I’m living this movie at the hospital.
Yesterday I left you with the Roommate in, Hospital Assisted Suicide, having taken Ambien, and the hour was 2 a.m. I’m dozing in the chair, sitting guard. A draft. A noise. My skin crawls. And I open my eyes.
In the glow of the monitors, and light filtering through the cracked doorway, our bed-ridden roommate is standing at the end of his bed with his thing in one hand and urinal in the other busily filling it. Staring my direction. I didn’t move. I glanced down. Not watching, but keeping my peripheral vision alive in the event he came my way. I had plans of the big kick. He didn’t, and soon climbed back into his bed.
The following morning the nurse advised me that Swedish Hospital administers Ambien to all their patients for a sleep aid. She also shared the story of a man who was bed-ridden and had no strength to feed himself. She said, "He had a tube up his butt, a catheter, a tube in his nose, and unable to do anything for himself." Until Ambien.
During his night of Ambien, she said , “He had super human strength. Pulled everything out of his body. Bit his tubes in half. Crumbled his glasses and began screaming that someone was burying his daughter in the well. It took four of us to constrain him. This goes on often here.”
How scary is that? I’ve heard stories of passengers becoming naked on planes, people unkowingly eating in the middle of the night, and one pilot who had a beer and an Ambien, and ended up in the emergency room, not remembering that he was yelling that was having a heart attack as he rolled on the floor grasping his chest.
Another day.... and the night lingers on in the hospital. We got a private room when my husband went to contagious status. Soon we had new neighbors. Moaning and crying on one side of the doorway, the other is a young man who yells for the nurse to bring him food, or that he's thirsty. He can walk. He stands in his doorway and yells down the hall as if he were at a baseball game and he needed a package of peanuts and the vendor was 12 rows over. Since then the rooms have rotated and the noise of the night continues.
Saturday night felt as if we’d been transported to One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest, and we're still there.
Yesterday we received news that our visit is continuing through the week. The same morning my Chief Pilot at my "support center" pulled me off payroll because I was not allowed to use my sick leave to stay with my husband. He wanted me to go fly a plane despite my telling him I hadn't slept for three weeks. I told him I was sick and could get a doctors note. What he said to that will surprise you. Shocked the heck out of me.
Flood gates finally broke... at the same time the surgeon, resident, and infectious disease doctors walked into the room. I asked, "Would you want to get on a plane with me now?" You know that answer. More to come Tuesday on this.
Tonight my youngest daughter flies in to stay with her Dad, while I go home for my first night of sleep. The human body does not function on fatigue. Yesterday a pilot dodged a star because he was fatigued and thought it was a plane. Imagine what I would be doing flying like this. Scary.
But I can do anything for a day… a week… a month… a year… (except not sleep)
Have you ever taken Ambien? Any side effects? Is this something that nurses should administer to patients?
Enjoy the Journey!