Here’s Your Ambien…But Wait There’s More!!!

Not to be trite but life has a funny way of being not so fun. Or funny.

For instance, I finally remembered to make my bi-annual doctor’s appointment.  For that I was rewarded with my much anticipated Ambien prescription refill.

‘”Have you been diagnosed with insomnia?” my doctor asked.

“Yeah. By me.”  What was there to diagnose?  I am dreadfully tired but I can’t sleep at night.  Doesn’t get more textbook than that.

(Oh and the Valerian didn’t help)

But I was sensing a troublesome vibe from my doc.

“Perhaps you should get diagnosed by a therapist?” OMG.  Was she about to Ambien dump me?

“I’m not going to a therapist. They don’t usually take insurance anyway and I am definitely not paying out of pocket for one.”

I had her there and she knew it.  She nodded her head resignedly.

“In fact,” I was on fire, “I wouldn’t even bother coming to see you if I knew my life didn’t depend on it so much.” Boom!

“But your happiness and well-being are important.” Oh I was hurting for her. She was getting desperate and wanted to have that final say as only doctors do.  Such a lovely smart SMART doctor but I was gonna win this one.

“My mortgage is important. My happiness and well-being depends on my ability to pay for it.” Another boom!

“But no…it’s important to be happy…”

“It’s not gonna happen.”

I won.  Or so I thought.

“I feel something…some lumpiness…Have you ever had a mammogram…Ultrasound…”


She won.

That was Monday.

By Tuesday afternoon I was agonizingly waiting for an FNA.

In case that’s a new term for you  allow me to expound.

FNA stands for fine NEEDLE aspiration.  A physician locates the suspicious lump and then inserts a needle into it, extracts some of it and then examines the specimen right before your very eyes.

Despite the needle issue, the upshot is that the results are instantaneous.

Problem was that the physician was unable to locate any lump.

Good news, you say.

Not just yet.

“Do you have time to do a mammogram now?”

Like she had to ask.

The truth was I didn’t have time.  But I waited anyway.  And waited. And waited.

The problem with having an unscheduled mammogram is that you don’t receive results immediately.  You are relegated go waiting.  And waiting. And waiting.

Yesterday  – exactly one loooooooong week later  – I was told the mammogram was clear.

Now I just have to follow it up with a breast ultrasound to cover all bases, in case the mammogram didn’t pick up something. Unfortunately that’s not for another month.


But at least  – thanks to my newly refilled Ambien stash – I’m not awake all night stressing about.

I’m only stressing about it in every single waking moment.

I wonder if my doctor can prescribe me something for that?  Hmmm…


The President Did What?!

“Ewwww. What’s this?” One of my kids ask with a look of disgust on his face.

“That’s your new vitamin,” I explain.

“What happened to our old vitamin?”

“Ask the President.”

“Why can’t we have our old vitamin?”

“Well, your old vitamin used to cost about $10. Now it costs about $50.”


“Well, the President wanted to help one part of the country.  But in order for him to do that he decided that he would hurt a another big part of the country.”

“Why didn’t he just try and help everybody?”

“Excellent question.”

“Well why?”

“Nobody seems to know.  Including the President.”

“And he lied about it.”

“The President lied?!”

“The President lied.”

“But can’t he get arrested?”

For what?  For being a politician?

No I didn’t tell my kids that!  My son is very into Presidential history.  His favorite president is Abraham Lincoln.  You think I am going to tell him that in these times we live in a lying politician is just another politician?

So what will my kids take away from this Presidential administration?  That the President is responsible for their yucky new vitamins.

In other healthcare related issues in my life:

I haven’t had an Ambien in like two weeks.

So three kids, two snow days and tons and tons of snow…well you do the math.

Back when I was in college, I had a particularly challenging roommate – well two if you count her boyfriend.  Their desire to be with one another did not exactly do well for my insomnia.

So like any good mother, mine sent me bottles of Melatonin.  It was the new thing, to regulate one’s circadian rhythms – and ultimately lead to restful nights.  People swore  by it.  Though I am unclear to what they swore.  That it didn’t work?  Because for me, I could have just as easily downed a Flinstone vitamin with Barney Rubble’s likeness etched into it and enjoyed similar effects.  And it would have tasted way better.

Tylenol PMs were also in my sleeping arsenal and sometimes they even worked.  Except they worked all day too.

Not to my credit, but I don’t exactly roam the aisles of Whole Foods searching for dietary supplements to cure all that ails me.

But now I was desperate so I paid a visit to my local vitamin/health food store in search of the latest homeopathic sleep trend: Tryptophan pills.  Think long turkey dinners that induce dreamy poultry-laden stupors. I’ll bite, I thought (no pun intended – okay maybe a little pun intended).

“Do you have those tryptophan pills I’ve been hearing about?” I ask the salesperson who seemed to young to really understand the  no sleep/kids/snow days combo.

“I have something called Knockout.”

“Oooh.  That sounds great.  I ran out of my Ambien.”

“So you’re trying to get off Ambien because this stuff really helps.”

“No. No. Who said anything about wanting to get off Ambien.  I just need something to tide me over until my doctor calls  in my prescription after I go see her.”

Was this kid bananas or something?  Get off Ambien?  Hello?

“Well this has Valerian and melatonin and…”  he blathers on an on.

“Melatonin doesn’t work for me.”

Seeing he’s about to lose me he downplays the melatonin’s role in the pill.


“But it’s  the Theanine and Valerian that releases the hormone…”

Whatever, I thought. I had nothing to lose.

The verdict?  Well It’s entirely possible that it does work.  I have been sleeping at night, though to be fair, I don’t know if it’s out of sheer exhaustion.