Paying Attention to the Quiet


I had a magnificent night!!

Yesterday I called my doctor and complained to him that my ativan wasn’t getting me to sleep.  I was taking 2 1/2 mg of ativan to finally get to sleep, and then the next day I was completely knocked out.  I spent all of yesterday napping and not wanting to do anything.  The ativan was to replace the 18 mg of ambien that was being driven up by the intensifying of my hot flashes due to my stress.

So he prescribed me an additional sleeping pill which was an antipsychotic drug called Olanzapine.  I have not had good experiences with antipsychotics in the past.  They make me feel crazy.  Pretty potent medicine that seems like it’s out to do anything but make you better.  Anyway, I googled this “Olanzapine”, and read that it can give you diabetes (I’m already borderline), and make you gain weight fast (like 10 pounds a week).  Well, I have high cholesterol.  It can also give you some sort of problem where your legs shake uncontrollably, and then you will permanently not have normal use of them.

I wondered about how much thought goes into the drugs my doctor prescribes.  It’s not a personal complaint about him per se, but in general it seems that doctors aren’t engaged when they write prescriptions.  Their heads must be elsewhere, and they’re just looking at immediate symptoms and not thinking about the context of the problem or the patient.

I started thinking about the drugs I have.  Except for the Olanzapine, I’m on drugs I know very well.  The miracle about the ativan is that it’s turned out to cure my chronic back pain and hot flashes.  I used it through my chemotherapy and it was a life saver for my nausea and stress.  It must be turning around some sort of stress cycle that is keeping my nerves twisted up inside me.

Both the ativan and ambien get me to sleep if I OD on them, but not at the prescribed strengths.  Doc doesn’t want me on both.  But I think it’s because he thinks I’ll mix them up into a cocktail and then overdose.

So I let my meditative, grounded, reasonable mind reason this out.

I took 1/2 of one ativan yesterday afternoon.  Mornings are fine for me, but afternoons are when the stress and the pain and hot flashes hit me badly.  After my evening yoga, I did my sitting meditation as usual.  Then I made the decision to meditate myself to sleep, using just one ambien instead of the 1 1/2 I had built myself up to (which is the original reason doc was adding more sleep meds to my schedule — I was having trouble sleeping because my hot flashes are a rude awakening all night long).

So instead of watching Netflix and listening to audibles, I lie quietly in meditation.  Normally, without the ativan, I would get hot flashes if I did that, but the ativan I had taken earlier kept the hot flashes at bay, and the ambien and meditation drifted me into a sweet sleep.

I dreamt all night about In-N-Out Burgers.  In my dream they had opened up a new stand at my work, but I was too busy to think about it.  Then I ran into them serving free fries with cheese.  Then everywhere I went it seemed like there was an In-N-Out stand with long lines.

I think my high cholesterol is starting to affect my brain 🙂  But I think my imaginary friend Krishna is saving my life.  If I can get by with .5 mg of ativan to keep the stress at bay and 12.5 mg of the extended ambien by supplementing with meditation instead of Netflix I can get through this crisis with a minimum of medication changes which will mean a minimum disruption to my running, yoga, and meditation and thus a continued positive direction to my life.

Meditation, yoga, and chi running are all about shutting off the unimportant noise that is constantly clamoring to dominate me and paying attention to what the quiet is saying.

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Paying Attention to the Quiet

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