Monday, May 08, 2006

Patrick Kennedy and other things

I wanted to discuss Patrick Kennedy, but first I wanted to touch, however briefly, on Rush Limbaugh.  The reason is the completely different ways these two stories are being spun in the news.  Rush's plea agreement/hearing is barely being covered, and if it is the whole thing is being made in to a footnote.  I really think that this is how it should be handled, unless he violates his agreement by having something go wrong on one of his tests, it really isn't a big deal.
Patrick Kennedy, on the other hand, is being made to look very bad in the media. Beyond that, on his particular case I have very little to say.  I do have additional opinion on his situation to speak about though.
1.  I have been taking Ambien for about 3 years.  I do not take it every night, but probably a couple of nights a week.  I ususally take it and then read or watch TV for about 1/2 an hour.  It takes about that long for the medication to become fully effective in my system.  If I wait to long to go to sleep after taking the Ambien, I will usually get 'goofy.'  A better statement would be to say I have similar problems in functioning as a drunk person would.
2.  I have in the time I have been taking Ambien, driven only once in the evening after having taken the medication.  It was a rare situation in which Wife was in the hospital, and really wanted me to come and be with her.  That night I had only taken 2.5 milligrams or 1/2 of the lowest dose pill available.  I was capable of driving to the hospital ( a 20 mile drive.) and of staying awake at the hospital for a period of time.  I wouldn't recommend driving with it in your system though.
3.  Despite the reports about the strange activities, such as sleep walking or binge eating at night, other than an occasion problem waking up, I have had no strange side effects from the medication.
The next section will deal with something Rep. Kennedy said when he made his announcement before going to the Mayo Clinic.  In that speech Rep. Kennedy said that he had struggled all of his adult life with both depression and addiction.  Frankly, I admire the man for having admitted his problem.
1.  I had a prolonged bout of depression due to an extended unemployment. (2.5 years.)  I have since been on Lexapro.  I also, as I have said in previous personal posts, that I have several chronic health issues that also cause me to be subject to depression.
2.  As someone who lives with a spouse who has Chronic Depression and Panic/Anxiety Disorder I can assure you that the struggles with these problems are daily.
3.  I have watched my wife go through periods of being in very good mental health and then go through periods of very poor mental health.  We've been through suicide attempts, hospitalizations, medical changes and personal issues.  Wife is currently on 4, yes 4, different medications to try and control her problems.  Wife's problems have a major genetic component.  Her maternal grandmother was on medications prior to my wife being born.  Her paternal grandmother has the indications of suffering from Narcissitic Personality Disorder. (Not diagnosed formally)  Her father has been on medication for depression and axiety several times in his life and did have a brief hospitalization.  Her paternal Aunt has been/is on medication and in therapy.  Aunt's daughter has been hospitalized and needed medications.  Wife's siblings (1 brother and 1 sister) have both been on medications at various times.  Let me tell you from close observation and experience both personally and vicariously, I do not blame Rep Kennedy for his situation many time when a person is depressed they are not always clear on their own actions and then you throw in medications that can distort one's perception. ...
Next Subject
I really wanted to throw out a couple of quick thoughts on several things.
1. I feel bad for Scott McClellan. He really was in a no win situation as the spokeman for the current Administration.  Hopefully Tony Snow's experience will afford him the ability to control the situation a little better.
2. I am not sorry to see Porter Goss leave the CIA.
3. I am not sure I like Unitary Executives choice for a replacement.
  a. I don't like the idea of someone currently serving in the military to have that position.
  b. I don't like the idea of someone who has a problem with my Constitutional freedoms in the post.
4. Don't really have anything else to say a the moment. 
We will return tomorrow with another post.  We have some other things to discuss and it is time we get to them.

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