Sunday, July 17, 2011

Counting Sheep

I'm walking on the beach, a cool breeze blowing, the smell of the ocean, birds flying overhead, the waves gently crashing and flowing softly over my feet. When suddenly I find myself gasping for breath and my heart beating through my chest. No I haven't been hit by a tsunami, instead I find myself in my bed trying to recover from an adrenaline rush. I close my eyes and try to slow my heart and breathing down. It's 3 am and I need to get back to sleep so I try to focus my thoughts on that beach I was just walking on but my body says "No way, I've just run a marathon and I DON'T WANT TO GO TO SLEEP!" I try counting sheep, rolling over trying to finding that perfect sleeping position and I still can't sleep! I get up, make some chamomile tea and try to read myself to sleep but nothing works. Unfortunately the less sleep I get the more symptomatic I become.

After days of waiting for Mr. Sandman to stop by my house and trying every natural method of sleep remedy I can find on the Internet, I decide I need to let my doctor know I need some help. Asking for sleeping medication is not how I want to handle this. I have always been against taking medication. I was the girl who didn't take aspirin when I had a head ache. Medications of any type or form freak me out. I'm sure my "say not to drugs" attitude stems from a book a read in my teens call "Go Ask Alice", in which a girl with everything going for her gets hooked on drugs. Many of the scenes in the book were frightening and left me suspicious of all drug forms. Too bad all teens are not so impressionable, one book would wipe out generations of drug addiction. I describe the sleeping issues along with the fact that sleep loss is making my POTS symptoms worse and my doctor agrees that I definitely need sleeping medication. She prescribes Ambien and I finally get my first full night of restful sleep since my POTS diagnosis. There are some good medications out there with a purpose, it's when we abuse the medications that it becomes a problem.

It's kind of funny, last month I had a visit with my new GP. I needed to refill several of my medications including the Ambien. She was concerned that I have been on the Ambien for two years and that it is addicting. I told her I would love to get off of my sleeping medication, and that I really don't like being on any meds at all. I informed her that if she knew of a way to get rid of the adrenaline rushes that wake me and keep me awake that I would be more than happy to stop taking the Ambien. She turned around and began writing up my prescription. Praying for a cure so I can go back to my "say no to drugs" life style.

Inspired,
Michele

Matthew 11:28
"Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest."

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