Sunday, June 21, 2009


My heart is racing, I can't sleep and there are butterflies the size of badgers doing somersaults in the pit of my stomach. It's midnight and I'm knackered but can't sleep. I'm speeding with no where to go, overwhelmed by an itchy anxiety for no good reason. My heart is galloping like a loosed horse, as though someone has jumped up behind me and shouted 'boo! This is why I've never really been a drugs user. Who wants to pay to feel like this when you can get it on prescription and it feels crap anyway?

It's a high alright but not a nice one: a wired, fingers on a blackboard sensation where you are overtaken by a directionless, exhausting energy that you can't use - after all you can't sit down for five minutes or focus on anything. Welcome to the world of the serial Ventolin user.

An unscientific enquiry by yours truly suggests it's been a tough week for asthmatics. For my own part, I've managed to get through the last few days on a cocktail of inhalers that may have helped me breathe but have left me like a cat on hot bricks. I've tried walking myself into exhaustion, forcing myself to relax and dosing myself on chocolate to bring up my blood sugar in an attempt to counteract the shakes. All to no avail.

The extent of my prescription induced tension was amply illustrated earlier today as I spent some time in a park with some happily relaxed and rather laid back people while I secretly (or not so secretly in some cases) tried to sit on the termites in my pants. Still, at least I could breathe.

The comforting news is I'm not alone. I'm part of a group on Facebook called 'Thanks to Ventolin I'm as high as a kite'. Finding that group was a revelation; it turns out that I'm not the only one with shaky hands and rollercoaster insides after a few too many doses. As I've long suspected, my reaction is pretty common. The group reports side effects such as feeling 'loaded', having 'crazy lucid dreams' and of course the infamous shakes.

Despite this all we Ventolin users love our little blue friend. Knowing my inhaler is in my bag , ready for anything, is always a great comfort and an essential part of my wellbeing and daily routine. I join my fellow Ventolistas in raising a trembling glass to the people who invented the drug. Without them my life would be very different, in fact I might not be alive! Yes, most of the time Ventolin and I are great friends and I join my Facebook group friends in saying I heart Ventolin!

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