I feel like the "Old Maid" here as I was Floxed six years ago. That reality didn't even sink in until last night after I had spoken to Mary and I realized that it had taken me at least six months to try and contact Dr. Flockhart and then many more months before I was contacted by Mary who had miraculously been handed my original message of months earlier. Wow.
So bear with me as I may get sidetracked along the way. My data is now all stored in a box on a shelf in my garage. So I don't have all the dates right in front of me. Funny place to store six years of your life, isn't it?
I am also barely computer literate so it may take me a few posts to fit all my recollections.
Anyway, In 93 I had recently moved to this small town in Idaho and didn't have a regular Dr. so I visited one of those walk-in Clinics for what felt like a possible bladder inf., the test didn't show anything and the Doc said he would give me some Floxin "just in case".
Being a little sensitive to some drugs and foods I asked if there were any side effects. "Absolutely not" was the answer. (!) So I went home and since it was early evening, waited 'til after dinner and took one 500 mg. pill and then got ready for bed.
I went to sleep and @ midnight I awoke with what seemed like explosions going off in my brain. I couldn't walk or talk, I was shaking uncontrollably, I felt like I was falling out of my body, etc. etc. etc.
So to the ER we go, they give me a shot of Benedryl and tell me if its the Floxin it will be out of my system soon and all will be fine (yeah, ok)...
.... So we go home and of course I don't sleep and nothing goes away, in fact all symptoms escalate, so -- back to the ER.
I told them I felt worse and that my heart was really racing, so they put me on a heart monitor, which unbelievably showed 263 bpm.! My husband asked them if this could even be true so they reset the monitor and then began running around and then injecting me with who knows what. (As a note to this, I just now realize that this was not even in the records!) So anyway I'm there for a few hours and then sent home again once my heart seems to be back to normal.
Of course it wasn't long until I was once again there and this time the BS started." Are you having problems at home?" " Maybe you should see a Professional", The whole shebang.
So I go home in misery, terrified that I will die in front on my son and nobody cares why.
So I suffer terribly for weeks and weeks and then a friend tells me that she is pretty sure she saw something about Floxin doing the same thing to some people she had seen on Oprah. Oh Joy! There must be help.
Well it took me awhile to get the transcripts and then to try and contact anyone from the show. It was all I could do every day to just survive, much less have the strength to try to explain my story to one more person. Not that that mattered because I could find not one single to person to return my calls or letters.
Finally I was able to get a number for Georgetown thinking that Dr. Flockhart would have the miracle cure. Sadly I never heard from him either.
I was ready to actually lay down and die if I was going to have to live like this the rest of my life. I knew if I didn't get help I would just wither, (or shake) my life away to nothingness. As a last resort my Mother talked me into going to Portland and staying with her and seeing a Dr. there. I agreed thinking it would just be for a week or so and she could help me care for my son.
In the meantime my Uncle just happened to be diagnosed with diabetes and was telling me that a lot of my symptoms sounded like his and maybe I should be tests for that. Sure, whatever. I'll go for anything at this point. So I see a very nice female Internist and explain my Floxin story, after being told that was NOT a possibility, I then went for the maybe diabetes thing. So I go through test after test, bloodwork, thyroid checks, six hour fasting blood sugar thing. I end up being in Portland for three weeks just waiting all the results. (I miss my husband). So I go in for "THE VERDICT", and you guessed it. Absolutely fine so we suggest that you are a classic case of Anxiety Disorder. By this time I don't care what they want to call it, just make it go away. So here goes the try a drug routine. I have to stay for a few more MONTHS to find a therapeutic dose of anything that halfway helps. By the time I get home I am tired of it all and just want to take my drugs and sleep and sleep and sleep.
I do find a family Dr. here that actually admitted that he believed it could have been the Floxin because he had taken it and had fitful sleep and nightmares. Wow! This was something new, a Dr. actually believed me. Of course he still could offer no real help except maybe this new drug just out called Paxil. Well thankfully the Paxil did help tremendously. I was at least half the person I used to be.
Then out of the blue came a phone call from this lady named Mary who said she got my name and number from Dr. Flockhart. (!) Almost a year after I left the message! Well that got me to try and do the lawsuit thing, which of course never went anywhere. But at least we had each other and WE knew we weren't crazy. Little by little we found out info and got more and more angry. Eventually we got online and really wanted to be able to find others who were going through the same thing. But as I say we were just two messed up Moms who didn't quite have the computer savvy to know how to go about it.
Also realizing that I was only just "marinating" and that with all we had learned there was really no cure , no attorneys to stop them, and no way to find all the "victims" to rise up, I was just tired. I wanted to pretend that if I just ignore it it might all go away and I would just be content to take my drugs and be just a little weird. And that is where I have been for a long time.
I hope that my story does not depress or repress you, but will make you angry and willing do stand up and do the things by shear numbers that we were unable to do. Eventually we will be heard. I think the computer age will be a big part of that.
Geez, Sorry this was so long. Its only a brief summary of my experience.
Last Updated 6/13/04