Uninformed Comment

A particularly nasty dream

Posted in Personal, Reminiscences and anecdotes by uninformedcomment on May 1, 2009

I don’t often have unpleasant dreams, something for which I’m grateful.  Nor am I prone to depression or ennui.  But last night’s dream was a pretty depressing one, and it’s been hanging over me ever since I woke up.  I’ll relate it here, to get it off my chest and to clear my head of it.

In the dream, I’d visited my GP, who’d told me that I had a rare complication from the old liver problems, which involved a particularly serious operation.  I’d been booked into the local hospital for surgery, but I was completely puzzled about what the surgery involved, and in particular what permanent effect it would have.  All I knew was that it would leave me badly deformed, especially around the shoulders.

For some reason, I’d been with my mother during the GP visit, and she wouldn’t or couldn’t tell me anything about the disease or the operation  – which she’d known from her nursing days – other than the operation’s name (which I forget) and the fact that it was severely disfiguring.  She went home leaving me none the wiser but determined to stay optimistic.

I visited the hospital to see a consultant, but instead was told I’d be detained overnight and the operation performed during my stay.  Somehow before that visit, I’d bought four cans of beer (I occasionally have dreams in which I relapse) and had one of them, so I was feeling pretty regretful about that.  I still had the remaining three cans in a plastic bag, but the staff didn’t seem to mind, nor did they seem particularly surprised.  After all, they seemed to think, the poor guy’s going to be pretty damned pissed-off by the time we’re finished with him.

I was taken up to the ward, through miles of corridors and stairs, with the usual madness of dreamed architecture and design – at one point, having ascended to the top of a tall building, I was taken into a lift, which then plummeted to the bottom again, turned into some kind of vehicle and was driven to the building next door.

Once in my bed, in the middle of a busy ward, I finally managed to get someone to come and sit down and explain this operation to me, but just after they started, a bell rang and it was the end of their shift, so they left.  But I’d found out that I was to have either some plastic substance, or some bone-derived stuff, forcibly injected into my shoulder blades, and that it would live me with a hunched back, a twisted stance, weaker bones and generally looking pretty much like shit.

To my relief and delight, my ex turned up with the kids.  The kids ran off to explore without even saying hello, and my ex told me they were too disgusted with what I was about to become that they didn’t even want to see me.  Also, instead of offering the kind support I’d come to expect from her, she was almost laughing at me, saying that I’d never be the same again.  She left and took the kids with her.

I began looking at the other patients in the ward, seeing them in their post-op state, and yes, they were horribly deformed, with hunched backs and withered limbs, many of them without palates, drooling and unable to speak.  This was what was to become of me.

I jokingly remarked to a passing nurse “I guess I’ll never get laid again”.  She didn’t attempt to reassure me, just a forced smiled and she walked on.

Throughout all this, I’d been painfully aware that I’d been unable to get in touch with L.  I now realised that once I’d told her, she’d want nothing to do with me either.  After all, who loves a cripple?  That made something snap in me, and made me doubt my previous positive attitude.

After all, I thought, without my love, without my family, and with no hope of ever being anything but a grotesque freak, was there anything left to be hopeful about?  Perhaps not – perhaps it didn’t matter if I drank myself to death.  Nothing mattered.  No point in staying healthy, no point even looking for a job when nobody’s going to employ me; no point in anything at all.

It was while I was considering that that I woke up.  When I realised that I’d been dreaming, and that I’m just as healthy as ever, and still with the love of my family and of L, the relief was beyond description. And not only that, if for some reason I were to become infirm, their love would be unwavering.

I said aloud, to the empty bedroom, “thank fuck for that”, got up and made coffee.

Since then, I’ve been pondering constantly about how important other people are to me.  My family, my friends, L – their love, strength and understanding is above rubies.  I shall never, ever take them for granted.

And no, I won’t be buying beer.

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One Response

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  1. Bill Turlock said, on November 18, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    Good for you! srsly

    I’ve not had that kind of luck in inter-personal relationships.

    I trust no one.

    Bill “perhaps it’s the PTSD” Turlock


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