SIDE EFFECTS OF AMBIEN:
Central and peripheral nervous system: Frequent: ataxia, confusion, depression, dizziness, drowsiness, drugged feeling, euphoria, headache, insomnia, lethargy, lightheadedness, vertigo. Infrequent: abnormal dreams, agitation, amnesia, anxiety, decreased cognition, detached, difficulty concentrating, dysarthria, emotional lability, hallucination, hypoesthesia, illusion, leg cramps, migraine, nervousness, paresthesia, sleep disorder, sleeping (after daytime dosing), speech disorder, stupor, tremor. Rare: abnormal gait, abnormal thinking, aggressive reaction, apathy, appetite increased, decreased libido, delusion, dementia, depersonalization, dysphasia, feeling strange, hypokinesia, hypotonia, hysteria, intoxicated feeling, manic reaction, neuralgia, neuritis, neuropathy, neurosis, panic attacks, paresis, personality disorder, somnambulism, suicide attempts, tetany, yawning.
The Ambien pushers don’t explain what exactly they mean by "abnormal gait," but the image I’m getting in my head is this: you’re walking along, minding your business, and all of a sudden you’re Cookie Fleck stumble-running across the floor of Madison Square Garden to hug Gerry and Winky after the big “Best in Show” win.
Perhaps the makers of Ambien should include a free pair of Olga shoes with every prescription, just in case that abnormal gait develops. You know about the Olga shoes, right? The “special” shoes that Pa Ingalls made for irregularly-limbed Olga so she could play with the rest of the kids? See, she had one leg shorter than the other. So Pa built her an elevated shoe.
My friend Fee made our good friend Wendell an Olga shoe for Christmas in 1997. Here it is:
And here they are, being modeled in a close-up. Unfortunately, I cut the Olga shoe off a bit when I took this picture, but I think it's a fair enough representation:
Wasn’t that thoughtful of Fee? Wendell didn’t have an abnormal gait at the time, so perhaps Fee was providing her with the means to walk and play with the rest of the kids in the event that she would one day take Ambien.
So here’s to the kind of friends who will make you an Olga shoe, even if you don’t really need it.