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Update on Experiment IV

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It's been a long time since I posted an update on my experiment using Provigil to stay awake, since nothing seems to make me go to sleep reliably.

The reason for this is that I haven't taken any in a month. I stopped taking it regularly over a month ago because the dry eyeside effect was really, really bad towards the end of the day (I have dry eyes to being with). Basically, I just didn't feel like I was getting a lot out of it. It was making me slightly more alert and attentive, but not enough that it was worth the slight jitteriness and the dry eye. So now I have a huge supply of Provigil. I imagine that I might use it on occasion when I have a particularly terrible night's sleep and need to get stuff done the next morning, but I can't see using it as a regular thing.

So, this experiment is officailly over.

What is the next psychoactive drug that I should get perscribed for me? Is there anything really super cool on the horizon in the areas of sleep , wakefulness, or artifical happiness? Or maybe all three? I would love to take one pill that makes me sleep, lets me wake up energized and also makes me happy. If it also lowered my cholesterol level that would be awesome. It should be peppermint flavored as well.

Post your suggestions in the comments and I will see what my doctor can do. Oh, and none of this herbal crap. I want something made in a lab and cruelly tested on rats and monkeys before I cruelly test it on myself.

Too Wide-Eyed

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I decided to start my off-cycle early today. After four days in a row on this stuff yesterday was a bit o a trial. I am just so alert and so focused on stuff while working that my eyes feel like raisins. It's definately a side effect of the concentration enhancing effects of the modifinal - if I am not working at my computer, staring at the screen, my eyes are fine.

So I figured that I would give myself an extra day off and see how that goes.

No Sleep 'Til Brooklyn

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So last night was the first night that I have had a really hard time falling asleep since I starting taking the Modifinal. Stuck in bed tossing and turning until 2:00, or later.Really, really awful. I don't know if I can blame it on the drugs, since I occasionally just have nights like that. Also, I was dreading the morning, since I had to drink 1/2 a gallon of delicious, delicious vanilla flavored barium for a test this morning. Note that the word "vanilla" in the last sentence is used in exactly the same way that the word "tea" is used throughout the Hitchiker's Guide To the Galaxy.

I am hoping that the the barium (which after all sounds like it might be radioactive) will interact with the Modifinal, and result in me getting superpowers. I am a little worried, though, about what sort of powers Stan Lee would give some a hero created by wakey-wakey pill and gunk they use to make your organs show up clearly on a CT scan. I am thinking supervillian, for sure.

Ah well, just as long as Stan doesn't get to write my dialogue, I'm sure I'll be fine. Hopefully I will be drawn by Steve Ditko.

(Yes, I know, it was actually barium sulfate that I had to drink, and that i's inert and doesn't dissolve when ingested; let me have my dreams.)

Anyway, today I am pilled up again, and feeling fine. No noticiable effects from losing sleep last night, other than looking as tired as I should feel.

Living in the Future

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So, now we are rapidly approaching a week on this stuff, with no problems at all. The weekend went swimmingly - I didn't take any Provigil either day, and continued to feel great - I didn't end up sweating on the floor with the DTs or anything cool like that. It was just a perfectly normal weekend (though I did get a long way through Final Fantasy II - my concentration remains excellent!).

I do, however, feel like I am living out some sort of childhood fantasy inspired by watching the Jetsons and too many short films in school about what the Future (i.e. 1985) was going to be like. I know go to sleep by taking a pill and I wake up by taking a pill. All I need now is to eat by taking a pill and I am totally set. Oh, and a flying car - I need a flying car too. And a robot girlfriend.

Food Pill, Flying Car, and Robot Girlfriend. Then I am all set.

(I was highly amused when, on last week's Mythbuster's while testing a polygraph machine, they asked Grant Imahara whether or not he had ever considered building, or attempted to build, a female robot. Natually it when nuts when he said "No").

A Slight Headache

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Still going strong after three days. This afternoon I have a slight headache that came on a little after 3:00, but then again, most days I have a slight headache that starts a little after 3:00, so this is actually not bad - since I had two days without one. Two Ibuprofen seem to ne handling it just fine.

Of course, this still doesn't get across the effect this is having. When I say there isn't anything negative, or that it's not having that much effect, I mean compared to a normal person. Getting me to feel like that means it's having a HUGE effect. I will take dry eyes and a slight headache any day over being exhausted all the time.

The next two days I am going to try having "off days"; no reason to take the stuff on the weekend since I don't have to be smart and alert then (quite the opposite). Hopefully I will go into horrible withdrawal, but I doubt it.

The End of Day Two

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Pretty much like Day One, but better.

The reduced dosage seems to be about right. I continue to feel perfectly normal (for regular people - for me I feel great).

I even managed tro make it through a 3 hour and 15 minute conference call today without wanting to nod off even once. This was one of those really awful ones where you are the only person dialing in, and there are 18 people actually together at the other site, and they are all talking amongst themselves and it's impossible to follwo anything, but at any moment someone could ask you what you think. I managed not only to respond each time, but to actually know what I was being asked about!

This stuff is amazing. There has to be a downside, but so far there are no signs of it. I don't feel in anyway jumped up, or anything. My appetite is fine and I have no cravings for nicotine, alcohol or anything. I may even not feel too dragged out to go to the gym for an hour or so at lunch.

This HAS to be secretly doing something really, really awful to me...

Day two Begins Well!

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At 6:30 the cruel, cruel alarm went off. I ended up taking a Lunesta last night, which is not too bad, since I have to take one every night to fall asleep before 2:00am under normal circumstances. In this case, I was still asleep by 11:00 or so - not too bad. I was prepared for the morning though, and had a glass of water and a pre-split-in-two Provigil on the bedstand. I roused myself enough to swallow the pill and wash it down, then collapsed back onto the pillow. It wasn't so much a case of being tired as it was of the bed being far more comfortable than the cruel, cold outside world. So I lhid under the covers till 7:00 while the dogs frolicked about on the bed.

At 7:00am I could already feel the Provigil kicking in. Either that or I was just waking up. Hard to tell.

In any case it's now 10:30, and it's been 4 hours since I took the lowered dose and I feel great. Not jittery, just nicely awake. No noticible negative side effects and I have continued to get stuff done at work. It's nothing extraordinary at this dosage, but I have a feelign that this is what normal productive people feel like. I can't swear, but I think it's what I used to feel like back when I used to be smart.

This is, so far, a very successful experiment. Stay tuned though, it's always possible that I will go nuts, or maybe, develop superpowers.

Day One Ends...

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With no noticible problems. The rest of the day at work went great, and I got a lot done throughout the day. I didn't feel exhausted all day - which is a change. The dry eye was a non-issue once I noticed it and started taking blink-breaks.

Now it's a little after 9:00 - I've got all my laundry done, hung out with Ash and Jessica for a little while, and I actually feel like I could go to sleep without taking anything. We will see how that goes.

Day one though, I have to say, is a success.

Afternoon Check-Up

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So alert. So very, very alert.

So far it's been good, though very strange. I am really, really not tired at all, and I have been able to finish a bunch of things that I have needed to get to, while at the same time dealing with all the dumb stuff that comes up during the day without getting distracted from the important stuff.

Around lunch (which I was hungry for and had no trouble eating all you "oh, it's like you are taking amphetimines" people) the alertness seemed to be alittle too much, and a quick call to the doctor confirmed what I thought - this is powerful stuff, and I probably don't need the full 200mg dose, so tomorrow I take half and see how that goes. After lunch there was a brief (like, 15 minute) energy dip, as opposed to the usual hours of sleepiness, and now I feel great again.

One thing I have noticed though is they my eyes are getting dry from all the not taking breaks and concentration. Since my eyes tend to be dry anyway I'm not worried about it - I just need to make sure that I take breaks and that during my breaks I do something that doesn't involve staring at a screen, like oh, say, blogging does. That said, I will spend the next 4 minutes with my eyes closed thinking about all the stuff I'll be able to get done.

The Latest Experiment Begins

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So, this morning I got my prescription for modofinil, aka Provigil a drug that is supposed to be given to people with narcolepsy, sleep apnea, or to soldiers that have to remain awake for days on end. This might be the same stuff the American pilots were on when they bombed a wedding in Afganistan by mistake, and the time they bombed four Canadian pilots.. But they had been up for over 48 hours straight - I don't expect anything nearly so spectacular.

As background, I have horrible insomnia. I've used Ambien, Lunesta, etc to try to sleep, but it doesn't work. Either I am unable to fall asleep, I fall asleep and then wake up four hours later unable to go back to sleep, or I am completely knocked out and unable to get up and function in the morning. So, since the improving sleep quality things hasn't been working the decision was made to improve the quality of my wakefullness.

In order to provide an accurate estimate of how well this stuff works I am going to excercise a lot of diet and health hygiene. No smoking at all (though I am still on the patch - hopefully that interaction won't kill me. It'll be over in a month anyway), no caffiene, almost no sugar (don't use that much anyway - I'm a salt guy), and no alchohol on days when I take the stuff, or the night before I do. So, very, very little alchohol. I will continue to use Lunesta to fall asleep at night if I need to.

Today I got a prescription for a three month supply of Provigil (not covered by insurance), went to Walgreens, and by 9:00am I was taking the first 200 milligrams. The effects so far are...interesting.

By about 9:30 I just didn't feel tired; at all. Understand that I haven't felt "not tired" in about 8 years. I'm always tired to some degree. So this is pretty cool. Other than that, nothing. No nevousness, able to concentrate on work (better than usual in fact). All is good.

Now, at 11:20 am as I use my 15 minute break to write this I have actually managed to get a good amount of work done this morning, but I am feeling a little jittery - like I really, really have to "GET THINGS DONE", but also like I can get things done. I am definately feeling an effect fom the stuff, but it's not bad - I just feel really, really motivated. This is definately not liek the anti-depressents were, where I wasn't not sure if they were doing anything, or if it was just me dealing with the things I needed to deal with. This is definately doing something.

Oh, and I have to listen to music. I absolutely have to have my headhones on (currently playing Sigue Sigue Sputnik, to give you an idea where my head is). I also feel the need to drink a lot of water, though that might be psychosomatic.

Anyway, so far, so good, I guess. More later.

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