Friday, 8 January 2010

OA's One Man Experiment - Baclofen, Curing Our Alcoholism

We are where we are today because of the genius and bravery of one man, Dr Olivier Ameisen. Had he not made the mental leap towards Baclofen, had the courage to take it himself, and then the unbelievable bravery to ‘out’ himself to tell the World, then we would all be the worse off.

His was a one man experiment. What if it hadn’t worked for him? After all, Baclofen doesn’t work for everybody. And there is definitely a range of efficacy across takers. His failure would have been our disaster. No, serendipity worked in all our favour. Thanks to him.

So, where do we go from here? Dr Ameisen has striven for some considerable time to get further trials off the ground, but with little success. I pray that he will succeed, but fear that he will not. Notwithstanding that, others have said that irrespective of any trial results, there is absolutely no doubt that Baclofen works wonders for a very significant number of people, and is surely all that matters. Amen to that.

My point today, and my now longstanding frustration, is that currently, we are all undertaking what amounts to (probably) tens of thousands of ‘one man / woman’ experiments. It is true that forums such as MWO have improved communication and dialogue between fellow sufferers and Baclofen takers, but what they singularly fail to do is firstly to collect information in a systematic way; and secondly collate all this mass of information into a format that is accessible either to those contemplating taking Baclofen, or those already taking it who might now have a specific question.

That is precisely what I had hoped B4a would become. And it is getting better as more people join in. But, in spite of repeated requests and pleas, too few visitors take the trouble to provide even basic information. I intend to attempt to address this very shortly on the front page of the site. Fingers crossed.

The point is that, pending any formal research (which will take years to undertake, and as long to analyse, and probably then another year before it is published in a journal that none of will get to read), we are all our own experimental group. We probably already have a series running into tens of thousands of subjects. What a rich seam of information that would be if it could be tapped.

After all, if you pool enough anecdotes, eventually it starts to become evidence.

I will do all that I can, but you must help me too.

Thank you for your time.


Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Are You Too Young To Die, Too? - Baclofen - Curing Our Alcoholism

This TFTD is based around one of my favourite songs by Jethro Tull. I’ve no idea how many of you have heard of them, but they happen to be one of the most successful rock bands of all time. Believe it or not, they have consistently been in the top echelons of rock music (particularly live shows and tours) for 40 years. Their eclectic mix of folk and rock is unbelievably popular all around the world. They have been so successful that their leader (Ian Anderson) owns tens of thousands of acres of Scotland, with national parks, deer parks and salmon fisheries. The lot. I jest not. He is very much Lord of the Manor.

“Too Old To Rock n’ Roll, Too Young To Die” currently holds a special place in my heart. For obvious reasons!! Please watch the video. Ian Anderson has toned down his histrionics considerably, and is a very clever songwriter. He ends with the sentiment that “you’re never too old to rock n’ roll, but you are too young to die”. Amen to that, Mr Anderson.

The “positive” result from my liver scan (it wasn’t great, but it could’ve been so much worse) has given me a new lease of life. My enthusiasm for what’s left of my life has been totally rekindled. Everyday, I get a lot of private e-mails from people looking for help or direction. Or just a friendly voice. I find myself wholly up for the task again.

The last “Tip” message to me on MWO asked me “did (my) dog regularly eat my homework when I was at school?” I was so tempted to say “Of course not, that’s why I hold degrees in medicine and law. Why do you ask, did your mongrel Pit Bull have to help you with yours, Tip?”

But I didn’t. Now, that is a step forward! Ha!!

I’ve just got much more important things to think about and do.

Already in 2010, I know that I am far too young to die. However, I also now realise that I’m also not too old to rock n’ roll either.

Take care

Pip xx

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Uncomfortably Sentient, by Floyd Pink - Baclofen, Curing Our Alcoholism

A Happy New Year to you all, my friends.

Well, what a few days, and apparently I don't even know that much of what has gone on with MWO, and I don't intend to find out. Although, I am not as daft as I look, and much more astute than I appear. If they could all just see through their petty prejudices and silly little internal factions, they would see that I mean you no harm, and come in peace!! I'm not the alien that some of them imagine me to be.

2010 WILL be our year, my friends. This web site is going to change a little over the next week or so. Maybe even a couple of months. For the better, I hope. You see, I believe in it. I hope that the site will really become what you lot out there might want and need it to be. It would be quicker if you would let me know what you want it to provide for you. Maybe none of us really know what we want until somebody else serves it for us.

Maybe that's right. Hadn't thought of it like that until I wrote it just then.

Comfortably Numb is in my top 10 favourite tracks, with one of the very best guitar solos ever written (I think based upon a B-flat pentatonic scale, but don't hold me to that. That's how I try to play along anyway).

