In preparing for a possible show, I’ve both emailed someone the owner of the gallery put me in touch with to ask her about how to best format my photos and started re-working old, favorite shots, since I now know without a doubt that in order to print them I’ll need to completely re-process them from the original RAW files. Moving forward I will be sure to save a TIF version of an edited document with enough size and pixels to be workable, but until now I haven’t done that, so while this is a lot of work to do, it’s also rather fun. Sure, I’ve dipped into the archives before when short on new shots to process, but only to find different things to work with; I’ve never gone back and re-edited old shots that were clearly the best ones to begin with, if that makes sense. When going back trolling for new stuff, I’m always choosing from the shots I rejected the first time around, so it’s infinitely more enjoyable to work with the best material again. Plus, I am finding more shots I think are valuable, AND I have also always wanted to re-edit some great photos that I now feel I didn’t quite edit right. So, fun all around.

The first oldie I edited. Definitely an all-time favorite. Interestingly, this was only the second shot of a 200-photo set, and it’s the best one (partly because I didn’t yet realize the importance of brushing a wig every 2-3 shots during a set, and this one was completely trashed within the first ten minutes).

I figured by now I’d have a ton of re-worked oldies to share with you, BUT. I got completely sidetracked by a weird health scare over the weekend. Before I get into it, though, allow me to share the only other photo I’ve edited from an old set – this one is an example of a shot I ignored the first time around, but decided this time that had potential:


I’ll get more into what I’m doing differently to make these more print-worthy, but it involves MUCH bigger files, so I’m most likely going to have to re-learn how to save them best for the blog so they aren’t huge here also. Haven’t had time yet to do that though, so – moving on.

I was working on some of these old shots Sunday afternoon when out of nowhere, I had a pretty bad stomach upset. It came on quickly, and rather painfully; within ten minutes of the first stomach cramp I knew I was in trouble and contacted my boss to let her know I wouldn’t be in the next day (something I usually wait until the last minute to do because missing a day of work as a teacher is a pain in the ass, for reasons I won’t get into right now). Now. I’ve had stomach bugs before, of course; everyone has. But this one was just weird. Not only did I feel terrible, but I felt…confused, and panicked, when really there’s no reason for that. At times, I struggled to stand up or communicate what I was feeling, which my husband was demanding I do because I was freaking him out. One of the worst symptoms I had were chills that were almost violent in nature – on the scale of chills you might get when you have the flu, but my other symptoms didn’t match up with that. I would lie down somewhere for about ten minutes and groan, then get so uncomfortable with the chills and body aches that I’d have to move to some other spot, only to feel the need to move again ten minutes later. Through all of this, I was insanely frantic and confused, as if something were happening to me I couldn’t understand, when really, it was just a stomach bug so why all the panic and tears? Doug started taking my temperature, and when it started to climb over 100 by 10:30 PM we both decided it was best to go to the ER in case whatever this weirdness was got worse before morning.

So off to the ER we go, where they clearly thought I was wasting my time coming in – I get it, there are people with serious emergencies and here I am with a stomach bug – and I immediately felt embarrassed and foolish. But again, there was this panic to the whole experience I couldn’t get rid of, which was what prompted me to go in; this feeling that something was much more wrong than I realized and I might get dreadfully sick if I didn’t. So there we were, waiting for an hour to get some blood drawn and an IV of fluids since I was ridiculously dehydrated, and then sent home afterwards with me feeling not necessarily better but at least not panicked anymore.

Photo Mar 09, 12 08 32 AM
Feeling a little better after an IV of fluid, and thinking the worst was over. NOT. 

So to get to the punchline here I’m going to rewind a bit, back to the Thursday before my ER visit. I arrived at work at 7 AM as usual, feeling a bit unpleasant and realizing pretty quickly that I had a bladder infection (this post is just full of TMI, I guess – sorry). Because, as I previously mentioned, leaving work as a teacher is a PITA, I decided to once again go to one of those emergency clinic-type places so many people I know frequent (seriously, I know many people who don’t even have regular doctors anymore; they go to these clinic, for everything, and while I am not a fan in general, especially after my first experience getting charged $350 for what was essentially a check-up, in this case I figured my problem was a simple one and it would save time,so I did it). I got coverage for my class, showed up at the clinic right when they opened, peed in a cup, and got my diagnosis and some antibiotics, which I had filled at the pharmacy they had on-site. Back to work in less than an hour. Easy-peasy.

