Thursday, October 25, 2007

To sleep, perchance to dream... or maybe just SLEEP

My envy for those who can sleep was formerly only matched by my envy of those who have prescriptions for sleep-aid medications. Oh the dreams I've had of getting a doctor to prescribe something that I could take at night and pass into the land of morpheus for 8 full hours, waking only when my alarm went off, rested and ready to face a new day. Some happy little 'doll' that would make me saw wood, induce cheerful cartoon "zzzzz" to appear above my sleeping head, something that would make counting sheep something only shepards do.

Monday I had my annual physical. I love my doctor, she's just so smart, no-nonsense but still has a great sense of humor. After many, many years of so-so to downright dangerous doctors she is the best. Love HER! She's the one who gently suggested that Xanax might help my anxiety when I had no desire to take pills, and it did. She's also the one who gave me the Zoloft prescription three years ago that, in her words "gave me my life back". She is also the one who will not dispense antibiotics without serious evaluation and I trust her when she suggests I try a medication because she doesn't do so lightly.

When I mentioned my endless battles with insomnia she asked if I'd ever tried anything and I told her about recently trying a friend's Ambien, even though I know you aren't supposed to share prescribed meds, I did research it and found there were no interactions with my current daily pharmacy and I gave it a shot. The result? Ambien is apparently my caffeine. I was up all night and more perky than I had been BEFORE taking it.

This meant Ambien off the table and she suggested another one she thought would work for me, my issues being trouble falling asleep and trouble staying asleep. She gave me a Lunesta prescription. This shit is stupid expensive and my incredibly caring insurance carrier does not cover it. Thanks guys. Not like sleep is essential to health or anything, you stupid, corporate, bas.... Sorry. I'm not going to rant about the state of health care and insurance in this country. This rant is about my insomnia and my envy.

I filled my first sleeping pill prescription on Tuesday afternoon, paid the insane $159 for a thirty day supply and skipped home thrilled with the prospect of a full night's sleep. A real, honest to goodness SLEEP. I followed the directions and took the pill and a glass of water to bed with me. Got into bed, took the pill and laid down 'c'mon baby it's sleepin' time - wooohooooo!'

I thought about friends of mine who have taken sleep aids with great results: passing out cold, becoming so dozed that they tripped on the way to the bed. Oh my was I ready for nap time!

Ten minutes went by. I felt... nothing. Twenty minutes.... a little relaxed. Thirty minutes and I was asleep. Two hours later I was wide awake. WIDE awake people. Same as always. The only minor change, and at least it was something to be grateful for, was that while I was totally awake, I was also fairly relaxed and when I tried to go back to sleep I was able to. Falling back to sleep is really tough for me (unless it's 6 a.m. and I have to be at work at 9 - but that's a different issue). So okay, the Lunesta at least allowed me the opportunity to fall back asleep - that was good.

Except that I was awake again every two hours all night long.

For this I paid $159? Not much of a bargain.

I tried it again tonight. I mean I have the pills, I may as well try again. Needless to say the results were much the same. It's almost 3 a.m. and I'm writing here. I've been up for hours. I may well be up the rest of the night. *sigh*

My envy now has moved from those who HAVE prescriptions to those for whom they actually work. I'm going back to the doctor in a month, she said to give it a month and if things don't improve we'll try upping the dosage.

I don't have much in the way of hope that it will do the trick, but I'm willing to try.


whimsicalnbrainpan said...

It sounds like you have a great doctor.

Have you tried herbal remidies?

I can suffer from insomnia and I have a few tips that I could give you (although you might have heard them before). I also have a CD that almost guarantees that I'll fall asleep.

I'll email you.

Joy said...

Thanks Whim. :)

BetteJo said...

Oh my. That would be my worst nightmare. I am a champion sleeper, I feel a little guilty.

The only time I really had a problem was when I was in my 20's and would drink pop all day and never realized the caffeine was giving me problems.

I take Zoloft and Wellbutrin, no idea if they contribute to anything involving my sleep. I've just always been good at it and the older I get the more I realize it's a gift. I know a lot of people with sleep problems.

How about some sort of relaxation or self-hypnosis?

I did take Klonepin (sp?) for anxiety for a while, and that made me really sleepy. Oh boy. I dunno, I wish I could help but it's just something I do! I hope you find your magic though, really. Good luck!

Gary said...

This is like an O'Henry Story. I have no problem falling asleep and staying asleep but I don't have the time to sleep. You have the time but can't fall asleep.

Or maybe this is more like that Twlight Zone episode with Burgess Meredith.

Ladron de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Gosh, I have to admit I sleep just fine 95% of the time. Oh, cool, I'm glad you're reading Eat Pray Love. I am a little embarrassed to read it in public, but I am also a guy who eats Luna bars and doesn't care what people say about it. Joy, we should go to a spa in Mexico sometime and do girl talk. Though I also know some in Bali and Ecuador too that I'd love to introduce you to.

Joy said...

Bettejo - thanks for the moral support. Maybe I just need to embrace the fact that I don't sleep much and do something productive with it.

Oh and then we laughed and laughed...

Gary - baby you break my glasses and leave me alone in a library and I WILL come and hurt you! 'Cos, been there, done that! ;)

JT - I love me some spa time in Mexico, but Bali... hmmmm that sounds kinda fun. Either way, when next you're in NYC you will come here and we will watch VOTD, drink margaritas and dish the dirt. :)

Joy said...

Update on the 'dolls' - last night it seems to have worked! Okay it was only 6 hours instead of 8, but it was straight through! Thanks for all your good wishes. :)

marxsny said...

Rozerem might be another option. It claims have less potential of addiction and I think you can get a free 7-day trial with a prescription.

Gary said...

When Gregg comes for the VOTD night, I want in!

Joy said...

Mark - thanks, I'll look into that one and talk to my doc when I see her next. It seems Lunesta and I are good for 6 hours and no more. ;) Mark: see below.

Gary - Really? I wouldn't think you'd be interested. Hmmm. And Mark should come, and walk around with a Cosmo saying "fabulous"! It would be Fabulous!!! :D