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[ Personal Narratives ]

Once Upon a Time – White Stuff Overdose

January, 2015:

I had just found out my beloved cat had terminal cancer and I was faced with no option other than to have him put to sleep.

He fed continuously, yet was skinny as a rake. The cruel cancer ravaging his body refusing to let him gain the desperate pounds his body was crying out for.

I had taken him to the Blue Cross in August, told he had IBS, given special food and sent on my way. Three weeks prior to this announcement the RSPCA had too claimed IBS.

I myself had grown skinny, verging on death’s door. So assumption he had lost weight due to me losing weight was natural.

He was only 6 years old. A silver spotted Bengal. Beautiful with a personality of a human.

He’d slowly lost interest in hygiene, so I’d wipe his little face with wet wipes, clean any poo out of his fur, comb any dirt out and powder puffed his fur with scented M&S body powder with added glitter for my special boy.

He had numerous accidents and while he was told off, I duly cleaned them day after day. Although I felt bad telling him off, being litter trained is a must should anything happen to me and he needed to be rehomed. T**** saved my life in 2009, so doing this was the least I could do.

I purchased special food, weight gain oil, raw meat and tuna. He would always be waiting for my arrival and was a dedicated and loyal to me as I was to him.

But everything fell into place upon the cancer diagnosis. I cursed the last memory I had of him bringing me a toy to play and me refusing to play. He never asked again after that. I did his tarot cards during that last week and he got the lovers. I think that represented the love we had for each other.

I knew to get through this green mile type week I knew I’d need to be high. And on the Monday I decided to purchase White Stuff over my regular Blue Stuff.

White Stuff was a mixture of ethylphenidate and lidocaine. The rush was echoey, sending you into a tunnel of euphoria for the couple of minutes the rush hit you.

Me and Nigel stopped in Tooting on the way back from the shop and had a drink in Wetherspoons. I enjoyed a couple of bottles of Bulmers. In the toilet I quickly prepared a syringe. Pouring the white Stuff into syringe, I slipped and poured double the normal amount I would normally attempt to use in one go.

I drew up water from the bottle of Evan I had in my bag, found a vein, flagged and pushed the plunger.

I only used about 1/4 to 1/3 of the shot as it was clear this shot was particularly strong. It kept me going through my two Bulmers and it was only as we were about to leave did I feel the need to reload.

Knowing I was under surveillance at my parent’s house I decided to do the rest of the shot. Get as high as possible before getting high was under scrutiny.

Again I flagged and started pushing down. There was about 1/6 of the shot left in the syringe when I had my ‘oh shit’ moment.

The echoey, tunnel high hit me with a force far greater than what I’d ever had before. My heart started running marathon, the beats at such a speed that opposed to separate thuds they appeared to hum. No doubt beating like a hummingbirds wings. The tunnel engulfed my vision and the familiar black mist I had become accustomed to when over indulging in stimulants framed my vision.

‘Oh shot’ I thought again, this was big. Really fucking big. It was then I began to rock, completely out of control. The rocking motion picked up such force and speed, all the while ensuring my levels of petrified increased to an extent I had never experienced before.

I tried to stop rocking, but I had little control over my limbs. Blood began to fall like rain around the cubical from the shot I had just done.

I was rocking so violently I thought death was almost certain. I called for an ambulance to the other pub goers unfortunately enough to be the the toilets at the same time as me.

The rocking slowed enough for me to open the cubical door. Trousers still around my ankle I pleaded for an ambulance again.

‘Ambulance please. What’s happened’

‘I’ve overdosed’

I was struggling to talk my words jumbled, erratic and not coming out in the right order. I knew what I wanted to say but almost as if I had a stroke as the words were struggling to come out.

‘What’s in it?’

‘Effell-fen-eye-date and lid-O-caine’

‘How old are you’

‘Ferty free’

The pub manager soon arrived and someone fetched me a glass of water. My mouth was so dry it made the Sahara seem moist.

Seeing as I had attracted a crowd I decided pulling my trousers up would be good.

