Dear The Makers of a Prescription Sleep Aid That Rhymes with “Plunesta,”
First, your ad campaign with the stupid glowing butterfly has always pissed me off. Now, I’m no butterfly hater, in fact, I kind of find them whimsical and adorable, but night after ever-loving night, as I sat up, unable to sleep, that stupid commercial would taunt me. Must be NICE, I’d say, as I rubbed my aching eyeballs, MUST BE NICE TO SLEEP.
I’ve been a member of The Unable To Sleep For Shit Club for, oh, what, I don’t know, 4 years now? Before this, I would simply LAUGH at those people who claimed that “they couldn’t sleep.” As someone who considered sleeping as a full-contact sport, I couldn’t imagine just not being able to sleep. It was obviously my moral superiority as a perfect human being that allowed me to sleep while others tossed and turned.
(interestingly, this is the very thing that turns me off of other parents when discussing anything related to 1) kids eating or B) kids sleeping) (because, obviously)
Then I found out that I had hypothyroidism, and learned that maybe requiring 14 hours of sleep a night was kind of not a good thing. It was then when Your Aunt Becky met Synthroid for the first time. It was also when Aunt Becky got knocked up, a time when most expectant mothers sleep as much as humanly possible. Why, when I’d gotten pregnant with Ben, I’d wake up with rug burns on my face where I’d simply passed out while trying–in vain–to tie my shoes.
But pregnant with Alex, I first met The Beast, Insomnia. Nothing I could do made a damn bit of difference: I drank (and promptly vomited up) warm milk, I avoided chamomile tea because it was all herbly and I wasn’t sure it was pregnancy safe and besides that, it tasted like stewed grass clippings to me. I cut out caffeine. I developed a bedtime ritual and followed by it religiously.
And still. And yet. And how. I could fall asleep and never really get into that deep sleep. It. Was. Torture. I went into having a *ahem* difficult newborn already functioning on 9 months of sleep deprivation. At 6 months postpartum, when I was Really Starting To Lose My Shit and think about suicide as a viable alternative to dealing with Alex, I called my OB and sobbed, begging for something, anything to help me sleep.
Because, you see, drug people, Alex got up so often over night, I was too anxious to fall asleep in between or even on those rare nights that he did sleep for more than an hour at a stretch. And I was cracking the fuck up.
My OB threw his hands in the air and told me that he just didn’t care. (also, makers of the drug that rhymes with Plunesta, I am a poet and I don’t know it!) There was nothing he could, or would, do while I was nursing.
Finally, I was introduced to my first boyfriend: Mr. Unisom. Our love affair was long and torrid and held me gently through many a sleepless night. I was finally–FINALLY–able to reach that unattainable deep sleep. Pure. Bliss.
But after my daughter was born, I had even more sleep problems, makers of the drug that rhymes with “plunesta,” and the only cure? MORE COWBELL. Prescription Sleep Aids!
And my tentative love affair with that bitch Ambien was cut drastically short when I realized that it did not actually help me sleep (nor did it give me any of the cool urges like gambling in my sleep or throwing in loads of laundry, which might have actually helped me battle Mount Laundry). So I requested your new wonder-drug, “Plunesta.”
Now shhh…drug people, don’t tell my father, who is a pharmacist, but I mixed “Plunesta” with my old standby: Mr. Unisom and all was right with the world again. Until, of course, my headaches began again in earnest.
The one upside to pregnancy for me is while the rest of me feels like I’m dying inside, my headaches, something I have struggled with for years, go away. It’s divine, especially if you’re carefully able to extract the inability to breathe, the swelling, and the sharing-your-body-cavity-with-another-person part.
But our love was not to be, “Plunesta!” While I was able to overlook the mouth-tasting-like-ass side effect as well as the I-crave-sugar-while-sleeping phenomenon, and my memory loss, my doctor, the swine! had the audacity to chide me not-so-gently about mixing meds! And suggested that perhaps THAT may have been the cause for my ever-worsening headaches!
(also on the chopping block are my OCP’s. See you later, sex life! Hel-lo vasectomy!)
Like the desperate sheep that I am, I abandoned you, “Plunesta;” discarded like yesterday’s dirty diapers. Tossed into oncoming traffic, I sent you and your (apparently) scary side effects packing.
But you, YOU “Plunesta” were not about to take rejection lightly! O! No! I bit, and you bit back HARDER and with sharper, more withdrawaly teeth.
Because last night, after my interlude with Mr. Unisom, I lay in bed, alone, sweating and unable to sleep, my muscles aching and my body throbbing like a rotted tooth.
And today, I feel as though I’ve been encased in one of those dratted jello molds that I loathe, suspended in red goo like some particularly fleshy marshmallow. My body aches, my joints complain when I move, and while I can’t be certain, I think that somebody may have scooped out the grey matter in my brain and replaced it with chocolate pudding.
Oh yes. After years of not being dependent on anything other than Guns and f’ing Roses and Diet Coke, Your Aunt Becky is going through withdrawal. It is, in a word, unpleasant.
Being the upstanding soul that I am, I then googled “Lunesta withdrawal” and was shocked to learn that besides looking like a decrepit old lady (as the picture clearly showed), I could expect any number of these symptoms to pop up (this was, of course, from some website whom I probably wouldn’t trust. But wait, it’s on The Internet, so it’s true!):
abdominal pains, aching, agoraphobia, anxiety, blurred vision, body vibrations, changes in perception, diarrhea, distended abdomen, feeling of unreality, flu-like symptoms, flatulence, food cravings, hair loss, heart palpitations, heavy limbs, increased allergies, increased sense of smell, insomnia, lethargy, loss of balance, metallic taste, muscle spasms, nightmares, panic attacks, paranoia, persistent & unpleasant memories, severe headaches, shaking, short term memory loss, sore mouth and tongue, sound & light sensitivity, speech difficulties, sweating, suicidal thoughts, tinnitus, unusually sensitive, fear.
While I wouldn’t necessarily mind the feelings of unreality, which sounds an awful lot like getting stoned (praying without the sudden urges for Taco Bell) nor would I mind that “changes in perception.” In fact, I might then decide to get the band back together and get a bus and travel across the States with Aunt Becky’s Band of Merry Pranksters.
That sounds kind of like a break from the norm.
So, makers of the drug that rhymes with “plunesta” I would like to thank you for your time as my semi-boyfriend, and alternately list you on Don’t Date Him Girl. Or, I will, I suppose, if I don’t wind up a puddle of goo on the floor, shaking, contemplating suicide, and farting.
Right, I know, like that would be different than any OTHER day. Touche, drug company people, touche, indeed.
Now, former lover of mine, I’m off to lay on the couch and rub my aching joints and try not to look directly into the sunlight, lest I burst into flames like a large piece of parchment. Also, can I please have my grey matter back? I do kind of need it.
It’s not me, it’s you. And me. Okay, it’s both of us.