Do Not Mix With Alcohol

Who ever really pays attention to that warning anyway? I never did, until today.

With the amazing amount of prescription medication I am on to handle my Bipolar II condition and the fact I have sleep apnea, many phobias and anxiety it’s surprising I can function at the high level I do.

Here we are today, falling asleep while driving long distances. Oh, yes it is bad. I have what I like to call “micro sleeps” on a three lane highway in traffic. My doctor says to pull over, but it won’t make any difference. After all I do have to get home eventually.   It is pretty scary. I spend a trip slapping my face, shaking my head, windows open, tapping my leg, singing or talking to myself. Nothing works. So I decided it must be part of my sleeping disorder, sleep apnea.

I thought I had fixed it with a cpap machine, but I couldn’t “tolerate” it. That is the medical terminology. They couldn’t find a mask small enough to seal to my face. The mask would “blow out” during the night and wake me up. Constantly, all night long. The next thing was a mouth guard. This was no piece of plastic found on the internet for snoring, mine is truly bionic. It fits really well and should for the price of a small car.

I went back to a sleep specialist to see if there is anything I can do with this new phenomenon of falling asleep while driving (if truth be told I can fall asleep almost anywhere at any time). He suggested a sleep study, but in the meantime he would give me a prescription for a medicine to take before driving long distances. The first time I took it in the morning and I was up until 1am. I broke it in half the next time and it worked wonderfully. Now today I took it in the morning and made it to my sister’s, about an hour away. I’ve used about 6 tablets in the last three months so I figured I knew how it worked. What I didn’t calculate into the equation was a visit to my ailing mother (a story for later) and when I got to my sister’s I needed a glass of wine. I had one at about 2:30 and ended up not being able to drive home until around 6:30!

My sister said I was just freaking myself out, but the alcohol hit me hard! After two glasses of water and two cups of coffee I managed to get my wits about me and drive home. It turned out I was just fine, Ellen was right; I had been freaking myself out.

I wondered how I would begin to explain my situation if I got pulled over. I was not drunk or under the influence of any kind. Is being paranoid a ticketable offense?

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