and when my hands started cramping and hurting I stepped aside, had my son take over and directed my other sons to set the table. It turned into a real family affair prepping for our dinner and it was one of the nicest meals I’ve ever had.

How we got ready for Thanksgiving in our house brings me to my next tip for survival which is to pace yourself. While it seems a simple concept it’s very easy to get swept up in the commotion and forget this important tip. How I’ve learned to accomplish this is to schedule things in such a way that I have some down time to regroup and recover between activities. This is very important when dealing with chronic pain and fatigue. It allows you a chance to put your feet up and give yourself some time before you tackle something else. It also ties into how I prepared for Thanksgiving as you might have noticed I didn’t try to make two pies in one day but rather spread them out over two days. And then Thanksgiving morning when there were more able bodies around we put them to work. We celebrate Christmas in my house and I’ve had a request to make my raspberry white chocolate cheesecake which is a labor of love. I made this before I got floxed but it is time consuming and physically demanding so for years I stopped making it even though the requests kept coming. So now I make the raspberry puree before I make the cheesecake as it requires pressing raspberries through a strainer to remove the seeds. It’s time consuming and often causes my hands to cramp and become painful. However I’ve found that if I do this the day before then I’m good to do the rest the next day. I’m all about pacing myself now and I’ve found doing so helps me to get through the holidays in pretty good shape.

I’ve also learned to adapt my expectations. By this I mean I’ve adjusted to my limitations so I know what I can do and what I can’t and my family has as well. When someone offers to help me by getting me something to eat or drink I let them and am thankful for it. While this might seem a simple thing it’s an important one. You see I used to be so independent and capable that I didn’t need help because I was the caretaker. The roles have changed however and now I’m the one who needs help. Learning to accept help was difficult but I have adapted and now do so graciously.

And last but not least if you need something let people know. If it’s the comfortable chair in the room and you’re in pain and need to sit down then ask politely if you could use the chair for a few minutes. If you’re thirsty or hungry enlist someone to get you a drink or food. Or if you need to lie down somewhere quiet for a minute do that too. If you’re at a social gathering and are feeling rundown and know you have a commitment tomorrow then say your thank you’s and head home. It took me time to get to the point where I spoke up when I needed something. For a long time I tried to push through and do things myself but I found that it didn’t work out well so I’ve had to change. We spread out our commitments to what I can manage and I ask for help and try to state my needs more clearly.

So pace yourself, enlist help, adapt your expectations, ask for what you need, and acknowledge that the stress you may be feeling lets you know you’re alive. Recognize that feeling stressed means you’re living life in all its beautiful chaotic glory and be thankful for it. It’s amazing how simply acknowledging it in a positive way defuses the anxiety and worry that often goes hand in hand with feeling stressed. If you’re still feeling anxious squeeze those limes and drink the juice for some help with anxiety or pause for a few minutes to do some deep breathing and meditation to help you relax.

So try to enjoy this holiday season and embrace the love of being with family and friends with all the craziness and commotion. You can do this!

Yours in Holiday Spirit,


Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Message From A Stranger

Anyone who’s suffered from FQAD knows how it feels to be broken. I sure do. I’m approaching my ten year anniversary of floxing and I can tell you that despite my recent improvements in health it’s still a difficult way to live.

Recently my son qualified for a playoff tournament with his college team. He plays division I soccer and has worked very hard to get where he is. My husband and I love going to his games so attending this tournament was important to us as well. The one issue was the distance. It was in Davidson, NC, about 13 hours away by car. A couple years ago I could not have made the drive due to my daily battles with pain but this year I was willing to try. As broken as I am it was important to me to be there and airfare was far too expensive so we drove. After a heartbreaking overtime loss it was time to make the drive back home. At 9:00 am on a beautiful sunny day we hit the road. We stopped for lunch and gas and the next time our fuel light came on we decided to grab some dinner at a restaurant nearby.

After our long car ride I went to the Ladies room first and as I was washing my hands a woman entered the restroom and stopped near the sink. She looked at me with kindness and compassion and said to me “God will heal you.” My eyes began to well up with tears and as I looked at her I realized her eyes were welling up too. I nodded in reply and said yes He will. She then took both my hands in hers, stared at me with intensity, and prayed for my healing. It was incredibly emotional and beautiful. This complete stranger was so full of certainty, compassion, and love. I felt very comforted by her actions. I proceeded to give her a FQT awareness card at that point and tell her that I took Cipro and that’s how I got this way. She then told me that when her mother was 60 years old she got a flu shot and it paralyzed her. I knew then that she understood what I was going through. We embraced each other in that bathroom, I thanked her, and then I accompanied my husband back to my seat. She stopped by our table before leaving and again I was humbled by the intensity of her gaze, her conviction, and the kindness that was her. I was struck by the fact that there are truly wonderful and caring people in this world. People full of love and compassion, strength and beauty. People with a powerful message of hope for those of us who are broken.

I believe that sometimes God, Spirit, an angel, a higher power or whatever you choose to believe in puts people in our path to deliver the messages that we need to hear. I believe that’s the reason we wound up at that restaurant. You see during that car ride I prayed for continued healing and mentioned that I was struggling. I felt exhausted dealing with my health issues and I even asked for a sign that I was on the right path. I thought to myself at the time; how can I get a sign riding in a car on a highway for hours? And yet I did receive a beautiful message from a complete stranger. After meeting this lovely woman I felt restored and rejuvenated and I wasn’t hungry anymore. I’d received food for my soul from the power of this woman’s love and that was all that I needed. 

My wish for all of you who are struggling with chronic health issues is that you find your own path to healing, that you have the strength to get through each day, and that you receive the messages that you need to hear whether it’s from a loved one, a friend or a complete stranger. Open your heart and soul to hear the messages that are meant for you.

Yours in Health,


Thursday, October 20, 2016

Mind Over Matter

Mind over matter or matter over mind? As a “normal” person pre flox I believed in mind over matter however as a floxie with chronic health issues I’ve had to learn to listen to my body as my mind always thinks I can do more than I can or at least it used to. So for the floxed its matter over mind and adjusting to that way of thinking can be hard to do.

I have a T shirt with mind over matter printed on it. As a floxie living with FluoroQuinolone Associated Disability (FQAD) it’s something I’ve tried to do. I’ve always been a glass is half full person and living with FQ toxicity is no different. I do my best to think positively as I know our bodies are miraculous in their ability to heal. The reality with FQAD is that mind over matter usually doesn’t work. More frequently it’s a case of matter over mind.

