Citation: Hatelet. "Painlessness and Fearlessness: An Experience with Xenon (exp114686)". Erowid.org. Aug 18, 2020. erowid.org/exp/114686
While other xenon reports have focused on xenon as a recreational substance, I wanted to cover some of the therapeutic aspects in my report--although of course there is no hard boundary between recreational and therapeutic usage of many substances.
I also dont have a ton of free time relative to how sick I am and how difficult it is for me to type so I'll try and keep this collection of experience reports parsimonious and to-the-point.
Every time I have taken a sizable dose of xenon, like a normal sized balloon full, at once, it hits basically immediately. What I notice is a pleasant warmth and tingling, and feeling of bliss.
The bliss is more contented and less more-ish than opioids.
It immediately removes a lot of my pain as well, and also basically all of my fear. In fact, that latter part is what makes it notable compared to similar substances such as ketamine. Without getting into my whole medical history, the three main symptoms I wanted to treat were pain, severe sound sensitivity (caused by brainstem compression which leads to excess glutamate in brainstem), and a sort of hyperadrenergic state caused by certain environmental triggers. I could go into the scientific details about all of the illness stuff in detail but that would be uninteresting to most.
Ketamine produces somewhat similar effects, in that it reduces sound sensitivity and kills pain, but it does not reduce the hyperadrenergic “wired-tired” state that I described earlier. In fact if anything, it sometimes heightens it. For me ketamine depends on literal set and setting a lot--like not just the psychological ambience of a set and setting, but the literal presence of environmental toxins or allergens. That may sound strange but I have a syndrome called “mast cell activation syndrome” which amounts to having idiopathic inflammatory responses to various environmental triggers without an actual IgE allergy to any of them.
Anyway, back to the experiential portion. Theres the bliss and dissociation /warmth that is common to nmda antagonists. I havent done nitrous so I cant compare. But it feels a lot more free of side effects than ketamine. It produces no nausea. It centers me in a fairly subtle realm of silent bliss. In fact, it feels so good I actually worry about overdosing on it and causing hypoxia, because I think that the level of bliss it causes makes one so fearless that one might not notice not breathing enough.
The pain relief is very thorough, so much so that when it wears off, I realize how much chronic pain I have. Note that I have taken various opioids, ketamine, and tons of aspirin, tylenol, etc for chronic pain, and nothing has been this dramatic, to the extent that it wears off and makes me feel every micro sensation of muscle strain and joint pain, how I'm slightly holding my neck tensely while looking at the computer even while lying down. I feel comfortable saying it obliterates pain and fear. The latter is so interesting. I feel like it could ease death related or even minor health related anxiety in hospital or medical situations.
I feel comfortable saying it obliterates pain and fear. The latter is so interesting. I feel like it could ease death related or even minor health related anxiety in hospital or medical situations.
In fact, despite the extreme expense, I have considered purchasing another tank for after my upcoming surgery, because it doesn’t just provide pain relief, it provides a feeling of weightlessness and fearlessness, that could be helpful in healing from a surgery, which is traumatic and painful.
The weightlessness is both physical and a general sense of light mood. I am not often in a laughing mood recently but when on xenon I at least crack a smile at just nothing or anything at all. Oh and, because its heavier than air, it does make your voice really deep for a bit, which adds to the mirth. I feel like when I do it I attain some hyper-transient state of enlightened bliss, moreso than most drugs. I know that one can’t attain true enlightenment through the use of drugs though.
