Cipro and a former marine.

This is a very sad story. I talked to Mike and Connie many years ago but did not stay in touch with them for a while. They were both very nice people. I received this message from Connie below. The spacing is a little broken up. Such a tragic story of Fluoroquinolone poisoning.  


My husband first took Cipro in 1998. He was a former Marine and in great shape. He was intelligent and so strong physically. He kept in shape by working all the time. He got sick and went to our family doctor asking the doctor to get him well quicker so he wouldn’t miss any work. He was prescribed Cipro and he took it all. I had no idea that all the things that started happening to him then were adverse reactions after taking this medicine. The one thing we lacked knowledge on was anything to do with medical. Shortly after taking Cipro, things began to happen to his body. He started having a lot of pain in his muscles and joints almost like RA. He thought it was because he had overworked his body to the point it was rebelling on him. He was in his early 40′s at that time. His arms and legs started to jerk and it was worse when he tried to rest. It’s the kind like you may observe a dog sleeping and while asleep their legs move like they’re trying to run. My husband’s was worse than that though. Small blisters with fluid appeared around his ankles.

He thought maybe he got bitten by fireants but couldn’t quite remember when or how that happened. We didn’t know it was a type of rash. We’d never seen a rash like that before. Several times he’d wake up with the left corner of his bottom lip so swollen that it looked deformed. He thought maybe something had bitten him on his lip while he slept. We didn’t know this was angioedema of the lip. Never saw anything like it before. He started having some difficulty with his memory which was unusual for he was intelligent and
aced things easily. For the first time in his life he was struggling with learning things.

He started having anxiety and panic attacks. The panic attacks were the worst. He also had problems sleeping. Usually he slept quite well, but now had insomnia. He thought it was because of the pain in his body keeping him up. He would have vivid nightmares when he would sleep. I remember waking up 1 night listening to him talking in his sleep in a foreign language. I thought it might have been french but whatever it was he seemed to speak it fluently. I woke him up to ask him what he was talking about. He didn’t believe me nor did he think he was speaking in another language. He didn’t remember anything. 

He started having problems at work. He was the type that whatever he worked on had to be perfect. It was very rare for him to make a mistake. He started making mistakes at work where he was an electrician at International Paper Company. He would get so angry at himself when this happened. He started getting really depressed. Also he was changing in other ways. Agitation, aggravation, anger, short tempered, some bouts of rage where appearing. I thought it was because of the physical pain he was feeling in his body and lack of sleep. It got to where I felt like I was walking on needles and pins nearly everyday afraid anything I said or did would set him off. It
didn’t take much. He was changing mentally but I didn’t know why.

There’s a line morally that I like to think most people have and you don’t cross that line. His moved completely out of sight. He did things that were irrational like driving over 100mph and passing people on the shoulder of the road where you usually pull over with car problems. I was afraid to say anything thinking it would make him fly into a rage. I did a lot of silent praying that we wouldn’t get into an accident and be killed. It was pretty scary. That just wasn’t normal for him.

Around 9 months after taking Cipro, he put a .38 in his mouth and tried to blow his brains out. The gun jerked when he fired it and the bullet went through his cheek. Probably cause his arms and legs would jerk on their own accord. I thank God for watching over him cause that wasn’t the first attempt, He had never in his life tried to commit suicide before until after taking Cipro. The first rupture happened around 11 months after taking Cipro. It was in the soleus group I think. It tore completely loose in the back of his left leg at the ankle and bunched up near the back of his knee. It looked like someone who had polio. He stopped wearing shorts then cause he was ashamed of the deformed way his left leg looked. He couldn’t run anymore after that. He couldn’t walk fast either. It left him with a permanent limp. He has started having problems with bleeding in his feces not long after taking Cipro. He was having numbness in his feet but thought it was working too hard and being cramped up in places he worked on his job.

There were a few occurrences where he was not himself at all. I didn’t know what a psychotic episode was. Never saw one so I didn’t know what was going on when he went into this bad rage and attacked me. Our daughter who was a police officer was there and it hurt her so badly taking her father down after he lunged at me with a screwdriver. I can still remember her saying “no daddy” as she restrained him. There was so much pain in her voice.  She thought he had stabbed me in the stomach. I remember just standing there in shock as he came at me and something making me bend over as if I had been struck in the stomach. I think the Lord was still watching over us cause I was unharmed. My husband had never physically abused me ever nor even tried until after he took Cipro. It was like some stranger had taken over his body and he was trapped inside helpless.  Many years later I finally asked him about that incident. He had no memory of himself ever doing that and it hurt him so badly to find out he tried to harm me.

