Citation: Seajie. "New Year's Drive: An Experience with Caffeine (exp39389)". Erowid.org. Dec 25, 2006. erowid.org/exp/39389
||(pill / tablet)
I'm 19, around 135lbs, no prescriptions, usually takes vitamin c regularly, but haven't for about a week prior to this report(simply because of schedule changes, and Iíve forgotten it), also I have no experience with drugs other than caffeine, and though I don't 'disapprove' of them, I find at this point in my life they just don't fit in with me,
Around 8:30pm on new year's eve I ate a chicken dinner at a friend's house that was very filling. I then slept till 11:00pm, then woke for new year's. Around 12:15 am I decided to go home, and since I had an hour drive and I was a little frightened of drunks, I wanted to be completely awake the entire drive. I have a hard time with driving at night, and frequently experience fatigue, so I usually avoid it. Being new year's, though, I was stuck with it. So I took 4 no-doze, each containing 200mg of caffeine. As I was taking them, I became very awake. I attribute this to a placebo effect, or possibly nervousness with taking four (I generally take two and call it good, but I was worried about two not doing the job).
I should also note that two of the pills were expired. I stopped and purchased the pills earlier that day, and since the outer wrapping you purchase them in doesn't have the expiration on it (only the inner wrapping does) it was hours before I discovered two of them went bad in Aug 2003. Either way, I thought I would need them. The other two were good until July 2006(which should give the reader an idea of how long the 2003 ones were sitting on the shelf, probably since 2001 or 2002). The first half hour of the drive I didn't feel tired, or restless. I felt very focused on the road and I even enjoyed some pop music, which usually irritates me very much. I noticed the local pop station was playing a lot of blues/honkey tonk pop, and I really appreciated it. Usually when driving, music can be hypnotic for me and I focus on it and not the road (therefore, a need for talk radio), but I had no problem giving complete attention to both. I did feel tightness in my chest, which I've always felt previously when I've taken caffeine (probably 8 or 10 times in the last 6-8 months, always only 2 pills).
About 45 minutes into the drive I started to experience some slight jitters, which grew to fairly major twitches quickly. I was still focused on the road, and I still enjoyed the music, but when I started to sing along, I found I seemed to need to do it very loudly, which caused me to feel a little light headed. needless to say, I tried to stop singing, which was an urge that kept repeating itself. I found the jittering/twitching was relieved if I shook my knees back and forth. I found the tightness increasing and felt the need to burp small burps very frequently and most of the time I couldn't burp, which caused a bit of a panic feel, but I didn't have a hard time coping with it.
I got home ten or fifteen minutes after 1:00 am, new year's day. I was very happy about making it home without drowsiness and being alert so as to avoid less alert drivers (I kinda have to assume all other drivers are drunk, and try to keep as much space as possible around me) and I attribute this success to the caffeine. On the other hand, when I went for the door handle of my car my hand was shaking fairly violently and I had a hard time getting out of my car and walking normally. I felt the focus and clarity that I experienced on the road go away. I made it in the house and had a glass of milk and some pecan pie (I assume a full stomach would help take down some of the effects) but I felt wide awake and jittery. I watched a tv show but had a hard time sitting through it, and so I decided to get online and catalog the events that had taken place on a website. From 2:30 to 3:00 A.M. I typed this text, and I'm still feeling jitters, but they're not quite as intense as an hour ago. I think partially sitting down and working out my thoughts has calmed me.
On the other hand I don't think I will be able to sleep. I should note that I took my pulse around 1:30 to 2:00 (when I was feeling a lot of jitter and tightness in my chest) and found that it was 60bpm, exactly what it is on normal days. I don't think at any time my heart rate sped up, but I had the sensation that it was from the tightness. I believe this to be all the information I can give from my experience. I no longer feel panicked and although I am still shaking I'm not worried about any health problems occurring (I.e. rapid heart beat) which concerned me briefly in the car. I also apologize for any confusing wording or misspellings in this, as it was rather difficult to type with the jitters and lack of focus.
Conclusions I have made from this are that I could have had the same amount of focus from probably one or two pills without the terrible side effects and although I am going to hate the lack of sleep, it was worth it this single time to ensure a focused drive home. I don't think I will take more than 2 at a time in the future. I also don't think of caffeine as a recreational device, but more of a tool to be used only when neccesary.
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