I knew that complications might occur—pneumonia, weakened immune system, blood clots—that might be attributed as the trigger of the end. What does it mean for the patient and their family? I never found an answer until I watched it for myself. But even then, it was clear that she had gotten worse rather quickly.
She had been in stage 6—characterized by confusion, personality changes, and the need for supervision—for a while, and we thought she would remain in this stage for another few years at least, as she was physically fit and engaging with others. But while she was still able to walk, we noticed that she was having difficulty figuring out how to walk up the stairs and getting in and out of the car was almost impossible for her. She had picked up a very distracting tick—clapping with her hands to a rhythm only she knew in her head.
If we held just one hand, she would start tapping the same rhythm on her leg with the other. This repetitive tick would become worse, where she would end up hitting her head quite hard with the repetitive clapping rhythm. We never could figure out why she would do it. It was part of the disease that meant she was no longer welcome in the main living room of her care home, because it annoyed the other patients, and she was relegated to spending hours alone in her own room.
I walked in once to watch her sitting there alone in her chair, staring blankly out the window and hitting her cheek, her forehead, her hair, then her hands with this maddening clapping rhythm. It was gut-wrenching to witness. My mother was a gifted piano player. She was self-taught and could play any piece of music you put in front of her. This gift is what helped her through many long weeks, months and the final year of her disease.
She could play for hours on end, and even when she had forgotten the faces and names of all her friends, long after the passing of time had become meaningless to her, she could still read the music and play. But in February that stopped. When the care home nurses led her to the piano, she stared at it blankly, put her hands on the keys, and stopped and then stared off into space, disinterested in the thing that had given her so much joy her whole life.
They say the disease takes a big downward step and then stabilizes, but that those periods of stability get shorter and shorter. That was the case in February. But one day in late February, my sister found her sitting alone in her room, staring vacantly and unresponsive. Nothing my sister did elicited a response.
It was the first wakeup call of many for us. The next day, it was back to normal. By the end of March, after a few more of these vacant staring episodes, she had lost the ability to walk—no amount of tugging or pulling could get her to stand up, and she was visibly afraid of taking steps.
With the lack of mobility came the bed sores. In the case of my mother, they manifested as very large blisters on her heels—so large the blisters covered half her foot. Why was she getting blisters there? No one could answer—maybe she was rubbing her feet up and down the mattress at night because she was uncomfortable.
She had lost the ability or the know-how of turning over. Even now, I still cringe to think of her rubbing her feet in her anguish, alone in the dark. I pleaded with the nurses to give her something to sleep better at night. It was due to poor blood circulation, made worse by the fact that she was having trouble eating and her protein intake was too low, exacerbating the fluid build-up in the blisters.
And then she stopped being able to swallow her medicine; no antibiotics to help heal the wounds on her heels and legs, no paracetamol to ease the discomfort, not even a relaxant to help her sleep at night. In late March I found her still sitting at the dining table two hours after the meal, staring at her bowl of fruit. The nurses said she had become a slow eater. It was the disease, slowly shriveling the part of her brain that takes care of the physical processes and basic functions.
It was the swallowing, or lack thereof, that was the beginning of the end. She would chew her food for hours, forgetting what to do with the food in her mouth. So, the nurses moved her to liquid shakes, or thickened her water to make it easier to swallow, and started giving her water and juice in sippy cups.
She hated those—even in her advanced state, she refused those pastel, toddler sippy cups. I could get her to take one or two sips of water from a normal glass, but her eyes would go dark when I tried with a sippy cup.
41. “Sharp Bend, Hm?!”
I clung to that. One day she just stopped eating and drinking completely. By April, she was mostly bed-ridden, requiring a special sling-lift to lift her onto her wheelchair, to change her adult diapers, to wash and clean her, to change her clothes. She always tensed up when they started putting her in the sling-lift, obviously embarrassed in front of the caregivers. By then, I started to wonder how long this would go on.
She was awake, tapping away to that incessant rhythm in her head, sometimes responding, mostly staring away vacantly. How long could someone go without eating and drinking? She had lost a lot of weight, her cheekbones becoming more prominent. We were there constantly the last week of April, coming every day, going home exhausted at night. I postponed my plans to go home; my sister took time off work.
