SIG Sauer Academy

Corps Strength – Drugged, Dazed, And Confused

Over the years I’ve known many Marines with physical problems. I’ve pretty much seen everything from combat injures (with PTSD) to a wide range of more common service related problems like being damn near deaf (like myself), joint and back issues, sleep apnea, etc. Considering everything, I was very lucky and I retired after 28 years with what I would consider very minimal physical problems. Recently however, I did have a first hand experience with something that I’ve seen many times in others. To make a long story short a few weeks ago I had a pretty bad ear infection, bad to the point where I was dizzy and out of balance. So reluctantly, I went to sick call and the Navy Doc gave me some antibiotics. Now I hate taking any meds, not even aspirin, but, I didn’t ask what they were, I just did what I was told and took the pills for the full directed 10 days. My ear infection cleared up in a few days, which I thought was the end of it, not.

After the 10 days were up, a few days went by and I started having chest pains. Something like I had never experienced before. I still kept running every morning and going to work, but they got worse and worse. So one morning, I felt I must be having a F’ing heart attack or something. So I had to leave work and go to medical. They did all kinds of tests and came back and told me that my heart/lungs/blood pressure were fine, great in fact. However the pain was coming from a serious GI track inflammation from the previous antibiotics? So the cure for that? A different drug for another 8 weeks. So now I need another drug to counter act my last drug? WTFO?

What is the point of all this? That I think that we all should be very cautious about what drugs we are prescribed to “fix” what ever problem we may have. It seems that is the first thing that many doctors do nowadays, is throw some strong drugs at any problem. I think that’s one reason that we have so many service people (and others) addicted to pain killers. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t listen to your doctor, or take medicine when you need it, but I think we all need to be mindful of falling onto this prescription “Merry-go-Round.” I’ve seen too many others on this ride and it isn’t pretty. I once worked for a LtCol that was on so many pain killers for a bad back, he would hold multiple meetings with the same people on the same issues, as he couldn’t remember having the previous meetings? No thanks.

Along with eating right and exercising, your relationship with your doctor is an important part of the health and fitness equation. With that doing your own research into your medical situation is very important also. If I had read up on this drug I would have known to ask some questions about its possible serious side effects, and maybe asked for a alternate solution? I don’t know, and that is the point. I was lazy about it and suffered for it. Get your own info and ask the hard questions. It can’t hurt in any case. On a lighter note; After I got back to work from medical and told my retired Navy Capt boss what happened, he said. “Don’t sweat it, this new drug will probably give you an ear infection.” No shit.


Take care and be Safe

Semper Fi



26 Responses to “Corps Strength – Drugged, Dazed, And Confused”

  1. Badjujuu says:

    I could not agree more. From my personal experience and from hearing others go thru the same grinder, the VA is the worse culprit at prescribing unnecessary medication. Civilian doctors are no better. These days it is easier to throw some medication towards the patient instead of finding a cure or treatment. Most of the time the pharmaceutical company sponsors their medicine thru the doctors office and encourages the prescription.
    I literally gave up on VA, after they botched up a oral surgery on me and left me hanging, wrongfully diagnosed me with osteoporosis, and other issues that would take chapters to cover. My brother gave up on VA after they gave him spinal injections unnecessarily, provided him with “dummy” pills that made him a breathing vegetable for days. It is sad to see a physician Google your symptoms or use webmd to look them up, right in front of you.

    Sorry little bit off the subject.

    As a nation we are over medicated. There is a pill literally for everything. You want glitter in your poop?there is a pill for that.

    • Riceball says:

      I agree, what happened to the good old days of actually getting treated at the doctor’s office? It seems to me that aside from the most basic of things like blood pressure and heart rate little gets done at the doctor’s office, if there’s something wrong all they’ll do is write you a prescription and off you go. There should be a movement within the medical community that stresses that doctors should do their best to treat problems in office visits instead of just prescribing meds.

