For Relatives and Friends

When Your Friend or Relative Has Gentamicin Poisoning

Your friend or loved one has recently suffered gentamicin poisoning. Except for having difficulty in walking and getting around, he or she looks perfectly normal. You try to minimize the physical disability and interact with your friend or loved one just as you did before. After awhile, you realize that there is something different, but you can’t put a finger on it.

Subtle Differences

Gentamicin poisoning victims can’t seem to focus on what is going on around them. They may forget what was said 10 minutes before and often seem depressed. Their homes seem messier. Sometimes they just act like they don't hear or comprehend what you are saying.

Changes at Work

Your friend or loved one has always held a good desk job that didn’t require any physical activity, but now he or she complains that everything is different. His or her boss and co-workers are becoming critical of work performance. Could it be that your friend or loved one is just using the fact that he or she has a physical disability as an excuse for being lazy, or wanting to quit work? He or she is probably very frustrated with their seeming inability to do much of anything productive. Often, the severest impact of gentamicin poisoning is on highly educated, high achievers who are used to multitasking and performing tasks quickly and efficiently.

Unseen Symptoms

The truth is, your friend or loved one has experienced an injury that far exceeds the obvious outward physical symptoms. Consider what a gentamicin poisoning victim copes with:

  • Every minute gentamicin poisoning victims are awake they must consciously position themselves to stay upright.
  • Every time they move their head, their vision goes blurry.
  • When they walk down the street, they probably can’t recognize the faces of persons passing by, nor can they probably read signs in store windows, until they stop and hold their head completely still.
  • They cannot drive safely, or they have great difficulty in driving.
  • Their short term memory is often deficient.
  • Their executive function, or ability to concentrate, formulate, and follow through on a plan is often greatly diminished.


Permanent Damage to the Inner Ear

Because your friend or loved one lost a vital portion of his or her inner ear, what used to be automatic now requires intense concentration. Humans have only so much ability to concentrate. When most of their concentration is comprised by trying to keep upright, or keeping the head perfectly still so they can see, gentamicin poisoned persons have little time to concentrate on anything else.

I urge you to read the other sections of this site to better understand what your friend or loved one will face for the rest of his or her life.