Ketamine turned my pee into jelly
When Jackie* started taking ketamine she didn’t expect to shrink her bladder to the size of a fifty pence piece. She tells The Mix how ketamine's effect on her pee put her off taking the horse tranquilliser.
As I strained into the toilet, I cried and moaned with agony. For months now I’d suffered bladder problems but this was worse than normal. When I looked down I was horrified. There was a jelly like substance with blood in it floating on the water, rather than urine. What had I done to my body?
Trying ketamine for the first time
My friends and I always enjoyed a night out on the town, but when I started uni in London, my love turned into an obsession. All of the super-clubs were on my doorstep and without fail, Friday and Saturday nights were spent dancing until dawn hit. I took MDMA to last all night but I always felt so depressed on the comedown.
During one after party, a friend handed me a little bag full of white powder. She explained it was ketamine and it would make me feel better. I was dubious at first, yet she insisted it was OK as she scooped the tranquiliser up with a key and handed it to me to snort. I sniffed it up in one. Less than a minute later I felt incredible. My head went fuzzy and I stopped feeling sick. Everything felt like a warm cloud around me. If this was what ketamine was like, I wanted more.
Getting into habits
It wasn’t long before I refused to go out without a bag of ketamine to see me through the night. My closest friend was the same; we just couldn’t get enough of this amazing party dust. One night we took turns to take ‘bumps’ (small lines) of ketamine until we both slumped on the floor unable to move, locked away in the toilet cubicle and unaware of the queue outside. We were a mess.
Soon enough my ketamine use moved into to the day time. I used at most social events to make me feel calm and fuzzy. I told myself that most people drank at social situations, so why couldn’t I take ketamine instead?
Addiction, my nose, and my bladder
By now, not only had my addiction developed, but also my tolerance. At my worst I took 14 grams in one weekend. I had to tip the powder into my nostril and hold my head back as I lost the ability to snort. I knew by now that ketamine was making me miserable and I knew it was problem; the only thing I didn’t know was how to stop.
One Saturday I lost a piece of cartilage in my nose after a particularly heavy weekend. There was blood everywhere but I refused to tell anyone out of embarrassment. Instead I waited for the bleeding to stop and told my friends that I had been sick. Although I was deep into an addition, I managed to hide my problems pretty well. Apart from how it affected my bladder.
I suffered from countless urine infections and had to use the toilet at least 20 times each day and night. I never got in a good sleep. My friends were worried but I just passed it off as having an overactive bladder. I was terrified of people finding out the truth.
Going to hospital
One morning I felt a sharp, stabbing pain in my bladder after a particularly long stint of binging. I ran to the toilet, crying out in pain. I squeezed and cried, hoping that something would happen to alleviate the pain. A substance passed and immediately I knew it wasn’t right. To my horror, I found a jelly like substance in the toilet bowl. I started howling. What had I done to my body? That was it, I’d gone too far.
I called the hospital and was rushed in for tests. The doctor told me ketamine had shrunk my bladder to the size of a fifty pence piece. If I carried on I would have to wear a catheter bag and might not be able to walk. I was devastated at how stupid I had been and angry at what I had done to my body.
I finally told my family and close friends about my addiction. My parents were horrified but also surprisingly supportive and let me spend two months at their house getting clean. I reflected on my life and how everything went so downhill. There were certainly some days I wanted to jump on a train and pick up a gram with my old crew. However, with my parents’ encouragement, I started to take pleasure in day-to-day activities such as going for a walk in the park. My final stage in the recovery was the realisation that my life is much more positive without drugs.
Getting back to normal
It’s been a long road getting over my addiction. My bladder was pretty messed up but luckily it stretched back to nearly normal, although I still use the toilet more often than most. I still have wobbly moments but I’ve cut out the clubbing lifestyle. Not being around other users was really helpful and, after a few months, I started to feel sorry for them rather than jealous. I enjoy the occasional drink, but never to excess, and no more drugs ever again. I know now what things in life make me happy, and ketamine is not one of them.
*Names have been changed
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By Daisy Phillipson
Updated on 29-Sep-2015
Photo from Shutterstock posed by model
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