There was another rupture in his right knee months later. It was operated on to repair it, but months later another rupture happened in the right leg but this time it was a muscle that tore apart in the center of his thigh. Now both of his legs were damaged with tears present in both. I bought every kind of brace and sport supports to help him to be able to walk. I wrapped his legs in ace bandages on top of those. Kind of like a mummy. He was taking a lot of pain pills while trying to work. He said as long as he had 2 good arms left, he was going to make a living for his family. It might sound silly, but he had names for his arms. 1 was thunder and the other lightening. He was proud of the strength in his arms and hands. I know how strong he was. He picked up a truck transmission and put it in place by himself. That’s strong. He tried to get a desk job where he worked cause his legs were so weak. Sometimes he’d fall at work when they gave out and he’d tell people who saw it he slipped on something. He didn’t want to lose his job. He was making
around $60,000 a year. It was a good paying job. Most people take vacation and go somewhere or relax. He would take his when his legs couldn’t carry him anymore and try to recuperate so he could get back to work. Once he took a tool you burn things with like a soldering iron while at work and during a depression spell he burned deep into his left forearm I think the word “crazy”. The burns
were really bad.

Later on he burned his arm again even deeper erasing the words. This left a deep scar about 1/2″ wide and 2 1/2 to 3″ long. I can’t imagine the pain he suffered doing that to himself. A desk job had become available and a group from the shop he worked in were standing around discussing it. They were saying they didn’t want it. My husband spoke up and said he’d like to take it. Someone behind him said something along the lines “great, a crazy guy in charge”. He didn’t get the job though he really wanted it so he didn’t have to use his legs as much. I know it hurt him to hear people say aloud things like that about him. He must have endured so much.

For a few years, the depression seemed to ease up some and there were no suicide attempts during that time. His legs weren’t any better, some of the mental things like rage eased up and I didn’t feel like I was walking on pins and needles everyday. The arms and legs were still jerking, he still had anxiety and panic attacks, the bleeding, and the pain in his muscles and joints were still there.
He was prescribed CiproXr in 2004. I thought the worst was over up till then, but everything got worse after that. The suicide attempts started again. He was becoming paranoid. He did things that were definitely out of character for him. The anger and agitation came back. I was back to walking on pins and needles again. The bleeding became so bad that he would call me at home to bring him a change of clothing. I won’t tell all the things he tried to keep from bleeding through his clothes every time he went to
the bathroom. His lip showed up swollen again just like the first time. This time I knew he had a rash but not sure what was causing it. He thought maybe he got into some chemicals at work. They were big sores with dark centers in patches on his body. He was having pain around the kidney area. Had no clue what that was. The jerking of his arms and legs got a whole lot worse. There were times when I thought he had fallen asleep and his arms and legs were flopping. Sometimes at night they flopped like a fish on a bank trying to get back into the water. Sometimes it looked like only the legs and arms were being electrocuted. Years later I began to wonder if they were seizures. I told the doctor my husband was having restless leg and arm syndrome. He put him on a medicine to try to help control that. It only helped a little but was better than it was.

He started having migraines. Sometimes they had what the doctor called an aura. My husband couldn’t see right when this happened. They were very painful. I forgot to mention the numerous times he got shingles. That was painful too for him. He was starting to have more numbness in his hands. He was always dropping things. It became harder for him to use his tools like screwdrivers. His legs were getting more numb and weaker.

Around 11 months after taking CiproXR, he rupturing began again. This time in his arms. First it was the right arm. The doctor operated and told me my husband had lack of blood in his tissue. After the operation, my husband’s arms didn’t match in size. The one operated on looked a whole lot smaller. The doctor said he cut away dead tissue. It looked like someone had switched arms with him, someone who had no muscle and thin arms. This started in Feb 2005 and was the last time my husband could work. Months later he felt something tear in his arm. There was now damage to the triceps and biceps in his right arm.  He had 1 good arm left that hadn’t ruptured. He was trying to be useful and was squeezing a clamp with the same amount of pressure you would use to squeeze a blood pressure bulb. Something popped in his lower left forearm and it bruised up. He had torn a tendon in his lower left forearm. Now both arms are damaged and both legs. His sick pay was ending where he worked so he applied for long term disability. He was denied. He also applied for SSD and was denied. I never could understand why he was denied. He had all these injuries and the doctors had no idea what was causing it. We were running out of money and things were getting tough. This didn’t help his depression at all. I still have a suicide note he had left for me when he made 1 of his attempts. He was denied a second time for SSD. It was appealed and we went through it again. By this time my husband has all his pride stripped away. The system made him feel like he was nothing and insignificant. Sedgwick CMS was doing the disability for International Paper Company. Sedgwick denied the appeal for disability from International Paper. My husband was finally approved SSD. He was terminated from International Paper cause he couldn’t go back to work. We thought we had a lawyer to fight for his disability from International Paper. That lawyer told us to be patient and that it was going to take years. So we waited and waited.