    • Steven Hall says:

      As always its a self made problem Why do we need stronger antibiotics? Because of resistant bacteria. Now how do bacteria get resistant?
      If an bacterial infection isn’t treated with enough antibiotics to get rid of them the surviving bacteria can get resistant. Is that the case in human treatment? Nope very seldom. But guess what? Antibiotics your doctor has to prescribes you to get them to treat resistant infections are used in a lot of countries in mass animal husbandry! To keep the animals healthy under disastrous conditions they stuff them with antibiotics, And the animals get the stuff as a prophylactic so that they don’t get ill in the first place. And YOU wonder why you need the heavy stuff that makes you sicker than you were before. A view weeks ago It was in all media in Germany they tested chicken and turkey meat and guess what 11 of 20 samples contained resistant E-Coli bacteria and 5 out of 20 MRSA (Methicillin-resistent Staphylococcus aureus ) So you should thank the Pharmaceutical Industry and the Meat industry for Making a lot of Money by messing with our health! Sorry for The bad English I’m from Germany And wrote it in the middle of the night because I couldn’t sleep. Thanks

  2. z0phi3l says:

    And my VA,Doc has asked me a few times if I have an issue taking pills, he looked amused when I told him I had no issues taking them IF necessary, otherwise I avoid them

  3. Talisker says:

    Be careful taking stuff like Cipro and other powerful antibiotics that the doctors like to hand out like candy these days. They nuke all your good gut bacteria along with, hopefully, all the bad bacteria too. That can leave you with heartburn from hell, explosive diarrhea for days, or worse. How much worse? Look up antibiotic resistant Clostridium Difficile. It nearly killed my wife after the docs nuked her with repeated courses of antibiotics. Then it took over two years for the effects of the bacterial toxins to go away, long after the infection was eradicated.

    If you get a script for antibiotics go and buy some probiotics from the drug store and take them while you are taking the antibiotics and for at least a month afterwards. Do not take the probiotic at the same time as the antibiotic. The antibiotic will just nuke all the good probiotic bacteria in your stomach. Take the probiotic at least 3-4 hours after the antibiotic. It will help to keep you from getting that “I feel like I’ve drunk a gallon of battery acid” burning GI tract feeling that can sometimes accompany a strong course of antibiotics.

    My wife and I have had good luck with a couple of brands of probiotics. Align was recommended to her by her GastroIntestinal doc. We later found a couple of other brands that worked better for the same or less money. Ultimate Flora brand worked the best for my wife when she was really sick. Once she got her GI tract back in order she switched over to the Bayer produced TruBiotics because it works well and is cheaper. probiotics really helped cure my wife when all modern doctors and drugs could do was treat the symptoms for the rest of her life.

    There’s some other things that probiotics help with but I’m not going into that here. Professional medicine is just starting to get clued in on how critical a good balance of probiotic gut bacteria are to good health, immune system strength, and maintaining a healthy body weight. Do your own research.

  4. CV76 says:

    The VA doc told me I was an unusual check up appointment because I didn’t ask him for any drugs. I was like wow wtf…sad really. But when you hear the VA referred to as “candy land” on the news, it is right on.

    • SSD says:

      Wow, the VA gets an annual checkup? I don’t get one as a retiree on Tricare. Guess I’d better go ahead and file that disability paperwork.

      • CV76 says:

        No, I didn’t say anything about “annual” here and what are you really saying about Veterans with a disability with that comment? Did you hit your head before you wrote this reply?

        • SSD says:

          What are you trying to say?

          • marshallwk says:

            sigh……ssd comment section

          • CV76 says:

            I survived an equipment malfunction in that big thing over your head known as the ‘sky’, multiple surgeries later and don’t ask for or take meds.

            I’m saying you hit your head, maybe on the car door while getting groceries so you can consider sitting in the corner to ponder your gross generalizations and stereotyping your fellow Americans.

  5. Max says:

    I have Crohn’s disease. I was hospitalized, diagnosed and prescribed meds. Due to the fatigue the meds cause I was given vitamin B pills. Also prescribed anti biotics and vitamins, recommended to start protein shakes and what not to gain weight. My back also developed a chronic pain, most likely due to the inflammation from Crohns. They prescribed muscle relaxers which I was adamant against. These ended up causing muscle spasms so they stopped the prescription.

