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Dr. Mariani’s Anti-Aging Dream Machine
by Jerry Guarino

Dr. Nicholas Mariani was a mad scientist. He was mad at the government. He was mad at the medical establishment. He was mad at his ex-wife. And he was crazy too.

He was also jealous of his cousin, the famous detective in San Francisco.

Nicholas had his chances. After graduating from Stanford, he was accepted at a medical school in the Bahamas. There he alternated his studies with chasing local women and drinking to excess. That’s where he met his wife, Galy, although uneducated, quite striking and still more mature than he was. She stayed with him long enough to get married in the United States, then began a string of affairs with less boorish men. They divorced shortly after returning to California, where she took half of his medical salary as alimony, but leaving the student loans to him.

He managed to get an internship at a hospital, working in the emergency room. That was going well until he started to argue with hospital administrators, about having to work the worst shifts and be on call even when he had days off. They asked him to find another hospital, which he did. That went well for a year, but then he was reprimanded for missing too many shifts, those that interfered with his social life. Finally, he entered a sleep disorders clinic, to set up and run sleep studies.

He noticed that patients with sleep apnea were constantly tired and aging prematurely. If only some treatment could be devised to address these symptoms. Nicholas created a new type of CPAP facemask, similar to the kind that fighter pilots wear. Instead of air, the machine would push out oxygen to the nose and mouth. And not just oxygen, 75% oxygen and 25% of other gases that were mixed in to stimulate endorphins and increase serotonin in the brain while the patient slept. Theory was that patients would wake up more refreshed and with a clearer mind, enhanced memory and increased energy. The patients reported very lucid dreams, which they could remember in the morning. He decided to call his invention the anti-aging dream machine.

But he needed a way to test it out on actual patients. He knew his clinic wouldn’t approve a trial with apnea patients, so he conducted his tests secretly when he was alone at night. The first patient responded positively to the sleep study. His oxygen levels were up and he felt more energy. Mariani gradually added more patients to his new machine trial, with similar results. Perhaps life was starting to turn around.

But then a lawyer came to the clinic. One of the patients that Mariani was experimenting with had a psychotic episode at work and then threatened to jump off the Golden Gate Bridge. The clinic promptly fired Mariani and settled the law suit. They had to contact and manage the five other patients who had received treatment with the dream machine. Mariani signed a non-disclosure agreement prohibiting him from discussing the termination.

He applied for a federal grant to pursue the use of his machine. At first, he was granted enough money for the study, so long as he reported his findings to a medical review board. But he did not disclose the other gases in his machine. When the review board looked at his results, they couldn’t believe oxygen alone could be responsible for the patient results. He was summoned to testify. Once he admitted to the other gases mixed in the machine, they terminated his study and pulled his medical license.

The other gases included a form of LSD.

Dr. Mariani’s Anti-Aging Dream Machine by Jerry Guarino
Copyright April, 2020 – All Rights Reserved