Friday, January 19, 2007

The rise and fall of Hope

Some Zen masters advise to abandon Hope, because Hope is a cruel master, but it is easier said than done.

My doctor, Dr. Guyer, wanted me to try combining Rozerem and Ambien, a sort of risky- sounding business to me, since they are both sleep inducers. But I have terrible insomnia and I agreed to try it. I agreed to try it not only because the insomnia itself is so terrible, but also because I am in constant pain from my fibromyalgia. The fibromyalgia seems to be linked to the length and quality of my sleep.

The night before last, I took one Ambien and one Rozerem, as directed by Dr. Guyer. I fell immediately into a deep stupor without having put on my CPAP. Keith had a terrible time rousing me to get me to put on the mask. I finally picked it up but fell asleep again without putting it on. "It was as if you were drugged," he said. Of course, I was drugged.

I slept most of the night, but I was still tired and sleepy the next day, maybe just as much as I would have been had I been awake most of the night.

The good news was that my pain subsided for the first time since I moved to Detroit. It didn't go away entirely, but almost. It backed into the corners. It nibbled at the edges. But most of the time, I was nearly pain free. It felt amazingly good!

So, then why would I attempt to change that in any way? I backed off a little and last night, I took a half an Ambien and a Rozerem. I did that because I felt groggy all day and drugged at night. I didn't fall asleep as quickly, I woke up more often, and I got up earlier. I still felt tired all day. And I had pain, and the pain worsened and worsened throughout the day so it is quite bad right now.

Of course, I am very sad and disappointed. Crushed even. The rollercoaster of hope in the face of chronic pain.

But I don't think it was the half an Ambien that made the difference. It may have been, but it may not have been. For one thing, I've been on Ambien trials before, and it has never worked well for me. It will sometimes work the first day, but then its effectiveness subsides and disappears. For another thing, sleep is not the only element in my fibromyalgia pain, and I think I may have eaten something that is causing the pain. I don't really know that, of course. And I have no idea what. One reason why I suspect food is that I am also really hot, sick hot, which is a reaction I often get when I eat something I'm allergic to.

All I know is, I am sick again, and I am depressed to be in so much pain.

To further complicate things, when I went to pick up my prescriptions, I discovered that Medco, my prescription insurance company, doesn't cover Ambien and Rozerem. So, even if it is working, it wouldn't matter, because I can't have it. Not only that, but I have not been able to locate the information that tells me what drugs I can have. Not that I even want to take drugs. I don't. I just want the pain to go away.

I have one Rozerem left from the samples the doctor gave me. I am going to take it tonight with a whole Ambien. I hope I feel OK tomorrow. We are planning to go visit Gail. I want to feel OK and not be in pain. I always want to feel OK and not be in pain. But it is even worse to be in pain while visiting others and feel that you are a burden on them because of your pain. I'd better put my CPAP on before I lie down, though the effectiveness of the Ambien may already be severely diminished. But, just in case it does work, I want to be ready.

To complicate things even further, still further, I am getting conflicting advice. My sleep Dr. Doctor Flintrop, told me to avoid taking sleeping pills whenever possible because it disturbs your sleep rhythms and patterns and you get fully restorative sleep. He and several of my other doctors all told me Ambien can be habit-forming and not to take it more than a week at a time. But Dr. Guyer says new research shows it's not that bad and that it's OK to take it on a long-term basis. When I get conflicting information from my doctors, who am I supposed to believe?

Meanwhile, tonight I am making apple pies. Keith is helping and just went to the store to grab a few more apples. Graham has gone to a sleepover. I haven't walked yet. I have to get the pies in the oven and go out and drag myself around the icy cold streets with my wretched pain. Sorry. I'm not looking forward to it.

It's not a Whiney Wednesday, it's just a regular day. Friday. A no flower Friday? No photo Friday?

Anti-white: I feel really really bad. But, check out: this cute little guy. Read about him. I need to put my problems in perspective. Sometimes, it's hard to do when you're in pain.


Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Note to Medco: Thank you for your reply to my question. It was my understanding that Dr. Guyer had written perscriptions for a 1-month supply of these two drugs, Ambien and Rozerem, for a 1-month trial course. (However, I did not read the perscriptions.) The pharmacy (Notre Dame on Kerchaval) told me mTHEY WERE NOT COVERED and did NOT give me ANY in any amount at all. If I am allowed 60 of 90 days, why was I given none and told they were disallowed by you?

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Keith and I went out and walked while the pies were baking. It was very cold and icy and I slipped twice and nearly fell and ended up walking in the road. I was uncomfortable, but it was not nearly as bad as I'd expected and when I returned, I felt somewhat better. Then Keith gave me a backrub and I felt better still. I took the Rozerem (and I still have ONE left) and Ambien and slept fairly well--woke up at 3:40 AM (instead of 3) and managed to go back to sleep til 6:40 (instead of 6). The pies look good but we won't know how they taste until they are opened later today. Apple blueberry cranberry.

BerryBird said...

I have read that Ambien was not originally tested for long-term use, so initially, no one knew if it was safe to take long-term or not. The FDA had not evaluated it for that use. It has been on the market for a while, though, so it makes sense that data would slowly be accumulating. Lunestra went through clinical trials for long-term use, and got FDA approval for it. You should ask the doc to give you that when your Rozerem is gone.

It's sick how I've become a pusher of this sleeping medication I've never tried just because I like their macsot. There must be something seriously wrong with me!

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

My Rozerem is gone. I took the last one last night. With a combination of Rozerem and Ambien, I did sleep all night, but I do not feel rested and energetic. I feel sort of sleepy and tired. However, so far, my pain has been less than "normal" lately. Less pain I can live with, but like I said, no more Rozerem. And I am worried about the consequences of long-term use of ambien expecially since Flintrop said, and MEDCO SAYS that when you take sleep meds, it makes sleeping without them more difficult and you don't get a deep resporative sleep.

I haven't seen the ads for Lunestra.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin