I'm a real high energy sort, sleeping about four or five hours a night and routinely doing an eighteen hour workday as an Investment Banker.
I talk fast, I walk fast and I do things fast.
Needless to say, many people here in London attribute this to being an ex-pat New Yorker, but fellow noders I have a confession - I'm a vitamin freak.
Every morning I take Ginko Biloba (brain candy), Vitamin C (to ward off scurvy), Vitamin E (anti oxidant), Choline (converted to aceytocholine, it's a precursor for synaptic communication), L-Glutamine (I just liked way the name the sounded), Ginseng extract (ask my girlfriend why) and Brewers Yeast (for the B vitamin complex).
Altogether, it's exactly 53 pills, 45 of which are the Brewers Yeast.
At night before I go to sleep I take Ginko, vitamin C, Acidipilous, Ginseng and more brewers yeast. And when I'm ready to deactivate I take a melatonin pill and I'm sleeping fifteen minutes later.
And all these vitamins are in addition to a proper diet.
For breakfast I always have what locals call a flapjack; basically a chunk of oats with honey. I have two cups of coffee and some grapefruit juice.
Lunch is a sandwich, almost always tuna and cheese, soup and a can of Red Bull.
And unless I'm doing some kind of social bullshit for my job, dinner is always the same - a big salad, a whole wheat pita and red wine.
With the vitamins and all, I like to think I'm pretty healty. But it was the vitamins that almost killed me one night a couple of weeks ago.
After dinner I watched a movie and had a couple of glasses of wine. I was getting ready for bed, the flat was quiet and dark, and I went into the kitchen for my evening dose of vitamins.
I measured out the pills and got a glass of water to help wash them all down.
Since I do things fast I usually take all my pills in one big gulp. I got other things to do, and don't want to be screwing around, wasting time swallowing vitamins.
But tonight there was a problem - several of the pills somehow got lodged in my throat.
I suspect that it was the brewers yeast since they get sticky when wet.
But whatever it was didn't matter, as I couldn't breathe!
All of a sudden I couldn't take a breath and I found myself gasping.
I live alone so there was no one to turn to.
And I wish I could tell you that I had the presence of mind to do a heimlich maneuver on myself (fall down onto the back of chair, letting your upper abdomen absorb the force simultaneously compressing the diaphragm), but to be absolutely truthful, I panicked.
I couldn't take a breath no matter how hard I tried. And I was starting to get a nasty feeling because I needed a breath.
There was a burning sensation in my chest. I still had some air in my lungs, so I forcefully exhaled.
I forcefully exhaled again. Still nothing. I found myself on my knees.
The situation was getting really desperate. I exhaled as hard as I could once more and puted a mouthful of pills all over my kitchen floor.
I could now breathe, and took several deep breaths. I was sweaty, my vision had dark splotches in it, and my heart was pounding so hard in my chest it felt like someone was knocking me on my back.
Since I'm almost certain that it was the brewers yeast that caused me to choke, I immediately threw out my big bottle of pills. The next day I purchased powdered brewers yeast that I mix with water.
The powdered stuff tastes like shit, but now I'm only swallowing eight pills at a time. I can have my vitamins the way I like to take them - fast.
So was there a profound side to this experience?
No, I can’t truthfully tell you that I saw an all encompassing bright light or heard the beckoning of dead relatives.
And no Supreme Being solemnly told me "it's not your time; you must go back".
At least I don't think so.