Kindling

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IV into arm

Six months after my decision to recenter I decided during a social meetup to have a few drinks to join in on the celebration. Four drinks in four hours is reasonable yes? I discovered my tolerance was still very high, and didn’t feel any noticeable effect. Over the next few days I noticed some slight heart palpitations and an elevated pulse. I used a number of techniques to reduce these symptoms including breath control, the Vagal maneuver, and the Valsalva maneuver. I didn’t think much of it at the time but over the week I noticed the effect getting stronger and harder to control, I felt as if my blood pressure and heart rate was dangerously high and went to an emergency room but first took a dose of Magnesium just in case.

The first one I visited was useless treated it as just anxiety and said:

I don’t know what you expect us to do about it.

ER Doctor


How about a blood test at a minimum? If I’m imbalanced I’d like to know.

Myself


We don’t do those here.

ER Doctor

Obviously my resulting anger didn’t help my blood pressure… I decided to go to a far larger hospital ER. The waiting room was maybe 1/3rd full with a police presence and I had to wait between one and two hours. A woman came out into the waiting room with a blood pressure machine and began to take my measurement. Being a digital display on a stand it was obviously visible to the rest of the waiting room and a violation of HIPAA. Whatever, one problem at a time.

After another 30 minutes my heart rate and pressure were still elevated when I was finally taken to the back room. I had a team of six performing a very high level evaluation: EKG, stethoscope, blood pressure, patient history, and blood drawing. Meanwhile opposing street gangs apparently started a fight in the waiting room where I was just at. Eventually the police subdued and removed them. The nurse who was trying (and I emphasize trying) to take my blood at the time told me it was a common occurrence at this location and she had to more than once dodge thrown objects and such.

I was placed in a room with automated monitoring for a few hours away from the medical staff. After a couple hours more of breath control, meditation and other maneuvers my blood pressure and heart rate returned closer to normal. Afterwards the doctor came in and said everything looked fine without any suggestions or more information besides the results of my blood-work and an excessive bill.

In case you’re curious, a bag of saline alone cost $461, and the overall bill about $6000 for the pleasure of being told nothing useful. At least I got my blood-work report. Patient heal thyself…


After significant research afterwards I came to the conclusion that what I experienced is referred to as Kindling. Basically, while I’ve effectively removed alcohol and caffeine from my diet and removed any desire for it, my body chemistry is still adapted towards being able to handle a lot of it; hence my ability to have a decent amount as mentioned above without even getting a buzz. This significant amount all at once followed by none at all lead to an imbalance that took time to normalize again. I’ve linked to a withdrawal guide before and taking another glance at it made it obvious in retrospect:

Alcohol Withdrawal Timeline

So the lessons learned:

  • I am good at exercising abstinence, not temperance
  • Six months is not long enough to return to a well adapted state
  • Universal healthcare won’t solve the problem of hospital price gouging nor medical incompetence
  • The ER rooms near me are ghettos regardless of the appearance.
  • You’re often your own best advocate

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