Levaquin - What they don't tell you
A year and 2 weeks ago I finished the antibiotic that finally killed the bacteria infection that took 9 months and 11 doctors to diagnose. Lucky for me my history included the fact that I was active, a runner, and working in run specialty. I still feel bad for the nurse that had to call me that day to tell me I couldn't do any kind of exercise to avoid tendon damage for 10 days. "I'm a runner, so if I don't run can I do other things, right?" No, I needed to stay of my feet as much as possible. My poor coach had to listen to my meltdown on the phone. Like the other drugs I had been put on I was convinced this one wouldn't work either.
Fast forward a year and I'm bacteria free but I feel like my legs are twice their age. Back in May of 2015 I started having problems with my right foot. I figured it was just from standing at work, and I needed to replace my work shoes. 3 pairs of shoes later there were days I could barely walk let alone stand without pain. I tired everything I could. I got massages, and saw my chiropractor. I put inserts in my shoes, wore compression sleeves, and foam rolled my foot at least twice a day. Nothing worked. The podiatrist said I had plantar fasciitis, but it didn't feel like PF. My pain got worse the more I moved not first thing in the morning.
Somehow I sort of trained for, and finished the 2015 Marine Corp Marathon. By mile 9 I was crying because my foot hurt so much. The legs were tight like they had been for most of my training and I all I wanted was to be out of the rain and curled up on a couch. A couple of weeks earlier someone finally said what had been in the back of my head. It was probably the antibiotic that caused all of my problems. Despite having a fantastic doctor, who was also a runner, guide me through 10 days of levaquin I realized that I had not walked away unscathed. I still struggle with tight Achilies, and there are days, like today, when all of my joints hurt after a run. Nothing seems to help, and there are days when I ask myself why I keep trying to run when it's so challenging. It use to be so easy, and my body would do what I asked of it.
There isn't a lot out there about how long the effects of levaquin last. If you Google levaquin tendon damage you find nothing about how long it stays in your system or how long the tendon issues last because they don't know. So, this is my story for those looking for information. One day I hope that I will feel like myself when I'm running again, but for now it's one foot in front of the other hoping that I'll love running again no mater how slow I have to go for now.
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Bonnie is a native to Atlanta, once a professional violinist, who now works in social & digital marketing for Big Peach Running Co.