For the better — okay, the worse — part of a decade, I have been fighting with insomnia, and insomnia has been winning most of the time. Recently, I've tried to step up my game, and if I haven't been entirely successful, I've done better.

During the immediate post-surgical period last summer, pretty much everyone decided that my existing bed — twenty-year-old mattress, forty-year-old box spring, bent frame with two wheel mounts broken — was wholly inadequate to the task. I was loath to spend what I expected to be more than a thousand dollars on its replacement, because basically I am loath to spend more than a thousand dollars if I can possibly avoid it. To my amazement, the kids sprang for half of the purchase price, which left me out of pocket only $550 or so. I knew they were tired of listening to me complaining, but I had no idea they were that tired.

Still, this particular Beautyrest set — thank you, Mattress Firm — did not cure all my sleeping ills, and getting dressed, as I do from the foot of the bed, was decidedly more difficult because of the extra height of the new apparatus. Still, I conceded that it was decently comfy, and for what it's worth, said extra height did put me closer to the ceiling vent.

I was sufficiently despondent last fall to persuade my doctor that I needed more than mere tranquilizers: I needed full-fledged antidepressants. After a couple of failed experiments, the evening cocktail now consists of:

  • One Elavil (amitriptiline), 25 mg
  • One Gabapentin, 300 mg
  • One Ambien (zolpidem), 10 mg
  • One melatonin, 5 mg
  • 1.5 "cups" of Zzzquil (diphenhydramine)

Sunday through Thursday, I usually turn in at 11:05 or thereabouts. (Why :05? So I can see the new offering from Meh.) If I'm knocked out by a quarter to twelve, I'm generally content. I will have to get up a couple of times during the night, because diuretics; however, this isn't as troublesome as I might have expected. (And I improvised a bedside container so I don't have to wheel my way across the house to the one and only bathroom.) One of the brighter things I did was to throw a washcloth across the front of the clock-radio, which has enough light emission from its LED digits to negate entirely the benefits of melatonin.

Apparently there are such creatures as "geriatric psychiatrists," who specialize in the peculiar problems of those of us older than dirt. A referral was provided, and I paid her a visit. After exhibiting a truly spectacular level of patience — I am at least as difficult a patient as I am anything else — she wrote me up a script for a bigger Elavil — 50 mg this time. I duly carted this over to the drug store, which somehow lost it. At least I don't have to lose any sleep over it.

The Vent

#1007
  1 April 2017

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