How quickly? Weeks or days, they said. And then one day, the spell broke. She was hungry and thirsty, and drank and even ate and chewed, slowly, but with relish. And we gave her as much as we dared without causing her to choke. The doctor told us we would have many more months with her if she kept eating. It was a relief to hear this, and we had a few good days—so good that I planned to go back home, my sister made plans to head back to work, and my father planned to visit friends in France.
We would keep in touch and be ready to come back as soon as things got worse again. But worse came the following day. The doctor called saying my mother had developed a lung infection. She must have choked on something on one of the good days, some water, some food had entered her lungs and triggered a lung infection. Thank you for sharing this. The sudden changes, the rapid decline and not knowing what was next was the most difficult part. You have painted a clear picture on what to expect in many ways. Thank you so very much. My mother went quickly. Thank you for posting your thoughts.
My heart breaks every day as I watch her look expressionless, unresponsive, and vacant. I just read your post. She, like your mom, had some swallowing difficulties, and, like you, I was so sad to see her decline. I tried to find some humor in the situation though, when I could. Best of luck. I am so sorry to hear about your Mum and the pain you must feel. Your article has really helped me understand some things about my Mum who had two major strokes and severe dementia.
She was given no more than 3 months to live and is still going 3. Her quality of life is terrible, she has double incontenence, virtually no recognition of family, eats only soft food and chews a lot and is nearly blind and immobile. She is in a good nursing home, but I find it hard to cope every time after I see her.
Its hard to know what she does or does not feel. She lost most of her speech function as a result of the strokes. What a nightmare this disease is. So much is unknown, I wish I could help her. Two diseases we have known about for more than a century, I only wish I could have finished your story, because my Mom, and her Mom before her battled; my Mom for 17 yrs my grandmom for I still cry daily after a yr loosing her about the suffering she endured.
This is a Brain disease, that has no meds, no survivors, no treatment, and no hope. After attempting to get through this article, I had to stop due to floods of tears interrupting me. There should be a long space or a long silence here. I thought this was truly a sensitive,but yet awareness and a abundance of the know and very factual story. My father had it and crossed over peacefully. I thank God for that. Thats why I do what I feel is my passion.
Elderly home care. Its very rewarding to me to know what I know now and to prepare or help with family members. Thank you for sharing. It was very detailed as well loving….. May your mother RIP.. Watching my mother suffer from AD the past 15 years is a myriad of contradictory emotions. Just as this story and all of the comments are soothing and comforting, yet terrifying at the same time. You are all so brave for sharing. My mom was diagnosed early in her disease… she was completely aware of her memory decline.
My parents, my sister and I are within blocks of eachother, thankfully, and can support one another greatly. My father is sharp as ever mentally and took primary care of my mom in their home for 13 years. Two years ago, he accepted that he needed help…he was lifting her, changing her many times a day, bathing her ,etc. He ended up needing back surgery. They are together in a senior living environment. It is costing him his entire life savings to do this. Watching my beautiful mother fade away piece by piece, or watching my Dad losing his love of 60 years.
Even though he pays for this lifestyle, he continues to advocate for her and do literally everything for her by himself. He does not feel anyone can take care of her properly. Even though we are all nearby and see them often, my dad feels complete guilt doing anything away from or without her. He is lonely and depressed and does not participate in any activities, groups, classes that are offered to him. My sister and I attended a wonderful support group for 3 months but my dad would not go ….
This disease is slowly breaking down our entire family. But I know we are not. We visit them often and my dad still brings my mom over for dinners but it is getting very, very difficult. Some days my mother is very unpleasant and I feel such guilt that I dont want to be around her. We have asked these questions so many times about what to expect at the end, what exactly will happen, how long will it take, etc.
The answers are horrifying. Aside from AD, my mom is technically very healthy overall. Some days she is angry and combative and doesnt talk or interact at all. Other days, she laughs, reads words and runs around hugging everyone and saying she loves them. The fluctuations are radical and confusing to us all. How long can this go on? It is like a never ending roller coaster. My heart and prayers go out to everyone on this blog…everyone that has faced this disease with a loved one.
I get comfort and solace in reading and learning from those who have experienced this and are willing to share their hearts and their journeys with others. You give me hope that even during the most difficult times, there is love and joy yet to come with my mom. Today is Mothers Day. Thank you all for your stories and support! Thank you for writing. My Mother died today. She had been on a long slow decline since breaking her hip in , and my brother and I have been taking care of her in her home. I worked out of state for six years to qualify for a pension I knew I and my brother would need, she cried hearing my decision and I came back every weekend, doctor or nurse visit, and when I retired moved home again.