It’s unfortunate because many floxies are told by loved ones to push through it or they are told if they get up and get moving they’ll feel better. As a floxie I wish it was that simple. I’ve tried pushing through the pain and weakness only to suffer more. Those of us that have been dealing with this for years tell newcomers to listen to their bodies and caution against pushing themselves mostly because we’ve been there, tried it, and it didn’t work.

There’s another side to the “mind over matter” that those who love us often don’t see which is when a loved one tells us to just get up and do something how much emotional pain and hurt that causes us. Over the years I’ve been in the support groups I’ve seen far too many posts by floxies who are devastated when someone they love says this to them. The common thread for those of us suffering is that if we could push through it we would. It’s hard when those closest to us don’t understand this. Not to mention that we are devastated by the knowledge that we can’t. When I was healthy before I took cipro I could push through when I didn’t feel great. I can remember having an ache, pain or feeling fatigued and going jogging or to an exercise class and working through it. However FQAD is different. 

Having lived with Fluoroquinolone toxicity for almost a decade now I wish it was as simple as mind over matter or just pushing through it. I would ask those that think we can if they would tell someone with ALS, MS, Lupus, arthritis and/or Parkinson’s the same thing. I don’t think they would because most people understand how debilitating these diseases are. I’m here to tell you that FQAD is similar in that it is a multi system full body toxicity. It can and often does affect our entire nervous system, musculoskeletal system, digestive system, endocrine system, and our joints, tendons, nerves, skin, bones, hearing, vision, memory, adrenals, liver, kidneys, lungs, and more.

If you or someone you love is suffering from Fluoroquinolone toxicity while it’s important to think positively because there are things you can do to improve such as going organic please remember that pushing yourself to do more physically might not be the best way to go. In this case matter over mind is usually better. Always listen to your body, trust yourself, and do what is right for you. If you’re a caregiver please remember that we’re doing the best we can, that some days are better than others, and that if we were able to do so we’d much rather be out and about actively enjoying ourselves. So please be compassionate because FQAD is a serious and debilitating toxicity and those of us living with it are doing the best that we can.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

You Are...

You are still you.

You are the person you’ve always been. Your inner self is still here and beautiful. Never lose sight of that.

Chronic illness changes us in so many ways that unless you go through it and experience it first hand it’s hard to describe. It’s easy to lose sight of who you are and why you’re here when dealing with pain and health challenges that most people never think about. Floxing can cause all kinds of damage to our bodies and dealing with it is a challenge. I know because I’m living it too.

Your health issues don’t define you. Your inner strength and character define you. Your love and kindness towards others defines you.

Living with chronic illness can and often does create the necessity to redefine your own perceptions of yourself. With that change think about how this challenge has changed you. What is it that you’ve learned? What is it that you want to do about your experience?

But remember you are still you.  You are here for a reason. Never give up and don’t forget who you are. You are special. You are one of a kind. You are loved.



Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Back to School

It’s that time of year when parents start to prepare their children for school and another academic year. For parents the school year marks our calendars and tends to define how we see the year. As a parent of three I remember well the preparation involved in making sure summer reading is done, sneakers fit, and school supplies are purchased for that all important first day. My children are all older now but I still have one who just left for college and preseason training. I do very little to prepare him but I still mark the calendar with important dates as he’s an athlete and I still enjoy going to his games and cheering him on.

The preparation and support involved in being a parent can be taxing but even more so when one is chronically ill. Many seemingly small events can take on a life of their own when living with chronic pain and mobility issues. Attending an open house or a sporting event can be daunting tasks for someone like me. I know because I’ve been dealing with this for close to a decade. As a chronically ill parent one begins to worry; how will I be able to support my child(ren)? I was reminded of this recently when I was contacted by a floxed friend who was worried about their role as parent and whether or not they’d be able to raise their children and participate in their lives.

My answer is an emphatic yes you can do this! Perhaps not the same way you’d been doing it before. I definitely had to adapt to my limitations and my children did too. That being said I still attended all their games sometimes having other parents help me. I was still there for my kids to talk to, to remind them of the importance of their education, to hug them and celebrate their achievements, and most importantly to be a parent when they needed one.

All of our roles in the family have changed. My children had to become more responsible and help out around the house more. My husband had to attend the open houses at school when the walking became too much for me. But what they needed the most; the love and affection of a parent I am still able to give to them. Remember THE most important thing is that you’re still here for them. Your kids need you. You don’t have to be strong they just need you to be present. They need to hear that you love them.

We teach by example. Our children are sponges that soak up everything around them from a very early age. I do my best to remain positive and keep fighting to regain my health. One of my sons told me that I’m the strongest person he knows. I can barely walk a ¼ mile. I use a walker or a cane and my husband to get around. I’m very weak physically but it’s our emotional outlook that sets the example for our children. Make no mistake they have seen their mother cry and they still admire my strength. Hug your kid(s), tell them that you love them, and show them your strength and determination by fighting to get better.

I had two teenagers and one preteen when I was floxed. Today my children are young adults. Two have graduated college and gone on to pursue their careers and one is still studying for his bachelor’s degree. I’m extremely proud of the young men that they are today and I’m grateful for every day that I can share with them. If you’re worried about your children you are normal. As parents we never stop worrying about our kids. I know my mom still worries about me. (I love you Mom!) I’m grateful that my kids aren’t the ones dealing with FQAD. I’m glad it’s me and not them. We are never too old to learn and floxing has taught me a lot about our current medical system and government. My eyes are wide open now.

So as your children start a new school year remember that you love them and you’re doing the best you can. They will understand your limitations and just be happy that you are here for them. They will learn from the example that you set so forgive yourself for your limitations and be the best parent that you can be.

~ Betsy

Monday, August 1, 2016

Should I or Shouldn't I

As floxies we want to improve our health, reduce our pain, and try to get back to leading a more active and productive life so we constantly wonder whether or not we should try some new therapy or supplement someone else says helped them. The more time I’m on the boards and support groups the more I see this topic come up. As a newly floxed person I have jumped on the bandwagon to try supplements that someone else has recommended sometimes with good results, sometimes bad results, and sometimes with nothing changing at all. Whether or not to try a new therapy or supplement is a question we all face in trying to recover.