    I’ve since completely stopped all meds and I’ve never felt better. I’ve got a dog to keep me active, and it’s been much better watching my diet and avoiding certain foods.
    I’ve been doing great this way and aside from allergy meds or acetaminophen occasionally, I don’t take meds.

    Medications I believe for the most part to be a crutch for the weak minded and weak bodied.

    Drink water and change your socks, you’ll feel better.

  6. Seamus says:

    So let me get this straight, a guy with zero medical education is writing about the problems with modern military medicine all because he got a common case of either antibiotic associated diarrhea or C. Difficile?

    Well, I slept in a Holiday Inn Expres last night so here are my thoughts.

    If he had read up on antibiotics and their side effects like he says he should have in his conclusion paragraph then he would know that antibiotic diarrhea and C. Difficile are both rather common side effects of antibiotics and he would not be b**ching the the world about doctors. Of course there is no mention whether the provider he saw informed him of any of the possible side effects of taking antibiotics nor does he mention that when he picked up his antibiotics the pharmacy clerk handed him a print out with side effects and information on his medication (per regulation) that he should have read (but probably didn’t.) Conveniently left those tid bits out I guess.

    I am of course glad he seems to be feeling better and now sees the importance of informing yourself on your own health and glad he is encouraging other to do the same, but spare me and the rest of the internet the diatribe on the shortfalls on military medicine. His ignorant whining has lent no great insight into the well documented issue of narcotic and antibiotic abuse nation wide or the institutional bias towards medication vs. rehabilitation in modern medicine.

    • james says:

      He’s relating exactly the way a lot of people feel about medicine and the practice there of. Instead of getting upset about it, maybe you could learn from it. Informed consent is a big deal for people, especially when they aren’t trained in the medical field. Going over possible side effects of drugs and complications from procedures can be difficult for the provider and confusing for the patient, but it is also the standard of care. You as a provider don’t get to decide , the patient does based on the most complete information you can relate to them.

      Gunny, take care and probiotics with antibiotics always!

      • Seamus says:

        Informed consent is a big deal and it is the law but it is in no way germane to the discussion here. I am quite sure that it informed consent occurred since no where in the article did this gentleman ever say otherwise and there is no mention of pending legal action.

        Please note that from both a legal and ethical stand point, “informed consent” and “patient education” are two entirely separate things, that while they may be closely related they are without-a-doubt NOT the same.

        I previously pointed out that the article is rather light on the subject of what information was given and by whom but blame is rested on doctors for the perceived injustice of prescribing medications to fix side effects of other medications.

        Again I am glad he is now seems to be doing better and encouraging others to be self informed with their own medical care, but I don’t see how heaping blame on providers for the broken system they inhabit is of any use. Or to do so without any mention of whether his own provider or pharmacy clerk did or did not duly inform him of possible and relatively common side effects of antibiotics is not a well informed article or ethical journalism but nearly an internet rant.

        Thanks SSD for the article-I like even the ones I disagree with.

        • james says:

          When did side effects and complications become patient teaching? They are part of informed consent.Patient teaching is after the fact instruction like wound care, showering, take this medicine at this time, don’t eat/drink x with these meds, etc.
          There is no way to have informed consent without going over positives and negatives of the treatment.

          Having been on both sides has really shaped my opinions on this.

          I never got the impression he was attacking the doctor as much as the system. As you said he should have received this info multiple times, and while I can’t guarantee he didn’t, neither do I doubt it.

    • MEDIC! says:

      I have to agree with you on this comment. Seeing patients on a constant basis especially in military medicine, everyone wants the NOW pill or MAGIC pill to make all their troubles disappear. And if they aren’t resolved in 24 hours or less, they return pissed off, and filing complaints with senior leadership saying we are shitty doctors, nurses, or medics.

      What most fail to say is that they failed to ask questions upon dis-charge regarding their medications or reading the paperwork that comes with the medications from a pharmacy. There are side effects to most medications, and everyone is going to handle them differently based on how their body reacts. Some people will have no trouble with antibiotics while same may have the exact same outcome as the author, but in doing so doesn’t mean we don’t know what in the hell we are doing. Shit happens, literally. Sorry it happened.

      Got a fever? Tylenol, Motrin and Water
      Got a case of the pee burns? Motrin, and water, maybe some Zithromax.

