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Better Living Through Modern Chemistry: Part Deux or I'm PED'ling as Fast as I Can

By Randall Grantham Community Columnist Oct. 28, 2013

I want a new drug One that does what it should  One that won't make me feel too bad  One that won't make me feel too good 

-Huey Lewis and The News

I’ve written before about the use of Performance Enhancing Drugs (PED's) and why we should or shouldn’t be concerned about their use in professional sports. My point in that article was that everything is a “PED”. From the coffee we drink in the morning to wake us up, to the vitamin enriched food we consume to fully nourish our bodies, to the pain killers, as basic as aspirin or as potent as opioids, that we take in order to continue to play, walk, stand, think or whatever it is you do, without the distraction of physical distress.

Since then, I’ve had a chance to reevaluate my position, based on both current events (I'm talking to you MLB) and personal experience.

As you may have read here, I had a benign brain tumor removed in April, 2011. It was pinching my optic nerves and causing me to lose my vision.

It was sitting on my pituitary gland and was completely removed by micro-surgery and the brain surgeon spending about 7 hours”under the hood.” Technically, it was not brain surgery because the tumor was under the actual brain. They went in from a couple of angles and jacked the brain up to get to the tumor, which they pealed off the pituitary stalk.

The surgery was a success and I have regained 20/20 vision which, at my age, without corrective lenses, is quite an accomplishment. It was also accomplished without any negative impact on my brain’s ability to process and utilize information and logical thinking. If anything, I believe the surgery increased my mental acuity and reasoning powers.

How? Hormones and steroids When they pealed that bitch off my pituitary, the pituitary decided to shut down. The pituitary is the relay post between the brain and the body and tells the various glands to secrete their hormones and steroidal compounds.

Testosterone, adrenalin, corticosteroids. Shit that makes you jump, hump and pump. They're all controlled by the brain using the pituitary as a relay. Now that relay is off-line, but it's okay. I’ve got pills, gels and dietary regimens that can take up the slack.

What’s that got to do with the doping scandals overshadowing all of our sporting spectacles?

I am, by definition, doping. I take hormones and steroids and drugs designed to keep my body on par with what it was pre-surgery. Or, in the bluntest terms, to enhance my present, unaltered, biological capabilities. And, after a year or so of this, I’ve found their effects can be somewhat manipulated and maximized.

I can rub a little more testosterone on, when my confrontational skills may be more required. Or I can lay-off the rub if I want to be more relaxed and get in touch with my feminine side. If I have a problem with infection or inflammation, I can ease my catabolic steroid dosage up to quicken my recovery.

And best of all, the hormone that controls thirst/urination is also thought, by some, to increase brain activity and memory retention. Of course, I need that med and, even before I Google-checked it, I noticed side-effects.

I had been told by one doctor that my shit would kick back in, while another told me it wouldn’t. So I kept trying to wean my body from some prescribed meds to get the pituitary to jump in and fill the void. Sometimes I thought it was working, only to be forced to get back on the prescribed meds to synch my body back up with my needs.

During those times trying to coax my body into re-starting the hormonal input, I noticed a decrease in attention-span and acuity when I tried to lower the thirst hormone supplement intake. That was when I Googled it and found that kids were snorting the stuff before exams and tests in college and using it to up their “cramming” potential. And it was working.

So I took note and made sure I did not try to wean myself off those drugs during the next couple of trials I had. In fact, I may have taken my doses before I really needed them (so I didn’t have to interrupt the trial to go pee, of course).

You know what? I actually felt smarter and seemed to have a better grasp on the facts and my recollection of the testimony seemed better. By taking the prescribed hormone that had beneficial side effects, I seemed to have enhanced my performance.

That, combined with a little more testosterone, and not as much adrenalin, made for a much more relaxed and effective trial presence.

And victories.

I have returned to a study of these substances and a reevaluation of the principles involved in their use, and my view of steroids and hormones has matured and developed.

It is not a case of whatever it takes to win. Or, as The Onion, the satirical online newspaper, says in their restatement of Lance Armstrong's “LIVESTRONG” charity bracelet - “Cheat To Win.” That's not it.

It's a matter of maximizing your potential. Utilizing your resources. Being all that you can be.

 And it ain’t cheating if you don’t get caught. Poor Lance.

(Randall C. Grantham is a fifth generation Floridian and lifelong resident who practices law from his offices on Dale Mabry Highway in Lutz . He can be reached at Copyright 2013 RCG)