Home for the Holidays, by Thomas Kincaid

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A Cautionary Tale

Hello, Sweet Friends,

I've had a busy last seven days. My father was out here visiting for awhile. We had some great, quality time with him, going on walks, sharing meals and much conversation. My father is 84 and he drove all the way out here from Virginia in an RV. Now, he is off to a destination in Utah to go ATV-ing some trails. Wow, hope I'm like him if I get to be his age!
I would like to share with you something that has happened that recently that has demonstrated to me the need to take a very active role in one's health care...As I have recently shared I have a damaged kidney that is subject to many infections. Since early February, I have had three such infections all of which have been treated with the drug Cipro. When I was given this drug I was not warned of any potential side effects. I asked if Cipro could do any harm when taken long term. I was told that it was perfectly safe, so I allowed myself to go on three long regimens of it. Recently, during my third period on Cipro, ligaments in my knees have become very swollen and painful, making stair climbing, kneeling, and rising from a seated position very difficult. I can walk, but it hurts. Everyday this has been getting worse. There are also other mysterious symptoms, which I won't get into here. Anyway, none of it made any sense to me, because I haven't injured myself. So, I went online and began looking up all sorts of ailments to try and figure out what was happening to me. Then, I remembered that once my sister had told me that my father had suffered a torn ligament while he was on Cipro. So, I googled "Cipro side effects torn ligaments" ...Oh, my goodness, this drug is horrible to take long term. All my recent symptoms are under this drug's side effects, plus this one, "spontaneous ruptured ligaments and tendons." Sound like something you'd like to be on? There are dozens of class action law suits against the makers of Cipro for all of its debilitating effects!

Boy, have I learned my lesson. Never again will I blithely just take a medication without researching it myself. In fact, I remember my late mother once telling me that I needed to do my homework about doctors and medications, because most docs are too busy to really stay current with all the meds and treatments that they have to prescribe.

I have gone off Cipro. But I really want to put a word of caution out there. It is often prescribed for UTIs, pneumonia and other respertory infections, but it is a very dangerous drug and produces some side effects that are irreversible.


As soon as I learn to work my new camera (a recent gift), I will be adding my own photos again and also, hopefully, a video feed. Then, I can finally hold this Give Away I've been planning.

Have a wonderful day!


Anwen said...

That is scary to think about. You never know, huh. I'm glad you cought it before anything worse happenned. Take care! And come see my new kitty!!

Alicia Robbins said...

Dear Elizabeth,
You are so right about researching for yourself. I too, had taken Cipro several years ago for recurring sinus infections. Cipro made me feel worse on it than the infection.
I also discovered that as one antibiotic after another failed to work on the infections, I wondered what I would do when they ran out of antibiotics to give me!?!
I started researching everything I could find about prevention of sinus infections, what was causing them and have been successful in only having to have antibiotics once every couple of years or so. I am now on year 3 without them. Life is so much better. Doing our own homework is so much more effective.
Hope you can continue to get well.

Alexandra said...

I think I've heard something about this drug, not good either. I hope you can find an alternative. I have a doctor who I trust when he focuses, but he's so busy. Sometimes I think he is not listening to me! I began to write stuff down for him, and I saw him while I was leaving using my notes to make his own in his office! I think it really helped him. I even bring print-outs to him to show him what I'm talking about...he is better with seeing and reading than listening(like many men).

Laura said...

Wow!! I am impressed by your father! Congratulations to him for staying so active!

I'm also happy you researched that drug and found the side effects before anything worse happened! How frightening.

Have a great evening!