Sunday morning. Madeline had a sleepover at a friend’s house and Ben is curled up next to me still sleeping. His head is snuggled up against me and his contented breathing is tickling the fine hair on my arm. So peaceful. I hope he’s dreaming of something lovely.

It seems I can’t sleep peacefully anymore. I’m plagued with nightmares and restlessness. This morning I fell out of bed after thrashing about. I have one of those four poster beds that has a much longer drop than the standard sleeping arrangement so falling out of my bed gives me the ability to “catch air” rather than just rolling out and onto the floor. Add to that the fact that I have a small two-step “ladder” that really is more of an aesthetic piece of furniture rather than a functional one. And, yes, I fell right on top of that before hitting the floor. Maybe my next bed should be a Japanese Zen model? Sleeping closer to the floor might serve me a  lot better.

You might be thinking that I should try Ambien? The answer is no. I’ve tried it before with less-than-satisfactory results. While I did sleep like the dead it also encouraged me to eat an entire box of Little Debbie’s Swiss Cake Rolls. I don’t remember eating them at all. All that was left was the carnage of plastic wrappers and the little white “beds” the cakes rest on while in their packaging. That was strike one. Then there was the night that Ben had to go to the emergency room due to chemotherapy-related fevers. Matt tried to wake me without success. I woke up the next morning not knowing where Matt and Ben were only to learn that Ben had been admitted to the hospital with neutropenia. Strike two. I didn’t give Ambien the opportunity to earn a third strike. Solid sleep is just not worth the extra padding to my hips and thighs. Oh, okay, I’m not that shallow (well, maybe just a little). But it certainly isn’t worth sleeping through emergency situations. That’s the kind of stuff that ends up in obituaries.

Sarah D Phillips Washburn Bone Brewer died unexpectedly last Sunday. She was 42 years old. Firefighters broke into her home after it was set ablaze by an unknown arsonist (her ex-husband is being held for questioning). When the firefighters arrived at her address, the fire was contained to the porch. They broke in and tried to wake her up but she just rolled over onto a box of Twinkies and mumbled “No, you can’t have one.” After attempting a sternum rub and sticking straight pins into her feet, the firefighters decided to carry her out. She grabbed onto one of the four posters of her bed and refused to go with them, believing the poster was a giant ho-ho. By then, the blaze had grown to massive proportions and the firefighters had no choice but to leave her there. Her last words were something about a barbeque. She leaves behind two lovely children, a lot of abandoned pets, several ex-husbands (all being sought for questioning), a massive supply of Ambien, a smattering of anti-depressants, and a horrifically large student loan for an unused Master’s degree. No services since she’s already been cremated and carried off in the twister that came through southeast Aurora shortly after her house burned down. Donations can be made to her account through Sallie Mae.

Ambien is going to have to add “possible death in a house fire” to their already lengthy list of potential side-effects. Aren’t those commercials for new drugs getting crazy? We just recently got cable at our house and I think there’s a channel that is dedicated solely to advertising for new medications. At least, I’m seeing a lot more of these ads than I used to, so I’m assuming that there’s an actual drug channel. Watching cable may dull your senses, encourage you to eat more, cause your child to want EVERY toy from every single ad, get sucked into the Lifetime Television for Women, or lend to thoughts of getting away with murder thanks to “Snapped” on the Oxygen channel (I do love that show). We are such a litigious society that EVERYTHING has to come with a warning label these days. It’s kinda crazy.

I was sitting my doctor’s office on Friday morning doing some serious people watching. I ended up waiting for an hour to see my doctor. While that might set most people off, I honestly didn’t mind. Waiting is what I seem to do very well. I wonder if i could get paid to be an official wait person? Not in the service industry, mind you, but at Christmas time or when the new iPhone comes out… I can wait all day long. It’s not that I’m patient, it’s just that my life has been reduced to waiting. I’m conditioned just like one of Pavlov’s dogs. I smell the antiseptic of a hospital or a doctor’s office and I’m automatically stunned into “wait” mode. So, next time you’re anticipating something coming out, perhaps the latest DVD of the Twilight installment, you’ll call me up, supply me with a truckload of alcohol wipes to sniff while I’m in line, and pay me minimum wage to wait in line for you. Please. I implore you. I need a job.

Okay, back to waiting at the doctor’s office. While sitting in the waiting room, I read through all the leaflets encouraging me to “ask your doctor if ______ is right for you”. After discarding the leaflets for Singulair and Viagra, I turned to people watching. There were TONS of pharmaceutical reps coming into the office and heading back to the examination area, which led me to believe that whatever they had in their little black rolling cases were the reason that I was being put off for an entire hour. Using my time well, I decided to study these reps in great detail. My observations led me to believe that these reps are all the same. They were dressed well, usually in a black suit. The women wore high heels. They were physically fit. Attractive. Smiling. Friendly. In fact, they (eerily) had the same voice. If I didn’t know better, I would have thought that it was the same person coming in over and over again. They asked the same questions. They had the same black bag on rollers. It was like a new version of Hitler Youth. Or maybe they all just take the same drug? I then began to wonder what that drug would be called and what the side effects might be.

Ask your doctor if “Sunshine” is right for you. Sunshine may cause you to be unnaturally cheery, have a strong desire to blow sunshine up other people’s nether regions, buy black rolling bags in which to carry your Sunshine, and talk in a lyrical sunshiny voice. Tell your doctor if you experience shortness of breath, have BM’s that mysteriously smell like Skittles, or have thoughts of driving the heel of your black patent leather pump into the forehead of anyone who refuses you more “Sunshine”.

And this, my friends, is what I do with the time I spend waiting. My brain is flooded with odd, yet entertaining, thoughts. It’s not uncommon for me to burst out with a staccato of laughter that emulates a machine gun (to which I pretend that I’m on my cell phone talking with someone else and have a reason for bursting out into laughter). I hope I’ve brought a smile to you on this beautiful Sunday. If you didn’t find this at least mildly entertaining you might want to ask your doctor if “Sarah” is right for you.

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1 Comment

  1. Totally entertained 🙂

    Eamonn took (or tried to) Ambien during Finn’s treatment. Totally awful experience.

    Try some Valerian–the tincture, not the pills. I had great luck with it. I even give it to the boys when they can’t sleep. Helps you drop off and stay that way. And you’ll be Twinkie free.


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