Friday, August 27, 2010


10: 30 pm: I drop one teeny, tiny 5mg tab of Imovane into my palm. Place it on a cutting board and saw it roughly in half with a steak knife.

10:31 pm: Down the hatch it goes. OK, I was warned that there would be a "metallic aftertaste", but this feels like the whole interior of my mouth is coated in some kind of deadly, chemical, industrial waste. I fight my gag reflex and wait for the taste to die away.

10:32 pm: I am heading for my bed to lie down when the first jolt hits me. My heart pinwheels. I don't feel so good. Don't panic, just lie down and relax.

10:35 pm: I'm feeling increasingly nervous and giddy. The foul taste in my mouth has not dissipated one iota. I lie in the dark and wait to start feeling sleepy.

10:36 pm - 11:05 pm: I do not start feeling sleepy. My heart pounds and races. Adrenaline floods my body in waves 2 to 3 minutes apart. I sweat. I think to myself "I'm having a bad trip" and giggle maniacally. The giggling amps up my anxiety so I shut that down and concentrate on breathing. Slow, shallow breaths so as not to hyperventilate.

11:06 pm: I realize that this "sleep aid" is not going to suddenly change tactics and allow me to drop off. Gingerly I get out of bed and go back to the living room where Ken is still up listening to podcasts. Fortunately my motor skills are not impaired.

11:07 pm - 12:3? am: I lie on the couch breathing through the horrible, miserable waves of anxiety. Thank God Ken is there to hang out with me, but he'll have to go to bed eventually. Am I going to be doing this all night?

12:3? am - I doze off on the couch.

1:00-ish am - The worst of it has passed. I get into my own bed and sleep the rest of the night. My mouth still tastes like a toxic waste dump, but it's fading a little.

How bad was the anxiety? If a panic attack is 10/10, this little half-tablet swooped me up to a solid 8 for a full 2 hours.

Sleep aid FAIL. Never again. The rest of the Imovane is going back to the pharmacy a.s.a.p. to be trashed. Oh well. I guess it was worth a try.


Kate said...

I HATE IT WHEN THAT HAPPENS! I get the opposites all the time with drugs. It's terrible. Anything that says, "May cause excitability in children" is usually a kicker. I take Trazodone to sleep. It works. Like a charm.

My sister in law swears by chamomile tea with valerian root. And my pharmacist sister says I'm not allowed to take it because it works too well and would increase the effects of my sleeping medication. Worth a try.

Jenski said...

Well that was certainly not the intended effect?!

I like a couple of Yogi teas - their Bedtime has valerian and chamomile in it. They also have a Calming with chamomile and gotu kola. I figure if it is an herb I have never heard of, chances are it works well. :-)

Anonymous said...

I hate it when sleep aids have that effect. I get it from Ny-Quil ALL THE TIME; just not to this degree.

A truly frightening experience. I 'll pray the doctors have more wisdom and figure out what the heck is going on for you soon.

Jameil said...

WOW! I don't like how sleep aids make me feel at all.

Sparkling Red said...

Kate: People like you and me, we have Bizzaro Brains that do the opposite of what they're supposed to do. ;-) Trazodone. Thanks for the tip; I'll keep the name in my back pocket. Chamomile tea makes me sleepy but it also makes me have to get up to go to the bathroom every 10 minutes, so that's not much help.

Jenski: As I was saying to Kate, chamomile tea chills me out, but it sends me running to the bathroom every 10 minutes, which defeats the purpose. I haven't experimented with Valerian, although I might do. Someone once told me that it has an aftertaste of old gym socks.

darcknyt: Lordy, last time I took Nyquil (got a free sample 15 years ago) it just about killed me. I remember crawling around my apartment on the floor because my heart was racing so hard I didn't trust myself to stand up.

Jameil: Judging from the comments I've gotten so far, most people don't like sleep aids. I have a hard time believe that the so-called "side effects" apply to less than 1% of the population. Seems like they're more likely to mess you up than calm you down.

Warped Mind of Ron said...

Well.... you can always find some sort of activity to wear you out before bed time... ummm... and Ken may be totally on board with helping. ;-)

Hope the find you something better for you to take.

DarcsFalcon said...

Good grief! Well that certainly wasn't a desired effect!

Maybe just a shot of brandy will help you fall asleep, or a glass of warm milk and a cookie.

Wow. I just hope they figure out what's causing you such fatigue.

G said...

Whenever my sugars get jacked at night or I'm stressed, I always take a generic equivelant of Tylenol to calm myself down.

The only time I've used something stronger in the past twenty years is when I've had major physical ailments and the doctors prescribed a one shot script of percocet or oxycodone.

Sparkling Red said...

Ron: That would probably work well as a sleep aid for Ken. Not so sure about myself. I think men are more prone to passing out than women at that point. I supose the only way to know for sure is to give it a try...

DarcsFalcon: Well, if it never gets figured out, then we can just throw this incident on the large and growing pile of "things the doctors couldn't figure out". So far the track record of the western medical professionals in my life is pretty weak.

G: Tylenol is on the (always growing) list of drugs that don't have a desired effect for me. It eats holes in my stomach. I've never tried opioids. I have heard that members of my family do well on codeine, but I've never tried that either.

LL Cool Joe said...

I really try to avoid any medication at all. I've never taken anything to help me sleep, and I do sleep badly, but I'm fortunate not to have to work regular hours, so can afford to feel tired and it not effect work too much.

I hope things improve for you.

Sparkling Red said...

LL Cool Joe: I also try to avoid pharmaceutical medications, unless I'm desperate. This time my main motivation was to prove to my doctor that I'm being a compliant patient, so that he will continue to try to help me. I know doctors get frustrated with patients who come to them for help and then refuse everything they offer, so I figure I'd better go out on a limb to show him we're working as a team.

Scarlet Ily said...

Sounds awful and I'm sorry you had to experience all that. There's nothing worse than a racing heart at bedtime...and there's nothing better than Ambien when you absolutely need a good night's sleep, even a quarter of one will do.

Best of luck to you! I hope you get some rest. :)

K. Rock said...

Oh my goodness. I didn't know they did all that. I will definitely not be trying them.