As a longtime floxie with numerous health issues the best advice I can give is to research, research, and research some more anything you are considering trying. And this goes for mainstream medical options as well as alternative therapies and supplements. I cannot stress enough that we are all different so what works for one may not work or even harm others. Then when starting something new start low and go slow.

Sometimes we learn of more than one new supplement at a time so we buy a few things and start taking all of them the same day. Early on I was guilty of this as well. I now know that the best way to approach a new supplement is to take one new thing, wait several days, note any changes in health and if nothing negative happens then try it again. Proceed slowly and with caution. I’ve heard of those who’ve felt good on a new supp, only to increase the amount and after several days start feeling worse. Sometimes feeling worse can just be a cycle that coincides with the new supp but sometimes it can be the supplement itself. If you’re not sure what’s causing the worsening err on the side of caution and stop the new supplement. Wait a few days and then decide whether or not to try it again. Start something new slowly, use a small amount and gauge your reaction. One example of this is essential oils (EOs). I had great success with these as have many others and I still use them almost daily however I’ve met two floxies who reacted badly to them. So I advise caution here. Also, when I realized they were helping me I began using more and more of them. I learned that with EOs that less is more. Increasing the amount didn’t help any more than the lesser amount did. So I learned through experience to use them diluted to 10% with a carrier oil, and applied topically or diffused (never ingest them!). This leads me to my next bit of advice; listen to your body.

You know yourself better than anyone else. What is your gut telling you about your floxing? If you aren’t sure then keep listening. There are many well meaning people in the groups who will give you advice on what helped them and they are wonderful to share their experiences with the rest of us. I’ve found some very beneficial remedies this way. I’ve also tried some things that didn’t help so at the end of the day you need to sit down and think about what you need to do for you. So after you’ve done your research, listened to advice of others, thought about your unique situation, and done your budget then ask yourself is it still something you want to try? If it’s a very expensive therapy and some did well with it but others did not and it’s going to set you back financially do you still think it’s a good idea? Weigh the pro’s and con’s before jumping in. Also remember if you hold off on it for now it’ll still be around if you decide to try it later. Some of the best results have come from simple dietary changes such as eating organic, avoiding GMOs, reducing toxic exposure from household cleaners, detergents and Teflon pans, and switching to organic personal care products. And the best thing is that this won’t break the bank. My laundry detergent I use now is a lot cheaper than the name brand I used!

Remember we are all unique. We all come from different backgrounds and have different genetics. That’s one of the things that makes this world so beautiful. Keeping that in mind what works for one might not work for another so do your research, ask questions, start low and go slow, and listen to your body. And if you aren’t sure about something you don’t have to decide today. There’s plenty of time and there are simple changes you can make now. My last bit of advice is to keep a journal of what you’ve tried, what worked, what didn’t work, and supplements that work synergistically. This will help especially if you have brain fog.

Yours in Health,


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

New FDA Announcement

Today the FDA announced updated Black Box warnings and an updated patient medication guide for all Fluoroquinolone antibiotics. This follows on the heals of their May 12th, 2016, announcement to change prescribing guidelines; that Fluoroquinolones not be prescribed for sinusitis, bronchitis and uncomplicated UTIs.

The new FDA announcement can be found here; FDA Updates Warnings for Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics

This is another big step in helping to make the medical profession aware of the serious disabling and often permanent side affects of these medications. PLEASE don't ever take them unless it's a life or death situation and all other options have failed. It only took four 500 mg pills of ciprofloxacin to ruin my health. Don't let this happen to you or someone you love. There are much safer alternatives available.

Yours in Health,


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Desperate times...

Desperate times call for desperate measures is another saying that I grew up hearing my mom say on occasion. I forget what she was referencing then but it’s funny how some things stay with us as the years pass by. It’s this feeling that drew me to purchase the book, Medical Medium by Anthony William about how to heal from mystery illness. We all know what a mystery floxing is so this book seemed interesting to me. Yes I was improving from floxing thanks to a supplement I’d begun last year but I never stop looking for ways to heal my body. So when I learned about this book from a couple other floxies I thought; why not? I’m doing better but what if I could help things along even more? I’ve learned through the years that sometimes thinking outside the box is necessary when all other options have failed. And even though I’d made progress I’m far from being healed.

So I bought the book as I’ve got plenty of time to read nowadays. I really had no idea what to expect but I found it intriguing right from the start and what he was saying seemed so incredibly logical. You see years ago when I was trying to describe what I was going through to my closest girlfriends I decided to email them about it. That way I could put into words what was going on and they could read and digest the information without interruption. When writing about floxing I compared it to having a flu that never ends. Just like flu symptoms fluctuate throughout the illness my symptoms continually changed too so it seemed to me to be a good analogy not to mention it sometimes felt like I had flu symptoms. Upon reading Anthony’s book about how to heal from chronic mystery illnesses he discusses how some powerful antibiotics can cause viral outbreaks. We’ve known for years that there’s a balance between bacteria and Candida in the body and antibiotic use can cause yeast overgrowth so why couldn’t the same thing happen with viruses? We also know that many people once they’ve had mono will test positive for the Epstein Barr virus (EBV) and I’ve talked to floxies who say they’ve tested positive for it. So why couldn’t an antibiotic allow for the same overgrowth with a virus that they do for Candida? I think they can and I also know how fluoroquinolone antibiotics can suppress the immune system.

