Your leaking thatched hut during the restoration of a pre-Enlightenment state.


Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").


decay & ruin
Biosphere II
dead malls
Irving housing

got that wrong

appropriate tech
Arduino μcontrollers
Backwoods Home
Fractal antenna

fun social media stuff

(nobody does!)

Like my brownhouse:
   200 mg Seroquel experiment
Sunday, December 11 2011
Last night I woke up and, for whatever reason, couldn't get back to sleep. In the past, on rare occasions, I've been known to use pharmacological assistance in such circumstances. The best drug is Ambien, and we have a bottle full of it in the bathroom. But I wanted to test the effects of some of the drugs I "inherited" from my father after he died. One of these was the anti-psychotic Seroquel, which, according to the Wikipedia entry to which I just linked, has strong sedative effects. The pills were of the 200 mg size, which seemed kind of big (they weren't horse pills, but they were physically larger than most sedative tablets). I swallowed one, headed down to the brownhouse to take care of some late-night business, stoked the fire, and went back to bed.
After fifteen or twenty minutes of not falling asleep, I experienced a vague new feeling in my gut. It wasn't quite a glow, it was more of presence. And not long after that, the Seroquel started manifesting in my brain. Initially I felt agitated and jittery, a feeling soon replaced by nausea. I thought I'd be able to ride it out, but it just kept getting worse to the point where I was convinced I needed to actually vomit. By this point, my heart was racing. So I got up and, not wanting to disturb Gretchen, went downstairs. On the way down to the first floor I managed to step on a cat's tail (belonging to Julius aka "Stripey"), something that only happens when you are just trying to get through. I made it all the way to a basement bathroom and fell to my knees, certain I would be barfing immediately. But nothing happened. I couldn't even get anything to happen by jamming my thumb down my throat. Evidently that whole system had been disabled. Not knowing what else to do, I returned to bed, tossing and turning and taking my pulse. Whenever I closed my eyes, I saw vivid still images that each lasted only a half second or so. They weren't of anything particularly scary, but the violence of the way they came into view was terrifying. Occasionally I could also heard snatches of voices that sounded like they were in the environment but which were clearly in my head. Usually I enjoy hallucinations, but in this case I just wanted them to leave me be. I don't think I've had a drug experience this bad since the time at Big Fun in 1995 when a group of us tried tripping on nutmeg (a pharmacological dose being a couple teaspoons). That time we all found ourselves lying around and wishing that we would die. This was also when the catchphrase, "I really wish I hadn't'a done that" was coined. I found myself thinking that tonight as well.
I tried again to vomit, this time in the nearby bathroom, but it couldn't be done. I found myself feeling things in the back of my throat that I have never touched before, and yet there was no reflex to make me vomit.
Returning to bed, I continued to be taunted by still-image hallucinations. I'd try to turn over and find the most comfortable position, but nothing seemed to work. Had Gretchen been awake, I would have made her take me to a hospital so I could get my stomach pumped. I also considered waking her up to take me to the hospital. But what was I going to say, that I took an 88 year old man's dose of mega-Seroquel by mistake?
After another half hour or so of agitation and anxiety, the effects began to dissipate just enough to let my mind wander to other, more pleasant subjects, and I figured I was out of the woods. Eventually I fell asleep.

The next morning, Gretchen woke me up because it seemed to her as if I was sleeping in unusually late. I felt incredibly groggy, and I found it somewhat difficult to articulate words. The muscles and skin of my face felt as if they were covered with some sort of lacquer that had to be broken and cracked in order for them to move smoothly.
Once I was up and moving around, I felt more alive, but there was still this heaviness to me that tended to pull me downward, particularly whenever I was sitting down. I was at my computer for a little while (and began downloading the 2004 version of Dawn of the Dead on Ray's insistence from last night), but it was cold in there and I wanted to be down by the fire, so I sat with Gretchen as she did a crossword, listlessly surfing the web on my netbook. But slowly my eyes grew heavy and I had to lie down (placing my head on Gretchen's feet). It was only late morning at this point, but for some reason Gretchen didn't find this unusual. (I hadn't told her I was conducting a drug experiment.)
Eventually I woke up and went upstairs, where I found it possible to sit in a chair and watch an entire movie (Dawn of the Dead, which I had downloaded; it was watchable but unremarkable). Later I performed a number of WiFi-related experiments and endeavors. [REDACTED]
I kept craving food, particularly leftover macaroni and cheese Gretchen had made yesterday (it wasn't the batch that had done so well in Rosendale; it was an inferior but still quite edible batch made using an altered recipe that had come with Gretchen's brand new Vitamix blender.
At some point after 9pm, I tried drinking both gin and cheap Stewart's brand Mountain Brew Beer Ice. The former tasted like poison, and I could only drink a tablespoon or so, while the latter tasted like cleaning fluid. Clearly something unusual was still going on in my biology.

What do I take from my experience with 200 mg of Seroquel today? Well, I understand now why my father slept so much, demonstrated such a healthy appetite, and complained so much about panic attacks and his drug regime. Supposedly a patient gets used to Seroquel's side effects over time, but Wikipedia doesn't even mention panic attacks. Perhaps that only happens in a small fraction of people. I can also understand why a nursing home would prescribe it: Seroquel makes you want to sleep and eat, two things nursing homes have trouble getting their patients to do. I should mention that Seroquel also causes constipation; this was the first full calendar day (since taking the pill) that I did not feel the need to use the brown house. That would certainly be a feature in a situation where a patient depended on someone to change his diapers. I also think that the 200 mg dose is an unusually high one. Evidently that's a normal dose for treating a cranky old man nearing the end of his life.

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