      Be smart people. Some of the most common illnesses can be cured with proper use of over the counter medications. Running to the nearest ER or “urgent care” because said you could have a life threatening virus or illness is not necessary.

  7. Mr Bill says:

    You have to be your own advocate! I have been in IV antibiotics for 4 months. Extensive web searches when I got home and I knew more about the medication than most docs. And it wasn’t just one med its was five including two carbopenems. Took probiotics and that helped a bunch. Had discussions about various side effects hence why he changed meds several times. When you get off meds it’s time to select a new probiotic that will work better without the antibiotics (it helps that my daughter is a graduate biologist). Again you have to have a working relationship with your doc and have one who will listen to you! I was also on an anti fungal for 3months, but that is what it takes to kill valley fever.

  8. I always eat a lot of active culture yogurt when on antibiotics, because, guess what? . . . . . antibiotics kill bacteria. Your gut if full of bacteria. Ergo, you’re gonna have gut problems when taking antibiotics. Simple. If you don’t like eating yogurt, drink the yogurt drinks. They’re good and most have active cultures also.

    Sure; military medicine and the VA can be bad, but they can also be very good. Unfortunately, the VA is in a position now doing things it was never intended to do. If you don’t like your provider, switch. Most veterans can switch to a civilian doctor and still have the VA pay for it. Look for a DO instead of an MD. DO’s are generally more holistic in their approach. I had borderline high cholesterol. My DO talked with me about medications and alternative therapies. I chose fish oil pills, bought “over the counter”, along with some simple life-style changes. They worked, cholesterol is good now.

    Medicine really is a two way street. Don’t just simply sit there and take what the provider gives you without asking a lot of questions. Even in the military, you don’t have to do what the doctor tells you to do. Just be aware that if you don’t follow the treatment plan and still have the same medical problems you will probably be facing an MEB.

    Take care,

  9. MGunz says:

    I knew someone was going to hit me on the “I’m not a doctor, but I slept in a Holiday Inn last night.” LOL, gtg, however I never said I was a doctor, nor was I trying to slam the VA, even though I have seen some pretty bad VA stuff with friends. My point was to learn from my mistake and do some research, that’s all.
    Semper Fi

    • Seamus says:

      Hope you are feeling better.

      • MGunz says:

        I’m good, I always bounce back. Thanks, However I’m now on this new drug for 8 F’ing weeks! I was just pissed at the fact that I have to take something else. Make no mistake, I have a lot of respect for military doctors and even more so for Navy Corpsman, they have saved more than one friend’s life. However I have also seen other friends treated like shit and given crazy amounts of drugs. In fact I have a buddy who lives right down the street here. He is a retired Marine who is a decorated Vietnam veteran. he served in Khe Shan, won a Bronze Star and was wounded twice. Every month he gets a big pile of drugs in the mail, in fact I often kid him about his huge “salad bowl” of orange pill bottles. As he is considered disabled by PTSD, he doesn’t even have to go back for checkups. He rarely takes any of the drugs as he said they make him more crazy than he is already, LOL. He’s a great guy, and a real hero to me. I just think that this whole “drugs” are the cure culture is running crazy right now. I for one don’t want to be apart of it.

  10. Agent K says:

    WHAT?!?! Being in the military I thought Motrin fixed everything? Make sure you are taking your Vitamin M!!!!

  11. mike says:

    For those in this thread who have nuked their gut bacteria over-loading on antibiotics, there is hope! Consuming products like Kefir that are loaded with pro-biotics will recolonize your gut and put you on to the path of doing it without drugs. The kefir you buy in the store, though readily available and more palatable to the average person, contains many fewer active cultures than home brew. Anyone in the Hampton Roads area interested in picking up some grains and fermenting Kefir should send me an email [email protected]. If you’re outside of the area there are a couple of groups on Facebook dedicated to sharing kefir grains and spreading the love. It’s a good drink for the protein, vitamins A&K, and folic acid but for those with wrecked guts it’s a Godsend.

  12. O'Neil says:

    Any doctor that prescribes anti-biotics without also prescribing a strong pro-biotic needs a kick in the pants.