I want to mention I’m not a scientist (although I’ve loved science my whole life) nor am I a medical professional of any kind. What I am is chronically ill which started after I took four pills of ciprofloxacin in 2007. Prior to this I was healthy, active and strong with no health problems besides allergies. I am however focused on trying to recover my health and I’ve been researching safer natural remedies for years. Reading this book was eye opening because it seemed to be common sense. It was a “lightbulb moment” for me so much so that I began a group on Facebook to discuss the concepts in the book for anyone interested. The group can be found here; Floxies for the Medical Medium

I started implementing some of the dietary recommendations back in March so it’s been about four months since I made adjustments that follow some of what Anthony recommends and while I’m not healed yet I continue to head in a positive direction. In the book he states that some illnesses might take a year or more to heal from so it’s not a quick fix but if you’re floxed like me then you already know there are no quick fixes for this. I can tell you that it’s helping me. For instance I’ve been taking one capsule of L lysine, an essential amino acid, daily for years because it’s important for collagen production, for vitamin B6 absorption and is an anti viral. So at the first sign of a cold I’d take it too. Well I learned from Anthony William that we can take up to 3,000 mgs daily and I was only taking 500 mgs. Last year I had a frozen shoulder that took me over 6 months to recover about 60-70% use but I still couldn’t sleep on it or even roll on that side for more than a second or two. And that was with a cortisone shot (8 ½ yrs out from floxing; I don’t recommend them within 6 yrs of floxing) and a few months of PT. Then this past March my other shoulder popped while sleeping on it and became frozen. It was so bad I had to wear a sling which is very difficult when using a walker! I had just begun increasing my L lysine from one capsule to 2 to 6 capsules daily and within one month had recovered 80-90%!! Here it is a few months later and both shoulders have improved to where I can sleep on either side for a period of time before it becomes a bit sore so I change positions. I believe the supplement I began using last year also played a significant role in my recovering so much quicker but feel Anthony’s protocol is helping me as well. The book discusses foods and supplements that help different health issues. Like me Anthony William is not a medical professional but he has a special gift and that gift has helped me. I invite you to read his book if you’d like and to join our Facebook discussion group as well.

Desperate times call for desperate measures and thinking outside the box. My journey to wellness is ongoing and has been a long one but I’m thankful because I’m so much better than I was a year ago. 

Yours in Health,


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

I try...

But some days it’s really difficult. Every day I wake up to the hope of a new day and the promise that it brings. Promises of hope for healing and moving forward with my health and my life. I never know what the day will bring for me however and it’s not always good. Today was a good day and it came after a long weekend of feeling good with reduced pain levels and more strength in my muscles than I had the week before. On these kinds of days before I go to sleep I thank the Lord and my angels for blessing me with a good day. People suffering from chronic illness will understand this and also know how quickly it can change. My long weekend of feeling good came after over a week of feeling poorly with increased pain and weakness. I’m not as bad as I was a year ago but I’m very in tune with my physical body, how it feels on a day to day basis, and I’d had a rough week.

When going through a bad spell I like to remind myself that this too shall pass. I remember that I’m doing better than I was a year ago and that my ups and downs keep trending overall in an upward pattern. That doesn’t mean that the bad days are easier to deal with. On the contrary they are as difficult as ever but I try to find something positive in each day and when I can’t I give it over to God. I find it helps me to do so. I’m a firm believer in doing whatever it is that helps you through the tough times so that you can enjoy the good. If that involves cuddling with a beloved pet, mindful meditation or talking to a friend please do whatever it is that helps you.

I tend to focus on the positives for my own peace of mind but I’m here to say I have tough days too. I’ve found being optimistic helps me be happier overall but I still have ups and downs like most of us suffering from FQAD. I try everyday to be positive but sometimes it’s really hard. On those days I just hang in there, try to think of something good, and wait for it to pass. It’s like waiting for a storm to pass only this storm comes from within. Into each life a little rain must fall is something my mother has said to me and she’s right. But I think we all live for those beautiful sunny days. May there be sunshine and healing in your future.

This too shall pass.


Friday, June 17, 2016

I Didn't Ask for This

Something most everyone going through floxing or a mystery illness seems to encounter is the idea that the individual suffering is doing it for attention, their symptoms aren't real or it's all in their heads. This response from doctors and medical professionals who can’t pinpoint the cause is hurtful to the person suffering. Many floxies go through numerous tests only to be told that everything came back normal/negative. At this point when doctors become stumped without a diagnostic tool to rely on they often resort to the “it’s all in your head” diagnosis. For one who is living this I can tell you it’s not in my head and fortunately I've never been told it is. We are living in a time when mystery illnesses are becoming more prevalent. The cause of my illness is a medication specifically a fluoroquinolone (FQ) antibiotic. I believe many mystery illnesses are caused by medications or interactions of a combination of medications as well as toxins such as pesticides, insecticides, and adjuvants/excipients in some vaccines and more.

I’ve also met many people whose family members have been helpful at first but when the sick person doesn’t get better over time that sometimes changes. Thinking that if they only got up and did something they’d be fine. If only it were that easy for the person who is ill. I can tell you that this attitude from friends and loved ones is one of the most difficult things to deal with. It’s bad enough when our doctors dismiss us but when it’s someone we love the pain of that betrayal cuts deep. Fortunately not all of us living with chronic illness encounter this. But unfortunately many do. And for those of us living this we recognize that it's very hard on our family members too. We don't want to be a burden to those we love. Trust when I say we are doing the best we can.

As one who has been living with chronic illness for almost a decade I can assure you that none of us want this. What we want is to have our health and energy back. Fluoroquinolones damage tendons, ligaments, soft tissue and collagen throughout the body and then there’s the musculoskeletal system damage. I might look fine on the outside but what you can’t see is that my ankles don’t flex for me to safely walk down stairs. My hands which look normal tend to be like claws when I try to pick up items and/or hold my utensils to cut up food to eat. My joints pop and click when I walk sometimes buckling and giving out altogether. And then there’s the nerve and nervous system damage… the pain and suffering from which I could write about all day and only begin to touch on the subject. A quicker explanation is that there are few systems in the body that aren’t affected by fluoroquinolone toxicity and yet I look normal. I’m still basically the same athletic build that I was before I took those toxic pills and I still look young for my age (thank you Mom and Dad for those wonderful genes!). That being said one simply cannot see what’s going on inside at the cellular level.

The FDA in a 2013 document admitted that fluoroquinolones can cause mitochondrial damage. No one can see by looking at me that my mitchondria which are the powerhouses of our cells are damaged. They can’t see that my DNA has been altered as FQs are designed to alter DNA of bacterial cells to cause death. And the question of how FQs differentiate between bacteria and healthy cells remains.

