Monday, May 4, 2009

The Dream

Back in September of 2007 I almost made the Irish Sport Pages (obituaries) after a series of medical firestorms raged in my cage and took me down.

Emergency medical staff, unsure of what was going on, opted to put me in on "pause" and went with "option C": a drug induced coma, to slow or stop the respiratory arrest that my body was giving me. I was slipping away and the life support they had in place was failing rapidly. So I was "parked".

For the next 10 days I slept, or whatever one does in a coma. Not sure because I have no memory, no recollection and no first hand idea of what happened between September 9th 2007 and October 28th of the same year.

I have memory of the 28th of October, because it was the first day that a semi-fog lifted, and I wrote in a journal.

I wrote about "the dream" that I had that seemed so real, yet so surreal. "The dream" is still one of the most vivid memories I have. Crystal clear, even 18 months latter, it was a movie in extraordinary 3D that not only did I star in, but featured many of the people in my life.

Now the fact that the dream was about me, and the cast of characters were people from and in my life is not so extraordinary, considering it was a dream. What is exceptional and at times bizarre is the fact that every single one of the details in this dream are so clear, and so full of detail, even to this day; that I believed for a time that it was not a dream at all.

In my "coming out fog", I told some people what I had been "up to", or doing, and none of it was true. What I told them existed only in my dream! But I believed for a short period that it actually happened.
I believed I took this trip!
For real!

Not sure if the drugs they used to put me in a coma were the cause of the "David Dream". Probably paid a part no doubt. I know this, my medical condition was part of the dream, and some of the medical staff were in my dream. It is interesting how these people got in my dream if I was in a coma and did not see their faces until I regained consciousness 10 days latter.
Maybe I had the dream after the coma.
Not sure?

All I have is about 200 and some odd pages of medical reports, MRI reports, CT scan documents, and a journal of "My Dream".

In "The Dream" there was a "boat" or "ship" of some sort that I was boarding at the start of the dream. There was a concern from the staff that looked at my boarding pass, that my medical condition was not good enough to board this boat or ship.
They had a medical officer at the point of entry who drew blood from me for analysis. This medical officer on the boat appeared latter in my life as a nurse in the hospital where I spent the next 100 days.

The boat was interesting indeed. I did manage to get on board, but only because the boat had left dock before they could analyze and appraise my medical condition. Once the journey began pandemonium ensued, as my medical issues became known and the other passengers (all people from my life and some unknowns) panicked. For the rest of the dream the "medical officer" watched me like a hawk and wanted to keep me in a cage. (Interesting because for the first 30 days or so of my stay "in house" I had to be "restrained" because I had no balance and was constantly trying to get up. To this day I think I did a bit of cranium and sacrum damage from some serious falls)

The boat or ship or cruiser or space ship or...? traveled from Toronto to Vancouver. I knew this was odd, even in my dream (those who know Canada, will understand of course, my questioning of this method from A to B, even in a dream) and questioned the captain ( a lady who had a beard!!!) who took me upstairs to the bridge and showed me a very detailed GPS LCD screen that showed our progress in both animation and real video. When water was not an option for travel, the craft became a large terrain highway vehicle. I can describe in detail to this day of how the traffic appeared on the screen as we drove down the highway, just outside of Vancouver.

I can also recall in vivid detail all of the pictures on the GPSdetailin g the weather and the waves we encountered on the journey; all of the seating on the boat or craft; and I can tell you what I purchased from the vending machines on the boat, and what it cost.
Faces are/were so extraordinarily vivid, that I saw scars, pimples, dimples, crevices in lips, and pock marks on faces that stay with me today.

Every detail of the dream, that I swear lasted 30 days in duration, is still with me.
Time was non sensible,and so hard to get a read on if my dream was one minute of lighting fast action or 30 days in real time. But if I recount the script with the words and action and all that took place; it takes days just to go through the highlights.
The dream lasted for what seemed like two or three weeks!