Last year we called him checking on the status of how things were going. He told us he had dropped it long ago but we never knew that. After that we tried to get another lawyer but they all said we had run out of time. My husband’s health is continually declining. He has to use a wheelchair now and rarely leaves the house. He had test done at the VA that showed he had nerve damage. He had gotten to the point long before that where he would have to ask me to open things for him like a pack of lunchmeat cause his hands were weak and numb. His immune system was getting worse. He was falling more often in the house when he would go from his recliner to the bathroom. He lived his life in that recliner. His body had become so weak and his breathing was terrible. He slept in his recliner cause he couldn’t breathe well laying down. Even though he suffered so much pain, everyday he would greet me with a smile and tell me he loved me. That’s all I needed. 

None of this was his fault. All he did was take a medicine to make him feel better. Feb. 23, 2012, I tried to wake him up, but he wouldn’t wake up. I called my son-in-law over to try to wake him. There were people in my house but I don’t remember seeing them. I remember telling them he’s always cold, that he’s just asleep and won’t wake up. I remember very little of what happened for the next few days. He was only 55 years old. Before taking this medicine he was a strong and intelligent man. How could this happen or be allowed to happen. I didn’t even have the money to bury him. I’m thankful our 2 daughters stepped in and took up payments for his
burial. He was my life. Everyday is empty without him. Half of me is ripped away. He didn’t deserve that to happen to him. He was a good man. His name was Michael. He didn’t do anything wrong, but he is the one who suffered so many years through so much physical and mental pain. He was done so wrong in this life. His obituary can be veiwed at

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4 Responses to “Cipro and a former marine.”

  1. Stephanie Henriksen says:

    Tbank you for publishing this sad story. The effects of levaquin have gotten worse with time (1-1/2 years now).

  2. Talona says:

    Thank you for sharing your sad story with everyone. I am so sorry for your lost & the needless suffering.
    The fact that our Government FAILS on protecting ‘We the People’ & all the citizens around the world … while BIG PHARMA profits from us being Floxed ~ is equal to that of a War Crime – even a Hate Crime by my standards! Like cowards it is sad the FDA’s umbrella protects Big Pharma & is not concerned for the victims.
    Like you, I found my nephew dead in bed in 2007 & my sister also in 2010 and both of them had taken either Levaquin or Cipro & had MANY of the symptoms you have described.
    I am also a victim of these deadly FQ’s & have been floxed many times in the past 12 or 15 years NEVER connecting the dots to blaming this family of antibiotics. I lost count of the doctors that rolled their eyes @ me or flat out told me there was NO connection for my chronic pain issues *(etc/etc) yet they NEVER offered an explanation.
    I was also told it was too late to file a legal claim against Johnson & Johnson or any other company that manufactured these antibiotics. I did have one attorney’s office contact me & stated that ‘if’ I had complete liver failure, they would ‘consider’ me … WOW, now that’s compassion! Luckily I haven’t experienced this final straw.
    I wish you peace of mind & emotional recovery. I hope we both live to see the day that the FDA, our Medical Society & schools, the Doctors we trust … ALL stand up against Big Pharma & be held responsible for products being released to the masses before ALL the testing is done!
    God Speed, Talona

  3. Kate says:

    I’m so sorry for you and for your husband (now released from suffering.) Your mutual love and courage is what shines through all of this tragic story. Bless you.

  4. Cindy says:

    Hi Connie,
    I was floxed July 9, 2018 on one Levofloxacin pill. I know that panic your husband experienced. My brother at 36 years old died on one pill of Cipro and my sister had anaphylactic shock from Levoflaxocin. Of course we all did not know what truly was in that pill had we we would have been different people today. I know your love, patience, kindness, and support to Michael was huge for him because I know how I am supported and without that support it would be so much worse. You did everything you could. And now we get our stories out so that others can have informed consent before even taking that poison. I am very active so that take away of doing is so mentally draining and yet Michael still carried on trying to do what he could do. He was so brave. Thanks for sharing about your profound loss and hurt even when it is so hard to tell. It does help others to know and to beware. Cindy

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