Except – fast forward to the Monday morning after my ER visit, when I’m trying to decide whether or not to take the antibiotic again after Sunday night’s illness. I felt OK, although still head-achy and queasy, but I had asked the ER doc the night before about the antibiotic and he told me I should keep taking it, as did the pharmacist at the clinic when I called that morning. So, around 9:30 I took one. And within an hour, I thought I was going to die. Seriously. My ears started ringing. My chest was cramping. My throat felt like it was closing up. And I got the most bizarre head and tooth pain I’ve ever experienced – it was like my entire face hurt. Plus, the nausea came back. I had no doubt at that point what was going on was all about the antibiotic, but I did not know what to do. Another trip to the ER was not something I wanted to consider, but for awhile there I really thought I might die if I didn’t go – I’ve had allergic reactions before to the point that my throat closed up, and I know that is nothing to mess with. I ended up calling Doug down from his office (he works from home) because I was so freaked out, and together we decided I’d (finally) call my real doctor and make an appointment if I could get one. Fortunately I could, and with Doug’s assistance I managed to drag myself in to see him that afternoon. The doc took one look at me, heard about the medication I was taking, and concluded that no way should I have ever been given that drug (Cipro), much less to the amount I was prescribed (1000 milligrams a day), and that clearly I was having a bad reaction and needed to stop immediately. Since it was apparent by this time that I just felt awful and was not, in fact, going to snuff it, he me gave another medication to stop the nausea and put me on a liquid diet for the next 24 hours to get things sorted out and sent me on my way with a doctor’s note to stay home again on Tuesday.

I felt like absolute HELL the rest of Monday, even though the nausea subsided. The weird face and tooth pain continued, as well as the lethargy and chills and horrible headache, until I went to sleep that night. Amazingly, I woke up Tuesday morning feeling perfectly normal, and can now look back at the whole thing with the amount of OUCH it requires. It really was a horrible couple of days, and fortunately for me, I forgot to take the Cirpo a few times (I only took 500MG the first day and 500 the day I got sick) and therefore didn’t get more sick than I did. In reading about Cipro it does seem insane anyone would prescribe me that amount, much less tell me to keep taking it when I have chills and headaches and fever and nausea, but that’s the problem when dealing with medical personnel who don’t know you or your medical history. I don’t care how many people use these emergency clinics and claim they are fine – I will never use one of those places again to save time, because as it turned out I missed two whole days of work by trying to save a few hours on Thursday. Emergency rooms I tend to steer clear of anyway, and because of the panic I was in as well as the level of dehydration I was experiencing (I’d been wickedly thirsty since starting the Cipro, almost to the point of distraction even though I drink water all day) that probably was an OK decision at the time. But that doc sure didn’t give me the right advice about the antibiotic either. So yeah.

God, I remember the days when I could basically take whatever pill a doctor tossed at me with not a problem in the world, but here is the second medication in the past few years I’ve been prescribed that caused me serious problems. I guess it’s another sign of getting older – although I realize some people have difficulty with medications all along, so at least I had a good 40 or so years of having it easy.

Anyway, it’s back to work Wednesday after handling solid food Tuesday afternoon and evening with no problems. Here’s hoping the rest of the week goes smoothly. I’m sure I’ll have a ton of work to do after missing the last two days,



14 thoughts on “Cipro-tection

  1. It sounds really similar to my experience with Cipro’s cousin, Levafloxin.

    After that experience, I was also no longer able to tolerate Cipro, either, even though I’d taken it before without any ill side-effects.

    If you’ve been poisoned by anthrax, _maybe_ the side effects are worth it.

    If it makes you feel any better, mine was prescribed by my own trusted family doc!

    • Yes, that does sound similar! I know I’ve taken Cipro before too, although probably not at that dosage or for that length of time. This was just a bladder infection, so FAR from an anthrax scare!

    • I only meant my age was making me more sensitive to medications 🙂 It hasn’t slowed me down yet with the photography; except for my knee which still isn’t working right.

  2. It’s so true! I am learning more and more that I must be vigilant even when going to the doctor for very simple things.

    I’m not sure at all that I’ll even get a show, but who knows!!

  3. Sorry to hear about your sickness etc.
    I love the photos. I know what you mean about re-processing old favourites. I do the same whenever I enter an exhibition or a competition. I created a simple batch file that runs in Nikon Capture NX2 that converts big high res files (.NEF, .TIF, .JPG) into small low res JPG files for blogging and websites. Perhaps your software offers a similar facility.

    • It might – I barely understand what you said though, LOL. There is so much I don’t know. Good to know though that I am not the only one re-processing original files.

  4. OK, here’s the thing with Cipro. DON’T TAKE IT in the future. My husband took it for 17 days in 2003 and it ruined his health for ten years. Cipro and other Fluoroquinolones go INSIDE the cells of the body to do their work. That is very dangerous. Cipro should be saved for those cases where nothing else will work, and the alternative is even more dangerous. For years hubby told doctors it was from the Cipro and most didn’t believe him (the head of rheumatology at UCLA was an exception) and then, bam, Cipro had a new warning written right into the PDR.
    Same thing goes for Levaquin.
    LOVE these photos!!! I hope you’re back to your old self by now!!

  5. YEs, I am very thankful that I didn’t take near the prescribed dosage. Total I took 3000mg. Still a lot, but they had prescribed me 7000! Now I am wondering if just that amount was enough to make my knee start hurting even worse than it ever was…

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