By now the rocking had stopped but my vision still made me feel as if I was on one of those little hover crafts that zip back and forth to the Isle of White.

I stagger and swayed as I covered myself regaining a little dignity. Almost falling I raised a hand to the wall to steady myself.

‘My friend, mixed race, blonde hair, sitting at the front of the pub near the door, please get him’

Nigel arrived a few minutes before the paramedics. The paramedics were clearly annoyed at having to treat someone who had done this to themselves.

‘Heart rate is 188bpm’

‘We’ll have to take her in’

I was shocked. A heart rate should be 60-80bpm and this was post seizure. I dread to think what it was during the seizure. Easily 220-250bpm.

‘Right can you walk?’

‘Yea, I fink oh’

I sipped some water which did nothing to rehydrate me.

I kept my gaze on the floor as I did the walk of shame through the pub. We boarded the ambulance

‘Right I’m going to need to put these stickers on you, so we can check your heart rate’

I had already been to hospital with taccardia so knew what they needed to do.

‘Um terri-gent ott you-pid. Telly-gent’ (I’m intelligent not stupid).

‘Eye oh-knee row-gressed oz eye-oh-vay-la-Bill-it-tease’ (I only progressed because bioavailabilities)

The paramedics looked unimpressed.

‘I’m ot a a-zey bum. I ave a ouse and or-gidge’ (I’m not a lazy bum. I have a house and mortgage)

The paramedics began to soften due to my continuous friendly, jokey comments and I slowly regained my speech.

‘I’m al-if-fied in hurst aid’ (I’m qualified in first aid).

‘Right I don’t think you’ll need the Blues’


‘No blue lights I’m afraid’

‘I ave to go ospital’

‘Yes fraid so. You’re still 180bpm’

‘St. George’s?’


‘No I can’t’

Tsega came to my mind. I only had seven

days left with him and I wanted to spend as much time as possible.

‘You have no choice I’m afraid, you have to’ came my stern reply.

‘Will I ave to stay the night?’

‘Most likely. Maybe longer’

‘But I’m always taccy, my heart rate is normally 120bpm’

The two paramedics looked at each other and raised their eye brows, clearly impressed at my medical slang. Taccy means taccardia.

When we arrived at the A&E ward for those brought my ambulance we had to wait for a bed. The paramedics waited with me whilst I continuously asked questions about their role.

Finally I was allocated a bay, and before they left they came and said goodbye. The bay was bed less but one arrived within 20 minutes.

I was quickly given a cannula, hooked up to a glucose drip, and reattached to a heart monitor using the sticky pads which the paramedics stuck to me.

The temptation to abuse the cannula was too much and I did prepare a couple of syringes which I could easily attach to the port which wasn’t attached to the glucose. This made the alarm spring into action, but after the visits with my finger I knew how to silence it.

This only increased my heart rate and was pretty stupid as I was well aware I needed it to go down to be discharged.

about 4am I requests to go for a cigarette. The doctor in charge was very against this.

‘Please don’t go’

‘I won’t be long’

‘You are going to come back?’

‘Yes I’ll leave my iPad if you want?’

‘No take it with you’

I disconnected myself from both the drip and monitor and walked towards the door. The doctor followed me supervising my cigarette. I’m pretty sure her concern was due to me having a cannula and being an IV drug user.

Nigel left me at 8am, I was still 120bpm. Although I knew this was normal they didn’t discharge me, hoping I would drop further.

Around 8.30am I saw one of the nurses from 24 Hours in A&E. I had seen her twice with my finger.

‘I saw your name pop up so I thought I’d come by. How are you?’

‘Fine, but clearly I was an idiot last night’

I explained about my cat’s cancer and how distraught I was.

9am I cleaned two rounds of toast and jam. The nurses clearly liked feeding up the skinny patients, something I knew from my previous visits.

At 10am I was discharged. I had already stripped my bed and left the bay as clean as possible for the nurses.

I knew for certain I didn’t want to go through that again. Should I ever intentionally overdose on drugs it would definitely be diamorphine.