Friday, July 11, 2008

To Sleep, Perchance to Dream

I feel back on top of the world today -- no pain, no nausea. What a difference a day makes. Especially a day where your wife and kids wait on you hand and foot capped off by nine straight hours of blissful (if somewhat Vicodin-aided) sleep.

We've already established my bona fides when it comes to sleep in an earlier post, but I'll admit that even with the prescribed assistance it took me until 2 a.m. to get comfortable enough to finally nod off. Once I was out, though, I stayed out.

Vicodin has nothing on the Lariam I took to prevent malaria back on our trip to Africa when it comes to sparking odd and vivid dreams. Even so, I had a weird one last night that involved living back up in Conifer again, but with our current neighbors also living up there. And I rode something like a bicycle to get there, only it wasn't really a bicycle. Like I said, it was weird.

I've got one semi-recurring dream, or at least dream topic. It pops up two or three times a year. I'm in a school that's not actually any school I've ever been to, but in the dream it's clearly "my" school. And there are a combination of friends and teachers from my past, but not ones that necessarily go together. So an elementary school friend, a college professor and so on. And I'm always on the way from one class to another, talking to people. And it becomes increasingly clear that later that day I've either got a test that I haven't studied for or an assignment due that I haven't done. And I get increasingly agitated trying to figure out what to do but I won't actually admit to anyone that I'm not prepared. But before the big moment of truth, I wake up. We'll just lump this together with how I picked what sports teams to root for as a kid as issues for my first psychotherapist reader to deal with and move on.

Sometimes when I'm just dozing off I'll wake up suddenly with a start, as in actually physically jump. And I'll always have a fading vision in my head of just stepping into a hole with a flower in it, only the view is from the side and completely zeroed in on the hole, the flower and my foot. And the image looks hand-drawn rather than real. I never remember any other details -- just that final visual.

Without a doubt my favorite dream experiences involve being able to fly. When I dream that I can fly I don't usually take off and soar like Superman; it's typically more like a broad jump that just keeps going. The sensation is always so intense that when I wake up I can remember clearly what it felt like and what everything looked like from up in the sky.

I'm kind of overdue for one of those, so I may just go ahead and turn in on the outside chance that I'll have one tonight. Whether I have an interesting dream may be out of my control, but getting a good night's sleep sure helped keep my day from being a nightmare.

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