The point of this is that some things just can’t be seen by the naked eye and they don't show up on diagnostic tests. That doesn’t mean they aren’t real. It doesn’t mean the person experiencing them isn’t suffering. Their symptoms and health issues are very real. I can tell you that these people would much rather have their health and energy back. I know for certain I would. I’d love to be the strong supportive mother and wife that I once was. I wish I could take care of my husband and children, and run the household like I used to do. Even more than that I wish I could go skiing with family and friends in the winter, and swim and sail in the summer or even just have the ability to go for a walk around the block on a nice day. I didn’t ask for this and I haven’t met anyone or any floxie that did either. We trusted our doctors and fluoroquinolone toxicity was the result. We didn’t want this the same way no one wants cancer, lupus, MS or any other disease. Rather we are doing the best we can to live with strength and dignity with the hand we were dealt. We are trying to regain our health as best we can, and to learn to live with our new “normal”. All we ask for in return is to have those we know and love to understand, and to continue to be supportive of us. As Ellen DeGeneres would say; "Be kind to one another".

Yours in Health,


Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Pieces of a Puzzle

Trying to recover from floxing can be a difficult task to say the least. As victims of FQT we are on our own. There has not been any research done or peer reviewed studies on treatments and the medical community is at a loss as to how to treat us. We are unique among chronic illnesses in this regard. If you have cancer, heart disease or an auto immune disease or some other labeled illness you will have numerous research studies and treatment options available to you.  If you have FQAD/FQT or some other mystery illness you might have a support group to discuss options but none of these options have been studied by the medical profession. Even the rare doctors that recognize FQAD will admit they have no idea what to do to help us.

Hopefully that will change in the future but in the meantime I would like to give those newer to FQT some help navigating this syndrome. Since we all know about cycling of symptoms as its common to this toxicity and that our symptoms and side affects are numerous I’d like to tell you my approach. Trying to deal with so many health issues all at once can be overwhelming so I took a much simpler approach to try to heal my body. Like starting a new jigsaw puzzle and looking at a thousand random pieces can be daunting recovering from floxing can be too.

When I start a new puzzle I build the border first and then work on specific areas within the puzzle itself that I feel I can do. I use this same approach in dealing with FQT. I start by getting my border done first in other words I began by eating healthy and avoiding exposure to toxins. This is the foundation or border using the puzzle analogy. I recommend eating organic and non GMO as much as you can afford. As well as using organic or earth friendly toiletries, cleaners, detergents, and soaps. I’ve found very affordable options for shampoos, conditioners, deodorant, toothpastes and more. In doing this you reduce the toxic load on your body. I can’t stress enough how important eating nutrient dense foods is to give your body the nutrients it needs to heal itself and studies have shown that organic food is more nutrient dense than conventionally grown.

Next I worked on areas that were or are the most important health issues to me and occasionally a random piece of the puzzle would fall into place in the process. For instance I was struggling with hypoglycemia at one time so I ate a diet to control blood sugar levels. It took months but I did get my blood sugar stabilized. In the process of working on that I cut out sugar and had the added benefit of a reduction in nerve pain. As I got this under control I realized that my digestion was not functioning properly. I was eating more yet felt like I was starving for nutrients so I embarked on a diet to heal leaky gut. I’d been sugar, gluten, and processed food free but it wasn’t enough. I never thought my gut was that bad but embarking on the diet to heal my gut and following it without cheating for a full year helped considerably. I did heal my digestive issues and in the process I reduced my muscle pain, some of my muscle stiffness (tone form of spasticity) and muscle ratcheting (clonus form of spasticity) too. In tackling some of the bigger issues I was able to help some of the other issues I was dealing with as well. So like putting together a puzzle I worked away on different areas of my health towards healing.

I’m still working on completing the large puzzle that is floxing. FQT certainly is a puzzle for those of us going through it. The puzzle that makes up my issues has some sections that are more challenging than others but I still find it easier, more manageable and less overwhelming to tackle just a few areas at a time.

Yours in Health, Betsy 

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Reach Out

This is a tough topic to discuss and the most difficult post I’ve written however in light of the loss of another floxie recently I feel it needs to be addressed. I think all of us have felt hopeless at one point or another in dealing with FQAD/FQT. I know I have. I’ve felt the despair and unfortunately it’s another side affect of FQs. That said I’ve lived with FQAD for nine years now and I’m glad that I’m still here. Have I healed? Yes and no. Some things have improved or healed while others have not but I’m happy and enjoy life again.

I want anyone out there who’s considering throwing in the towel to please reconsider and know that you are not alone. Please reach out to someone whether it is a family member, a friend or someone in our support groups. The people in the support groups are some of the kindest most compassionate and caring people I’ve ever met and they know what you’re going through. I know what you’re going through too and I’m willing to listen if you need me. Please reach out to someone. A suggestion is to have a floxie buddy system in place. Find a few floxies in the group that you connect with so you can reach out to them when you need someone to lean on. You don’t have to fight this alone. People care about you and love you. Hang in there as it can and often does get better. I’ve seen it. I’ve seen some very sick people get better to the point where they are back functioning at jobs they love, they are out enjoying activities with family members or like me they are embracing new pursuits that accommodate their limitations.

Getting floxed isn’t easy but you don’t need to throw in the towel. I’m here to tell you that there is life after floxing. Life is a blessing. It’s not always easy but it can be enjoyable. Not all our problems can be fixed but they can be carried. If you’re struggling with a heavy load ask for help. You’ll be amazed at the outpouring of support you’ll receive.

Take my Hand, Betsy

Monday, May 23, 2016

A Light in the Window

I grew up in a family of readers and I’ve always been an avid reader too. To this day we always share books with one another. Back when I was a young woman and still living at home my mother gave me a book called, A Light in the Window by the author Jan Karon. After reading a lot of Steven King novels this book was a refreshing change of pace for it takes place in a small town and revolves around the life of the local minister.

One of the things in the book that hit home to me was that the minister and his neighbor would always say “Philippians 4:13” whenever they were dealing with a difficult situation. This stayed with me over the years because Phil 4:13 means; “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Over time I’d forgotten the exact line but would think to myself Philippians 4:13 when life got difficult.

I’ve mentioned breaking my hip previously and let’s just say I did a really good job. It was no simple fracture. I needed surgical repair. The only reason the doctor didn’t do a total replacement was because of my age. I was only 53 at the time and hip replacements only last so long so he chose to “fix” it instead. I use “fix” a bit loosely because it’s nothing like what it was. It’s not the same shape, my leg doesn’t fit in the socket the same and it’s now considerably shorter than my other leg. All of this adds up to a physically challenging lifestyle for me. As a result I lean on Phillipians 4:13 more now than ever before. It’s difficult enough being floxed but adding my new reality with my hip I find this simple quote helps me every day. As I try to take a few lopsided and painful steps here and there without my walker which can be frightening I find myself repeating it over and over.

