Friday, November 28, 2008

Drugs and Death

Just about everybody I know has attempted suicide at least once. But few attempts have been more pathetic than mine. Here’s the story.

In February, 1997 I went for a dental checkup and even though it was normal I had a bad feeling about it. Later on that night one of my molars started hurting. I tried to ignore it but it got progressively worse. I took some aspirin and that helped. I kept taking aspirin, even after the dentist told me to take Aleve, which did no good, then Tylenol, which also was no help. It got to the point that I was taking 12 aspirins a day. I told my friend Peter and he told me to stop it, because too much aspirin would make me bleed internally and die.


I went back to the dentist twice and he couldn’t find any reason why my tooth hurt. No infection, no cavity, no nothing. I decided to kill myself because I just couldn’t stand it. I figured either I would die now in horrible pain or die later in horrible pain from the overdose of aspirin, so I might as well get it over with.

My plan was to stand outside in nothing but a night shirt and freeze myself to death. March in Chicago is one cold, nasty month and so I had my pick of days to do the deed. One evening I waited until it was dark enough so that I wouldn’t be noticed and went outside wearing the night shirt and waited to die. However, I only lasted about 5 minutes. I had to go back inside…because I was too cold!!!

The next day, having run out of bright ideas on how to kill myself, I called my dentist and demanded morphine. He said no.

However, the story has a happy ending. My dentist figured out what the problem was and, upon realizing I was seriously in pain, prescribed Tylenol with codeine. That kept me in a good mood until he could do a root canal.

The following year I taught myself to play the accordion and my suicidal days were over.

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