Sep 30, 2007

Continued brainmelt

Thursday night was not a good night for me, culminated in the same sort of weird ass symptoms I was getting last term in the try-sleep... twitching, shuddering, dizziness, numbness around my mouth, tachycardia. So much for trying the OTC stuff, same stuff I tried last time because no, that would be SO much less expensive.

Ambien CR is the platinum standard for me in insomnia relief, and apparently they know it, because the stuff is more expensive than fine grade Colombian blow, and they have my number. I don't want to get "high". The copious amounts of EtOH on this island are more than sufficient for that, not including the foliage that many locals and students seem fond of. I want sleep. Sleep and wake. That, to medical students, is good.

And that, to an insurance agent, is a filthy tale he tells himself while strung up on leather hooks about how he's a BAD BOY; no discounts for you!! Shit's more expensive than viagra, and it's supposed to RELAX my muscles.

Starting to kick in though, and I'm not sure if it's producing fatigue yet (oh, please bring on the fatigue) but it is making me feel a little magical mystery tourish. it was the day for it anyway. I was so wiped on Friday I knew I was getting nothing done so went to the clinic, went to a counselor (no go), and then went home, curled on the sofa, and watched television. Awww. First season X-Files; they're so cute. We get weird channels here. After House, I was flipping channels and saw "The Making of Deep Throat" on HBO, and within seconds, boom, first hardcore I've ever seen on the basic channels. So now I've seen the infamous scene. I feel so dirty.

Today, up until sleep time, which you're kind of in the middle of, I nailed three neuro lectures (which catches me up, with a small gap in the middle) and two physio lectures, and that's despite spending most of the morning/afternoon in a complete funk, taking a shower, and cleaning my clothes. Pretty impressive day for me two weeks before midterms, and no doubt fraught with grammatical and spelling errors.


Anonymous said...

as a fellow sgu 2nd termer, this post popped up in google - I've found myself suffering from sleep problems as of late also. I figured stuff like ambien couldn't be found down here, but who knows - is it helping you? how expensive is expensive? and how did you go about it.. clinic then counselor then Rx??

The worst part is, I know the way to better sleep is eating better, exercising, and getting into a better routine..but unfortunately thats just not conducive with the sedentary and stressful lifestyle of a med student.

if you answer ANY of these, I'd be grateful..cheers!

Ishie said...

Hello, fellow stressed out second termer!

This may be anti-future-doc, but I actually have been eating better and have been exercising extensively, and though it helps my overall mental state *considerably*, I still need help sleeping, and when the stress is really on, all the good advice and healthy living in the world doesn't get me to sleep.

It's kind of like being seasick (which I also get). People can't really advise well until they've been through the extreme version of it, which for both seasickness and insomnia, is usually around the point where you want to die.


Ambien can be found down here. Ambien CR can't be. Ambien, I believe is under one of its generic manifestations, like Stilnoct/Stilnox, and comes in either 5 mg or 10 mg.

My insurance won't cover either because the school's insurance is gawdawful. Generic stuff in the states is around 80 for 30 and less if you shop around. CR is considerably more because there isn't a generic. Around here, I think it was something like 20 EC for 5.

I got ambien due to having intense sleep disorders during midterms and finals last term and having overall problems even without severe external stress, and sought professional help for it over the summer while in the States. The woman who helped me out was excellent and worked both the medical and psychological angle.

Here, it can be hit and miss. The counselor here recommended I stay on it, but depending on which clinic doc you get, they can be tetchy about it, because I dunno, they think it's a kicking recreational drug or something. No freaking idea.

I would recommend counselor with clinic referral because from personal experience, sleep disorders are extremely crippling and can seriously affect study performance (I procrastinate like crazy when I'm exhausted) and more critically, exam performance.

If it's a persistent problem, if you're from the US or Canada (don't know how it goes in other countries), I would recommend seeking pro help during the break because they have the training on things like sleep disorders that clinic docs do not, who are far more frequently in the realm of "Not sleeping's not such a big deal. Just try to focus on other things", rather than "okay, you go from zero to insane at about the 38 hour mark, so we need to do something for you".

For me, ambien works quite well. The Ambien CR eases me into sleep and keeps me asleep (I slept for every exam so far this term except neuro, and that was my own (dumb) choice). The regular ambien 10 mg is a bit like being hit on the head with an anvil.

The only drawbacks (for me; some people have much more severe side effects) are that as this post indicates, if I try to do anything besides sleep once it kicks in, it seems to make me feel emotionally weird, so good to just take it and go down for the count. It works fast.