Name Rachel Brummert
Where are you from I’m originally from East Brunswick, New Jersey. After I got married, I moved to Hamilton, New Jersey, and we just moved to Charlotte, North Carolina.
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
I went to high school in Edison, New Jersey and attended college in Radnor, Pennsylvania. When I decided to change careers, I did my post graduate work at Rutgers University with a degree in Substance Abuse Counseling. I have three brothers, Steve (43), Mike (37) and Anthony (36) and a sister Stacy (42). I am currently the executive director of the Quinolone Vigilance Foundation and happily married to my husband of 14 years.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I am very excited to have been chosen to be an author in the new book The i’Mpossible Project: Renengaging with Life, Creating a New You. The curator of the book, Josh Rivedal, found my story of how I became disabled in 2006 after I was misprescribed a powerful antibiotic and he asked me to write for the book. It is a true honor to be included in the book, to raise awareness about what happened to me and scores of others, and to share with people that what happens to you does not have to define you. On November 5, I testified at an FDA hearing regarding the class of medication that disabled me and the panel voted to make changes, which will save the health and lives of others. Just like with the book, it is taking what happens to you and using that drive to help others; it’s a truly powerful thing.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Josh Rivedal contacted me and asked me if I would consider writing a chapter for the book. Now that I have written for the book, I am giving careful consideration to doing more writing.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Honestly, not until I saw my name in the proof copy of the book The i’Mpossible Project: Reengaging with Life, Creating a New You.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Josh Rivedal came up with the title and I think the title itself speaks volumes. My chapter is called The Scars That Leave a Roadmap. The title was chosen because I have had to undergo many surgeries after suffering ten tendon ruptures and dozens of other surgeries as a result of what happened to me. I have many, many scars. Despite all of that, I found my way out of despair and now my mission is to help others.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
The biggest message I want readers to come away with is that when something traumatic happens to you, that you don’t have to drown in it. It becomes a new normal and it doesn’t define who you are. You can go through something really horrible but still connect with life and the people who know what you’re going through and find yourself on the other side of it.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
They are based on what happened to me when I was misprescribed a powerful antibiotic that is associated with severe, life-altering adverse reactions. I was disabled by an antibiotic called Levaquin. It is in a class of antibiotics called fluoroquinolones, which also includes Cipro and Avelox. They come in tablets, intravenous, eye drops, and ear drops. When they are inappropriately prescribed for bacterial infections which don’t need their strength (for example, sinus infection, UTIs, and bronchitis), you could be taking a gamble with your health, only many of us don’t come to find that out until after the fact. They are powerful enough to kill life-threatening bacterial infections like anthrax but they are routinely given for simple infections and people all over the world are so adversely affected that they are disabled. Had I known of the risks, I would have never taken it and would have asked for a safer alternative. It is too late for me, but through this book, I can warn others.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I am reading So That Happened by Jon Cryer. I love all kinds of books but especially ones which makes me laugh. One thing that helped me get through what happened to me is humor so books which are funny really speak to me.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
There is an entire community of people who were advsersely affected and disabled by the same type of medication that I was and I find a lot of strength from them. Everyone works incredibly hard to raise awareness and many changes are being made because of everyone’s hard work.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
The biggest challenge I found was finding the words. One of the many systems Levaquin affected is my neurological system so it affected my brain a great deal. Finding the words I am looking for is difficult for me, or being able to complete a thought so writing for the book was somewhat challenging, but so very worth it. I am fortuate to have people in my life who could help me when my disability presents challenges.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I have two favorites. I’m a big fan of Janet Evanovich. Her books have a lot of humor in it and it takes place in Trenton, New Jersey. I lived in neighboring Hamilton Township for 14 years and I recognized a lot of places mentioned in the book. My other favorite is Jodi Picoult. Her writing is breathtaking and descriptive and she takes on controversial subjects with a special brand of humanity and compassion.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
So far I traveled to Richmond, Virginia with the curator of the book Josh Rivedal to do a television interview.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned that there is a lot of power in writing about your experience and speaking from the heart because your words and feeling hae value. It is okay to be angry and upset that this horrible thing happened to you. It’s okay to cry and shake your fist at the world. Taking all that emotion and expressing it into words turns all of that into something productive and there is something very freeing about that.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I want to say that I hope that all 50 stories in the book speaks to you in some way and gives you hope that whatever challenge that happens to you doesn’t define you and doesn’t have to limit you from having a good life filled with good people.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
Our website for the Quinolone Vigilance Foundation is http://www.saferpills.org/
The link to buy The i’Mpossible Project: Reengaging with Life, Creating a New You is http://www.amazon.com/iMpossible-Project-Reengaging-Life-Creating/dp/0986096490/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8