Friday, August 7, 2009

Ambien Side Effects

I have recently started taking Ambien again and was just curious about some of the side effects I have been experiencing. I found this site and have been crying from laughing so hard at some of the side effects and stories people have posted on here. I know I shouldn't laugh, but....

Here are some of my favorites:

I tested the drug the night before I was scheduled to leave on vacation. I hallucinated and remember "repacking" my bags and seeing a woman dancing sideways on my staircase. I nearly jumped over the railing to avoid her and after that lost all memory. When I woke up in the morning, I had all my clothes on, found an umbrella under the rug and the contents of my suitcase were a mess with things missing. Evidently I also tossed clothing in the washing machine but did not find them until 3 weeks later in a moldy heap. I flushed the ambien down the toilet...never again.

Apparently after taking it I texted a friend "10 foot long strands of multicolored spaghetti are filling the room" she immediately called my boyfriend who woke up and found me crying and screaming uncontrollably in the bathroom. He spent the next 6 hours holding me because I was trying to knock down a cabinet with my head because I thought there was a monster in there trying to escape and eat me, and I was convinced that leatherface (Texas Chainsaw Massacre) was walking on the roof with an ax. I also lost most of my voluntary muscle movements. Those were the really prominent ones that he told me about.

I learned first hand the difference between a delusion and a hallucination and it was not fun at all. The only things I actually remember was the blinds downstairs were clacking together and I was convinced there was a lion in the den eating my dogs and the clacking was their bones breaking, and there was a green fairy with shifty eyes that wanted to steal my right kidney.

My 24 year old son started taking Ambien one week ago. Although he said he woke up feeling great, he also suffered serious side effects. He began sleep walking with one episode resulting in him going outside and using a saw to cut down two trees in the yard. He went back to bed sweaty and covered in saw dust with no memory of the event. His wife told him about it. Last night, while sleep walking, he called his psychiatrist and told him he has taken 12 Ambien tabs. The doctor told him to go to the emergency room or he would send an ambulance for him. After being treated for a possible overdose at the er and having the er physician sign an order of protective custody it was found that he had actually not taken 12 tabs. Luckily today the attending physician was familiar with these type of side effects with Ambien. Obviously he is immediately off the medication before a more tragic result takes place.

Hallucinated - told my husband he had four eyes - and took a picture of it to show him!

First time, the stuff donkey-punched me. I took it while surfing the net. Woke up in the chair, still dressed. Slept great! Another time, began to type silly stuff on the computer. Remembered while typing, the computer keys would rise up to meet my fingers. I could see behind the letters on the screen. The Earth is angry because oil is her blood and we are draining her. Thats why we have earthquakes, hurricanes, etc. She's very angry. Made sense at the time.... When I take it now, I make sure that I'm in bed.

Added: 8/10/09

OH MY.... myself and a few of my friends discussed this and all had similar issues. BINGE eating... Making calls or emails and dont remember.. I made a video of myself and saw it the next day.. i could not believe it... in it i seemed normal, maybe a little drunk?.. and was pretending to do a cooking show.. folding american cheese with mustard squeezed in the middle and eating one after the other... then overflowed the sink, and cleaned it up... next am...had no memory of it... found camera in kitchen and rewound the tape.. i could not believe it was me.

Visual hallucinations that went on for hours and were so engrossing that it was impossible to fall asleep. For example, after I took Ambien, my pink telephone would come to life. It would start breathing and scuttling back and forth on my desk like a crab. My husband finally got fed up because not only were these nightly visions keeping me awake, but my Howard Cosell-esque reporting of them kept him awake too.

I'm a nurse, so you'd think I'd know better than not to listen to my doctor who warned me to GO STRAIGHT TO BED AFTER TAKING AMBIEN. If I do so, it works great with a full 8 hours of sleep. Although my husband has reported a few times when we had sex that I can only recall bits & pieces of uninhibited craziness. I made him promise not to get frisky after Ambien. Make sure you are with someone you trust! And some nights, I didn't go straight to bed and I sent crazy e-mails & didn't know it until days later when I saw them in the "sent box." I talked about a pet jumping mouse that I made a hotel for out of a shoebox. One night, I was sitting on the sofa watching tv after a dose, when I couldn't focus. My teen daughter said I started talking gibberish, so she tried to get me in bed. She said that I got in my empty laundry basket and when she tried to pull me out, I said "I'm just making sure there is room for more clothes."

Two nights in a row I had been sleepwalking---don't know too much what I was doing, but found evidence of doing things in the house. Books and magazines moved around the house, apparently I tried to put on nail polish (painted 3 nails and then left brush on sink), the next morning found my pajama bottoms at the door of the bedroom, so I don't know what happened there. Besides sleepwalking I had hallucinations: wood paneling moving around like puzzle pieces, wooden sculpture of an eagle was moving (when I walked over to it and held it, I also felt it moving in my hand!), couch cushions moving, computer screen undulating (like a bubble blowing out toward me), out of the corner of my eye I saw someone sitting next to me on the couch and heard him talking to me, but when I turned toward him, he was gone. One night my husband was still up, and he said that I came in and kept talking but made no sense at all, and I appeared to be drunk.

This medicine has been a godsend as I have had chronic insomnia for about 15 years. It's been going great except when I woke up this morning, I had rug burns on my knees, a bloody nose, and my daughter had a different set of pyjamas on than she originally went to bed with. WTF?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

My Goth Poem

Around, all around, the storm clouds gather.

My dread grows as the dagger of your words falls against my heart.

It wounds me, and darkly my essence drips to the wicked earth that is my prison.

In horror I hang my head while Death's shadow surrounds me.

Now alone, my cascade of tears falls from uncaring eyes.

This is my Hell.