When Did it Become Okay to Disregard Patient Pain?

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Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome / M.E., Gluten Intolerance / Celiac Disease (or other dietary intolerances), Lyme Disease, depression, anxiety and every disease that is brought on by an adverse reaction to a drug or vaccine, is very difficult to diagnose and treat. Individuals with these diseases are often disregarded and treated as if they are making up their symptoms, or choosing to be sick, or as if they are crazy, which leads me to the question – When did it become okay to disregard patient pain and suffering?

I was at a dinner party recently where a gentleman was expressing an incredulous attitude about gluten intolerance. He stated that bread has been around for thousands of years and that people have been dealing with it just fine for all that time. He didn’t see how people could suddenly start having trouble digesting gluten. This simplistic attitude fails to take into account the facts that both our bread, through GMO wheat, pesticides and processing, is different now, and that our digestive systems, because of rampant use of antibiotics, are also different now. Regardless of the causes of gluten intolerance, it is not something that you can believe in or not. People have experiences of feeling ill when they eat foods that contain gluten. To disregard their experience and to tell them that what they feel is not valid, is inexcusably arrogant and rude. Sadly, that is exactly what happens too often in healthcare today. Symptoms that are not easily understandable, recognizable by modern diagnostic tools or treatable by the medications currently available, are disregarded, and worse yet, attributed to the patient’s own mental health weakness.

The Myth of Modern Diagnostics

Perhaps disregard and disbelief emanates from the notion that if a disease isn’t detectable and it isn’t treatable, then it doesn’t exist. When pain, a disease, physical or mental dysfunction of one sort or another, is felt intensely by the patient but its source is undetectable using the methods of modern medicine, it easier to deny that the problem exists than search for solutions. Rather than question the detection methods, the diagnostics, or say “I don’t know,” many doctors, family and friends deny that there is a problem at all. The mysterious, difficult to treat illnesses is attributed to a mental health flaw or personal weakness.  It’s “all in their head,” is a common refrain; as if what is in your head is a choice or isn’t important.

It Gets Worse

For those of us with illness caused by a drug or vaccine, having our pain and suffering acknowledged is difficult at best.  Our symptoms are typically invisible and mysterious, and when we tell people about the cause of our illness we are often treated with hostility. It is as if in telling our stories about how we were hurt by a pharmaceutical, we are trying to dismantle the entire modern medical system and get rid of the good with the bad. I have experienced this repeatedly since my adverse reaction and subsequent injury from Cipro. My experience is not uncommon. Read any of the patient stories of post-Gardasil, post-Lupron or post-fluoroquinolone injury – we all suffer, and we are often treated poorly.

When one speaks out against a travesty in the medical system, he or she is often accused of being a conspiracy theorist, anti-vaccine or anti-science, even though medication interactions, errors and adverse events are the 4th leading cause of death in the U.S. There are few shades of grey. One is either pro-medicine, science, vaccine or drug, or on the lunatic fringe. This characterization is unfair, as many victims of adverse reactions to prescription drugs or vaccines thoroughly believe in the efficacy of the Scientific Method, we just dislike being an experiment gone awry.

For those who have not been harmed by a medication or vaccine, it is difficult to imagine. How could a drug that is prescribed all the time, a drug that also does some good (or it wouldn’t be prescribed), have caused such harm? How could a drug or vaccine lead to such chronic pain or illness? It is difficult to conceive. It is difficult to reconcile. Egos get involved and shackles get raised. How dare a patient, a victim, a normal person, accuse a doctor, an expert, of doing harm? What doctors don’t recognize is that we are not meaning to accuse, we are seeking help, compassion and understanding.

When Did It Become Okay to Disregard Patient Pain and Suffering?

I suspect it happened during the debate over whether or not vaccines contribute to Autism. Somewhere during that debate, which is yet on-going, it became okay to tell people that it was impossible for drugs or vaccines to cause the horrifying plethora of side-effects that they do indeed cause. It became okay to believe, despite the long list of adverse effects that accompany each pharmaceutical, that medicines and vaccines where somehow entirely safe; that because they didn’t cause ill-effects in all patients, they couldn’t cause them in some.

It’s not okay.

Drug and Vaccine Side-Effects Happen

They are serious and they should not be ignored.  Please have some compassion for the victims of adverse reactions to drugs and vaccines. Please listen to their stories and realize that they know their bodies and conditions better than anyone else. Please treat them with kindness, respect and love. They deserve no less. Most importantly, do the research necessary to find out how and why these adverse event occurred and then develop the appropriate solutions to heal these patients. Better yet, invest in safer, more personalized vaccines and medications that are only given to those who will benefit from them.

Information about Fluoroquinolone Toxicity

Information about the author, and adverse reactions to fluoroquinolone antibiotics (Cipro/ciprofloxacin, Levaquin/levofloxacin, Avelox/moxifloxacin and Floxin/ofloxacin) can be found on Lisa Bloomquist’s site, www.floxiehope.com.

Lisa Bloomquist was "Floxed" on her 32nd birthday by Cipro, a fluoroquinolone antibiotic. After 2 years of battling the mysterious health ailments that come with an adverse reaction to a fluoroquinolone, she has fought her way back to health. Lisa is now fighting for recognition of the harm that these drugs can cause and hoping to help those who are suffering from them through their fluoroquinolone induced illness to find recovery. Her web site, highlighting stories of hope and recovery, is www.floxiehope.com. After a while of studying how fluoroquinolones damage mitochondria, she noted that mitochondria were being systematically ignored when forming disease models. She started www.mitomadness.com to bring attention to the role that mitochondria play in health and disease.


