I began taking ambien in mid-September of 2013. It worked like a charm! I couldn't have been happier. I would have told you I slept 'like a rock'. It would be a few days before I would know just how dangerously true that was.
Several days later my husband and I were hanging out in the living room. It was a Saturday morning. The children weren't in the room and I looked at my beautiful groom (yes, I can say that
) and playfully said, "Hey, I thought we were going to fool around last night." He looks at me funny. "Well, we did."
I look at him. I assume perhaps he has misunderstood what I meant. "No, I mean...I thought we were going to have sex last night."
"We DID." My husband stares at me.
"What?" I ask in disbelief.
"We DID have sex. And then I told you to get up and go to the bathroom and you did. And when I told you to get dressed again, you did. Then you went back to bed. You don't remember any of this?"
I stare at my husband in utter shock. To say that 'I don't remember it' isn't quite accurate. As far as MY experience...it never happened. We stare at each other as the implications of this conversation sink in.
"Wow...If you can do THAT with me and I don't know it...what else could happen?" I sit there in shock, wondering if I would know if the house catches on fire or would I know if someone broke in. Wow! This medicine is turning my brain OFF. Completely OFF. This is dangerous.
While this unsettles me, I have three children and I have to sleep. Not sleeping isn't an option so this is what I have to do. Besides, if the house catches on fire, my husband will wake me up-right? No big deal. And if he wants to have sex with me while I'm out, thats okay with me. I love and adore this man with all my heart and I believed that he felt the same about me. I believed he would NEVER let anything happen to me. And I knew he would NEVER harm me...right?
On October 21st, 2013 my husband comes home about 4:30 or so. He has an extremely demanding job and tells me he has been up for over 26 hours. He helps prepare our dinner and as is typical has several beers throughout the evening. I will come to believe that this and the lack of sleep proved a deadly combination.
After the children go to bed I am hanging clothes up in the closet. Some clothes belong folded on the shelf. My husbands gun is tucked between some t-shirts. UGH! I've told him not to do this!! I'm pretty sure there are rounds in the magazine. He says its not 'loaded' but I've always disagreed with that position. If there are bullets in a gun...ANYWHERE in the gun whether the magazine or the barrel, ITS LOADED. Safety policies always tell parents to store the gun in one place and the bullets in another. I pick it up and rack it...YEP. A bullet has just slid into the barrel. Darn! Now its REALLY loaded. I turn it upside down to try and figure out how to get the bullets out. This stinkin' thing is dangerous!! I don't see a safety and I can't figure out how to open it. Why can't that man just put this thing up like he's supposed to!
Suddenly my husband walks in. I had thought he'd fallen asleep in the living room. I jump 3 feet in the air and practically drop the gun back onto the shelves. Goodness gracious! Make a little noise when you're walking around, I think! He laughingly asks if I was "Messin' with my stuff?" I say no and as I'm done with hanging up the clothes I go to bed. I'd gotten so startled that I forget that I was working to get that gun unloaded. I just leave it there, bullets and all, forgetting all about it. My husband chuckles and then walks in our bathroom. I lay in bed staring at the ceiling for a minute. Crap! I forgot to take my ambien, I remember. Its in the bathroom where he is. I also realize I need to 'go potty', as we frequently say in this house
!! I wait a bit, but he's taking FOREVER! (And they say women take long in the bathroom-right!)
I decide to go tinkle in our children's bathroom. I am in there when he comes barrelling in. The man I adore to the moon and back asks if I was going to shoot him. WHAT IN THE WORLD? I look at him like he's nuts and tell him no, that I would never do something like that. He is obviously exhausted and needs to go to bed. He asks me if I was going to shoot myself. I give him a "look". This is getting ridiculous. I tell him he needs to go to bed, and that that's what I'm doing too. I walk back to our bathroom and grab an ambien. I swallow it with a tad of water and crawl in bed. My husband is standing in our room with his phone wanting to know whom he should call. This is utterly ridiculous and I tell him I'm going to sleep and he should too. He says I need to go to a hospital. I tell him I'm going to sleep and tell him he's not to do anything of the sort with me-we all know this ambien will allow him to do anything with me. But did I ever really think he'd make such a stupid decision? Nope. Not in a million years.
My mother's husband is screaming at me to get out of bed.
A needle is going in my arm. I can't understand why it doesn't hurt...