I feel so much guilt and shame and I imagine that not being able to take care of parents at home causes the same feelings in others, athough we do what we have to do. I was able to have the conversations I would regret not having nonetheless. Your Mother has a lot to be proud of in you. What bothers me the most is watching myself decline. Mean while it feels like watching a movie of myself. How do you feel? Sending you strength and love. My mom found cannabis oil very helpful as well as coconut milk based protein shakes. Coconut oil converts to ketones in your liver to feed the brain, so it shrinks less, and slower.
Cannabis oil helps with anxiety, sleep, mood and attitude. Take good care, Frank. Thank you so much for this wonderful article! I have also Accepted that Inevitability, and am at peace. Thanks be to God. This was an amazing article, albeit heart wrenching. I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer 4 years ago.
I had the most complicated surgery there is, even more so than a heart transplant. Whipple surgery…10 hrs. My digestive tract is a mess And basically keeps me housebound. I also married a second time to someone who is non sexual, emotionally vacant and distant.
I had hoped that with our separation would come a chance to meet and enjoy a less lonely life with someone more like myself. Then the diagnosis. I am in tearful as I write this knowing that I can continue to go to the gym, take my ginko biloba and yet the end will come….. As an adopted child even at 60, it was the most horrendous experience and I wish it on nobody. I would wish it on nobody. Definitely very important if you have a close family member sufferint this illness essential to document ourselves.
Courage to all. Mr Ettenberg. I just read your response, and I agree with what you shared percent. I am sitting at my desk at work, in an office that I share with another. I struggled to maintain my composure during my reading, which I did, but it still crushed me inside. You see, I, like many experienced this first hand with a loved one. Very similar set of circumstances for me. I do not know the conclusive findings yet. All I can do is pray that they are negative for the sake of my family. Jasja, I thank you so very much. God bless you Jasja, and your family as well.
Yes, thank you for sharing your personal journey! It has variations of progression for each individual. My dad died of complications due to Parkinsons. The complications were respiratory failure due to the fact that he lost the ability to swallow. Although he was on a thickened liquid diet towards the end, the fluids still found their way down the wrong pipe and wound up in his lungs. Aspirated pneumonia sent him to the hospital a few times. His lungs finally gave out one night and he drew his last breath. He wanted nature to take its course. It did. No more suffering. TY for your story.
Thank you for what you have written Very helpful. My husband has had several bouts of aspirated pneumonia and has his drinks thickened and food pureed. He has mixed dementia Vascular and Alzheimers. Some good days some not such good days. May your father Rest in Peace and may you and your family be comforted. Sue thanks for sharing. I am care giver for my dad. Was in the hospital 2 weeks ago because of aspirating and pneumonia. He has a slight fever and coughing, breathing hard!
I leave the room and cry! His birthday is Wednesday the 24th of April! Nurse comes in the morning. Thanks for listening! I have spent lots of hours thinking about what will happen to him but reading your story has helped me to understand the progression of this awful disease. Thank you x. Thank you for your story. It has given me much insight. May your mom rest in peace.
She was a beautiful soul. And lucky to have such a warm loving family by her side through the whole process. I cant stop crying after reading your story. As a granddaughter of Alzhemier sufferer, I treasured every moment when i m with her before my lost. I clearly remember every single moment that I visited her. She cant remember me, just smile to me as im a stranger yet its killing me to respond to her as im not hurt. I say that I love her at all the time, n cry silently whenever i have to leave.
Yet, I still can say goodbye to her when she passed away. I believe that god takes every happy angel to the heaven n she will be one of the angel. It is still hurting whenever I think of her that is why i do research project on dietetics about dementia in my degree of dietetics. I just wanna give hopes to other patients n their families as I know how bad it can be to feel hopeless and helpless. I hope next time when i think of her it will hurt less and less and till one day it will be bearable. I felt that I was not patient enough, that had I kept her at home longer that she would not have suffered and died as she did.
I was alone with an 8 year old child and working full time. It was hard. I was there, holding her hand watching her breathe her last breath and watching her heart struggle to keep beating and eventually stopping altogether. Please do not blame yourself. This disease advances at its own pace and you did your best. Probably beyond your best, with all your obligations. Take care of yourself and your family without guilt. Lisa, I cannot imagine how you cared for your mother, worked and attended to a young child alone.