Hmm, back to the sound sensitivity. Because I was a musician before getting sick, relieving sound sensitivity means a lot to me, music is one of the few pleasures I had while moderately ill, which I lost at one point. Various meds that lower glutamate/gaba ratio help some , like benzos, or ketamine, but often are dependence forming. The xenon makes sound feel immediately less intrusive, almost totally reversing sound sensitivity to the point where sound warmly envelops and penetrates me, and music is a pleasure again. I listened to various ambient/pop artists like Grouper and Beach House, while taking xenon. I felt the vibrations penetrate my chest area and wrap around me into a luminous reverberating void. Normally , despite loving music, b/c of my brainstem issue, I feel like sound intrudes on my ears/mind painfully and the vibrations feel jarring. But not on xenon. And I'm pretty sure the loss of sound sensitivity lasts longer than the gas is in me or binds to receptors. I mean the most dramatic effects of xenon usage are over within ten minutes, but a very solid “afterglow” of contented bliss, with less sound sensitivity and less pain, and less “wired” feeling; last all in all about one to two hours after usage. Maybe longer, theres no hard line when it stops working usually. I also sleep better nights that I take it.
I’ve been trying to leave out in depth details about my illnesses to avoid being doxxed b/c it would be a little bit shameful I spent so much money on xenon. That brings me to another part of the report, its ungodly expensive. Personally, I spent a month worth of disability money, some money a friend gave me specifically allotted for xenon, and my stimulus check, all together to buy it. I spent this much money bc I thought there was a chance xenon would be more than palliative and might help my disease course overall, bc of its neuroprotective effects. But I also figured that it would be a basically side effect free palliative that is gentler on my frail body than most meds that help with these issues, and I was certainly correct about that. I don’t think it will cure my illness, b/c its not like a past tbi or ischemic brain injury, its a “mild” (not in terms of symptoms, but in terms of not being deadly) ongoing injury of my brainstem via compression. So the compression has to be resolved surgically before I can see what is the ongoing issue versus what is lingering inflammation or excitotoxicity that may be treatable with xenon.
Another practical note I feel like I should mention: Since xenon is not metabolized by the body (its an inert gas, remember eighth grade chemistry?), it is excreted in breath. But not all in one breath unfortunately, to recapture all of it would be a pain in the ass. However if I rebreath into the balloons I use to dose it with, I can save a decent amount. I also get co2 with it, but thats not a big deal.
Anyway, summary: Wave of warmth, bliss, luminous void/aether. Lacks any of ketamines side effects. Less sympathomimetic than ketamine. In fact, its very sympatholytic/anxiolytic--causes deep obliteration of fear AND pain. Makes me tingly. Relieves hyperacusis. Makes voice cool and deep. Helps with sleep. Lacks neurotoxic effects of binging whipits. Seems like it could help with everything from pain issues to biotoxin-induced (see domoic acid) inflammation, to OCD, or general anxiety, or death related anxiety. Hard to choose a favorite drug but this is up there, definitely the best in its class (nmda antagonist dissociatives).
Possible downsides/neuroses about the process?:
1. My regulator had a warning about lead/cadmium and state of california known to cause something something bad… I was assured this is no big deal but with how much I’ve been doing this stuff daily I sorta wonder if the lead could be an issue.
2. Fucking expensive.
3. I didnt get an oxygen tank but thought I could rely on these cans of oxygen sold to consumers for altitude sickness or exercise called boost oxygen, but didnt think about how they are wide mouthed and dont go into a balloon easily. So I wanted to avoid hypoxia by premixing the xenon with oxygen, but I didnt manage to do that. Occasionally get a really mild pressure headache as xenon is wearing off and worry I overdid the going without oxygen thing. But I think this is mostly paranoia, I doubt I’ve hit them hard enough to do any hypoxic damage. I dont even reach an anesthetic state, or go out of body like people describe on nitrous. I just feel really warm and light and almost leave my body but dont.
4. It is hard to not think about how one is taking a 300 dollar breath of gas every time you hit it, feels wasteful, which encourages going too hard with the rebreathing. I would be more interested in repeating this experiment if someone told me how to get decent quality oxygen tanks that I can use to mix with the xenon next time.
Given that the lead/cadmium thing seems like just a neurosis, and the oxygen thing seems very solvable it seems to me that the only issue with xenon is ultimately the cost! It's one of those very rare drugs that is almost totally lacking in side effects. I mean people say that about cannabis but to me, xenon is far more well tolerated than cannabis.
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