Friday, September 12, 2008

Just Say No To Drugs

So, I may have mentioned once or twice or 53 times that I have trouble falling asleep. Because the source of this issue is pain, I take narcotics as well as muscle relaxers, and eventually the doctors added Ambien to the mix as well.

While I still wake up often during the night the Ambien does help me fall back to sleep, but it doesn't help at all with initially falling asleep. Sometimes I actually think it causes me to unintentionally fight going to sleep. I take the meds and start thinking of all these things I want to get done, and the idea of being tired is the furthest thing from my mind.

There's also a warning that comes along with Ambien that claims you may have what is called "traveler's amnesia." That term basically means that if you don't go to bed and fall asleep immediately after taking the medication, you will be wide awake and going about your usual business but will have no memory of any of your actions.

That happens to me A LOT.

I'll get up in the morning and discover that I've rearranged all of the pillows in the different rooms of my house. Or pictures that were hanging on one wall are now hanging on another. I go to my inbox and realize that I've replied to emails and have no recollection of doing so. One morning I woke up, looked at the top of my computer and saw this:


But I don't remember doodling it.

The most interesting moment was when I woke up one morning, looked in the mirror and realized that at some point during the night my hair had gone from this length:

sara christian avery(Have I mentioned lately I have cute nieces and nephews? This photo is about five years old, but they are still just as adorable.) 

To this length:

IMG_0024 lc

Now, I have been cutting and coloring my own hair for years, so it's not like I had done something I normally wouldn't do. It's just that I didn't have the desire to cut that many inches off my hair. And I certainly didn't remember doing it.

Here's another interesting little fact about me, while we're at it. See my beautiful sister Laura in the photo above? My hair used to be as straight as hers. And during the summer between graduating from high school and my freshman year in college, my hair went from pin straight to spiral curl. In just a few weeks.

It's just one more symptom in the disease of "weird-crap-happens-to-me-itis" that I've developed. I'm just sayin'... I never know what's going to happen next.

Or if I'll remember it in the morning.


  1. Oh my gosh. You are giving yourself fabulous haircuts and decorating and creating ART in your SLEEP for goodness' sake! I started out thinking "That's so funny!" but now I'm starting to get a little ... Ambien envy?

    All I do while half-asleep is write illegible notes in my notebook with big lines trailing off the page.

    Good thing you titled that "Just Say No To Drugs" because I already know which corner to pull up to for some Ambien. I won't do it, but let me tell you, if you're trying to keep us OFF the drugs, that is NOT a convincing PSA.

  2. @anita: I can always count on you for an unexpected perspective ... I certainly never though of someone being envious of my crazy sleep wanderings. I think my mother is just happy the battery in my car is dead so she doesn't have to worry about me driving off and winding up in some crazy state like Tennessee! :)

    sara (gitz)

  3. Oh your midnight ramblings are channeled in much more productive ways than mine. So many years of business travel have Amex number ingrained in my memory...And I use it!! I've lost track of the packages that have arrived with no recollection of being purchased or the interesting email receipts I find the next morning. LOL But then my hair would look like I was a member of a British punk band if I attacked it with scissors or color, even without pharmacalogical help.

    You are awesome my dear.

  4. Oh girl! Isn't that scary!? The same thing happens to me when I take Ambien (replying to emails, that is!)! You are so talented....even in your sleep!

  5. Wow, you did all that on Ambien? Impressive!! I'm not even half that creative when I'm awake!!Oh, and the same thing happened with my hair - growing up it was straight and when I hit my mid-twenties it changed and now I have curly/frizzy hair. Strange how that happened...

  6. Whoa!!!! That's crazy! Although, the top of your computer is cute as a bug now. And thank goodness you know how to cute hair. Yikes.

    My husband does crazy things in his sleep; walking around ect. I think it's safe to say that he can NEVER take Ambien.

  7. WOW! This is kinda scary what could happen! But, you are pretty darn creative in your 'sleep walking awareness'!

  8. You can cut my hair any day! Whether you remember it or not!

  9. You should check out Jennifer Lancaster's website: She writes about Ambien and the crazy things that happens when she takes it. One time UPS came to the door, she opened the package and it was a BARBIE HEAD that she ordered online while in an Ambien-induced haze! Check out her books, she is a hilarous writer, and I think you would like her.
    Anyways, I love your antics while you are asleep! I want you to doodle that on MY computer, its cute!
    My doctor also prescribed me Ambien while I was on Prednisone awhile back, and I had never taken it, too scared..But maybe I will get creative.. I am intrigued...

  10. @jill and marisa: when I first started taking it there were a few times I ordered things online and didn't remember it. Again, it always seemed to be stuff I would hav ordered anyway, like from Walgreen's or something so nothing extravagant, but it did mess with my budget a few times!!!! :) Thank goodness that phase seems to be over.

    sara (gitz)

  11. When I was in the family practice clinic, a panicked woman came in and said, "I need something besides Ambien for sleep!"

    "It isn't working?" I asked.

    "No, I'm asleep; but I'm doing weird things in my sleep. I woke up naked this morning and realized that I had sex last night. With my husband. I don't do that shit when I'm awake."

  12. @terroni: well thank God I'm only doing things I would NORMALLY do. :)

  13. Sara,
    If I end up doing a residency in NYC and you decide you want to see the city, you'll have a place to stay with me. And whatever you need to make that work, we could figure it out.

  14. cute doodle considering you don't even remember and if you are cutting your hair in your sleep and it looks that good, keep it up.

  15. im dying laughing at terroni patient/sex comment! that is hysterically funny!!!

    must. breathe.....

    sara - you make me smile. all i do when i sleep is have hot flashes. so boring.

  16. Can you imagine what you can do with the meds, what you could do without them? You are talanted beyond compare, and so cute.
    I love your posts.

    I would love to have your hair, I have spend hundreds of dollars in salons for hair like yours.

    And for what it's worth, I have the same issues of not remembering.....but I don't take any meds.....Hum.

  17. Sara-

    I love reading your blog as we sound so very much alike!!
    I wanted to let you know that after an occurance in which I suffered PTSD, my doctor put me on Ambien to help with the insomnia.
    I took it for about a year or two, sometimes alot, sometimes once a week. Gradually I started noticing the things that you are... doing things I had no recollection at all of. Then I started having to use the restroom... ALL THE TIME. It got so bad at one point, I would have taken an Ambien to sleep and was awakened about 6 times during the night to go. Also, (still to this day) I will be in the midst of talking to someone and completely forget what I am saying. I will listen to someone talk for an hour, and then be blank of what was said. It was so frightening I went to the doctor and told him of my fears, to which he pointed out the two most common side effects of the drug: Frequent Urination, and Loss of Short Term Memory... SERIOUSLY?!? To this day, even though I've been off of it for about 2 years, I have no short term memory at all- just wanted to share my little bit of knowledge with ya : ) have a wonderful day with your beautiful pooch!

  18. at least the hair is cute and the doodles are not scary! that must be the wierdest thing...but this post was really funny.

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