You truly did your best. My dad 86 and I cared for my mom at home with the help of a part-time caregiver the last 7 months. My mom left us from home, much as Ms. Kotterman described, minus the infection and with a much quicker timeline at the very end. If I had read it, perhaps we would have been a little less clumsy in recognizing that the end had come—certainly no one told us exactly what organ failure looks like—but my father and I and one grandson were with her when she left us just over 2 weeks ago.
Home or care home, the end comes, as it will. I hope you will experience peace as your mother surely felt your love and devotion as you cared for her. This is a horrid condition I have cried bucket loads of tears and my wife who is 75 this year was only diagnosed January I just read this and cried. As I was reading this it was like I was walking in your shoes my moms last days were the same yet different, if that makes any sense. Some of the same issues and behaviors , some were worse.
I am a registered nurse and nothing I have experienced would have prepared me for this journey. My father stopped eating and drinking 5 days ago. We are living your story right now. This is so hard…thankful for my sisters and my mother and my sweet dad who has always been there for me. Dementia is an umbrella word , there are various diseases under this umbrella i. Death, even if expected, is always full of pain, for those of us who are left to grieve.
I wish you all peace in your heart. Such a cruel disease, we loose them twice. Thanks for sharing. In my Dad died at home much the same way.
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I relate well to what you have detailed out. After all this time I still remember the entire experience and how it impacted our family for years before and after. As you state I cried tears during the years he diminished and faded away that losing him was a relief knowing he was no longer stuck inside his shell of a body. You must experience this disease to truly understand the devastation to the body and brain.
I lost my husband to a form of Dementia. I also had friends question how you die from that. He always knew us. I held him in his last breath, son holding his hand. Going through this now with my mom. Your story rang many bells. Right now I can get her engaged by asking her to tell me stories of when she was young, playing music that she loved, and showing her pictures of her grandchildren and great grandchildren. Yesterday she brought me to tears with just one question. She asked me if she was a good mom.
She has always been my role model and hero. All 6 of us became productive people that have our own children that are doing amazing! When she asked me that I wanted to crumple and cry buckets! But what I said to her was not only was she a good mom, but she taught me what it means to be a parent. And I thanked her. I see the progression this disease is having on her. And it breaks my heart. I thank you so much for your writing about your mother. My prayers are with you and your family. Thank you so much Jasja for telling us about your mother. She no longer speaks or walks she had no idea who I was.
She had the same blisters on her feet but she is still alive. I do not understand why God lets her to continue suffering. Irene, My sweet mother passed away on June 11 of this year. You are not alone in your pain. Prayers to you and your mother. This is so well done. It is so hard to watch this disease rob a person of everything both physically and emotionally. I cried as I read this article. My husband went in an almost identical pattern. He has a UTI which required hospitalization. During the course of antibiotics he lost his appetite and never regained it.
I began to notice he would get strangled when given liquids, so thickening was added. Ice cream was the only thing we could get him to accept. Hospice was called in and he was moved to a nursing home. I spent all my time with him for the last five days of his life, only going home to sleep and returning to my watch.
He was not aware I was there as best as I could tell, but the nurses assured me he could hear me. I used that time to let him know how much he was loved. My pastor came to visit on his last day and told me to give my husband permission to leave, and to assure him I would be all right. I did that at about P. I had been singing hymns to him in his last hour. This helps me to know what to expect and to prepare the best I can. I ams so glad your whole family could be there for your mom. Thank you for sharing this journey with your family.
We have two loved ones with the disease, my MIL and my Aunt. Your story and the video with Deborah are very educational and eye opening. Thank you for sharing this very, very intimate story. We have been walking the dementia path with my mother since We do everything we can to connect with her and make her feel loved. Baby calmed her agitation and gives her a purpose. My mother is constantly confused and sometimes nonresponsive, but she still can feel and give Love. Thank you for sharing your story. I know that it will educate and offer peace to so many others that have the opportunity to read it.
We should encourage family and friends to visit while the times are good. On a positive note we were Blessed to be at our Mothers side when she passed after a long illness. She was always very conciouncious of our lives, schedules and family time. It seemed as if she waited for my younger Sister to get her Husband off to work and waited for her to Aricept to say her goodbyes before she left us that morning.