I am not in my room! OH MY GOD!
I sit up. I'm in a bed, my husband is with me. Where am I? OH MY GOD.....OH MY GOD, I'M IN A HOSPITAL. OH MY GOD HE TOOK ME TO THE HOSPITAL!!!
I glance down. What am I wearing?!? I am in a pair of his pants and an old t-shirt of his. This is not what I put on before bed. How in the world did I get in these clothes? When did he bring me here? Who's with our children?!? MY MOM-MY MOM'S HUSBAND WAS IN MY HOUSE. YES, YES...He was screaming at me. They must be with the children. Why was he screaming at me in the middle of the night?
A nurse comes in pretty soon after this. She tells me my husband told them i 'went to bed with a gun'. My mouth drops open and I stare at him. "What did you say!" I screech. He looks at her and corrects it, "No I didn't say that. I said I found her in our closet with my gun." I look at him. "John, (name changed) the guns are KEPT in the closet. Where else would I be with one? You've been 'in the closet with the guns too'." I point out. I tell the nurse that I'm not suicidal and that I've been on ambien and don't know how I got here or anything that's gone on. She states that my being on ambien 'wasn't disclosed' however, hospital notes revealed that John DID tell them. My husband honestly believed his version due to the severe lack of sleep and the alcohol in his system. Does this make he and I friends right now? No...our relationship has been damaged beyond repair due to this and its far-reaching repercussions in our family. However, the hospital had a duty to ME, which they denied. They should have STOPPED everthing and re-evaluated me now that I was awake and conscious. But that is not what happened. I was told I was being stripped of my rights and would be transported in shackles to a mental health institute. I was treated with contempt and rudeness by the nurses, who took my husband away from me, wouldn't call my mother, forced me to stay in the room although I wasn't sick, wouldn't allow me to talk to the doctor now that I was in my right mind (I was informed by a nurse that I had already spoken to a doctor when I came in. I told her that I had done no such thing in my conscious experience. This didn't seem to matter one iota).
A little while later a police officer came in and forcibly shackled my ankles. I was so ashamed and humiliated and frightened. She spoke to me like a criminal while I sat there and wailed in distress and shame. She reached for my wrist and I pulled my arms back and shook my head NOOOOOO. I just couldn't . I couldn't let them do this to me. She yelled that if I didn't cooperate I would be 'in trouble'. I was sooo overcome with distress.
I was hauled in the back of a police car, sobbing to a mental health hospital. When we got there I had to walk, shackled and ashamed from the car to the doorway. If I had been naked it wouldn't have been much worse. I was stripped of my dignity. Within an hour these ACTUAL PROFESSIONALS released me and asked if they could call the ER to 'let them know what we're looking for, because you aren't it'. While this was a nice turn of events, it couldn't erase the shame and humiliation of what happened to me.
For the past week I have struggled greatly with what happened to me. I am angry with my husband-for what he did and the resulting humiliation, for taking me against my will or knowledge to a hospital WHEN HE KNEW FULL WELL what ambien does to my brain. I cannot bear to look in the mirror because all I see are the shackles and I can't bear to have my husband look at me. I feel so incredibly ashamed. I am launching an investigation into the way I was treated at the ER and also the fact that I was not treated after I 'woke up'. But this doen't erase what happened to me.
PLEASE DO NOT LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU! DO NOT TAKE A DRUG THAT DOES THIS TO YOU. EVEN IF YOU TRUST THE PEOPLE YOU LIVE WITH, YOU HAVE TO UNDERSTAND THAT WHEN YOU ARE ON A DRUG LIKE AMBIEN, THEY MAY NOT TRUST YOU!! MY HUSBAND REALLY THOUGHT, THOUGH HE HAD CIRCUMSTANCES CLOUDING HIS JUDGMENT THAT I MIGHT REALLY HAVE BEEN TRYING TO HURT MYSELF BECAUSE SUICIDE IS A RISK FACTOR FOR AMBIEN. PEOPLE WILL STOP SEEING YOU, AND ALL THEY'LL SEE IS DRUG RISKS. PROTECT YOURSELF BEFORE YOU GET TO THIS POINT. BECAUSE LET ME TELL YOU, ONCE PEOPLE THINK YOU ARE A SUICIDE RISK, NOTHING YOU SAY MATTERS. ALL THEY SEE IS A SUICIDE RISK, PERIOD.