birds sitting on power lines 

Sympathetic firing squad
Neuronal translation 
Fear percolated
Beneath the facade
Heart beating faster
Unconsciously related
Ruled by an unseen god

Today’s Mediocre Medical Poetry is brought to you by cocaine, methamphetamine, MDMA, amphetamines, and… sudafed.  If I see one more otherwise healthy young person with “mysterious” blood pressure spikes I just might need to punch something.


71 thoughts on “Wired

    • This is not about panic attack or anxiety, actually. It is about the sympathetic nervous system which governs “fight or flight”. Some drugs are called sympathomimetics (some of which I listed above), meaning their effects mimic what happens with the sympathetic nervous system: elevated blood pressure and heart rate for instance.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I get that you were not writing about panic attacks. I’m asking what a panic attack does to blood pressure, if it spikes it. You said “If I see one more otherwise healthy young person with β€œmysterious” blood pressure spikes I just might need to punch something.” *I* am an otherwise healthy young(ish) person who has experienced panic attacks. I’ll betcha my BP spiked while in the midst. So I wonder about what you said, and how that applies.

        Liked by 1 person

      • You are aware you have panic attacks. Most people know or they can tell me certain symptom triggers that alert me. They are very easy to figure out clinically speaking. It is the people who stare at me blankly claiming they have nothing wrong, absolutely no other symptoms and no other history or elevated blood pressure in the period of time I have been seeing them, who are the issue. Are there other rare things that cause elevated blood pressure? Sure. But they don’t show up on a drug screen. πŸ˜‰

        Liked by 2 people

    • What does a panic attack do to blood pressure?

      Throughout most of my life I have had normal, read good, blood pressure, and so I was shocked a couple of years ago when my BP started spiking. I could feel it pounding in my ears and my head and when I measured it, I found my systolic at 180! This happened at a time just after my wife fell and broke her pelvis. I never thought of being sensitive in this way, but there is no doubt that my subconscious was causing it. The BP being pretty consistently high, I went on meds for it. Mistake. I came close to passing out several times. Quit meds and pretty soon I was normal again. I now occasionally wonder just what my id is up to these days?

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Not guilty, I swear!

    I actually finally got my BPs under control after the preeclampsia with my pregnancy. (Never had a problem before that, even as an overweight smoker.) Lately I’ve been eating right–fruits, salads, fiber, lots of water, etc.–AND exercising. My reward? My interstitial cystitis flared up at the extra activity and the acidic content of the fruits and vegetables, rendering me completely useless. Sometimes, even when we try to do the right thing, we get the wrong results.

    But keep up the good fight, doc, honestly. Don’t hurt yourself swinging that punching arm.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Not that drug abuse is new…it isn’t. Having said that, how tragic it is that we lose so many people to such nasty substances!
    The answer isn’t all that easy and probably takes a very comprehensive approach that requires everyone to take part in the solution.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Most of these people really don’t see it as a problem. It is a hobby. Now some do self medicate, I’ll give you that. I understand those people. I may not be able to help them but I understand them. But I see less and less of that and more of the “recreational” use from people who believe discussion about side effects is here-say and an outright lie to prevent them from using something that really is not as dangerous as I would have them believe…. Those are the ones that frustrate me. A willful ignorance, a choice.


      • Delusional. They must believe they are immortal. Is their existence so boring, that they have to go for that kind of recreation? I guess it is hard for us to understand. I love my body, always have taken care of it and know it has its limits.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. LOVE the picture…. and with your phone…sheesh! I am a child of the late 60’s and 70’s…. I am certainly not going to pass judgement on kids using. I am not saying its OK…just can’t pass judgement since I get the escapement … however, I never will understand kids giving other kids racing fuel in a soda. WTF is wrong with the kids?

    Liked by 2 people

      • Erm? I graduated high school in ’76 and am kind of true to that era. There was cocaine. There were uppers & downers. Yellow Jackets were prominent. Sudafed could be purchased in bulk without ID, etc. When that stuff wasn’t around you could get a pretty good buzz on too much Nodoze (which I see is still being sold). Thing is, back then, there was no Internet. We had very little information. The anti-drug stuff was really over the top silly. I hung around a lot of really bright kids who did a lot of really dumb things and we didn’t know just HOW dumb it was. We knew you could OD but, you know, kids are immortal and that stuff doesn’t happen to people you know. When I think what we did… “Hey, take these!” “What are they?” “I dunno. I got them from Pam.” “OK.” (I’m not kidding.)

        As to an earlier comment, when on some of these things for “recreational” purposes, it felt just like a panic attack. I didn’t know that at the time. I was just hyper. Many years later I had actual PTSD and actual panic attacks and they took me right back to having too much ‘uppers’ in my system. I know that the Nodoze abuse screwed up my tolerance for coffee (ok, maybe not “know” but suspect). I also wonder about the early drug abuse and my later panic attacks, if somehow neurochemically I set the stage.

        Kids are always going to experiment with mind altering stuff. They’ve been doing it since the first grape fermented. This, in turn, is always going to drive the adultsβ€”who care about and for themβ€”insane. Circle of life. Luckily there IS more information out there now. Kids CAN be better informed (if only they listen). Parents are more clued into drugs because they also grew up with them.

        Now I need a martini. :p


  4. Addiction is a powerful, baffling, and cunning illness with different causes. I wonder if a lot of those “recreational” users were addicts in denial, or in the making. Addiction to the speedy drugs can take longer to notice than addiction to drugs with more obvious physical withdrawal symptoms.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “Mysterious”, my… foot as my grandmother would have said.
    I imagine there are some patients you’d gladly punch in the face, right?
    (And some monday morning meeting participants too?)
    Photo is lovely. I’ve always seen birds perched on wires as some kind of sheet music.
    I wonder if a musician could “play” your picture.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Actually, that I am interesting thought. I will have to sit down and try that at the piano. Truth be told, I really don’t want to punch anyone. That is more of a metaphor, really. Yell at them? Yes. But no physical violence. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes. Metaphorical all the way.
        Now, sit down at the piano? My, my… Another talent. Mes compliments. πŸ™‚
        Let me know how it turns out. At first glance (and I can’t really read sheet music anymore) it looks a bit monotonous. 😦

        Liked by 1 person

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