For most, when it’s night, that is a time of rest and relaxation, but not if one has a sleeping problem… My mom has suffered from insomnia for most of her life and she got help from a doctor. As time went by a doctor from the VA wanted to prescribe Ambien.
My mother repeatedly told the doctor that she cannot take Ambien because past experiences with the drug have caused negative side effects. My mother would entirely lose her memory. She didn’t want that happening again, and she didn’t want such a strong medication.
The doctor refused to give her anything but Ambien. After a few appointments my mom was so desperate for sleep; she gave into the doctor about the Ambien.
The first night my mom took it she went to bed and actually got some sleep. Mant days later, unbenounced to me, she woke up, took another pill and then went back to sleep, again she woke up to take another pill and falls back to sleep. This continued on for a few hours.
I woke up and started to see that my mom was acting different when she was awake, like she thought the wall was a door and had other confusions. She went to the bathroom and stayed there. I kept asking her if she was alright and she said she was fine. I started to ask her questions, she answered in a way that made it obvious she needed help.
I called 911; they came and took her to the VA. Two hours or so later, the doctors asked me if she took any medication recently. I said she took her sleeping pills.
They requested to see what she took, so I drove home to bring the doctor her the sleeping pill bottle and all her other prescriptions. A nurse and I counted all the medications and everything was on count except the Ambien.
The Ambien caused what was happening to my mom.
What happened was my mom didn’t know that she kept taking the Ambien throughout the night. She thought that she only took it once. She has no memory of taking multiple pills. Ambien causes amnesia for her.
Before my mom started getting medical care in the VA, she had a typical doctor like most civilians. She had experienced the negative side effects of Ambien with this doctor. Her civilian doctor had it stated all over her records that she should never take Ambien.
When she started to get care at the VA, all her previous medical records were transferred there. Thus, the VA should have known the consequences of what would happen if she were to take Ambien. And my mother even verbalized with the doctor that it is not a medication she can take.
Every appointment at the VA my mom has with this doctor is the same thing over again. Each time we see this doctor we have to tell him again and again what she cannot take. It’s almost as though they go out of their way to not stay informed on how to give the best care to their patients.
I would like to say thanks to http://courtneyofthesea.tumblr.com/ for helping me with editing