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Why Medicine?    (Continued)

Picking up the phone, I am greeted by hurried breaths and mumbled syllables. These whimpers belong to my friend Rachel*. Despite repeated warnings and common sense, this neophyte pill-popper took her first ephedra capsule that morning. Fol-lowing her consistently impatient nature, she felt it necessary to make a trip to the fitness club to obliterate the last few lipidic regions remaining on her fragile frame. Afterwards, dizziness, quivering limbs, and an increased heart rate beset her. Her heart rate when she called: 150 beats per minute. Two hours later: 130 beats per minute.

An eerie calm sweeps over me and I go to work. My old friend tells me that when one is using amphetamines, extreme physical activity is stressful to our little blood-pumper. Rachel‘s trip to the gym could be enough to trigger a heart attack.

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