Understandably the last of February 2005 is murky. As it was before this stated, a major adverse effect of Ambien’s is that rather than helping someone sleep it stops a person from sleeping (this is based upon assuming the person had an unknown pre existing condition.) Whatever became my pre existing condition (if that information is even believable, because anymore nothing is) was not on Feb. 7th but was on Feb. 8th. Well, okay. Whatever. I took it, had a terrible reaction that made me stumble and fall all over myself. So that was that, right? Wrong.
From February 8th until the end of the month I didn’t sleep. Not one wink. Imagine that? No sleep for 20 days. Yah, yah, yah, throughout the years I’ve given various numbers of days. 19 days, 21 days. That’s because the records/exhibits were destroyed. Well, William Kastner Law Firm has had them, too, of course. But, I don’t have them anymore. There was at least 35 exhibits I gave that day in court to the Clerk and to Cheryl Comer, the doctors (and Multicare’ I presume) attorney from William Kastner Law Firm. So, okay, 19, 20 or 21 days, can we spell “sleep deprivation”? If not, here, let me show you.
From Wikipedia: Sleep deprivation is the condition of not having enough sleep; it can be either chronic or acute. A chronic sleep-restricted state can cause fatigue, daytime sleepiness, clumsiness and weight loss or weight gain. It adversely affects the brain and cognitive function.
Here is a quick and easy article on the effects of sleep deprivation:
From sleepio.com: It has even been said that one could survive for three times as long withoutfood as one could without sleep. Indeed, one of the better known experiments on this subject, found that depriving rats entirely of sleep resulted in their death, or near-dying state, within 11-32 days (Everson et al. 1989).
More on the torture of sleep deprivation:
How long can a human being survive without sleep?
Rupert Baines, CEO at a startup.Semiconductors, wireless, comms, start-ups.
Updated Jun 4
write on quore.com:
After 2-3 days you will start to hallucinate; after 5 days serious mental effects, and apparently you can die after ~14 days (although I don’t know references for that).
Quite horribly, though (beyond the ”Oh, I pulled two all-nighters, now I need to sleep”): Sleep deprivation is a form of torture.
After two nights without sleep, the hallucinations start, and after three nights, people are having dreams while fairly awake, which is a form of psychosis.
“By the week’s end, people lose their orientation in place and time – the people you’re speaking to become people from your past; a window might become a view of the sea seen in your younger days.
To deprive someone of sleep is to tamper with their equilibrium and their sanity.
It was a favoured torture technique of the KGB
Menachem Begin, the Israeli prime minister from 1977-83, was tortured by the KGB as a young man.
In his book, White Nights: The Story of a Prisoner in Russia, he wrote of losing the will to resist when deprived of sleep.
“In the head of the interrogated prisoner, a haze begins to form. His spirit is wearied to death, his legs are unsteady, and he has one sole desire: to sleep… Anyone who has experienced this desire knows that not even hunger and thirst are comparable with it.
“I came across prisoners who signed what they were ordered to sign, only to get what the interrogator promised them.
“He did not promise them their liberty; he did not promise them food to sate themselves. He promised them – if they signed – uninterrupted sleep! And, having signed, there was nothing in the world that could move them to risk again such nights and such days.”
Disgustingly, it is a technique adopted by USA in Guantanamo Bay
The 2003 Pentagon Working Group Report, approved by former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, lists sleep deprivation as an approved interrogation method.
So please don’t be too harsh on me if some things are a little fuzzy. I went somewhere from 19 to 21 days, depending upon which day I decided I could take no more, whether it was a Friday or a Monday. I think my (now es) husband’s days off were Sunday and Monday, so I’m going to assume I went over the edge on Friday, Feb. 25th.
I want to remind any readers that I was still in physical therapy and muscle massage therapy due to the deep tissue injuries I’d sustained in the previous July’s car wreck. What this means is that my insurance (GEICO) was still requiring me to see the doctor every other week to gets notes from him about my progress. If I did not get a note the treatment would stop. What this also means is that I definitely seen the doctor around February 21st, assuming, as I’d said, he’d given me the Ambien prescription on Monday, February 7th. From my recollection, I believe I saw went to see him the following week of February 14th – 18th. I am certain I went to see him the next week, February 21 – 25th, again. I am certain by then I was expressing my concerns about not sleeping, and most certainly I was exhibiting the condition. As I recall, the doctor’s staff was treating me like I was some type of alien from outer space.
