28 November 2006

Julia's Dream

Thursday night (Thanksgiving), I had a terrible dream. It started out as a standard post graduate anxiety nightmare, where I was back at school, and forgot to attend a crucial class. Had that part of the dream continued, I eventually would have discovered that I never attended the class and thus couldn't graduate. But this one was a little different. When I got to class I saw my mom standing in the doorway, and I went over to talk to her. She was dreamily cryptic, telling me I knew why she was here, smiling but sad looking. Then I heard her mumble something, which my dreaming brain interpreted as "I have Cardiac Amorphism." I tried to remember what I had learned about Cardiac Amorphism in nursing school, and I didn't think it was a good thing. So I asked her what she was going to do. She said there a surgery that might help, but it had an incredibly low survival rate ("One Tenth of One percent"). She was not going to have the surgery. She would live with the illness and die from it soon. I cried, she cried, and she told me had accepted this, so I should, too. The rest of the dream is a little sketchy. I woke up incredibly sad and heavy hearted.

So this part is real and not a dream: Yesterday my mom had an EKG at her appointment with a cardiologist. The EKG detected an abnormal heart sound, and given my mom's family history of heart disease, the cardiologist recommended she go in for a cardiac catheterization, to see if the abnormal heart sound indicated a blockage or other defect. She asked if I thought she should have the catheterization done. I told her yes.

I dream in color, I have vivid dreams, and I remember a great many of my dreams. When I was growing up, I frequently had nightmares (Bea does, too). As an adolescent I learned how to alter the course of my dreams. Basically I realize I'm dreaming and then I can do what I want, like fly, make the bad things go away, etc. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. I frequently have deja vu, so much so that I don't pay much attention to it. Dead relatives visit me in my dreams all the time, although they generally don't have much to say. They just kinda check in. And I've had dreams that seemed to tap into real events. In 1995, I had a dream that I was in an elevator, looking out a building across the street, and that building suddenly exploded and collapsed. I woke that morning to news that someone had detonated a bomb in a building in Oklahoma City. In 2001, I had a similar dream, where I saw people jumping out of a building and the building exploded and collapsed. That was a couple of days before Sept 11. I've had similar disaster dreams before high casualty earthquakes. I assume this happens to all of us, and some of us are more open or tuned in to it.

And I scare easily through visual stimulation, much to my husband's chagrin (he loves horror movies). If he gets me to watch a scary movie--one with angry ghosts or evil spirits--I watch it through a screen of my fingers. Scary movies give me nightmares 80% of the time, and I already have a nice little collection of recurring nightmare themes. I don't need any more.

11/29/06--Edit: I'm having an easier time processing the wierd and freaky cardiac amorphism dream as it relates to the reality of my mother's abnormal ECG than I am the uncertainty of the significance of the abnormal ECG. So I hope the 3 or 4 people who actually read this will think of or pray for my mom that her cardiac catheterization goes smoothly.

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