When I first started taking valium to sleep I read on a few different websites that it was important to maintain good behavior when getting refills or asking questions at the pharmacy.

Because you don’t want to look like a junkie.

So…that’s what I’m dealing with.

Last week I ran out of pills, and my sleep specialist refused to give me another refill on my prescription until I saw my regular doctor and talked about the progress I’ve made (or the people I’ve beaten) since my sleep study. This is because he, in all of his infinite, boring wisdom, did not want to see me again.

In the CVS parking lot, after going back and forth with two doctors, the pharamacy and a pharmacy tech that was asking a few too many questions, I was almost in tears. I had completely forgotten about that cardinal valium rule, don’t act like a junkie.

Which should include, might I add, not saying to the pharmacy tech, “I know this looks bad, but trust me. I don’t abuse drugs.”

Oh you don’t? Because you certainly seem like you might, and I can tell you haven’t showered today. And only a drug user would slur “I don’t abuse drugs.”

The problem was that I was so strung out with school, so frustrated by every doctor I’ve amassed in the past year (which is somehow nearing 5?), and so tired that I was about to break down right there on Chestnut street and throw a tantrum until someone gave me a vial of sweet, sweet sleeping pills.

So, as we move forward with this story – remember you’re on my side. (Thanks, Birbiglia)

In the parking lot I finally got through to my regular doctor’s office, whose prescription guru promised me a free month’s supply until I could get back in to see the doctor. One more month! The first time is free to keep you coming back.

After getting the prescription called in I drudged back to CVS, probably a little too cocky, and picked up my pills. I could almost smell another 30 nights of almost restful, valium-induced sleep. The same pharamacy tech rang me up, looked me up and down, and I ended up bolting out of the store.

Flash forward a week later and I’m back in my regular doctor’s office for that check up. She’s a really nice lady, she laughs at all my jokes, so while my blood pressure usually skyrockets in any doctor’s waiting room, this time I was cool, calm and collected. Cardinal rule, in mind.

The first few questions went like this:

Dr: How has your sleeping been since you started taking the valium?
Me: Roughly the same, I don’t wake up in a lot of panics but I still act out dreams.

Dr: When was the last time you acted out your dreams or woke up sleep walking?
Me: Oh god, do you watch “Breaking Bad”?

That’s when I unleashed a story. And when I say unleashed, I mean it literally flew out of my mouth at speeds that kept me from keeping some details private.

The night before, after watching “Breaking Bad”, I had a dream that I had captured Walter White in a bag. His face was completely covered and when I wasn’t punching him in the ribs, I had my hands around his neck to try and choke him out.

I was going to be the one who killed Walter White.

Urh, I mean Kevin Malone.

I woke up as my fists were flying, and I was still half asleep when I felt my hands around his neck. I had pulled the blanket up over his head (which makes sense since I thought he was in a bag) and I was just beating the crap out of him. When I came to I realized that it was indeed Kevin, and not Walter, and that I might have actually killed him.

This is the part of the story where the Doctor went, “Oh my god, that’s hilarious. I mean, it’s not really funny I shouldn’t be laughing, that’s a serious problem, but wow.”

After thinking that I killed my only husband I fumbled around and took the blanket off his head and tried to take his pulse. Surprise, I’m not exactly a dependable nurse when I’m half asleep. I felt no pulse, and began to freak out.


Oh, the doctor chimed in here with a, “Oh my god, what did he say?”

Well he didn’t say much.

So there was no pulse, a dead body in the bed, I was freaking out. What do you do next?

I started shaking Kevin violently to get him to come out of it, like people do on “Law and Order.” I was apologizing (as usual) and saying things like, “I’m so sorry” and “You better wake up, damnit.”

Kevin eventually woke up, and he wasn’t dead. Or mad. Or conscious.

The good news was that I hadn’t killed him. The bad news is that I’m still not sure how much of that beating actually happened.

In my memory it’s sooo clear, I was trying to kill Walter White who was really Kevin Malone. Kevin thinks that it was mostly just my dream, and the doctor laughed for awhile and then said, again, “Oh my god, that’s not funny. I’m so sorry.”

So it was another end to another eventual doctor trip. At the end of my appointment, when she had apologized the correct number of times for laughing at the story (and in reality, I think it’s funny too – it just wasn’t at the time) she said “I don’t prescribe this medicine a lot, but if anyone needs it it’s you.”

And for some reason, I find that oddly comforting.