It Hasn’t Killed Me Yet

Today is my two year floxiversary.  What is that, you ask?  I understand, because it’s not a common term.  It marks two years since I became sick.  Let me explain…

On October 4, 2010, I woke up with a UTI.  I decided to run by the minor emergency clinic on my way to work.  My urine looked terrible, so the doctor gave me an antibiotic called Levaquin and sent me on my way.  I went to work, took the pill and started my day.  Within an hour, the left side of my face was swelling.  I was shaking, couldn’t breathe well, had a rapid heart rate, and laid on the bathroom floor feeling sick.  I took a Benadryl, my boss drove me home, and I was sure the worst was behind me.  I was wrong.

The next few months were the scariest of my life.  I was so nauseous every day that I couldn’t eat and lost 20 lbs. in a month.  My legs didn’t want to work right–nothing in my body wanted to work right.  The doctors couldn’t figure it out, as they searched for positive signs of cancers and autoimmune diseases.  I kept explaining that I’d been sick since an allergic response to Levaquin, but nobody (including me) really thought that could be the culprit.  Wrong again.

It took us six months to come to the realization that I was dealing with Levaquin Toxicity.  My body treats it, and other fluoroquinolone antibiotics as poison.  It affected every part of my body.  Through the last two years, my symptoms have included:  joint, tendon and muscle pain, muscle wasting, anxiety, bouts of insomnia and over-sleeping, memory loss, dizziness, skin rashes, phototoxicity, peripheral neuropathy, low blood pressure, bouts of constipation and diarrhea, chronic nausea, reflux, gastritis, eye problems, tinnitus, hair loss, broken teeth, etc.  Many tests have shown cysts and lesions on my kidneys, liver, spleen, uterus, ovaries, lungs and brain.  I had a hiatal hernia.  I had hypothyroidism.  It was like a bomb went off inside of me.

So, where am I today?  On my way towards health.  I have a very strict diet.  I tire easily.  My immune system is so low that I pick up every little bug going around.  I still can’t go out dancing, but I get excited doing the little things I used to take for granted–laundry, grocery shopping or playing board games with my kids.  I have some semblance of a normal life again, and it feels so good.  I have come a very long way from that deathly ill woman who spent months on the bathroom floor.  I’m thrilled with my progress.

I’ve written a bit about Husband’s distance through the worst of my illness.  I understand how difficult it must be to watch your spouse suffer, and not be able to do anything to help.  I know he really suffered through his emotions, just as I did.  Unfortunately, he chose to also begin a relationship with another woman.  That, in turn, did just as much damage to me as the Levaquin.  I had been doing much better before the affair came out.  Afterwards, I slid back quite a bit.  To this day, if somebody else brings up Evil Bitch to me, I shake uncontrollably (damaged nervous system).  The illness has left me very ill-equipped to deal with something so hurtful.  Yet, I’m managing somehow.  It hasn’t killed me yet.

Husband feels terrible about all of this.  Not only does he see that he pulled away from me when I needed him the most, but he knows his affair added to my medical problems.  These days, he is being much more supportive.  He reads articles I print out about Fluoroquinolone Toxicity.  He discusses them with me.  He wants to know what the doctors tell me, and any test results.  He’s pulling for me.  Right beside me.  Today, when I woke up, I had a very sweet card waiting for me.  Later, I received flowers.  He wanted to make this two year floxiversary special.  He wanted to remind me of how far I’ve come.  He wanted to apologize for all he’s done to hurt me.  We are both on the same page.  We both have every intention of me healing 100%.

Today, I am filled with such a mixture of feelings.  I am proud of how far I’ve come, but I still miss the “normal” me.  I am grateful that Husband is so supportive now, but still hurt over all the time he wasn’t.  I want to hold him and thank him for making this day special, but still don’t want him to think all is forgiven.  But, I guess that’s how it’s supposed to be.  Just as I can’t heal my body overnight, we can’t heal our marriage overnight.  It’s a long, arduous journey.  And I’m crossing my fingers and toes that it’s one journey worth taking.

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