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Travis J. Smith
07-29-2008, 05:35 PM
In my story my MC has the ability to time travel while he sleeps. His mind/consciousness separates from his body and moves freely through time. He starts out doing this unknowingly; he is unaware of it and doesn't even remember his travels like he would a dream. This uncontrolled time travel results in splitting headaches for him following each trip. When he takes painkillers - starting with aspirin - for his headaches he starts to gain control over the travels. The more he takes, the more control over them he has.

So, now that I've prefaced my question, I was wondering if anyone here knew things such as what dosage of common painkillers can kill the average person, what the side effects of too high a dosage are for them, etc.

CreativeFae
07-29-2008, 06:57 PM
I would try checking one of the posion control sites...they should have that kind of information listed somewhere.

PS. welcome to the board

Danger Jane
07-29-2008, 07:42 PM
You can find this stuff pretty easily--just google "aspirin overdose", "ibuprofen overdose," etc.

StephanieFox
07-29-2008, 07:53 PM
Before killing him, these drugs would burn a hole in his digestive system. Aspirin would cause bruising and stomach bleeding, at the least. Ibruprofin would cause kidney damage.

mscelina
07-29-2008, 07:59 PM
depends on a lot--the person's metabolism, body height/weight proportion, history of heart disease and so forth. I note that you said 'starting with aspirin.' Are you planning to increase types of medications from there? If you need info on a whole variety of narcotic pain-releivers, I can help there.

You get tolerant very quickly--with all of them. You could still kill yourself with them, but it would have to be deliberate instead of accidental.

Travis J. Smith
07-29-2008, 08:00 PM
Seems I should have went with a more concise search term/phrase. I was searching for how many aspirin it would take and kept getting nothing but people asking questions on answers.yahoo . . . people that the responders thought were suicidal.

Thanks for turning my searching in the right direction.

Edit: In response to mscelina, here's a summary of what happens in regards to the MC's use of aspirin and other painkillers.

He tries to slip a couple aspirin during work, but everyone at his office is under constant supervision and popping a couple aspirin, or any drug, harmful or not, during work isn't allowed. He explains his headache problems to his boss who demands he see a doctor to figure out what's causing the headaches.

The doctor runs an MRI to be safe because the headaches are quite severe and frequent, but finds nothing out of the ordinary. He says he'll write him a prescription for a couple medications so he can hopefully find a medication that helps more than aspirin. The aspirin was rather ineffective because, as he tells the doctor, he took two more when he was waiting to see him, for a grand total of four. The doctor says he wants to see him again in a week so they can determine where to go from there.

So far, I've been very vague about the pills he's been taking, except for the aspirin. All I've talked about is their packaging and color.

I bet bits of that are unrealistic, but I'm the sort of writer that writes from start to finish, then goes back and researches things. The reason I'm asking this question now is because without an answer it would make it a little difficult to continue with the story.

joyce
07-29-2008, 08:40 PM
I worked in a pharmacy a hundred years ago and I remember the pharmacist telling me he once took eight aspirins to stop a toothache and he lived. Since they thin your blood, your character might not want to get a serious cut.

Ageless Stranger
07-29-2008, 08:41 PM
I looked into this once and I'm pretty sure you'd have to take more than yo could reasonably by accident. I remember when I broke my arm I took a whole box. Nothing happened.

You could always have him get a prescription for a much more dangerous painkiller.

Travis J. Smith
07-29-2008, 08:48 PM
He falls and hits his head on the coffee table giving him a minor cut that left a small baseball sized pool of blood, but that is before his use of the pain killers starts to rise.

And later on he collapses to the floor, unconscious, and breathes in small bits of glass that are just centimeters away from his nose on the floor. His nose does bleed quite a bit, but he lucked out again because he had gone easy on the pain killers before this happened.

Edit: Right now, I plan for him to be put into a drug induced coma by the doctor that's prescribing him these medications in a rather careless manner. The doctor begins to see the distinct possibility that he is an addict that used him to get the prescription or he's becoming one. He becomes quite enraged by this and threatens to put him into a drug induced coma if he's given any reason to strongly believe that he really is an addict. He'll put him in a coma so he can run all the tests he needs/wants to to determine the situation and to force him into a period of about a week where he's clean. This all makes sense in the doctor's mind, at least.

