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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Personal Stuff

I don't write about personal stuff online. Sharing details of my life with the world isn't my bag, baby. But I'm making an exception here because it might be important for someone who might stumble upon this post. More on that in a minute.

About a month ago, my mother started acting a little goofy. Just small things, but over the course of a few days they added up to a pattern. You've all probably heard that a urinary tract infection can cause clouded thinking, slurred speech, etc. We hadn't. She was put on the antibiotic Ciprofloxacin. Way down the list of side effects is a long list of psychiatric side effects. My mom got the works: hallucinations, anxiety, depression, depersonalization...a half dozen more. She basically went nuts. She was hospitalized for two weeks. Nearly every doctor was worthless. Some, in fact, made her worse. They began looking for stuff it wasn't, and a lumbar puncture left her unable to walk and she wound up with pneumonia. The reason for her sudden behavior change was simple to us, because we did the research. She had gone from common UTI symptoms and then took six hits of acid.

I'll be writing a lot more about this at some point in the future, because the details will appall you, but I'm writing this Reader's Digest version now because maybe somebody out there right now -- this very morning -- is going through what we went through this past month.

For nearly a month, my mother has had something people online very accurately refer to as "brain fog." She'd answer questions, but she wasn't all there. On a good day, half her brain was with us, but the other half was somewhere beyond Neptune. Thank God during this time we met two people whose mothers had the exact same reaction to Cipro. They told us the fog would last about a month and that it'd take two months for it to completely clear. No doctor told us this. On Thursday, my mom's head began to clear. This was 25 days after her last Ciprofloxacin pill. By Thursday night, she was maybe 90% herself again. We were worried that she'd drop back into the fog the next day, because that can and may yet happen. She didn't, and she hasn't, and she's remained alert and herself since Thursday. She's smiling again, cracking wise, and she engages in conversations rather than stares at the wall like a zombie.

Like I said, I'll be writing more about this later on. (You'll especially love the part about the doctor who casually assured us very early on Thursday morning -- the very day my mom woke up and finally broke through the fog -- that she wasn't getting better, that she was in fact getting worse, and that she'd be dead in six to eight months. I carry around a list of Cipro's psychiatric side effects in my wallet now, and when I tried to show them to this moron he wouldn't even read them.) I'm writing this now because online research was only semi-helpful. What helped most of all were the two people we met who told us that the exact same thing happened to their mothers on this drug and that it would take a month for the brain fog to clear, and another month to get back to normal.

I don't tell people to share my posts, but this one might be a good one because who knows? Maybe somebody on your list or somebody on their list or somebody on somebody else's list you don't even know is right now going through what we went through, with unhelpful doctors ignoring documented side effects and equally unhelpful Internet Web sites that shriek "CIPRO IS POISON!" It's not. It's medicine that works well for most people. But when it doesn't, it don't work. But for those of you out there right now whose loved ones are in the .1 to 1% who've won this rare, terrible side-effects lottery: give it a month. As terrible as it is, it does get better.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Red on the Menu Blurb:

I've been unexpectedly delayed completing The Red Menace #5, Red on the Menu, but I managed today to carve out a few minutes for the back cover blurb:


Something fishy is going on at famous Franklin Morrow's Restaurants. Why is the most successful chain of eateries in the U.S. suddenly catering to the murder and mayhem crowd, and who exactly is the mysterious man in the ten gallon hat with an all-you-can eat appetite for death and destruction?

All signs point to something big and bad being served up soon, but the CIA, FBI and Pentagon are all out to lunch, leaving only one of America's intelligence agencies to chew around the edges of a vast and horrifying terror plot.

When one body too many surfaces, MIC Director Simon Kirk has finally had a bellyful of bad bistro news and decides that someone is in need of some just desserts. And, of course, who else but Podge Becket and the brilliant Dr. Thaddeus Wainwright would be dispatched to act as the ultimate antacid?

As always, how does America spell relief? R-E-D M-E-N-A-C-E!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Late Night TV Hosts

Everybody talks about all these late night TV hosts like they aren't awful. Well, they are. All of them for the past twenty-plus years were and are terrible, except one. The one exception gets very little notice and is laugh out loud funny, and if I were an insomniac or a maniac with a fetish for pantomime horses I would watch him every night. Craig Ferguson is easily the #1 guy in late night. He can make me laugh while the others can't even get me to smile.