Thursday, November 15, 2007

A Deep Dream Life

My waking hours remain confined to my hospital bed, so I must buzz the nurses to go potty, rinse out my my mouth or take a shower, all of which take great effort. I can barely read the LA Times or a book or magazine, concentrate on a TV show or carry on a conversation. Call it chemo brain to the extreme.

But my my dream life is another story. After a round of morphine (my first and, I hope, my last), I swirled in and out of psychedelic dreams. Last night, without the aid of pain meds, I had wild adventures involving myself in boy-type underwear and nothing else with a group of pre-prepubescent Japanese-American boys in Little Tokyo. We ingeniously fashioned clothing from burlap, mud and tar. We rolled in mud and slid down bacteria-ridden water slides, all forbidden activities for patients with repressed immune systems. The finale was jumping off a roof. (All dangerous and mischievous activities, but none sexual in nature.)

Today I was convinced my dream was real. I escaped from the hosptial and looked down and saw that my leg was injured and sought help at the Pasadena Macy's. I was stylishly dressed, but had no hose on my legs or shoes on my feet. I've never been so happy to wake up and realize I was in my hospital bed watching an episode of Martha.

Martha's pumpkin center piece never looked so good.


SAMO Calling said...

Ah, that's my girl - A day tripper!

Piper Robert said...

You know, when you're all healed and you go back and read your posts, you're going to laugh like a six year old. Keep us posted on the dream thing.

I thank the Lord you're on your way back. Love ya!!!

Susan Carrier said...

Piper, you're right. I usually share my dreams individually, not on a blog.

Ann said...

I kept having strange dreams, too. The last time I was in the hospital, I dreamt that I worked at the information desk in a tokyo high-rise and the fire alarm was going off. I woke up in the "public" bathroom three doors down from my room clutching my IV pole. Apparently, I snuck past the nurses station and managed to be so quiet, Chris slept right through it. Those drugs can do some very crazy things to your psyche. Don't fret about the chemo brain, just sit back and focus on getting better. Chris and I are rooting for you.

Barbara Roth said...

I think the part about the panty hose having no feet harkens back to another milestone moment in your life. Or at least the panty hose part. I am so glad you're moving forward with the treatments and have the energy to describe your chemo dreams so we can all share them. Barbara

Anonymous said...

Morphine will do that to you. I had to have it for several days and I was riddled with nightmares of psychotic people trying to kill my kids. And as you experienced, it feels all too real.

Then I saw ornate ceilings from a palace I visited in Europe slowly drifting down to where I thought I could touch it. I hear it was entertaining to listen to me babble about it for HOURS.

Your brother is right, this will make for some good stories later.

May you be morphine free the rest of you life!!


Karen said...

That's hilarious Susan, although I'm sure it's not so much fun when you're experiencing it.

A dear friend of ours was in a serious car accident years ago and when we went to visit him at the hospital he couldn't remember anything about the crash and didn't want to talk about it. He regaled us for more than an hour, however, telling us in great detail about all the weird, vivid dreams he'd been having!

I bet morphine was the culprit there, too. I'll have to ask him next time I see him if he knows what they gave him for pain.

Glad you are at least able to blog. Hey, did you see Dr. Forman on TV last night?! Tell him he's a hero.

Anonymous said...

Susan, WE can play with miso paste and tofu..and seaweed and sesame
seeds we can make some vegan style sushi..get that sticky rice hit
the spot feeling. and put some inmitaiton shredded crab on the rice.. I'm thinking of way to create the feel and taste of sushi


Susan Carrier said...

Ann, I'm relieved to hear that I'm not the only one who's experienced these wild chemo dreams (although the one with the Japanese boys was really fun).

Tara, Did you find that the morphine has an after life? While on it, I exprerienced similar ceiling episodes, but last night I had the freakiest dreams - more like hallucinations. I would shut my eyes for seconds, have a scary episode, scream an utterly SILENT scream and then wake up. This must have happened ten times last night.

Barbara, Are you thinking of the cute-meet-panty-hose episode? If not, you'll have to email me offline.

