After spending weeks of being wasted, breathless and coughing, I finally got an inhaler from my family physician and a prescription for antibiotics. I usually avoid antibiotics  but this was getting ridiculous. He hooked me up with a specialist who seeing the first antibiotics weren’t working after a week changed the prescription and switched me from an inhaler to a nebulizer after which I started getting better.

That worked and soon I was able to walk the 3 meters to the bathroom without panting and trips to the kitchen also became pant free. I had about 50 % capacity of deep inhaling before having to cough but now I am at about 95%. No coughing without deep inhaling but it still lingers there.

The other thing he did was put me on prednisone, a steroid to combat inflammation in my lungs. Which it seemed to do that but it had side effects.  Reading from a long list of them the two that really nailed me were elation and insomnia. Which also happen to be two effects of meth. Back in 1968 I fell in with the wrong crowd one thing led to another and the next thing was injecting methadrine.

While the prednisone wasn’t quite as bad as the meth, it was close enough that I couldn’t help but be forced to deal with the memories. 1968-69 I spent 9 months on the needle. On meth you don’t need to sleep. I have gone 9 days without sleeping as a matter of fact. We soon learned  that wasn’t a good thing because after about 4 days of not sleeping you start to have your dreams even while you are awake and the longer you go the harder it is to distinguish them from reality. So every 4 days we would hit up some Seconal and crash for 24 hours until we woke up and took off on another run.

With the prednisone I was having nights where I was only able to sleep one hour, hour and a half, 3 hours. Every few nights I would get some more but napping was a luxury. I was also wired up like on meth when you are able to really focus and get a lot of work done. As I had just  had a month where nothing got accomplished due to being too wasted, I was behind on a lot of projects and I did spend the extra waking hours being productive at least.

Though I am now clean and sober closing in on 40 years, and don’t even use caffeine, I’m still a meth addict.  I like it. I liked being strung out on the prednisone but as I told my doctor I wanted it to end. Not that I am worried I will take up shooting meth again, I am more mature in my sobriety than that, but how easy would it be to slip into a caffeine addiction if I got too used to being hyper?

The prednisone prescription I had was 6 pills a day for 3 days, then 5 for 3 days, stepping down one pill every 3 days until done, then a few days before the effects wore off so I am now back to my regularly scheduled kidneys have failed insomnia with no desire to get back on stimulants so out of the woods on that account.

How did I get off meth? I will recount that in a post another day but spoiler alert it includes being prayed for by my Christian family, 80 days in the Hennepin County jail and running into the Hare Krishnas in Griffin Park, Los Angeles in 1969.

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