All that aside for now, for what its worth, what was my condition?
Well, (again as far as I can remember), by February 13th, I think I was hallucinating. I recall that evening my ex was watching football. Looking back, it must have been the Sunday night pro bowl game. I remember standing at the kitchen sink, I suppose snacking, when I looked out to see the Columbia Tower reflecting the sun setting so that it appeared as an obelisk in flames. I thought of Jesus, and it seemed I was recollecting something from the Bible, about his coming. The flame seemed ominous, a forewarning of something to come by Seattle. 2nd Thessalonians 1:8-9 warns, “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.”
I turned towards the television and the announcers were mocking me. Making fun of what I’d seen, the image with light all around him above and to the right of the preacher at church when Teresa took me the previous year. The figure in the light was now above the right shoulder of one of the announcers. But it was different, and the announcers were laughing at me. That blew my mind even more.
On Valentine’s Day my (now) ex had decided to take candy to my physical therapists because I had been gushing over how well they were taking care of me. In fact, concern was being expressed for why I was not improving. What had happened to me on the “night of the Ambien” did not occur to me. Probably this is because I didn’t remember its happening. I only knew from what my (now) ex had told me. I only remembered those two segments I’ve already shared. One, his being in the bathroom doorway, the other his leaving me alone in the dark of the bedroom. And, of course, everything from that night forward and for a long time to come, was a blur. But he’d taken candy to the ladies, and that was kind. I remember his face when he told me. I think he was trying to make up for not helping me that night. And it was a contention. It was THE contention with me, really. Why didn’t he call 911? Why didn’t he get me to the hospital? Why didn’t he help me? The honest to God’s truth is that if he would have done something the hospital would have diagnosed the adverse reaction, and they would have done something right then and there to correct things. Yes, his neglecting me remained a contention. So even though his eyes implored forgiveness, in my own eyes he’d become a demon. I’d already entered the abyss and, from that, there was no turning back.
As things were going, I was talking about my condition, though. I am a talker. It is what my (now) ex loved about me because he is rather quiet. I don’t talk incessantly, usually. But I did happy chatter. But, not anymore. I was not sleeping. I really don’t remember or not if I kept taking the Ambien. Its hard to say. But I was talking. I suppose people just weren’t putting 2 and 2 together. I remember I’d told the ladies at physical therapy that I felt like I’d been up all night scrubbing around the toilet with my toothbrush. I’d seen that in some military movie, where a soldier was ordered to clean the bathroom floor with a toothbrush. I told my (now) ex I felt like that’s what I’ve been doing all night every night (instead of sleeping.)
I remember one evening as I left the family room I turned back to tell him I was going to bed, and for some reason he was right behind me. Very cruelly he asked, “To go scrub the toilet with your toothbrush?” He said it so sinister that he jerked his head seemingly to look out the window, almost as if he was afraid someone had watched him say that. It was very bizarre. I didn’t know what to say or think. I went to bed.
I think it was that night he came into the room. I saw him in the dark collecting up all of the prescriptions bottles that set on my nightstand. I pretended I was asleep. I didn’t want to talk with him. But I wondered what he was doing. Why was he getting into them? Those were all of the bottles, though, of everything the doctor had given me (short of the Vioxx samples) since September/October of the previous year.
At some juncture I told him I’d seen him, and asked what he was doing. He said he’d written a list and given it to his sister, the nurse, to tell him what they were. I don’t know what ever came of that.
At any rate, the ladies at physical therapy were expressing concerns about my worsening condition. My insurance company was harassing me. I was not sleeping. And my husband had turned into a demon. I believed, too, my doctor was totally in love with me and taking the best care of me any doctor could. Oh barf! Anyway, it seemed like I kept going to his office but they weren’t helping me. I cannot imagine what me (now) ex was thinking of my behavior. Maybe he was, like my Godmother later told me, in shock too by it all. Its hard to say.
