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.
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. This sudden change in life circumstance for your relative or friend is devastating for them and for at least the first year, may also cause severe depression and withdrawal.
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:
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 and to watch this long, but very informative video to better understand what your friend or loved one will face for the rest of his or her life.
Keith S. Douglass & Associates, LLP
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