This New Year, sober and with Baclofen to keep me from drowning in a vat of the finest malt whisky, I'm beginning to feel ever so slightly Uncomfortably Sentient.

Leave that thought with me. I need to think about it.

Please take 9 or so minutes to watch and listen to Mr David Gilmour at his very finest, and write me a reply. Has sobriety opened your eyes to anything that you didn't quite expect? Was it a good thing? Or were you better off drunk?

I'm much better off sober. But I'm beginning to really understand again why I drank in the first place.

Interesting. I'm really happy, and getting healthier. But boy, am I thinking a lot.

Please join in that thread. Some of you will have much to add to that, I am sure.

Pip xx

Thursday, 31 December 2009

Dear God - I'm such a Luddite!!!!

I've just tried to welcome someone else to our site, and the damn thing has posted me as a follower of my own site, and I don't know how to get it to stop.

Maybe, I am out of my depth? What say you, Trix?


Happy New Year - Baclofen - Curing Our Alcoholism

Just be safe.

Then, be here.

I love you all. I'm not as cantankerous and crusty as I seem. If we were all together, we'd have a hell of a party tonight!! I would most definitely be the Court Jester. After all, I have to do it all again tonight. It's what I do. Shit!

Pip xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

My Perfect Cousin - Baclofen, Curing Our Alcoholism

Now, team, there is absolutely no point in you reading on unless you watch this. It just won't make sense.

It's the Undertones with "My Perfect Cousin"

If you don't listen to the words, none of this will make sense, if any of it ever does.

My cousin visited today, somewhat unannounced. He is the son of my aunt who died recently. He lives 6 hours drive away, and we hardly ever see each other now. We were totally inseperable until we both went to university.

He can see that I am not what I was. I can see that he is doing OK as an eminent medical microbiologist. He was always in awe of me (he told me today). I am now in awe of him (I told him today).

I played him this video. We couldn't work out who was who. We guessed that the dynamic just might have reversed, although we didn't quite word it like that! But, boy, did we laugh.

You must all have brothers, sisters, cousins. Can you work it out?

Hope that made sense.

Pip xxxxxxxx

I think that I might start posting these on MWO, you know!!!!!!

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

The Hotel California - Baclofen, Curing Our Alcoholism

A slight change of tack for the New Year. I know that only MaryAnne, God bless her, ever looks at the Song For The Day that I put on my Baclofen Diary. But the "Eminence Front" made me realise how many songs are written by, and for, people like you and me. And the important messages they may hold. After all, they are often written by highly intelligent, creative, motivated, otherwise successful tortured souls. Does that ring a bell with any of you?

So, as the mood or my mojo takes me (Ha!! - you would have to know me personally to know how ridiculous and tongue in cheek that is!!), I will use songs as the basis for my TFTD.

Today's is obviously not precisely to do with alcoholism. It goes much deeper than mere booze. But I use it as a metaphor for us, if a very diluted one!!

Welcome to the Hotel California. You can check out any time you like,
but you can never leave.

Many would have us believe that we are entombed in a problem from which we cannot escape. If, we're lucky and strong and supported we might, just might, come to terms with our entrapment. If so,, then we might, just might, live fruitful lives, doing as little harm to those around us as possible.

Many others just think that we're all kidding ourselves and that self-destruction is our inevitable path (be it tragically unfortunate and pre-ordained, or pathetically self-inflicted). To quote the song "we're just prisoners here of our own device".

Are they right? Don't bet on it. I don't believe that they are. I believe that we can escape.

Much on MWO is talked about our 'switch'. Personally, I see it these terms. It's probably just semantics and pedantics. But, after all, I'm a drunk. We're very good at both of those, especially when we're sober!!

I see my 'switch' as being the realisation of my persoanlity problems. It was that that put me in an alcohol cell. With knowledge of the 'switch' comes the 'key'. The 'key' out of my own cell is Baclofen. And that key is bigger or smaller for each of us. Others may need a different key. But our own switch never changes.

That's how I see it, and it works for me. Baclofen stops those voices calling from far away, waking me up in the middle of the night, just to hear them say......

So, don't put any more Pink Champagne on ice for my benefit!!!

I know that you won't (well, except MaryAnne!), but please now watch this amazingly special version of Hotel California. It is so fantastic. I couldn't believe it when I found it. MA thinks that Mr Clapton is a great guitarist. Personally I don't and never have. Just watch any of his videos. Think how good he could've been if he ever used the little finger of his left hand, except when playing chords. Just look at Joe Walsh and Glenn Frey on this version of Hotel California. Now, these chaps CAN play.

Let me know what you think about my TFTD.

Pip xx