Not everyone has the same type of faith or belief system but whatever you need to do to give yourself the strength to face the challenges of living with chronic illness then do it. Whatever provides you comfort, eases your pain and brings you peace then hold on to that. For me it’s; I can do all things through Him who strengthens me and inch by inch. For others it might be taking it one day at a time or just pushing through. Where I find comfort in prayer for others it might be meditation or chatting with a friend in a support group. Whatever it is that cuts through the darkness and allows you to find your light in the window hold onto it and embrace it. My hope is that we all find our light.

Love and Light, Betsy

Thursday, May 12, 2016

This just in...

The FDA is making changes regarding the prescribing of fluoroquinolone antibiotics!!! It's too late for me but it should save others from this nightmare. I just read the following;
"As you may know, the Quinolone Vigilance Foundation testified at the Food and Drug Administration regarding the use of fluoroquinolones. Thirty-five patients and patient advocates joined together to speak in front of an advisory panel.
The FDA listened. Just moments ago, Executive Director Rachel Brummert received the following:
"Today, the FDA is requiring label changes for antibacterial drugs called fluoroquinolones, including an updated boxed warning and Medication Guide, and advising that the serious side effects associated with fluoroquinolones generally outweigh the benefits for patients with sinusitis, bronchitis and uncomplicated urinary tract infections who have other treatment options. For patients with these conditions, fluoroquinolones should be reserved for those who do not have alternative treatment options.
An FDA safety review has shown that fluoroquinolones are associated with disabling and potentially permanent, serious side effects that can occur together. These side effects can involve the tendons, muscles, joints, nerves and central nervous system. As a result, the FDA is requiring label changes for all systemic fluoroquinolone antibacterial drugs to reflect this new safety information."
Thank you to everyone who submitted public comments and who traveled to the advisory hearing to share their stories!"
I was one of those who traveled to the FDA hearing last November and I submitted my story to the advisory board beforehand.

This is the link to the official announcement;  http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/DrugSafety/UCM500591.pdf

And if that isn't enough the image below was taken from a CDC article and here is the link; http://www.cdc.gov/getsmart/community/about/should-know.html

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

I See You

On one of my vacations with my husband I went to visit a floxie friend. After I left I called her to tell her something and during our conversation she said to me; I see you not your disability. She went on to say; I see the person that you are and the person that you were and not your speech issues or what floxing has done to you. It was one of the kindest things anyone has ever said to me and I’ve never forgotten it. I felt the same way about her although it wasn’t something that I’d consciously realized until she had verbalized it. That conscious realization was a blessing. You see when suffering chronic illness as your health deteriorates and your limitations become more severe you tend to feel as though you’re losing your identity. The person you were and the things you loved that you can no longer do. Bit by bit I felt I was losing pieces of myself. Just like the movie Jerry McGuire when Tom Cruise says “you complete me” this friend saying “I see you” made me feel more whole. It made me feel like a more complete person. When she said that to me I realized I’m still the same person that I was before I just have physical limitations now. It was a relief to hear that from someone who’d never known me when I was healthy.

When I chat with others dealing with the debilitating aspects of fluoroquinolone associated disability (FQAD) I see them not their limitations. We are an incredibly diverse group of people with a broad age range and yet every one of us is still our unique and beautiful individual personalities. Just because you are going through this never forget who you are. Your illness doesn’t define you any more than anyone else is defined by their illness. It might change you in ways you never imagined but that can sometimes be a good thing. I find myself to be a more compassionate person than I was, I don’t sweat the small stuff, and I’ve learned so much about natural remedies for health that my family is better off as a result. By speaking out about the dangers of these medications I’ve had dozens of friends tell me they’ve refused them because of what I’ve been through so I celebrate each of these as a life saved. These are the positives I’ve taken away from my condition. I also believe that we can improve our situation so even if I’m not the person I once was I see myself again.

I see you too not your disability.


9 Year Floxiversary

Note: I wrote and published this post on February 26th, 2016 on my Facebook page; Betsy's Message. I debated whether or not to publish it here and decided I should include it.

It’s my 9 year floxiversary today (9 yrs ago that I took the antibiotic that caused my chronic illness) and I’m here to say that I’m healed. Emotionally that is. Physically my body is still a work in progress. But I’m at peace with what’s happened to me, I’m happy, and I’m living again. I’ve stopped looking back at what my life was before and mourning the loss of what I thought my future would be. I’ve chosen instead to live in the present and trust that I am exactly where I was meant to be. In doing so I’ve become content with my life and I’m enjoying it. I’ve taken up new activities that accommodate my physical limitations. I’m not saying that I’ve given up on healing my body. On the contrary I’m working harder than ever. “Never give up” is still my motto, and I have hope that I can and will continue to improve my health. The interesting thing is that as I’ve become a happier person I find that I feel better overall and those around me are happier too. I’m not saying that I don’t have pain and that some days are worse than others but I’m refusing to let it define me. If I’m having a bad day then I do less physically and I go easy on myself. If I’m having a good day I take advantage of it and try to tackle something that I wouldn’t otherwise.
My message is a simple one. Take this journey one day at a time. Treat yourself and your body with the reverence and care that you deserve and remember to enjoy each and every day. On the bad days it’s important to find joy in the simpler things; whether it’s that yesterday was a good day, a loved one or friend said or did something thoughtful, or that the sun is shining. Whatever it is that makes you smile think of that when you’re struggling. If you need help to find something to be thankful for then reach to a support group for help. The kindness and compassion of others in support groups got me through some of my darkest days. Remember always that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. It might be difficult to get to sometimes but you can reach it and like me find joy in life again.
Yours in health, Betsy