Some find it hard to understand that we all felt that it was a beautiful passing but it was. She was surrounded by our Dad married for 52 years to the love of his life and 3 of her Daughters that lived in town. As she left this world we told her to take our love with her and to share it with Grandma, Grandpa and cherished other loved ones. She took her last breath so peacefully and we all knew that she would no longer suffer from Pulmonary Fibrosis and that her next breath would be in Heaven surrounded by her parents her daughter that she lost at the age of 2 and many other loved ones she longed to see again.
Knowing that we all had much peace in the days that followed. Many Prayers to all that are going through or have gone through the loss of their loved ones. God Bless, Lorri. But you know what as long as I know I have done everything I am capable of for my mum. Everyone understands a bit more when they lose there family. Right now, my mom is in her final days, hours, whatever the case may be.
I look at her laying in her bed almost lifeless, and am having trouble reconciling the fact that this is the same women who, just a few months ago, seemed full of life. The disease had progressed but she was up, still walking with help, had lots of laughter. I just pray that God will release her and take her home, but in the meantime, it is comforting that she is unaware of what is happening.
It seems very cruel for us though. I am an RN and have cared for many patients with AD over the course of my career.
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I recently retired to care for my new granddaughter while my daughter works. I have just been diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment. I know that it is very likely that I will go the same way your mother went and it terrifies me. I have seen too much and know too much. I would trade pretty much any medical diagnosis for this. I would prefer a short bout of cancer, no matter how painful, to the prolonged decline in function and cognition that is AD.
I used to ask about the progression of the disease but the nurses, caregivers and Drs were always nice, but evasive. Your description mirrors much of my own experience. My mother woke up one morning and just stopped walking, then a year later she just forgot how to swallow and stopped eating. The day she died they called me at 6AM and I went to see her and spent the day with her. She was sleeping the entire time and I sat there and talked to her and played her favorite music.
It was a nice day, a calm, peaceful transition to death.
Thank you for sharing your story — it will help everyone who reads it to understand. Thank you so much for this. I thought i was a monster, that maybe all the years i resented my mother for her neglect -whether it was for work, traveling, etc etc- had made me insensitive to what had happened to her. It still scares me, of course, but when i read that part about saying goodbye becoming easier for the family, it made sense. I had cried so many times before, i had wondered and angered about how unfair it was, how fast the disease had worked, how young she had fallen to it, and we as a family had been preparing ourselves for this loss for years now.
We already had been in the stages of grief, bargaining, depression, anger, and by the time she died, all we had was acceptance and peace. Again, thank you so much for writing this, it made me feel not alone. It is called anticipatory grief, when caretaking a loved one whose personality and memory is slipping away towards death. And the death feels different than other death. Mom died this afternoon. I have felt resentment also, and wonder now if I was selfish. All of it is understandable in you, and I appreciate your writing so eloquently.. Alzeimers Dementia is in my opinion the worse disease.
My mum passed away 24th July 2 weeks after her 91st Birthday. She suffered Alzheimers Dementia for the last 3 years with a Benign Tumor against her brain apparently growing very slowly. She was in a nursing home for 2 and a half years. I noticed she was not eating or drinking well, not talking much at all. The last week she would only say a word like she was unable to say what she wanted and was crying very depressed. She was also falling asleep on the chair with her left hand shaking really bad. I called the head nurse and they said its the last stages of Dementia.
Yes maybe but I need her checked at the hospital. They gave her the intravenous antibiotics plus fluid glucose. She was always sleeping she unconscious when she did open her eyes I would give her a drink with a sipper cup and ice-cream very slowly but I had to do this. She was so hungry and thirsty my heart melted. She was so strong though. They told us she only had 3 weeks or less she wont get better and no more medication would be given.
So every I would go in the morning with my sisters there and I would keep giving her drink and ice cream very slowly when her eyes were open. This was continuous for the last two weeks but doctors still never said when her last day is. The last week at times her cheeks would go cold then her arms then they were warm again. She was a fighter. Three days before she passed away I gave her a drink with the sipper cup and oh my god she put her hand up slowly to my chin and rubbed it then she did it again and my sister saw this.
