Citation: Scared2death. "Dying Friend?: An Experience with Diphenhydramine & Caffeine (exp15286)". Erowid.org. May 20, 2005. erowid.org/exp/15286
[Erowid Note: This report erroneously refers to dimenhydrinate (Dramamine) and diphenhydramine (Benadryl) interchangeably. The author mostly likely ingested diphenhydramine.]
It started with my friend (110 pounds) wanting to try dramamine which seemed like a good idea since we were without a car that day. My mother left to go out of town and we had the house to ourselves. We walked to a nearby store and bought 2 boxes of benadryl. As soon as we got home we each ingested 20 pills each and anxiously waited for effects to come on. I have tried dramamine a several times with the same dose with no adverse effects so I was pretty worry free.
I knew fatigue would set in so I decided to make some coffee to stay awake and I figured drinking coffee would decrease waiting time for the drug to kick in. We each drank 2 cups of coffee each and started feeling the effects in like 30 minutes. After that my memory of the night is a little fuzzy. I remember getting on the computer to check my mail and had to get off because I could no longer read the screen because my vision was severly blurred. I went and set on the couch with my friend who was watching tv. I kept seeing my sister who was at work walk in the front door.
I tried to talk to my friend but we would not respond to me. He was staring at the tv and didn't respond to anything at all. All of a sudden he started coughing and screaming he was dying. I asked him if we wanted me to call 911 and he didn't respond. I was staring at him and his eyes starting rolling in the back of his head. I am not totally sure this really happened or not but it scared me and I dialed 911. I told the operator he had ingested some allergy pills and she seemed not to believe me and had a hard time understanding me. I live close to a fire station and the ambulance arrived within 5 minutes. They rushed in and asked me what else he took I am told them nothing and then they started talking to my friend. The EMT kept telling him that he was his friend and he was gonna take care of him. He would not respond to them and he just stared at them like he was brain dead. I was very scared and wondered why they didn't load him up in the ambulance and take him to the hospital. They told me they had to have his parents present before they could take him in. I called them and his mother arrived in like 10 minutes.
During this time a cop asked me what he took and I told her and she had heard of this before. At this point it was very hard for them to understand me because of my cottonmouth and the lady cop went and filled me up a glass of water. (nice gesture huh) She said they were called to a dram party before and they couldn't do anything because it was a legal substance. She asked me for the box and I told her that we threw it in the street. I was asked if I could go with her (I thought it was a trick to arrest me but wasn't) to find the boxes so we backtracked a couple of blocks and didn't find it. I did see a bunch of crazy things on the walk like a gangster carrying and missile laucher type weapon any was wondering why the cop didn't do anything then I realized it was just another hallucination. I got scared when the cop asked me how old I was and I told her 18 and she said, 'good'. I thought I was about to be arrested.
When we got back to my house there was an EMT on a cell phone talking to someone. He said that one of the boys was in critical condition and the only one is semi-coherent. I did catch myself asking stupid questions like, 'What time is he going' and things that didn't make sense and I would realize it when a smartass EMT would laugh at me. There were 2 EMT's there laughing at the state I was in because they were whispering and didn't think I could hear them. (this could have also been a hallucination) I vaguely remember an EMT talking shit to me because he asked me to do something like 5 times but I kept on forgetting what he asked me to do. He told me something like the cops were gonna arrest me since I was 18 and was responsible for my friend who is 17 if I didn't do it. I did whatever it was (I forgot what I did) because the EMT started acting cooler. They told me they were about to leave so I reached in my pockets to hand them my keys. (wierd huh) I started pulling things out of my pockets and the benadryl packets fell out. They seen this and asked if that was all and I told them yes. They took the packets continued to convince me to go with them with no success.
They loaded my friend up in the ambulance and came back in the house to check on me. I was sitting on the couch watching tv and they came in and put this thing on my thumb that took me blood pressure and pulse. After that they told me I should probably go to the hospital too. I declined but this scared me and I started to panic but tried to hide it from them. Then they left and took my friend to the hospital. When they left I really started to panic, I seen my heart beating through my chest and couldn't lay down because when I did I felt myself dying (very wierd feeling by the way). All I could think of is how they insisted I go to the hospital. The only thing I could do is walk around the house scared out of my mind. I also remember the EMT telling me to start drinking water. I probably drank like 15 big glasses of water and spent a lot of time in the bathroom. Finally I decided to lay on the couch and try to sleep. I left my front door open and keep seeing people staring at me through the screen door. I would get up to let them in but no one was there. After getting up like 20 times I started ignoring the people at the door.
I was suprised when one of the figures opened the door and walked in. This wasn't a hallucination it was the EMT to check on me and try to convince me to go to the hospital. One of the EMT's sat next to me on the couch and kept staring at me and I pretending like I was into the tv show that I was watching. He told me my friend was ok but they weren't too convincing and I told them if they were lying to me I was gonna kick there ass. (effect from the dramamine) They proceeded to try to get me to go to the hospital and I nearly did until I started thinking what my mom would think. I assured them I was fine (an obvious lie) then I asked if one of them would stay with me until my sister got off from work. They kinda laughed and sayed they couldn't do that. They gave me a poison control center number and left. As soon as they left the incredible fear of death kicked in again. I layed on the couch while my heart continued to beat through my chest occasionally skipping beats and at one time it didn't beat for like 4 seconds (hallucination?) and I started to feel light headed and everything started to get dark then my heart started beating very fast again and the darkness wore off.
I was scared to close my eyes because I felt like I was dying when I did. I looked at my veins and they looked like they were about to bust. I looked again and I seen bruises where my veins were and I thought they busted and I was bleeding internally and hemoragging from my brain because of an intense pressure I felt in my head. I also thought like my heart was leaking blood because I heard wierd sounds and sensations coming from my heart. After a while I was tired of this pain and decided to close my eyes. I figured if I was gonna die there was nothing I could do about it anyways. So I closed my eyes and started to see images of my friend in the hospital slowly dying.
I woke up this morning very disoriented and then I remember night before. I called my the hospital to check on my friend and they said there was no patient there by that name. She then forwarded me to where he might be which was mental health. They said he wasn't there. I proceeded to call his house with no answer. I terrible fear came over me....my friend was dead. I called back and asked if they could check to see if he came in last night. She said yes but he was no longer a patient. I asked her if he was released or what happened and she told me she didn't know. I was terrified now. I called his house again and left a message. I didn't know what I was gonna do. I paced around my house waiting for someone to call me and let me know something. About an hour later, I received the call. It was my friend! I felt such a relief come over me. He asked me what happened and said the only thing he remembers is playing a game. I told him he wasn't playing a game he was watching tv and explained to him the whole story. He told me his equilibrium is messed up and he thinks he has permanent damage. He can't walk in a straight line and he zones out very frequently. I still feel kinda out of it but I think I would have been fine if the EMTs didn't cause me to panic because I felt fine until then.
I have read alot of experiences and the negative ones I usually think they just can't handle their drugs but I learned a valuable lesson last night. I have done the same dose before several time, was fine and even enjoyed it but dramamine is very unpredictable. I never thought something like this would happen even though I read several reports that were similar. I don't want anyone to have to deal with what I did. Its not worth it.
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