Mary, I have a double challenge with the sushi: no raw fish AND low bacteria, which means that everything has to be cooked, including the veggies. I love the crunch and spice that pickled carrots and daikon add, but those are out. But seaweed and sushi rice are still OK. (Just no food from out of hosptial for a while.)

Susan Carrier said...

Ann, I just realized: What's with the wierd Japan-related dreams. I reread your comment about the Tokyo high-rise.

Mrs. Duck said...

Sounds like opium. But, of course, morphine is an opiate. I had morphine after both my c-sections (but never again, because I had a terrible allergic reaction after the morphine with the second c-section), but I don't recall any weird dreams --- only a strange sense of disassociation as the nurses and doctors asked me questions like "Is that a sunburn" (the allergic reaction included a bright red full body rash) and "Can you still breathe OK?")

Maybe the dreams are induced by drug-combinations?

Or maybe not. As I recall from Long Day's Journey into Night, the mother (who was a morphine addict) was often rambling on in a sort of dream state.

The Japan connection is certainly interesting. Have you read any books by Murakami? They are full of events that sound like your and Ann's morphine dreams. And, of course, they all happen in Japan. But, then, Murakami lives in Japan.

Piper Robert said...

While Bobby was in ICU at Pitt Med Center, recovering from the car wreck, he told me he was having wild, vivid dreams. Yes, you guessed it, he was also on morphine.

suzy keleher said...

Gosh! I have wild, vivid dreams and I am NOT on morphine or anything else...SCARY! My kids can even carry on conversations with me while I am asleep...I wonder what that means? LOL I love hearing about your dreams, Susan...they are a laugh riot! Love you and be well...Suze

Susan Carrier said...

Ahh, another rare moment when my energy level and server are in sync!

Karen, remind me to to tell you about my further "hullications" when you come to visit.

Mrs. Duck, I haven't read Murakami, but I have Gail Tsukiyami's latest book sitting in my night stand. When I can read more than two consecutive sentences, I hope to finish (or at least start) it.

Suze, I completely forgot about your nocturnal antics in college! You were highly open to the power of suggestion, and Mare and I would take advantage of it by leading you to the water fountain and telling you the H2O was cherry flavored that night. You lapped it up!

Margaret Finnegan said...

Once I dreamed that I was eating donuts. When I woke up I had this horrible feeling of regret. I wondered: what if I eat donuts in my dreams every night -- and I don't even know it. What kind of wonderful life am I living out in my subconscious that I am completely unaware of? What if my dream life is more satisfying than my real life.

Anonymous said...

Susan, yes, morphine has an afterlife, and it's terrible, but diminishing. You can expect to have those whacked-out dreams for another 4 or so days after you're off it.

The alternate reality affect with me was horrid. I would make people hold my hand constantly ( mom held it all night one night) so I could squeeze her hand to get out of the hallucination. In the middle of my terror, I'd squeeze their hand hard enough to "wake" me up. Only then could I snap out of it. I guess this went on several times an hour the entire time I was on it.

Then milder after shocks lasted several days, but I was also on different pain drugs then. The next pain drugs made my heart stop. Just a few beats a minute were missing, but scary enough. Ugh. May it be never again!


Anonymous said...

Mary ~ vegan sushi? Now I've heard it all!! lol ~in a good natured way!


Anonymous said...

Hi Susan,

I had a funny dream about you last night.

We were returning from somewhere (I know not where), and you were driving (not your Prius, more like a Chrysler LeBaron). We turned right onto a street that appeared to be in downtown LA. The road was under construction -- it was covered with gravel and men were working at various points along the road. But the road was open to traffic, and other drivers were slowly working their way down the street. But we just barreled on down at full speed, and workmen were yelling at us and dodging our car. No one got hurt, and we made it safely to our destination, some undefined location in Sierra Madre where we ordered coffee. They had two varieties of gourmet coffee, and you asked me which one I wanted.

That was it. My dream was not morphine-induced -- could it have been the glass of Sutter Home white zin?

Take care,
Barbara F.

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