We were shocked did I cry. I felt she knew who I was. My mums last day in this world not that I knew but her face was really pretty looking younger lost heaps of weight. I told my husband to bring my dinner this was at 4. She was breathing heaving that day but I thought she was okay. Well at approx 4. It was time for a cigarette, so I said to her as I always did mum I will be back just going for a smoke I will be back. This was the saddest day of my life no matter how old my mum is always my mum.
Thank you for sharing your journey. We are reaching this stage with my Mom. Hearing the details of how it may happen makes me feel a bit more prepared. I am so sorry for your loss and grateful for your wish to share what happens with others who have gone or are going through almost exactly the same journey.
It has brought me some comfort to know what is happening. The worst part is the suffering, it is so cruel there is no relief. Our Mother is pleading with us to make it stop and I wish I could. The doctors and nurses only answer us with they are monitoring and responding as things develop. So thank you again for your words as hard as they were to read. The next day a friend of mine came over after having printed our conversation. He said he almost called to have someone pick me up so I could sober up in the hospital. Seconds after the first time I saw it, I called my psychiatrist and asked him to write me an RX.
After about a week, I was getting regular sleep. Ambien makes me horny. I was half asleep on my back with a stiffy. I got an Ambien scrip my Junior year of college because I was a severe night owl. This is what happened on the last two pills of that bottle…. I took one at about 9PM at home with the hopes of getting a good night sleep. I remember walking upstairs and lying in bed. I wake up the next day thinking about that crazy dream I had. I wanted some cigarettes but the store near me was closed so I drove about 10 minutes away to a gas station also closed.
There was a lot of snow on the ground so I missed the entrance and hit the curb, popping my tire.
I get out, jack the car up and fix the tire. After he comes and looks at it this parts fuzzy I drive home I guess. When I wake up I laugh about how ridiculous this dream was. I walk outside to go get some lunch and see the spare on my car. My car had a bent control arm and was barely able to make it down my driveway. The wheel had to be turned 90 degrees to even drive straight. I have no idea how I got home. You are supposed to take the ambien and then go straight to bed. Not wait around and have giggly fun time until you pass out. Having said that, I was guilty of calling my friends and having conversations about important things while waiting for the ambien to kick in.
One of my friends started making a list of the weird things I would say. The first and last time I took Ambien it made me all anxious and not at all sleepy. As I was tossing and turning in bed I thought I was a piece of meat on a grill being endlessly flipped from one side to the other forever.
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Oh lord, my ambien story is hilarious. So, the first time I took ambien, I absolutely tripped balls. I popped the pill, started getting ready for bed, sat down on the edge of the bed and remembered I forgot to turn my heater on. So I go over to the heater and the pill kicks in. I sit down cause I feel woosy and turn my heater on. The red light letting me know that it is on turns into the Eye of Sauron. I try to stand up and the heater now the Eye of Sauron begins to tower over me, so I sit down.
Every time I stand, the heater towers over me, so I am stuck in this loop of sitting and standing. I begin to tell the heater to keep me warm throughout the night as I crawl my way over to my bed. As I stand to crawl into bed to finally sleep, the wall begins to morph into tentacles that proceeded to wrap around me and keep me snug as I slept. I once took ambien when I was dating an ex boyfriend of mine. I was having a lot of trouble sleeping so, he gave me one of his pills. I had never taken anything like that before.
After I took it, I shortly fell asleep. Well, I thought I fell asleep. At this time, he lived in an apartment and shared a room with another person. While I thought I was sound asleep, I was apparently trying to pick flowers off the ceiling all night. I thought I was Gardener. I was also talking so loud about my new florist job, I kept the entire room awake all night.
Good times. Thanks, Benjamin. I opened the door to find him standing shirtless on the porch with his car parked with the front in her yard and the back in the street with every door open. I drove him home and finally managed to get him inside after he fell and scraped himself up on the way out of the car. Came in to find our pantry door absolutely demolished and the couch flipped backwards.
I slept on his couch that day and he was thoroughly confused when he woke up that morning and found me there. He told me that he took the pills, went to bed, and had no recollection whatsoever of the events that night. Once I filled him in on what happened he flushed the rest of the pills and called his doctor to tell her what happened and told her that he would no longer be using it.
I took it for a while in high school back when I was misdiagnosed with insomnia [I have DSPD, which is largely unresponsive to sleeping pills]. One night I just could. Still nothing. So then I took another. I went off it cold turkey after that and stayed awake for the most miserable 58 hours of my life.
