Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Better living through chemistry...

A fellow adoptive parent recently left a comment about the wonders of Ambien in response to my post about insomnia.  Oh Ambien!  How do we love thee?  So here's an entertaining story about our experience with the drug on our first trip to Russia...

Like I mentioned before, I need very little reason not to sleep.  I blame my father, a veteran insomniac.  When I was a little girl, we would frequently depart on family vacations at 2 a.m. because Daddy would be all keyed up and unable to sleep.  In his mind, it was a good idea to get "an early start".  Sure, Daddy. Dragging two sleeping little girls out to the car in the middle of the night... great idea.  I cannot remember one single vacation that didn't begin with my bleary eyes seeing the sunrise through a car window at sixty miles an hour.  As a result, the very mention of any trip anywhere evokes an intense need on my part to bound out of bed at o'dark thirty and let the fun commence.

But I digress... we were discussing Ambien, right?  Lance and I thought we had this whole thing wired.  We were going to take Ambien on the plane, right after the meal and sleep through to Moscow.  We had our dorky little neck pillows and our precious little eye masks and earplugs to ease our way into blissful slumber.  We board and get settled, get fed and then drug ourselves.  At some point during the flight I awaken with my neck crooked into an unnatural position and panic for just a moment, convinced I'm paralyzed because I can't feel my arms.  Stupid neck pillow!  All I've managed to do is stick it to my face with a runner of drool.  Pretty, huh?  My eye mask is askew and I've lost an earplug.  WTH?  Then I notice that Lance is gone.  Hmm, he must have gone to the bathroom.  Good idea, perhaps I'll go, too.

Have you ever tried to walk a straight line on Ambien on a moving aircraft?  I was careening from seat to seat like a drunk senior on prom night.  I made it there and back again safely.  But where is Lance?  After a little bit he shows up looking a little horrified.  "I woke up in the bathroom!"  he says.  "I don't remember getting up to go at all!"  Apparently he came to on the pooper with his pants around his ankles and a ring around his fanny.  He'd been there for quite some time, dozing happily.  Like any good wife, I express concern and ask if he's okay.  Yeah, right... I start laughing like a hyena.  What a supportive spouse.

Fast forward to when we bring Jackson home.  We've all been home for a couple of days and are trying to adapt our body clocks back twelve hours.  Poor Jack is waking up crying and confused several times a night and needs soothing.  I am a red-eyed mumbling, bumbling zombie so my dearly beloved suggests that I take some more of the wonder drug to get some good sleep.

The next morning he begins telling me about poor Jack and how upset he was last night when I didn't come to his room.  I start in with a harangue, "Why didn't you get me up?  blah, blah, blah"  He looks at me, sincerely confused.  "But you DID get up.  You came into the room and took the baby from me.  You rocked him back to sleep, then went back to bed."  he says.  "WHAT!!"  I yell.  "You just handed him over to me?  Was I even awake?"  "I don't know, you seemed okay." he says, "You didn't say anything, you just took him."

Way to go guys.  At least I functioned appropriately while I was sleep walking.  I didn't drop the baby, or put him in the freezer.  AND... at least I got some good sleep, right?  Better living through chemistry.  I strongly recommend it.

You may submit me for Mother of the Year at any time... go ahead, you know you want to.


  1. I took Advil PM on the first flight over. That was the first time and the last time I'll ever do that again. I had basically the same experience as you did trying to walk to the bathroom on the plane, but at one point sitting in my seat, I was convinced the plane was flying upside down. Just thinking about it now conjurs up a purple haze. Thanks for the laugh, I had almost forgotten about that part!

  2. Hi Kim!
    I just stumbled upon your blog, not sure if
    "we've talked" but I'm from Boston and returned from Kemerovo in Oct. with a little angel from Proko/Kiselevsk.She is doing wonderfully and is the youngest of 6 (five at home). Best of luck on your journey!
    Margie Kane