Sunday… Quiet day here at Caer Llwydd. Rowan on the X-box, Mary in and out. I am working on a website. Life is slow in that late August way. A bit overly warm. I long for a mountain lake! I should take myself up on these desires once in awhile.
Ironing out the last details on the radio. Hopefully in the next couple of days. It seems we may take it off shore. This of course will mean a general move anyway, as I think our time here at Bluehost.com is a bit done. Once bitten and all that.
On the Menu:
Pain sufferer turns to ‘shrooms
Poetry: Robert Graves…
I hope you enjoy this entry. I am remembering/and putting together another tale for your enjoyment, about another time.
Every New Year’s Eve and July 4th, Bob Wold brews a tea containing a psychedelic drug from “magic mushrooms.”
Wold takes a small dose of the drug psilocybin — just enough to make sounds more distinct and colors a bit brighter. “I get a couple giggles out of it,” he said. “It’s like having two or three beers.”
But Wold doesn’t take “shrooms” for the four-hour high. Rather, he has found that psilocybin is the only drug that prevents one of the most painful conditions known to man, cluster headaches.
Hundreds of cluster headache sufferers have begun to self-medicate with psilocybin and LSD. And now Harvard Medical School researchers plan to do a carefully controlled study of the drugs.
Wold, a 53-year-old construction contractor, began suffering cluster headaches about 25 years ago. He would get four to six headaches a day, each lasting 45 to 60 minutes. Each cluster period would last three or four months. “The pain is similar to if you hit your thumb with a hammer,” he said.
Five or six years ago, Wold read an Internet posting from a man who said his cluster headaches went away after he took LSD for recreational purposes. Word spread, and other patients began taking LSD or psilocybin.
LSD can cause vivid hallucinations and distortions of color, sound, touch, etc. It also can impair judgment, leading to injury. Afterwards, users can suffer acute anxiety or depression. Psilocybin can cause vivid distortions of sights and sounds and emotional disturbances, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
Wold had tried about 75 legal drugs, but none worked very long. Figuring he had nothing to lose, he tried psilocybin, and found that two doses a year worked wonders. He orders spores over the Internet and grows mushrooms at his Lombard home.
“For the past five years, I’ve been pretty much pain-free and headache-free,” he said.
Wold has formed a support group, ClusterBusters, to promote research on psychedelics. The group has heard from about 400 patients who have used psilocybin or LSD.
In a preliminary study, researchers from Harvard’s McLean Hospital surveyed patients who had used psilocybin or LSD. Twenty-five of 48 psilocybin users and seven of eight LSD users reported the drugs prevented the entire cluster period when headaches normally occurred.
“No other medication, to our knowledge, has been reported to terminate a cluster period,” researchers wrote in the June 27 issue of the journal Neurology.
No one knows why psychedelics might work. But Harvard researcher Dr. John Halpern noted that the drugs share a similar structure to medications that have been approved for cluster headaches.
However, researchers acknowledged several limitations to their study, including the possibility that people with good outcomes were more likely to participate than those with poor outcomes.
Halpern and colleagues are planning a follow-up study in which a psychedelic drug would be compared to an inactive placebo.
Psilocybin and LSD are Schedule 1 drugs, meaning they are illegal unless used in research approved by the DEA and Food and Drug Administration.
Halpern warns that psilocybin and LSD “are drugs of abuse and are potentially quite dangerous. . . . My advice then is to not self-medicate but to respect our laws and to help us properly and safely conduct the research needed to find out if these substances work for real.”
Poetry: Robert Graves
The Persian Version
Truth-loving Persians do not dwell upon
The trivial skirmish fought near Marathon.
As for the Greek theatrical tradition
Which represents that summer’s expedition
Not as a mere reconnaisance in force
By three brigades of foot and one of horse
(Their left flank covered by some obsolete
Light craft detached from the main Persian fleet)
But as a grandiose, ill-starred attempt
To conquer Greece – they treat it with contempt;
And only incidentally refute
Major Greek claims, by stressing what repute
The Persian monarch and the Persian nation
Won by this salutary demonstration:
Despite a strong defence and adverse weather
All arms combined magnificently together.
When outside the icy rain
Comes leaping helter-skelter,
Shall I tie my restive brain
Snugly under shelter?
Shall I make a gentle song
Here in my firelit study,
When outside the winds blow strong
And the lanes are muddy?
With old wine and drowsy meats
Am I to fill my belly?
Shall I glutton here with Keats?
Shall I drink with Shelley?
Tobaccos pleasant, firelights good:
Poetry makes both better.
Clay is wet and so is mud,
Winter rains are wetter.
Yet rest there, Shelley, on the sill,
For though the winds come frorely,
Im away to the rain-blown hill
And the ghost of Sorley.
I’d Love To Be A Fairy’s Child
Children born of fairy stock
Never need for shirt or frock,
Never want for food or fire,
Always get their hearts desire:
Jingle pockets full of gold,
Marry when they’re seven years old.
Every fairy child may keep
Two ponies and ten sheep;
All have houses, each his own,
Built of brick or granite stone;
They live on cherries, they run wild–
I’d love to be a Fairy’s child.