Ambien is Haunting Me?

If you’ve been reading Twenty Four At Heart for any length of time, you know I’ve tried to deal with the aftermath of my car accident with as few drugs as possible.

I’m now five and a half years, and eight surgeries, post car accident.

Probably the best thing my pain management specialist has ever done for me, is prescribe Ambien.  (For those of you who are unfamiliar with it, Ambien is a sleep “aid,” or what many of you would refer to as a sleeping pill.)

Yes, I’m saying I actually LIKE taking a drug.  (And no, Ambien is not sponsoring this post.)

I realize it’s healthier to not take medications than to take them.  I realize there are potential side effects with all drugs.  I also realize there are people who will be very happy to share with me their Ambien horror stories.  I’ve heard tales of people doing all sorts of odd Tiger Woods type of things while on Ambien.  I’m not endorsing Ambien for anyone, but myself.

When I had my first appointment with Dr. Painless (my pain specialist), I had not slept more than two hours at a time for four years.

I was living with unfathomable pain.

I now take Ambien.

I still wake up a few times each night due to pain but unlike before, I promptly fall back to sleep.

I get sleep.  (I can’t emphasize enough what a miracle this has been for me.)

When I’m awake, I’m rested and find it much easier to deal with the pain I live with every day.  I can function so much better having had sleep.

Luckily, I haven’t experienced any negative side effects from Ambien.  I take a pill, brush my teeth, go to bed – and fall right to sleep.

Except ….

In October I went to Boston to visit my daughter.  She lives in a studio apartment.  I opted to stay with her, on a fold-out couch, rather than at a hotel.  It was a flashback to slumber party days.  She’d climb into her bed, I’d snuggle about three feet away on her fold-out couch.  We’d chat in the dark and then both fall asleep.

One night, as we were getting ready for bed, her boyfriend called.  I wanted to give her some privacy to talk to him, but there’s really no place to go in a studio apartment.  I had already taken an Ambien.  I was ready for bed.

I decided to go in the bathroom and re-brush my teeth to give my daughter a few minutes alone.  I remember thinking I would not only re-brush my teeth, but I’d also try to take a long time doing it.

I don’t remember what happened next, but I’ve been told a short while later I burst out of the bathroom, stumbling a bit, and giggling.

“Did you know your bathroom is HAUNTED?” I asked my daughter, my eyes wide with wonder.

She was still talking on the phone to her boyfriend.  She told me she was initially alarmed by her stumbling, giggling, mother and my earnest talk of haunted bathrooms.  Her concern quickly turned to hilarity when I went on and on about the ghost by the towel rack.

I’m not a psychologist but if I had to speculate, I’d guess our day trip to Salem (the land of witches) was probably the cause of my drug-induced ghost hallucinations.

 Photo from the Salem, MA graveyard.

By the way,

I wasn’t frightened, I seemed to think it was very funny a ghost lived in her bathroom.

Still chatting about the haunted bathroom, I lay down on the couch, shut my eyes, and fell asleep in seconds.

I had no memory of the incident, whatsoever, the next morning.

About eight weeks have since gone by.

Last weekend, here at my own house in Orange County, I took an Ambien before bedtime.

I went upstairs, brushed my teeth, and then climbed into bed.

Briefcase started talking about something – I don’t remember what.

He tells me I was “talking normally,” and carrying on a conversation with him.

At some point, he decided I was so happy, he had a good chance of getting lucky.

We might have been mid-make-out when I suddenly stopped everything.

“Did I tell you about the ghost?” I asked, in astonished wonder.

“A ghost?” he asked, baffled (once again) by the woman he chose to marry.

“There’s a GHOST living in daughter’s bathroom,” I informed him with unadulterated joy.

“I think I would have remembered if anyone had told me,” he responded.

“It’s very exciting!!” I confided.

“Well, it was,” he answered, disappointment in his voice.

I smiled, closed my eyes, and promptly fell asleep.

11 Responses to “Ambien is Haunting Me?”

  1. Diane

    I took Ambien for a short period of time when my dad was suffering from cancer and I was so upset that I would go to bed crying unable to sleep. I would take 1/2 an Ambien before bed and sleep like a baby. I’ve never met anyone who took it and suffered from it. No ghosts for me though. LOL

  2. karen

    I like your new look!….

    Ghosts in the bathroom, huh? Maybe Ambien makes you a little more -open- to what’s around you.. or something.


  3. Momo Fali

    I have definitely seen things that didn’t scare me, but might scare someone who wasn’t on Ambien…like a buffalo in my living room. I, too, take it right before I go to bed (now that I shouldn’t be tweeting on meds), but that doesn’t stop me from getting up and eating an occasional plate of nachos!

  4. WebSavvyMom

    –>My old boss emailed our bunco group high on Ambien and it is still one of the funniest emails I’ve ever read.

  5. Jan's Sushi Bar

    “She told me she was initially alarmed by her stumbling, giggling, mother…”

    Suzanne, you know you’re one of my most favorite people on this planet, but I REALLY find that hard to believe.

  6. Jenny in MN now in AZ

    I took Ambien for quite awhile. I was banned from leaving my bedroom when I took it – due to the conversations I would ‘try’ to have. Oh how my husband hated it! I was like a combative drunk – trying to have a conversation that I thought made sense and insisting on making my point. I would have NO idea what I was saying, but I knew I was talking. Oh, the sleep was fantastic though! 🙂
    Glad you are getting some rest!

  7. Lunachance

    I have always preached, “if you cannot sleep, you cannot heal.” But, was afraid to ask for help for myself and I do not know why. Finally, I asked my oncologist for sleeping pills last year and slept for a straight 6 hours for the first time in years! I am glad you are getting some rest. It sure makes a difference in the following day.


  8. laura

    My husband has been taking ambien for a couple of months now and we both love it. he gets really stressed, has a massive ulcer, and has horrible night terrors. since he’sbeen taking the ambien he sleeps like a baby. the only side affects he has is you can’t talk to him in the middle of the night. he doesn’t remember anything, and yes, he “sees” things sometimes lol. he just thinks its all funny and doesnt remember in the am. i say if he doesn’t then i dont need to either. at least at this point we are both well rested lol.

    side note,soso glad you found something to help you sleep. i am thinking of getting my father in law in to see if he can takeit. he has RLS and its horrible.

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