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Inch by Inch

My father-in-law has a favorite saying; “Inch by inch life’s a cinch” and I always thought this saying was cute. It also taught me to look at life a bit differently. It’s become especially important to me to view life this way when dealing with chronic illness and pain. I was reminded of this again very recently.
Nine days ago I was sleeping on my right side (good shoulder) when it collapsed making a loud popping noise. I immediately felt pain so I rolled onto my back, breathed slowly and went back to sleep. It was sore after that but I pushed forward for two days until the pain became too intense. Afterward my arm was useless. Anyone who’s dealt with floxing will know what I’m talking about. I had to once again rely on my husband to help me dress, cut up my food for me and more. I pulled out my redox gel, homeopathic pain relief cream, and frankincense and ginger essential oils to apply to my shoulder. I began icing several times a day, and eating anti inflammatory foods. I was fortunate to have an appointment with my physiatrist (sports medicine doctor) who did an ultrasound, and x-rays but the only thing she found was some fluid on the bursa. That same day I went to my chiropractor who found that my arm wasn’t situated in my shoulder socket properly which he corrected. What followed was days of relying on my husband to care for me once again. Like MacGyver he rigged my walker with a strap so I could use it with one hand and the other side would push against my hip and we put my arm in a sling to take the weight off my shoulder.
Feeling very discouraged I thought of the saying; inch by inch life’s a cinch. I’ll admit I had thoughts of; “oh no not again” as I spent most of last year dealing with a frozen left shoulder. Also I’d had a day where I’d made myself smoothies, washed dishes, cut up a large pineapple, emptied the dishwasher, started a batch of bone broth chicken soup, run two loads of laundry and finished the soup to feed my family for dinner all while taking care of a sick child just days before this setback. It had been a long time since I’d accomplished that much in a day and now here I was requiring help to get dressed. Every time I thought “how long will this last?” I pushed it out of my mind and instead told myself “inch by inch”. Each day I woke up I took inventory of my pain which had me in tears a few times and focused on every improvement I could find. As my husband asked me if I wanted to see the shoulder specialist I went to last year I replied let’s give it some time. I kept up with my natural remedies for pain, adapted my daily regimen by having my husband make me my smoothies before he left for work, and focused on improvements.
Yesterday I was able to take my arm out of the sling and today I was able to dress myself. I still have pain and limited range of motion but I’m making progress and recovering faster than I thought I would. Why is my recovery going so well? It’s not any one thing I’m doing but rather a combination of dietary changes which include switching to various organic fruit/veggie smoothie combinations for a nutrient dense meals. A supplement "tweek" which involved increasing the amount of L lysine (an essential amino acid necessary for collagen repair, a CNS anti-inflammatory and anti-viral) I take daily from 500 mgs to 2,000 to 3,000 mgs, natural remedies to decrease the pain and inflammation, and patience.
Inch by inch…

Note: I wrote this post on April 28th, 2016 for my Facebook page; Betsy's Message and I'm happy to report that it's now 3 weeks later and my shoulder is 90% recovered. It's amazing to me as the pain was worse this time than previously but what I'm doing is working.

Beauty is Only Skin Deep

This is a strong message that an individual’s character is what really makes one beautiful. How a person handles the challenges that life throws at them defines the type of person that they are. I often say how through floxing I’ve met a group of the most courageous, kindest, and strongest people I’ve ever met. They fight through pain with admirable strength, and find humor in dealing with illness. They are truly the most beautiful people I know.
There’s another side to the above statement I want to discuss and that is that our exterior appearance is a reflection of our internal health. Our skin is our largest organ and its primary function is protection but it can also tell us a lot about our internal health that we can’t otherwise see. For instance if your skin is very dry chances are your cells in your body are also. I know when my skin was extremely dry I was drinking a lot of water and yet always felt a bit dehydrated. I knew my cells were having an issue taking up fluid and this was reflected in my skin’s appearance. During this time my eyes watered a lot (a sign of dry eyes) and my throat was raspy and felt dry too. A very common side affect of FQT. What helped me more than drinking water was eating foods with high water content such as fruits and vegetables. I want to clarify that I’m not a medical professional or a nutritionist and I have no background or education in these fields. I’m just a woman who has suffered from FQAD for over 9 years who has tried numerous different things to get better. What I found which many floxies know already is that eating as organic as possible, eating foods in their natural forms (not processed), avoiding GMO’s (especially corn and soy products), avoiding sugar and unhealthy fats (corn, canola, margarine, etc) has helped me a great deal.
Another issue I noticed with my skin is that my body hair fell out. I no longer needed to shave my legs and the peach fuzz on my arms, fingers, toes and face disappeared. This too was an indication that my skin wasn’t healthy and that something was wrong internally. Other signs were the loss of the pads on my fingers so that when gripping something I could feel the bones in my hands. My legs also went from looking young for my age with no cellulite to turning into lumpy messes of cellulite seemingly overnight from collagen degeneration. Our nails can be another indicator of our internal health. Things to consider are their strength are they brittle and do they have lines, ridges, white spots or are they yellowed or have other discoloration. What I want to point out here is that if there are changes to your toenails or fingernails then my suggestion is that you look it up on the internet as these too can be signs of changes in our internal health.
The good news is that I turned this around and you can too by paying attention to what your body is telling you and taking the necessary steps to improve your health. By giving your body what it needs nutritionally it can repair itself. We are so fortunate to live at a time when we have a wealth of information at our fingertips. My suggestion is to put that to work for you and do your own research to determine the underlying cause of these changes. As always when doing your research trust your gut instincts when combing through the information available. And remember while beauty is only skin deep our external appearance can be an indicator of our internal health. A window if you will into what’s going on inside our bodies. Use this knowledge to your advantage and be aware of what your body and its appearance are telling you.
Yours in Health,

No Two Snowflakes are Alike

When dealing with chronic illness comparing oneself to others with the same illness is a normal thing to do as is comparing one’s illness to other illnesses. But just as no two snowflakes are alike no two people are alike either. Realizing we are a combination of our unique genetic make up, environmental factors, diet and lifestyle and that all these things contribute to how we respond to what we are going through is important.
Early on in my floxing I often thought to myself that I got off easy. Sure I had pain and a whole lot more in the way of symptoms but I wasn’t as bad off as others. As time wore on however that viewpoint began to change. I saw others worse off than me recover quicker and become more active again as I continued to worsen. I was trying all the different therapies that I could afford, eating healthy, had some things improve and yet I continued to decline. I kept a positive attitude and continued trying to address my worst health problems and yet I got weaker.
Comparing oneself to others is a very common and normal thing to do especially early on when one is trying to understand what’s happened and why. That being said there comes a point when one needs to let go of that and focus on their personal situation. It doesn’t mean one can’t celebrate with a friend who’s made progress or sympathize with one who’s struggling. It’s a simple step of accepting what’s happened to one’s own self, addressing it, and looking toward your future and purpose in life. It’s saying; I’m here for a reason, identifying that reason, and then living life to the best of your ability. Focusing on oneself is a necessary part of the process. Taking time out of your day to meditate on what you’ve learned from your current situation, how you want to deal with what you learned and how you want to proceed in life is an important step.
Eventually you will realize that you are unique and that comparing yourself to others even those with the same illness as you isn’t always helpful. There will always be some who are worse off and some that are better off. It’s best to focus on your individual situation and what you can do about it. It’s very normal to compare but when it becomes upsetting to do so it’s time to ask yourself if it’s something you should be doing. That’s when you know it’s time to look within and focus on yourself. And when doing so I’ve found it’s best to face each day with a positive outlook as sometimes that can be the difference between a good day and one that isn't.
Yours in Health,