Plan is, he'll give the doctor a reason to put him into the drug induced coma on purpose so he can finally be freed from all restrictions and travel through time freely. The anesthetic I plan to use for this is Ketamine. I was reading an article about a kid that has a chronic pain disorder and his only hope of treatment was to be put into a drug induced coma for all of it. It lasted about ten days and when he came out of it he had "violent hallucinations" that made his pulse and heart rate skyrocket. I don't have any plans yet for what will take place once he's out of the coma, however.

dirtsider
07-29-2008, 09:21 PM
You have to take a very large amount of aspirin in order to overdose. A kid at my high school OD'd and died this way.

Danger Jane
07-29-2008, 10:13 PM
My sister was on Naprasin for a few months and after a while, she started becoming extremely nauseous and sleeping all the time, a combination of the pain from her hip problem and the sickness from the pills. So mom forbade her from taking any more Naprasin.

Little did Mom know, sister started taking Advil instead. Not even the recommended dosage--maybe four pills every three hours. I know the doctor told her Advil is a weaker form of Naprasin, because he prescribed it to ME last year and he told me that same thing.

All her symptoms returned with a vengeance. I had to go check on her to make sure she was alive and everything when she napped.

(btw, I wasn't suggesting Google to be curt--I had to look up the same thing a few months ago and found many resources just by searching medication name + overdose)

Travis J. Smith
07-29-2008, 10:20 PM
Sorry to hear about your sister. Really, I am.

No reason to apologize for the medication + overdose search suggestion. I'm grateful for it.

Danger Jane
07-29-2008, 11:35 PM
Sorry to hear about your sister. Really, I am.

No reason to apologize for the medication + overdose search suggestion. I'm grateful for it.

Awesome. She's fine now, except for her hip problem...she's lucky she didn't get an ulcer, or hemorrhage or something. Wouldn't listen to Mom the Nurse who was very strict with her painkiller instructions, so at least she learned part of her lesson before going off into the real world, right?

(She still tries to sneak in extra Tylenol before 4 hours, even though they don't work at all...)

L M Ashton
07-30-2008, 06:25 AM
Keep in mind that how it'll affect a person is HIGHLY variable.

I have a genetic condition that means that painkillers essentially don't work on me. Got it from my father, and painkillers don't work on him, either. When my father had his brain aneurysms (four), he took an entire bottle of aspirin and it didn't even touch the pain. Nor did the many many other painkillers he took.

I've been getting migraines since I was four, and they started getting really nasty when I hit puberty. During a particularly bad one, I also took around an entire bottle of aspirin, plus some 222s, 292s, and a few other things, in less than eight hours. Didn't touch the pain and had no noticeable side effects. Over the years since then, I've tried many painkillers, and at best, they work for maybe half a year and then stop working, but most just don't work at all ever. (And, to make matters worse, I have chronic pain.) As well, local anaesthetics don't work at all on me or on about half of those with my genetic defect, and general anaesthetics have serious and problematic side effects.

One painkiller that I took - Imitrex (for migraines) - ended up with me in the hospital, dizzy, nearly passing out, with zero coordination and muscle control. Another that I took - cafergot - gave me pretty wild hallucinations.

GeorgeK
07-30-2008, 11:59 AM
I have a genetic condition...

Do you know the name or mechanism of this disorder?

GeorgeK
07-30-2008, 12:05 PM
Plan is, he'll give the doctor a reason to put him into the drug induced coma on purpose

I think he'd have a very hard time convincing a legitimate physician to do that. A drug dealer on the other hand would probably only ask to be paid.

L M Ashton
07-30-2008, 02:48 PM
Do you know the name or mechanism of this disorder?
Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, Hypermobility type.

I've written about this in other threads, like "Surviving the Rack" in this forum and others here. It's a genetic collagen defect that can produce a variety of seemingly unrelated medical problems & symptoms, which can, of course, make it all the more difficult to diagnose. Or for doctors to believe that yes, it exists, yes, I do have it, no, I'm not kidding, and yes, you really can damage me by twisting my limb that direction.

Travis J. Smith
07-30-2008, 03:55 PM
This doctor isn't a legitimate physician. His judgment is skewed, as made clear by how quick he is to write prescriptions for the MC. Early in the story, after the MC first visits the doctor, he sideswipes the side of the very end of the steel barrier on the side of the road. This barrier smashes through the side of his car and his arm becomes trapped between the barrier and arm rest. In the hospital after this the doctor pays him a visit and gives him more than double his earlier supply . . . a supply he hadn't even touched at that point. He did this even though the hospital planned to release him with some medications to help with the pain.

