I’ve been wondering about a way to publish this experience, and this appears the perfect spot.
Dialysis patients notoriously have trouble sleeping, so for a while I was trying various sleeping pills. (I have since given up on all of them.) I had Ambien for a while, the weakest dose. In my particular form of insomnia, I’d go to sleep between 10 and 11 and wake up — wide awake — an hour later. Usually I’d kill time going out to an all-night donut shop, listening to John Batchelor in my car, smoking a cigar, till I could relax and go to sleep again.
And I had become very familiar with how fast sleeping pills worked — I thought.
So there I am one night about 1:30, having switched over by that time to the Beeb, and I’ve eaten my donut and drunk about a quarter of my coffee and lit my cigar. I pull out my Ambien bottle, take one, figure to start for home in 10 minutes.
But in ten minutes, just like a switch had been thrown, my vision doubles. I was seeing literally two of everything.
Thinks I, “I better get home.”
And next thing I know I’m looking over the nose of my car at the flowerbeds in back of the donut shop, wondering where I am. Vision still doubled, but now add complete disorientation. And this donut shop — first thing I realize — is where the cops from three adjacent towns come for mid-graveyard pick-me-up.
I managed to drive home, a hairy experience indeed, and luckily over roads I know well and which are absolutely deserted.
Let me put paid once for all to the comedians’ idea that you can close one eye when you have double vision. If you close one eye, the Ambien gets you and you close the other eye and fall asleep. Instantly.
Never again. Ambien is a drunk pill, and there are millions of people taking it and doing what I did.
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