Message in the Mess

When dealing with her diagnosis of cancer Robin Roberts said someone told her (I think it was her mother) to “make your mess your message”. She was doing that by discussing her experience publicly. I admired this and thought to myself that I have a mess of my own dealing with fluoroquinolone toxicity. But what’s my message? I try to spread awareness of the dangers of these antibiotics, try to help others in the support groups deal with the side affects by sharing information I’ve learned along the way, and I work hard to keep my family healthy in the safest way possible (avoiding pharmaceuticals). But what’s my message? At the time I didn’t have one and truth be told I find it somewhat hard to define now. That being said it’s becoming clearer to me than it was a few months ago.
In asking myself; what’s my message? I began to listen to my inner voice. We all have one. Some refer to it as instinct but its there. Far too often we get too busy to listen. Several times in my life I’ve come to regret that because if I had listened I could’ve avoided pain and hardship including getting floxed. As a result I’m trying harder to listen and act on what my inner voice is telling me. That’s why I’m here and began this page in the hope I can help others.
So what’s your inner voice telling you? Or what’s your message? Even if you don’t have a “mess to make a message” we all have a message. It’s something we feel urged to accomplish in our lives. Perhaps you’ve already begun working on yours or you’ve been putting it off waiting for the right time. Why not start now? What’s it telling you to do? Is it urging you to look for a new job, call an old friend, start a new activity or create something in a medium you’ve always wanted to try? Is it telling you to share your story like mine is? Is it suggesting you mend a relationship that is broken, try a new treatment to improve your health, advocate for something you believe in or to go back to school? It can be any number of different things as we’re all unique and have our own message we wish to bring to our families, friends, and loved ones or an even larger audience. Listen to your inner voice; contemplate what it’s telling you and then when you’re ready act on it. You’ll know when to start as it gets easier to hear that voice the more you listen. Most importantly trust yourself.
I’m still working on defining my message. All kinds of things come to mind; be kind to others, live life to the fullest, it’s easier to maintain health than to restore it so be careful what you consume whether it’s food, toiletries, or pharmaceuticals, etc. and other things come to mind as well such as my disability doesn’t define me and disabled people have value to contribute to society. I know my intent with “Betsy’s Message” is to create a positive place for people to come to when they need comfort and support. Hopefully it will be a place of hope for those suffering. We all need cheering up from time to time whether chronically ill, caring for someone who’s ill or just feeling in need of help. I hope that you find some of that here and if I ever clearly define my message you’ll be amongst the first to know. I will add this; just because I’m disabled and have difficulty with my speech as a result of the neurological damage I’ve suffered it doesn’t mean that I don’t have something to say. I’ve got a message, maybe even more than one. My message for today is one of hope. My health is improving even though I’m nine years out from being floxed. I’ve got a long way to go but I have faith that by listening to that inner voice of mine and trusting myself I will get there and I will heal. If I can improve and heal then you can too. Trust yourself and trust in your journey and you too will find your message in the mess.
Yours in health, Betsy

Hindsight is 20/20

I’ve learned so much about health and healthy living since I was floxed. In hindsight I wish I’d taken more time to learn these things at a younger age since prevention is vital to maintaining one’s health. That being said I’m thankful that I know them now. My whole family is healthier as a result of what I’ve learned and trips to the doctor are almost nonexistent. Some of what I’ve learned I’m going to share with you now.
At the first sign of a cold or virus I take or give my family member a mixture of different supplements. A primary one being manuka honey. I buy organic and like 16+ or higher. I always keep it on hand in my house. It’s a great anti viral and anti bacterial. We adjust how much we consume based on how sick we are and take some other things as well. Another favorite anti viral is black elderberry. It’s been proven to shorten the duration of the flu and it’s also an excellent preventative if taken daily. If someone has the flu then I recommend taking it 4 or more times a day and increasing the amount one takes as well. We also take it as a preventative when traveling in the winter. There are a couple products with black elderberry so do your research to find the one you think is best. Next up on my go to list is grape seed extract which is a staple in my house and L lysine which I take daily because of my personal health issues and my genetics report. I’ve done this report for my children as well and give L lysine to them at the first sign of illness. L lysine is necessary for the body to utilize vitamin B6 and some with compromised snps need to supplement. It’s also vital for collagen repair, is a CNS anti-inflammatory and a potent anti viral. There are other foods and supplements to head off infections as well such as garlic, olive leaf extract, apple cider vinegar, essential oils and more. For essential oils I recommend topical application diluted to 10% with a carrier (90%) or diffused. I’d never ingest them. As always do your own research to see what you think is best. For body aches I love a tart cherry concentrate. My favorite right now is a tonic with ginger and turmeric added. We dilute it in water or plain seltzer and even the picky eater in my house will drink it all day when sick.
Another thing I do is Google “natural remedies for… “And enter the symptom or illness we’re dealing with. We are so fortunate to have a wealth of knowledge at our fingertips with the internet and I’ve found it an invaluable tool for research. There are many products from nature that can prevent a virus from turning into an infection. By going this route the need for antibiotics can often be eliminated and with that the side affects of medications are avoided too. It doesn’t take much time to find a safer natural remedy and in doing so you can save yourself a life of illness and pain like I endure from taking a fluoroquinolone antibiotic (Ciprofloxacin) back in 2007.
Put your health first and be your own advocate. Finding safe health promoting alternatives to prescription and over the counter medications is much easier than it used to be. I research and buy products online. My “medicine” cabinet contains products that are homeopathic and plant based now. As a result my entire family is healthier and no one has needed antibiotics in years.
Yours in Health, Betsy