But he finally reaches a point where he stops being gullible and his frustration with himself throws all his legitimacy out the window. The MC could threaten his image, his career. Simply put, the doctor is a character with a lot of character flaws. With those flaws, he becomes more than just a minor, static character. Rather than sitting back while aiding and abetting the MC, he takes action.

GeorgeK
07-30-2008, 08:20 PM
Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, Hypermobility type.
.

I couldn't find anything about EDS causing pain meds to not work. It may be that my books are out of date, but even on-line they talk about using pain meds and they mentioned all the different classes from non-steroidals to opiates and even local anaesthetics. Assuming you don't have a liver and kidneys that simply chew these meds up ridiculously fast which is unlikely given your reactions to cafergot and imitrex, the only mechanism I can think of is that you've been terribly underdosed or you have some malabsorbtion syndrome. They did mention that some of the EDS patients have neuropathic pain for reasons that they don't yet understand and I know from personal experience that the opioids don't work on mine (I have neuropathic pain not from EDS). What worked the best for me was neurontin, (available generic) but I unfortunately became allergic to it. Have you seen a pain specialist?

Regarding the local, what a lot of doctors seem to have forgotten from med school is that most of the locals will be deactivated by the pH caused by an abcess, so if you got the local to drain an abcess, that may have been the problem. They need a higher level of block (meaning numb the nerves before they get into the infected tissues).

L M Ashton
07-31-2008, 05:34 AM
George, EDS is not commonly known or understood, even among the doctors who are supposed to know about it. It isn't, therefore, surprising to me that it's not covered in textbooks. It's not a common condition by any stretch. It's also not studied, as far as I know. There's a complete lack of interest in it by the medical community.

As for pain specialists... Here? I can't find a doctor who's even heard of EDS here. If they haven't heard of EDS, then they have no idea what can affect me and how. They have no idea how to treat me. And I seriously doubt there's even one pain specialist in this entire country. Doctors I've seen here have been systematically rude, unwilling to listen to anything, and generally unhelpful in the extreme. Just getting a gyno to do a pap smear was an argument in and of itself.

And with the local - nope, never had any because of abcesses. I'm talking dental work - lots and lots of dental work (fillings, for the most part) - along with broken toes type of locals. No infected tissues there.

Look, I'm not making this stuff up just because you're not finding info on it.

GeorgeK
08-02-2008, 08:51 AM
George, EDS is not commonly known or understood, even among the doctors who are supposed to know about it. ...

Look, I'm not making this stuff up just because you're not finding info on it.

I'm not trying to say that you are making it up. I'm just trying to deduce the origin. (no offense, but it's a bad sign when doctors find you interesting. It means it's something weird) For all the meds you mentioned there are so many pathways in a variety of organs that it has to be something proximal. You probably are not absorbing something or maybe overexcreting something. What kinds of foods do you crave and or absolutely abhor?

You've probably already heard this, but Vitamin C supplements tend to be prescribed in Collagen Vascular and Connective Tissue disorders?

Ravenlocks
08-02-2008, 11:01 AM
He tries to slip a couple aspirin during work, but everyone at his office is under constant supervision and popping a couple aspirin, or any drug, harmful or not, during work isn't allowed. He explains his headache problems to his boss who demands he see a doctor to figure out what's causing the headaches.
I have trouble believing in an office where you're not allowed to pop a couple of over-the-counter painkillers. Many offices keep them around, along with other medical necessities such as band-aids. After all, they're legal, and if you've got a minor ache or pain such as a headache obviously you might choose to take a painkiller. What kind of work does he do?

Part of your story seems to hinge on this point, so you wouldn't want it to be unbelievable.

L M Ashton
08-02-2008, 02:52 PM
I'm not trying to say that you are making it up. I'm just trying to deduce the origin. (no offense, but it's a bad sign when doctors find you interesting. It means it's something weird) For all the meds you mentioned there are so many pathways in a variety of organs that it has to be something proximal. You probably are not absorbing something or maybe overexcreting something. What kinds of foods do you crave and or absolutely abhor?

You've probably already heard this, but Vitamin C supplements tend to be prescribed in Collagen Vascular and Connective Tissue disorders?
Yeah, I know - freak of nature and all that. Here's the thing, though. It's at the point where it feels like you're trying to use me as a science experiment or circus sideshow act and I'm not willing to do that. Nor am I here for your further education or to satisfy your curiosity.

If you want to know more about EDS, there are a number of sites that are dedicated to EDS, and some that have forums. You can ask your questions there.

And this ends my participation in this discussion unless questions relating to an ongoing writing project arise.