Guess Who Took My Ambien?

Last month I had my check-up.  It was with a new doctor.  My previous doctor stopped taking almost all insurances and so I was forced to seek out new medical professionals.

A friend referred me to hers.

I called, made sure she took my insurance and made an appointment.

This new physician was lovely, thorough and sent me off with a clean bill of health.

Awesome.

Checking out I remembered to ask for a prescription that my previous medical provider always wrote for me: Zolpidem Tartarate aka Ambien.

Since I was a little kid, I have experienced bouts of insomnia.  I had a completely normal functional childhood with no childhood traumas. High school sucked, but I had insomnia way before I entered ninth grade.

My parents are awesome and are the best caregivers a child could ever hope for.  On that note, I blame them for my insomnia as I am quite certain they failed to sleep train me as an infant.

I WAS NOT FERBERIZED.

There.  I have said (written) it.

To those of you who don’t believe in Ferberization or allowing your infant – in any capacity –  to cry his or herself to sleep…well…go you!  And, by the way  good luck to you on that as your child gets older.

And here’s where we arrive at my Ambien.  Yes I used the word my.  What of it?

Actually, the first time I even tried Ambien – or as I like to call it, Skippy (but I’ll get to that in a later post), was in the hospital the night I was induced for labor for my first child.

I only took half the dose – a paltry five milligrams – because I was scared I would abruptly wake up to major labor pains  (which I did anyways).

Six months later, my son was finally…sort of…sleeping through the night (though he would have slept a lot sooner and better with a little sleep training ala Dr. Ferber).

I, however, was not  sleeping through the night despite constant fatigue and so I asked my physician for my very first Ambien prescription.

She obliged and prescribed me thirty pills to be used only if needed, with no refills.

The pills lasted me three months.

Nine year later and I am asking the same question to a new doctor.

“Could you just please write me a prescription for Ambien?  My previous doctor prescribed it for me.”

“Uh. Sure.”

She sounded suspicious.

“Yeah um she writes me a prescription for 30 10mg pills.  Two refills in a six month period,” I explained, careful to illustrate that 30 pills last me three months.

“Ooh that’s a lot.”

A lot of what? I wondered.

“They’re trying to get the country to cut back on Ambien.  They say we’ve been taking too much,” she attempt to explain.

Who’s they? And what do I care?

“It’s because of the Kennedys, I think, right? Didn’t they get into some trouble from it?” She was trying to reason with me.  Which was totally unreasonable!

Seriously? I’m about to suffer sleep deprivation because of The Kennedys?

Seriously?

They took my Ambien!

The Kennedys took my Ambien.

She cut me down but not off.  Ten five milligram pills.  But more refills.  Clearly an attempt to throw me a much needed bone.

Or maybe she feels bad and also thinks it sucks that the Kennedys ruined the Ambien experience for me and the rest of the country.

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