Work started at 4pm. I woke up in bed at feeling horrible and groggy as hell. Saw the time and got up to take a quick shower. When I walked into the bathroom, there was blood splattered everywhere. Floor, walls, toilet, but mostly on the counter by the sink. I looked at it all for about 10 seconds, then hurried up and got to work. I evidently looked pretty fucked up when I got to work, both physically and mentally.
My nose felt really weird too, kinda half numb. For some reason I called my mom before I went home, and she said I sounded really drugged out. When I got home I slept for 6 hours, and woke up feeling mostly normal. I have no idea exactly what happened as I simply have no memory of it at all. What I was able to piece together from the evidence mostly blood splatters is I got up for work at a normalish time.
I went to the bathroom to get ready, was standing in front of the sink, and simply passed out. On the way down, my face smashed into the edge of the counter. I somehow did not break my nose but did give it the worst nosebleed ever. This woke me back up, and I kinda writhed about in pain which spread blood everywhere.
I then managed to get back to bed, laid down, and properly passed out there. I did not have this prior, which leads me to believe the face-smashing incident happened. Moved to NYC and my partying nights a week was destroying my sleep schedule, so I went to a doctor with a loose prescription pad. I sleep another hour or so then get on back to my apt. I get home and open the fridge to get something to drink and it is stocked with all my favorite shit: cut pineapple, honeydew, mango, Coconut water, etc. Later on that day I ask who bought the groceries they tell me I did.
I check my pants pockets and find grocery receipt and multiple cab receipts. Check my phone and there are calls to multiple people, some lengthy convos. This kind of shit happens a few more times. Going out to bars meeting friends for drinks. Lots of text messages and phone convos that cause major regret. Lots of damage control. Never take that shit anymore. Almost forgot. His wife took the gun and forced him awake until it wore off then got rid of the rest of it.
Everything was fine until I decided to stay up an extra 10 minutes because they were serving Chicken and Mashed Potatoes for dinner. By the time the Stewardess got to my seat, I was hallucinating; half of the plane had shifted downwards and the other half had levitated up. The food cart was god knows where. At one point, the entire plane looked like that scene in Fight Club where Ed Norton imagines everyone getting sucked out into the emergency exit, except everything was neon-colored.
I managed to fall asleep, but when I woke up in Frankfurt the guy sitting next to me just shook his head and got outta there as soon as he could. Used to hallucinate Demons pushing minecarts across my eyeballs. I like being an insomniac. Last night was the first time I took it in over six months. When I was on it consistently, once a week I would wake up and there would be a laser field in my room that I would crawl through to go to the bathroom.
I had a friend take ambien and we found him clothed in the bathtub with the water running. He was making a rowing motion like he was in a kayak. He then proceeded to stare at the wall and continue rowing. I took Ambien and woke up fully clothed, dresser on its side, desk flipped, and dog locked in closet. I go into the bathroom, take my morning Adderall and jump in the shower. I try to vomit it up but theres no pill. That was a VERY strange day…. I felt like a human made of balloons; a Balloohman if you will.
Is It Real, or Is It Hallucination? | Psychology Today
I also distinctly remember hiding in the Compucave at work, praying no one would call for IT support. I was having trouble forming coherent sentences and all the strobing was distracting. My weirdest Ambien story: suddenly believing I was an undiscovered artistic genius, I decided to make art with whatever I had around me. Last week I took an Ambien. When I woke up I had changed my shirt and was naked from the waste down.
An open but unused condom was on the bed next to me. Taking Ambien was one of the strangest periods of my life. Every night was a trip. I eventually got off it because it stopped helping my insomnia. Moving around feels incredibly fluid, but your sense of balance is shot to hell. Very confusing in the morning.
I tried writing on it a few times and the result was incomprehensible. Let me see if I can dig some of it up…keep in mind it was pretty much all automatic writing at around WPM, so if you read it really fast you might get a feel for what Ambien is like. My friend takes that for sleeping. She was gaining weight all of a sudden. Turns out she was eating boxes and boxes of cereal which she now has to lock in her car at night to prevent…… oooonly cereal.
I had a roommate who took ambien every night. One night I wake up at like 2 AM and notice the lights are still on, and I go into the kitchen to turn them off when I notice my roommate standing over the sink. This made me scared as shit, I thought she was possessed and attacked someone. Her mouth was coated in blood as was her hands.