Coming out of the woodwork

As we all have guessed, Michael doesn’t get out much. Yet, it is really starting to amaze me how, when he does go out, he starts talking to random strangers about what has happened to him and they either know someone or are directly affected by this same family of drugs. For those of you reading this who know Michael personally, you know that with his charisma- something which I have always been a bit jealous of- he instantly disarms, relates to, and then becomes insta-friends with complete strangers. Lately, his world revolves around his condition. This only makes him a laser pointed at a target. And now, when he talks, he finds that people being hurt by this drug are coming out of the woodwork.

Most recently, Michael- who is in Florida for an office visit with one of the best neurologists in the country, Dr. David Perlmutter- started talking to a couple a few rooms away from where he was staying in his hotel. As they started to learn more, there was an eerie acknowledging of all the medical details. Usually terms like neuropathy have to be defined. The couple, though, recognized many of Michael’s symptoms, because the young lady had been experiencing a lot of the same ones for 5 years. Though not nearly as severe, she experienced autonomic nervous system damage, fatigue, cognitive issues, and neuropathic pain. When Michael asked, “Did you take an antibiotic before this started happening?”, she was surprised, for they had not pieced together that the Cipro she had taken to treat her bronchitis was what caused her 5 yrs of adverse reactions. This couple was from Indiana. They met in Florida. Michael then gave them as many websites as he could to educate them for their new battle, which now has a face. I do not believe this meeting was a coincidence.

This next story I found quite moving when I first heard it and am only now ready to share it.

Michael’s father, who does online gaming told Michael’s story to a man he plays with over the computer. This man happened to live in Louisiana. Well, remember in April 2010, a little disaster known as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill happened in the Gulf of Mexico. This man was one of many fishermen who helped “clean up” those waters. Many of them reported respiratory distress due to the toxic fumes coming from the waters they were working long hours in. When this man heard Michael’s story, something struck a chord in him. He, as well as a large group of other fishermen, were prsecribed fluoroquinolones and steroids to treat their “respiratory distress”. He mentioned to Michael’s father how since then he has not felt quite the same- extremely tired, like his brain can’t work right…Here comes the moving part…This fisherman along with others who were given the same “treatment” stormed the doctor’s office and demanded they be put on something different because of what they knew this drug did to Michael. Can you imagine- you are a fisherman whose home waters have been destroyed because of big oil company negligence. You are forced to pick up this job cleaning the waters because it’s not like you can fish now. And then you are given this toxic drug that has the potential to ruin your life. What a way to kick a man when he’s down. In most sports that is considered illegal.

There have been many other people since then that have recognized parts of Michael’s story as something happening to a loved one. Whenever Michael shares what happened to him- which is with anyone he meets- there is a connection. The landscaping man’s son, the cable guy’s uncle- anyone! 

When I hear him speak to people, what I see is someone who is finally becoming ready to share his story with the World in the hopes to save lives and affect change. And I think to myself, The drug companies don’t know who they messed with. Because even being in the condition that he is in everyday, when a fire is lit under this man’s a** he is powerful beyond measure.

Before this happened, I wouldn’t say I was very progressive or liberal about my political and social opinions. In fact, I’d call myself blissfully naive. I didn’t know the influence of pharmaceutical companies. I trusted anything a doctor told me. I believed in a system that I now see does not look after me.


One thought on “Coming out of the woodwork

  1. care14 says:

    I am the “young lady” that Michael met tonight in Fl. My husband and I are here in Ft. Myers on vacation. I do not believe this meeting was a coincidence either. Unlike Michael I do have a awesome neurologist who is very supportive, however I am just in the beginning stages of diagnois. It really was very eerie listening to Michael tell us about his medical problems. We wish you the best of luck with your treatment and hope to stay in touch with you, maybe we can help each other with this “battle” we are both in.

    Like

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