13 November, 2013

Now I See it ...

Hallucinations ... who knew they could be so curious and irritating - and at the same time?

Well, here's the deal. For quite some time now, I have slept poorly. I have no trouble falling asleep, but staying asleep - ay, there's the rub. The modal length of a sleep period is about an hour. You give me a 90 minute stretch, and I'm thrilled. A two hour stretch? I'm ecstatic. Three hours without waking? To be honest I cannot remember when that last happened.

It's not that I'm getting no sleep. I go back to sleep fairly easily, but I am not well rested. I have no idea what is happening with my REM periods which are supposed to arrive every 90 minutes or so. I'm getting desperate. I've tried melatonin - no help, not even in the new timed-release version. After avoiding it for a long time, I finally accepted my physician's offer of a sleeping pill. The thought of them scared me, but I was assured that as long as my supplemental oxygen was working, there was little to worry about.

So ... I entered last Friday night armed with five Ambien. Not just for Friday, of course, but for five nights. It was bedtime, but I remained undecided. Finally I leapt and swallowed one of the five. I was not expecting a miracle. I thought the first night might be a bit funky just because it was ... well ... the first night. On Saturday morning had to admit that although waking on occasion, my sleep periods were longer. I'm resolved to see it through, and on Saturday night, I took pill number two.

Saturday night's sleep was only marginally improved, if at all. It's now Sunday afternoon, I'm on the couch, and the History Channel was requesting my undivided attention. It happened a few times before I started to figure it out. Someone came to the doorway to ask a question. Just as I started to answer, I realized there was no one there, and the apparition dissolved like a wisp of smoke.

Or, I found myself trying to do something or eat something. Same scenario - at some point I realized it wan't there, usually when I couldn't touch it. And poof. The most bizarre was when I was holding a pencil or a fork that gradually became more and more flexible as I tried to use it. Then there were all of the times I was relieved it wasn't real because I was about to make a mess or break something.

Can you say visual hallucination, dear readers?! Sure you can. These were all reality based though - none of that weird stuff. (I've written about a similar experience in To Sleep, Perchance To Dream, but these are somehow different.) It's now Wednesday, by the way, and did I say I still have three of the original five? Anything capable of giving me hallucinations, however mild, 18 hours after I took it ... well, let's just say my body doesn't need it.

I have to admit I was kind of having fun with it, but when it persisted it began to bother me. I'd rather be in control. Call me crazy.

So how was your week's end?