Rx Ambien & Wheel Rash and Repair: An Almost Tragedy
Okay 1st of all...let me say I am lucky to be alive! Someone must have been watching out for me and also BIG thanks to all the subliminal driving skills that my wife says the BMW M school guys down at Greenville, SC must have downloaded to my brain (I think I already had the skill set...they just improved it). Anyway here's what happened!
Yesterday afternoon allergies were bad here in Baltimore so I took what I thought was a sudafed to help clear me up while I headed back to DC to work a shift at the Urgent Care clinic I sometimes work at. On the way once I recall remembering not falling asleep but finding myself 1/2 to 1/3 way on the other side of the media (the wrong side) driving. Corrected myself and got back in my lane but wondered WTF and continued on. Made one stop to get something to eat and look at some fish and then headed on. Now around Laurel MD I recall driving and following the navigation directions but not clearly remembering much of the trip. Am not sure WHAT route I was on (that is how bad this was) but next thing I remember clearly is that I am driving quickly past alot of cars on my left that are either slowed or stopped and on my right is either a wall, wall of trees, or BOTH and I am in the dirt/shoulder/something! I quickly moved left and took an offramp/turn (again not sure which) and pulled over and stopped. Stumbled out of my car (again remember saying to myself WTF is wrong with me) and checked the car thinking oh my god I've just scrapped the entire passanger side of the M3). Well to my suprise/relief the left side body work was clear; no marks other than SEVERE wheel rash on the right front wheel and some on the rear wheel. I remember getting back into my car calling my wife on bluetooth and telling her what was going on but not sure who called who (she says I called her). Anyway I headed off on the Beltway to the clinic and recall following the Nav but really not knowing where I was scenery looked strange (I've driven this same route 100,000 times too guys) but I got to the center 10-15 mins later. Driving normally more cautious I guess more alerted now.
Anyway am 5 mins late for my shift but know now something is wrong...so we go to the pharmacy to talk to the pharmacist as being an MD I know it possibly was the pill I'd taken earlier which I still had some with me. 10 min later, he comes back and tells me that it was Ambien I had taken and NOT Sudafed! Explanation now resolved as now I know why I was so sedated and amnestic for the past 2hrs and almost killed myself (and my M3) on the way there. For those who don't know (I am already familiar with Ambien's side effect profile); Ambien can cause besides sedation/sleep which is it's primary role; amnesia events, sleep walking, and other things where individuals have reported doing such things as going places (i.e. work) and not knowing why or how they go there and other events that they themselves don't remember. Folks who see them feel they are acting normally but I think in actuality they are operating on a subliminal more basic level or awareness. Anyway 3.5 hrs and 1-2 IV's of fluid and some coffee later I was okay enough to drive home and released by my collegues...oh I didn't work that shift or see any patients either.
Fortunately I didn't hurt myself or anybody else but this could have tragically been different! So my MAIN message in this post is; Ambien and other sleep aides that are commonly prescribed out there by MD's (being one who's written such Rx's) can have uknown and ill effects on you. Be VERY careful with them and how they are stored and taken and BY ALL MEANS do not attempt to drive in close proximity of taking them! This is my public safety message here for all of you and if you are driving your M3's or anything else and feel impaired stop and pull over. I should have done it when I had my close encounter with whatever gave me the wheel rash but did not as it took me until I arrived at the clinic 10-15mins later to really figure out that I had a major problem going on! So also know your limits as well guys.
Finally...I know it is an M3 forum and you guys care primarily about the cars right? (hope that's not fully the case) but anywhere here is the pics of the wheel taken with my camera phone...how do you repair the wheel rash or would a replacement be in order? Front wheel rash is fully around the rim it seems so not sure how much can be fixed. Tires are Continental ContiSport 3 and are intact and okay so I'd remount them and wheel sensors. Anyway here's the pics of the wheels and a overall pic of the car (before this occured)
Thoughts (and criticism) are welcome! But I hope this post helps/saves someones else too then its worth it!
'12 F10 550i (Dinan Stage 5/Intercoolers, CF Intake, Brace, Shockware, H&R Springs, Eisenmann Race Exhaust, CF rear difuser, Giovanni "Lindo" Graphite 20")
'10 e71 X6 35iDrive SAV (Space Gray) - Gone
'06 e85 Z4 M Roadster (Black Metallic) -Gone
'08 e92 M3 coupe (Sparkling Graphite) -Gone