I actually drew the boat interior in a diagram in my hospital journal, which I came across the other day. I had notations of seating (even to the extent of where the medical officer sat and watched me in scorn and disgust as I was not to be on board you see!) diagrams of table settings, notes on what the steering looked like, and where the food was kept. I have a diary of what I purchased for consumption out of the vending machines, and notes in great detail about the discussions and dialogue with the other passengers about anything and everything.

The boat shape was irregular as far as boats go, and unlike any other I have been on. It was round in the interior and one could travel the 360 degrees in a walkabout (which I did many times in my dream) and end up back at the point of origin.

I suspect I was overly thirsty at one point in my medical nightmare of that year, as a common theme in the dream is drinking gallons of Root beer, Red Bull, and eating copious amounts of canned Mandarins.

I know (or was told latter) that I was fed (in my real life) through a trach while I was in the coma, yet in my dream I ate bags and bags of "Miss Vickie's" Sea Salt and vinegar chips.

When I "woke up" sometime in October ( I was in a coma for only 10 days, but have no recollection of coming out of that coma, nor do I recall the discovery that I had lost hearing. My first memory, or what I call "waking up" was the last week in October when I was sitting in the OT room in the hospital and I asked the therapist if I was in Vancouver) I believed that the dream did in fact take place. I even told a hospital visitor that I lost my hearing somehow when I was on a boat trip the past month.

Not sure why this is all coming out again at this point. Perhaps my thoughts this morning on how I never seem to remember my dreams for more than a nano second in the morning. I wake up and recount the nights cinema then it is gone forever.

Not the big one.

"The Dream", it seems, is always ready for reply on my DVR .

David's video review.

If, no when, I write my book about my journey from sound to silence and then to digital sound,; it will begin on the boat.

An interesting turning point in my life.

The metaphor is wonderful, is it not?




Tom Hannon said...

Interesting that ya weren’t deaf on your trip!

Tom : Deaf 2006 : CI-Borg 2007 : Luminoid 2008-9

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

I'd surely read a book about a boat trip from Toronto to Vancouver!

themom said...

I think it would make a very interesting read. Keep up the good work David.

K.Line said...

Wow, fascinating dream! I am a very vivid dreamer also (so much so that I sometimes wonder if I'm just in some alternate universe while sleeping - as absurd as that may sound). Amazing symbolism indeed.

Laura ~Peach~ said...

facinating... and totally interesting how vivid it continues to be.

Steve said...

Sounds like "Fitzcarraldo" on a Prairie Schooner! Fascinating dream. Perhaps the next generation of Cochlear Implant processors will have an advanced telemetry feature with output to a digital video recorder. But first, I'm hoping for a "what was that" button that will repeat the last 10 seconds of sound to you.

bobbie said...

I find it really fascinating, this coma dream of yours. I wonder if others who have been in comas recall such dreams?

Kay Dennison said...

Fascinating!!! I read about people's dreams and I marvel.

I don't know why I don't remember my dreams. I wish I did. Then again, maybe I should be glad I don't.

Government Funded Blogger said...

After seeing my sister in law in a coma and hearing her vocalizing at times I became curious about what is going on in brain of a person in a coma and I think your dream might explain it.

I sure like Miss Vickies Sea Salt and vinegar

Colin said...

Our uncanny parallels on our brutal road to Deafness! My time was 4 months earlier. Many seizures, many dreams, sometimes looking at myself from above my bed which was surrounded by many medical staff, and often my special wife. Sometimes I was spoken to roughly and scolded for not trying, can’t you see your heart rate, can’t you see your oxygen level, COME ON TRY, Just BREATH. Through all this I could hear my wife, clear calm, quiet, assuring, Its OK darling, I won’t let you go, don’t fight it just breath for me!

I remember looking at my bed with me lying on it and people with electric fans, wet towels and empting large bags of ice onto my body. I remember thinking they were doing the right thing, ice was good for keeping our fish fresh on a fishing trip!

I also thought they were cruel to the prostrate form on the bed, naked and cold. Give him something warm and clothes or blankets.

Something’s I hope to one day forget.

We’ve come a long way, privileged now is the journey as much as the destination.


jeanie said...

I want to know what subsequent role the bearded lady had?

Unknown said...

the human mind is an amazing thing!!!