Tuesday, August 9, 2011

In My Dreams

My health often intrudes in my dreams. Most notably, for decades now, nocturnal asthma will trigger dreams of suffocation, strangulation and drowning.

Last week, when the asthma was not well controlled? I didn't worry too much because, although I woke up tight and unable to 'pinch an inch', I didn't have any dreams. Which told me I was breathing okay.

I just took the albuterol inhaler every morning and before exercise until I stopped waking up so tight. Easy.

A few years ago there were the nightmares of heart attacks due to a benign sinus arrhythmia jacked up on caffeine and new baby sleep deprivation. Those dreams scared the bejeezus out of me since they featured angry ER staff screaming I was going to die.

I would wake up from those dreams and have to talk myself out of calling 911. They were that frightening. My heart jerking around like an over-enthusiastic puppy on a short leash didn't help.

Now the gallbladder is getting in on the action. The first night, it simply woke me up by rattling my ribcage. I rolled over to take the pressure off and that was it.

Then last night. Whoa. There were dreams of appendicitis and an abdominal aortic dissection surgery. On an UFO, no less. When I woke up, the pseudo appendicitis pain was there, explaining the dream. Although I'm still confused on the UFO bit.

In a recent issue of Oprah magazine focusing on intuition, there was a profile of a woman who discovered her colon cancer because of her dreams. She had intensely disturbing dreams for weeks, and kept going to her doctor, saying something was wrong. The doctor blew her off, citing impeccable physical results. So, the next time, she had the dream, she begged it for more information.

"Go deeper," the dream told her.

When she woke up, she asked her doc where the deepest part of the body was.

"Your colon."

And that's how she had a colonoscopy and discovered a pretty serious colon cancer that would have killed her without the impetus of her dreams.

My dreams are not that exciting (thankfully), but the story illustrates their power. The connection of our health to our subconscious.

However, me personally? I would not complain if my body left me alone in my dreams. It would be nice to have a safe haven.

1 comment:

  1. What an amazing story at the end there. Mostly, when I have "symptom dreams" that I remember, it's just because I'm grinding my teeth. Yours sound so troubling - I don't know if I'd want to go to sleep.


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