  1. I have been made fun of. Have had 6 pharmacists refuse to fill prescription for 14 pain pills. Have never been arrested and do the degrading is drug screen each month. Have been forced into procedures that are not far approved to get pain medication so I can walk to bathroom. If I refused the procedures I would not get medication and they have never worked. I call it discrimination against disabled with doctors being scared to treat pain. Tennessee has red sheet for patients on pain medication but that hasn’t stopped the drug dealers that they should be worried about.

  2. This is to the people out there that think we are faking…
    I worked my ass off my entire life to get an awesome career. I liked long distance running and one of my other hobbies was cleaning. I enjoyed this. Fuck you if you are so fucking stupid to think we like to suffer every minute and lose so much because we are faking it. Let me tell you how much fun chronic pain and disability from Cipro is…it’s Hell on Earth. How dare you low life scum make us feel like we did something wrong. Like we are the criminals in this. You sick, sick people.

    • I feel like this so often. I was high energy! My house was spotless! I was a goer and a doer. I maxed out on Cipro I didn’t even need! I had a bladder disease they just kept giving me Cipro until I found my 6th urologist who was intelligent enough to know it was Interstitial Cystitis! Why in the world would we ask for this? The pain and fatigue? Missing out on events and trips? I wouldn’t wish this on any one.

  3. Debs, I wish that I could say something more useful, or even more comforting, than I’m so, so, so sorry for your pain. I wish that the entire horrifying situation that you described hadn’t happened. It’s not okay that it did. There are all these feedback loops that keep mysterious illnesses and pain from being properly treated. Given the feedback loops, it’s almost understandable (though not excusable) that people don’t get treated. What is beyond my comprehension is this habit that too many have gotten accustomed to of callously blaming the victim and victimizing him or her further as if he or she deserves the anguish that s/he is going through. I’m glad that we have the internet so that we can band together and provide support and resources to one another. If people in the medical field won’t recognize what is going on, at least we can gain recognition from one another. Thank you for telling your story. Again, I am so, so, so sorry for your pain!

  4. Lisa, once more spot on. I feel that this is one of the most distressing situations we experience , that those we put out total trust in, putting our lives in their hands, Drs who are meant to try to heal us when we are sick, have poisoned us instead & have actually made us very ill indeed. This in itself is a major shock, when the penny finally drops, & enough to violently shake anyones world, but when we are then ridiculed, by the very same people who have caused this, ( usually we are only seeking an explanation, advice, and understanding,) only to have our excruciating pain, ( and I have yet to find a word strong enough to explain the severity ) dismissed, as if it is of no consequence, or if it does not even exist, I have never been able to comprehend. I have spent three years doing the rounds of Dr after Dr test after test and some of my experiences have been absolutely horrifying. One of the most disgusting involved an admission to one of the most esteemed neurological centres of excellence in Europe. I take opioid pain relief, On admission, they decided to stop it -DEAD. … I spent my whole admission fighting for it to be reinstated, the pain was not of this world, I did not know pain like that existed. eventually a nurse came up to me with one 5mg tablet in a cup,( I was taking 60mg a day ). I asked her why she was giving me this, my meaning being, why are you giving me only 5mg, she replied ,” because YOU SAY you are in pain” really ? !! I honestly do not know the answers as to why we are treated like this, but i am sure of one thing: These particular medical “professionals”, WILL not get it unless THEY themselves GET IT. as we know only too well. At the end of the day, for those who have been there …… no explanation is necessary …. and for those who have not …. no explanation is possible .

  5. Thank you for reading it, Terry Terry! I’m so sorry for your pain that led you to seek help from the doctors and the pain that was caused by them dismissing you! I hope that you are able to find someone who is able to help you; someone who is able to listen to you, have compassion for you, acknowledge you, and even, hopefully, find some sort of solution that helps you. It’s difficult, I know, but you deserve recognition and assistance. I hope that you find it.

  6. Thank you Lisa, Very good article. I have been dismissed by 2 doctors last month. Then had to go for a 3rd visit to patient express. I am on Medicare, and this is not right to waste taxpayers dollars. Doctors are no different then a car salesmen. They are selling a product, and it a disgrace to toy with so many lives and health for profit.

  7. Hurt By Levaquin, the problem of chronic pain is beyond difficult, it is tragic. What is a person supposed to do if they are in chronic pain? They know that they need relief, and they also know that painkillers will only delay the pain and they are horribly addictive. Chronic pain is a horrible problem for those who live with it and the doctors who acknowledge it. More work toward a decent solution would be greatly appreciated by millions.

  8. Thank you Lisa, yes the 24/7 pain from Fluoroquinolone Toxicity, is so disregarded by the medical society. Instead of finding the root of the pain, the medical society will simply prescribe pain meds, which if you are a FQ victim, pain meds only take the edge off and the victim then relapses with more brutal pain….

  9. Thank you, Tim! I think that the lack of recognition is almost as painful as being ill. Between being sick, not having our pain recognized and the PTSD that comes along with getting poisoned, there are a lot of people who get a triple-whammy of pain. Hugs to all who can relate!

  10. Bravo, again, Lisa! Thanks for articulating so well what so many are experiencing and the denial of it as well.

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