What I do know is that I had to sleep and nobody was doing anything to help me. When, on that Monday, February 21st the doctor didn’t so anything I began to realize I was going to have to take matters into my own hands. What to do? What to do? Aha! I would try one more time to get help from my doctor. And than if he still refused then I would drive across the country to Ohio with my things. I knew in Ohio if my son saw my condition he would do something to help.
About this time my Mom was becoming hysterical. She would call and whatever I was saying to her over the phone she would shout to me that I was out of my mind. She asked me what that doctor was giving me, that I was so messed up? Later she told me that I would reply in some absurdly breathy voice that my daaahktor is the beeeest eeeeever. I was making my Mom sick, too.
By Friday, I think it was, my plan to get out of there to find sleep had been formulated. After me (now) ex, Don, left for work I loaded up my truck with everything I thought I would need to get by away from home. There was my exercise ball and weights so that I could continue my physical therapy while I was gone. I had clothes and everything packed and ready. I went to the back and took $4,000 out of an account. I figured that would get me there and give me some money to get by until I would return having slept. I drove down to the doctor’s office, one more time. They could not get me in until later in the day. I think they scheduled me for around 11 or so. Maybe 1, I don’t exactly remember.
From making the appointment I drove up the hill to physical therapy., which was not too far. I must have been in pretty bad shape because instead of working me out they put me on the elliptical bike, where I peddled the whole appointment. While I peddled I tried to figure out where I might go to take a nap. I wasn’t going back home, because there I could not sleep. I had in my head the problem was Don and that house. Evil had taken over it, and maybe if I could just get to someplace that wasn’t evil, than I could take a nap. So I decided to go to my sister’s. Her house was only about 8 blocks from the physical therapist’s, so I would go there when I was done. I don’t know what I was thinking, because it was a workday so my sister would be at work. Probably I could not think anymore that far ahead. I don’t know. What I do know is that when I got to my sister’s, of course, she was not home and the house was locked up. sigh…… I did not know what to do.
As I descended the steps her truck pulled into the driveway. My sister had taken off the day, and she and my niece had been running errands. As I stumbled up to the truck, seeing my condition, they did not get out. Instead my sister called my Mom from her cell phone and she was telling my Mom about my condition. I remember I was asking my niece to please just let me go into the house to lay down. I told her I need to sleep, that I haven’t slept in along time. I asked them to please help me get some sleep. Somebody did let me into the house, where I went downstairs to their family room to lay on the sofa. It wasn’t comfortable. I tried the recliner. It wasn’t comfortable. I was like Goldilocks looking for a place that was just right. A place where my body and mind could relax to sleep. But, it wouldn’t, I wouldn’t, and I could hear my sister talking with my Mom. She was upset. Hearing her was upsetting me. While she talked I slipped out, and got into my truck to leave. I would go to the Multicare’s parking lot. It was a warm day so maybe if I parked with the sun shining on me I would fall asleep there while waiting for the appointment. Yep, that is what I would do.
I recall being aware I was impaired. As I drove off, down the somewhat meandering drive from my sister’s, I remember wondering if I would even make it. I remember making it to the signal at Kent Kangley, to turn left towards the Multicare, and that I was very happy I recognized it was red so that I stopped for it. Every breath was difficult to take. Right now, remembering, every breath is difficult to take. I am horrified of the memory.
After the left turn at the light it was pretty much a straight shot to the Multicare parking lot. Kent Kangley turned into Smith. Multicare was on Smith and State. I could make it. Except, that the straight shot had another major signal. Maybe two. Yes, two, I think. I don’t remember going through them, with exception to the signal at Kent Kangley and 104th. For Kent, that was a busy intersection. And, because it was around noontime, there would be traffic. I absolutely, unequivocally do not know how I made it through that signal without being broadsided. All that I remember is going through it red. I remember as I went under the red signal thinking I had just ran that light.
Than I was at the Multicare parking lot, and there I tried again to get some sleep before the appointment.