Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Welcome To Betsy's Message


This is a new beginning for me. I've had a Facebook page for a couple of months however blogging is a new adventure so please have patience with me while I get started.

To tell you a little bit about myself I've been struggling with chronic illness for over nine years. It all began after having a severe reaction to a fluoroquinolone antibiotic called ciprofloxacin. Since that time my health has never been the same.  I've had numerous tests over the years and seen a number of doctors in various specialties some of whom were top specialists in their fields. Over and over I was told how I was difficult to diagnose and that whatever I had it was extremely rare. Tests all came back normal or negative. I was also told that there was nothing they could do to help me and that I would only get worse. Eventually I even came away with a diagnosis of a rare neurological disease called Primary Lateral Sclerosis (PLS) in the ALS family of mitochondrial diseases even though I was told I'm missing two key markers for it, one of which is the brain pattern. That is because what I really have is FluoroQuinolone Associated Disability (FQAD) as defined by the FDA. 

One might think that an antibiotic couldn't possibly create chronic illness and I would tell them that I'm living proof that it can. Like so many in our support groups I always believed antibiotics were safe because they were made from natural substances but I've learned that's not true. Fluoroquinolones (FQs) are chemotherapeutic synthetic chemical antibiotics that contain a fluorine atom (a known neurotoxin) added and they are designed to cross the blood brain barrier which is the last place you want a neurotoxin. There are thousands of people like myself suffering as a result of the damage these medications cause and people continue to join our support groups on Facebook at an alarming rate. 

Here is a link to the FDA's write up on Cipro which contains a long nightmarish list of side affects; 

Although it's been a long and arduous journey for me I'm here to say that given the right tools our bodies can recover and heal. We might not return to our former health but many can and do go on to lead a full life. It's important to remember that recovering from FQ toxicity is a marathon not a sprint but we can improve.

Whether your chronic illness was caused by a medication, a vaccine, pesticide or chemical exposure or some other unknown cause I'm here to tell you that our bodies are amazing in their capacity to heal. And while it might seem that its one step forward two steps back some days never give up! A year ago I was in extreme pain, losing my ability to speak, and resorting to hand gestures to communicate. In the past year I've improved my speech, enunciation, and projection as well as my swallowing, reflexes and balance. I've still got a ways to go but as someone very wise once told me; strive for progress not perfection. Healing can and does happen even for someone who's been as sick as I was.

I hope you find comfort and hope in what I write here as I share my journey and messages with all of you.

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