Monday, April 26, 2010

Today I was sleep-driving and I am disturbed by the whole experience

I was not feeling  well yesterday afternoon. I was not sure if I was catching a bug or what, but I was disoriented, dizzy and nauseated. 
Maybe I forgot to take a daily dose of a medicine that I need. I have missed a dose before and get symptoms similar to how I felt. I took the medicine and still felt icky.   Anyhow, this morning, I needed to get to work and still not feeling all that well, I took what I thought was a harmless vitamin that I had in a zip-lock baggie from vacation.  I thought I knew what I was taking.
I thought, but I was wrong.
What I had inadvertently taken was Ambien, a sleeping pill.  I got in my car and drove to work, hitting the rumble strip enough times to be a concern to myself.  I went inside work, realized what I had done (taking a sleeping pill), and told those who needed to know what I had done, and let them know I had to go home.  
This is where I become very disturbed.  First, why did I not realize or care that I should not get behind the wheel again, under the circumstances? Why did those I work with allow me to get behind that wheel?
I do not remember driving to work. I do not remember leaving work.  I did not remember stopping at Sam's Warehouse on the way home and buying cheesecake.  I do not remember eating cheesecake. 
I remember taking the pill, remember telling two people at work what I did and setting the call forward feature on my work phone. I remember trying to sign into my computer. I remember waking up at 4pm this afternoon in my bed.
 I have learned a huge lesson, with the blessing of not hurting myself or someone else, or even worse. 
I will never assume that I can differentiate different medications by just looking at them. The Ambien closely resembled the other pill that I thought I was taking. It was small, white and oval.
I will not put pills in containers that they do not belong in, without them being properly labeled.
I feel really really stupid.  I feel embarrassed. I am sorry for my irresponsibility.
I am also disturbed that I  was not stopped from driving when some had known what I had done.
Today, when I woke up, from my prescribed sleeping pill sleep, I realized that I have much much much to be grateful for today. I went to the garage to make sure I did not cause any damage to my car. I figured I would not have remembered hitting anything or anyone.

I did some research on Ambien and the eating/driving thing is a concern of the drug.  

As a side effect of Ambien, experts explain that it is possible for a person to be half asleep and half awake.  This state causes people to do things that they would not do if they were awake, or to attempt to do things they are not alert enough to do. 
Serious and catastrophic injuries have been reported as a result of:
  • Sleepwalking
  • Attempting to drive while asleep
  • Sleep eating
  • Memory loss.


There have been reports of injuries sustained by users of Ambien as a result of sleepwalking or attempting to drive while sleeping.  Injuries sustained as a result of accidents while sleep driving are some of the most serious Ambien side effects.  Researchers have indicated that the number of drivers who had Ambien in their blood following erratic driving behavior is alarmingly high.  Otherwise safe drivers are causing serious accidents and injuries by driving the wrong way or crashing their vehicle.


Those who suffer the Ambien sleep eating side effects have been found to eat things that they would never eat when they are awake. As a result, several serious injuries have been caused.  Some examples of sleep eating injuries include consuming raw meats, swallow non-edible objects and users cutting themselves while attempting to prepare foods.


As a side effect of Ambien, many users have reported amnesia or episodes of memory loss.  Many episodes may not be alarming or concerning to the user, but there have been some very disturbing events which users have no recollection of.

I just felt a need to blog about this today.

04.27.2010:  I went to my car this morning to drive to work and discovered that I had also bought a large beach chair and a bag of limes.
Again, I have absolutely no memory of this. 
I struggled driving to work, thinking of what happened, and what did not happen yesterday.  I drove the speed limit, paying much more attention than I normally do.  I am so thankful.


My Aimless Infatuation said...

I'm so glad you are safe after this. I took this once and it only made me sleep about an hour and a half so it was no help to me at the time. I have heard about the side effects of taking Ambien. But not everyone has them. Sleep tight(at home).

Lisa E said...

Hi Dinah~thanks, I am so thankful I did not hurt anyone.I feel so dumb though, infact ridiculously dumb.

The Good Cook said...

Wow. That is some pretty scary stuff. Glad you learned a valuable lesson without hurting yourself or anyone else.

Sandy aka Doris the Great said...

WOW! This is very disturbing. I'm so glad you got there and back again with no harm (other than the cheesecake, of course!) That list of side effects is something!

Anonymous said...

What kind of co-workers do you have that would let you drive home putting yourself and others in danger?
Very glad yu are safe - throw those pills down the toilet and flush twice!!
You sure don't need anything happening now! Take care - ur neighbor

otin said...

Wow! I have not been here in a long time! Nice to see you. I have cut way down on my blogging.

I guess that Ambien really works! Maybe too well?

I answered your shark question on my post.

fancypants said...

Oh my! If it weren't for the driving part- it would be funny. I am so glad nothing bad happened. My sister gave me an Ambien once- but I never took it. After reading this- I don't think I ever will. The amnesia part is very scary- not to mention the driving. I hope you chewed out your co-workers. I would have insisted on driving you home.

Steven Anthony said...

Ok, I havent seen you around in awhile, so I come to your blog to see whats up...then I read this..OMG...r u ok?

I miss you and hope all is well