Sunday, May 18, 2008


It appears that I may be sleepwalking. I don't know for sure as I don't remember it if I have been doing so, but I've been a little suspicious of it for some six months now and a couple of weeks ago, I woke up in the morning next to a box of cereal in my bed. I asked Cosmos if he put it there; he denies it. Since he is a dog with a narrow range of tastes and Special K isn't usually included in his approved spectrum of food, I believe him.

The idea that I am up and about and don't have a clue about it is disconcerting, to say the least. It is likely a side effect of one of the regular medicines that I take - sleepwalking is so common on it that it is announced at the end of the TV commercials in that monotone "don't pay any attention to the warnings" voice of the narrator. And I am well known for having every side effect to every medication known to man. But this one is still an odd one.

What am I doing when I am up and out? Apparently eating is one of the activities. At least I think it must be. It would be a convenient excuse for my lack of weight loss in the past several months, but truthfully, when I get off of my behind and keep my food journals, my weight is where it should be based on my calories consumed. And the box of cereal in bed was closed. So I don't know for sure whether I am eating or not.

And what else am I doing? Am I walking around enough to count it as exercise? Am I walking around like a zombie with my eyes closed and my arms extended out in front of me, moaning as they do in the movies and on TV? Am I naked when I walk (Ok, it's out. I sleep in the buff) or do I put my robe on? And what if I am naked and am going outside of my condo? What if my neighbors have seen me? I don't particularly want to be friendly with them but this is not the way I want to advise them to keep their distance.

So I talked to my Therapist about it at last Wednesday's session. I had been meaning to since the cereal episode but chickened out each week because I knew that, without fail, he was going to recommend that I stop the medicine that is likely causing it and immediately. (I happen to like that medicine... one of the only ones I take that I do like.) And of course, that was his suggestion. He went so far as to leave a message on my home phone this last Friday with suggestions for alternates and also encouraged me to discuss the situation with my doctor.

At my appointment, he told me that he had other patients who experienced the same thing on the same medication. He said that they figured it out in very much the same way as me... a suspicion for a while and then an event of one sort or another that could not be denied. But when I asked him what people look like when they walk around while sleeping, he didn't know. Claiming that he had never actually seen anyone do it. So what does he know?

Here I am. Wondering. A lot. Trying to figure out which of my doctors to call... which one of them will be least likely to assume I am nuts in the head when I call them - again - about a side effect to a medicine. And who will be most likely to prescribe one of Dr. M-s suggested alternative.

I'm not going to ask them how many of their patients get dressed before walking about. But I do think it's time, just for a little while, to start wearing PJs to bed.

1 comment:

janet said...

During times of great stress, I also sleepwalk. Scares me to death, because I usually wake up while I'm in the middle of an episode. The last time it happened, my husband took to placing a chair in front of the door so I wouldn't walk outside. You may want to consider similar precautions, in addition to the PJs.


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