I just got back from a two week long road trip across the USA filming stuff. I am pretty upset that I’m back and that I’ll be here for another few months, but I’m even more upset that it took such an extreme toll on my body.

It’s been two years since I was floxed. Since I recovered about a year ago, I haven’t had any issues… or many, depending on how you look at it. Sure, I’ve had a random tendon tightness here and there which went away after a few hours, or minutes. Yeah, my hands went numb a few times, but it would go away in minutes and I wouldn’t think much of it. Part of the way through my journey, my tendons became tight, but I assumed it was just one of those things. It would last a few minutes/hours and then it would go away. I could go back to normal.

This was not the case. I decided to pick up some magnesium oil in Phoenix, Arizona when I first became concerned. Regardless of what happened, this would help. I should have brought my own bottle of the Dead Sea version I like so much, but a bottle at Whole Foods was just $13 and I needed to take care of myself. Granted, I’m not sure how well it worked. This random Whole Foods brand didn’t sting or itch as much (which is great), but it only slightly helped the pain and tightness radiating throughout my body. It also made the parts I sprayed get a bit warm?

Anyway, I didn’t think much of it after I sprayed myself. I was more concerned with this possible gum infection that arose my first day in Arizona. What’s the deal with this? I asked myself, knowing before I left that I would run into some issues. Obviously if you’re on a cross-country road trip by yourself something is going to happen. On my last road trip I had heat stroke and ended up vomiting in the Mojave, so some gum irritation was the least of my worries.

I also grabbed some colloidal silver from Whole Foods for this gum irritation. I haven’t had dental insurance in three years and I didn’t care much about it until I read something online about people without dental insurance dying from a tooth or gum infection that quickly got into the blood and led to deadly cases of sepsis. Fueled by these horror stories and upset at my gum’s lack of progress since the silver treatments, I mused over why the heck my gum would be irritated on my drive through Oklahoma into Arkansas.

I remembered that I had eaten corn on the cob two days in a row: first in Durango, CO and secondly as part of my first meal in Phoenix. I’m not a big corn eater (I rarely eat corn at all unless it’s a corn tortilla) and I usually floss right after I eat corn, but of course I forgot to pack floss, too. I didn’t ask anyone if they had floss nor did I remember to grab it the handful of times I ended up in stores on my trip, so there must have been some corn stuck under the gum somewhere. I picked at it and sure enough, a tiny bit of corn cob came out. Fuck, this whole time I just had to floss? Jeez.

In Arkansas, I borrowed some floss from my friend I was staying with to see if there was any corn left in there. Of course, as the fellow hippie he is, my friend only had silk floss. This is the first time I have ever seen or heard of silk floss and it makes sense. I had stopped flossing and invested in a flossing toothbrush because I couldn’t stand throwing that much plastic in the garbage, watching animals get stuck in it in city streets, and so forth.

It just wasn’t worth it, especially since my dental hygienist used to praise me for my “amazing flossing skills” after I had stopped flossing. Well, flossing can lead to gum inflammation which can lead to gum infections which can lead to sepsis and death!!! That’s not a game I’m willing to play as someone who cannot have pharmaceutical antibiotics and who does not have dental insurance.

So, I’m dropping a good $5 to grab some of this biodegradable silk floss (it isn’t as harsh or painful to use, either) and I’ll finally grab one of those biodegradable toothbrushes, too… but not after kicking and screaming while I throw away my amazing flossing brush… RIP (I’ve had it for almost 3 years. That’s right. I just admitted that freely on a health and wellness blog).

ANYWAY, this is not the point of the post. Everything was all fine and dandy until I finally made it home to New York. I was sooo worried about my gum that I didn’t notice my tendon pain and tightness was getting progressively worse.

The following day, the tendons in my entire body felt like they did on week 2 of getting floxed. OH MY GOD, I thought. Am I back to the beginning? Will I ever be the same? Is this permanent? What is going on!?! 

I couldn’t sleep that night even after I covered my body in magnesium oil, soaked in a cold, epsom salt bath for an hour or so, took like 6 magnesium pills, and still didn’t feel better. I laid in bed contemplating my future.

Did I get re-floxed? Did I eat something with a fluoroquinolone in it? What about that antibacterial hand soap I saw in the bathroom that I accidentally slathered on my hands? What about all of the hand soaps that were not labeled antibacterial?!?!! (I really need to start bringing my own travel soap).orig-11170631jpg
It bothered me so much not only because I might be sick again, but because I have to worry about this stuff for the rest of my life. How sad is it that we floxies need to make sure every meat we eat is organic, that every soap is free of antibiotics, for the rest of our lives?

I reached out to the nicest floxie support group I’m a member of (it’s also the smallest with only about 75 members – the main one has 10k) to explain what I was going through. Everyone was so understanding, but unfortunately for my mental health, many of these floxies were permanently damaged, had flare-ups occur constantly. They had never heard of someone having a flare-up two years out and we all feared I may have eaten some gas station chicken that was treated with a fluoroquinolone back when it was alive (lesson learned: no meat from gas stations, no matter how desperate you might be).

I was pissed and it was hard for me to walk again and whatnot. The next day, I felt better, but my symptoms were worse at night. I did the whole, eat magnesium supplements, spray myself with mag oil, take epsom salt baths thing. I drank many a mug of hot bone broth and cooked up some venison heart tacos. This time I marinated them in my neglected vinegary kombucha. It was so, so good.

So far, it seems like I keep getting better and maybe sitting in a car driving by yourself for 13 hours straight isn’t very good for your body… who knew?
I’m doing all the right things and resting and watching myself, but man, did I learn a lesson. Pray to all of your gods for my health to continue to get better. Thanks!

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Featured Photo Credit: Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash