Monday, October 6, 2008

In Which I Fall Back

The second my alarm went off this morning, I knew something was wrong. I felt that old feeling, the irrationally scared tension of anxiety creeping over me, its long, cold fingers wrapping slowly around my mind. Before I even swung my feet out of bed, before I had rubbed the sleep from my eyes, my heart was beating fast, already in the throes of a panic attack.

I placed my hands on my knees and tucked my chin down towards my chest and took some deep breaths. Closing my eyes to focus on my breathing with The Boss still sleeping under the covers next to me, I try to think about what could have caused this early morning attack. After a few moments my mind flashes back to a dream...


I see myself, lying still under the thin cotton sheets on a hospital bed. The top of my head is wrapped in gauze, and there is an oxygen mask covering my nose and mouth. An IV bag hangs near the head of the bed, slowly administering fluids through a line in my right arm. A harsh glare is cast on me from the fluorescent light on the wall above me. On my right side is a rolling cart with a variety of different machines, controlling and monitoring my breathing and brain activity.

To my left is my wife, trying in vain to clear the cascade of tears from her eyes with one hand, while holding the hand of our five-year-old daughter in the other. Our daughter, her brunette hair and brown eyes borrowed from her mother, looks on, confused as to why her father won't wake up. Mother had talked with the doctor in hushed tones for a long time this morning, but no one would tell her what was going on. She continues staring at her father on the bed, not sure why his eyes wouldn't open, and not sure why Mother was crying.

A man walks in the room, looking somber and pale, no contrast to the white lab coat he's wearing. After checking the time on his watch, he sets a sheaf of paperwork down on top of one of the monitors. He clears his throat quietly and says, "It's time."

My wife nods slowly, and picks up her daughter, turning her face away from what is about to happen. The doctor reaches over to a large button on the side of the rolling cart, and pushes it down. With a hiss, the breathing machine comes to a stop, and the heart monitor flat lines. The doctor shuts off the displays and other machines on the cart.

I'm gone.


I flash back to the present, hands still on my knees. I open my eyes and try to rid myself of the memory of that horrid dream, but the image of myself dying has been seared into my mind's eye. This isn't the first time I've had this dream, and I don't think it will be the last.

Even now, as I process the dream and try to tuck it away, I realize that I've taken an inadvertent step back. After so many days of being strong, all it takes is the figment of my subconscious imagination to send me reeling and gasping for air.

It's okay, though. I'm only human.

I'll get through it.

P.S. Don't forget about the contest!


Miss Grace said...

Oh honey.

Heather said...

I hate it when you wake up thinking a dream is real.

Cape Cod Gal said...! My heart was racing as I was reading it. I hate waking up from a dream and trying to get over it.

Remember positive thinking makes it all go better. My Mom is living with Leukemia and the doctors are convinced that her positive outlook is what's keeping her so healthy.

Moonspun said...

Oh That's quite a vivid dream.
Cape cod Gal is right. Despite the dream, try to stay positive. Even though it's a struggle.
Hugs to you!

Kat said...

Ok I know this is just a small consolation, but usually death in a dream just means that change is happening in your life. It is still horrible to have these types of dreams but maybe if you keep this in your mind it will help a little bit. Just a thought.

scatterbrain said...

It's only natural for you to have anxieties about your neurological problems. Not pleasant having vivid nightmares though.

But you're right Badass, you will get through it.

I wasn't sure if I was going to enter your fall competition, but have to say that I'm having SUCH fun with it. . . been out snapping away, trying all kinds of things. Thanks to you I've felt like a kid with a project.

Are you going to feature all the entries? I do hope so as I'm really getting into this. He-hee!

Lola said...

Those fear dreams do suck ass! Try not to read too much into it, though. If all of my crazy dreams came true, my husband would have died about a hundred times now and my son, I'd be having a wild affair with Eminem, all of my teeth would have fallen out, and I'd have cancer.

Stress and fear make for some crazy nights, my friend, so just move on to a better picture in your head if you can.

Badass Geek said...

Miss Grace: Yeah. Bad day.

Heather: Me, too. This one was really vivid... Really threw me for a loop.

Cape Cod Gal: I'm a positive thinker when I'm awake, but apparently not so much when sleeping.

Moonspun: I tried to remain positive today, but I still had my moments.

Kat: Thanks for the suggestion. I've heard that before, but I never though to think of it that way today.

Scatterbrain: I'm glad you're enjoying your work for the contest. I do plan on featuring the participants (with their permission).

Lola: They definately are not any fun to have. I wrote about it today, in hopes that it'd help me deal with it and move on. I'll be thinking happy thoughts tonight.

Rachel said...

That's so weird, dude.

Anddd I don't know what kind of music you like, but the Faint's awesome. Srsly.

Aunt Becky said...

I'm channeling you, apparently. I had nightmares ALL NIGHT last night.

Jen W said...

Very vivid post. I have totally been there, waking up in the middle of the night sweating from fear and anxiety and relief that it was only a dream and not reality.

Margo said...

Ugh. I hate those dreams. I hate them hate them hate them.
I've been having them too lately, in case that wasn't clear.

scatterbrain said...

Less sleep farting and on with the it's keeping you out of mischief:-D

When will we know who won? Huh? Huh?

Pesky me keeping you from judging!

Employee No. 3699 said...

Sometimes when my alarm goes off and I wake from a really good dream, I'll hit the snooze and try to pick up where it left off...then there are the times like you described that have me hopping out of bed as quick as I can, even if it's to go to work.

Badass Geek said...

Rachel: It is weird.

Aunt Becky: We seem to be mentally connected more often than not, anyways.

Jen W: It is really not a good feeling, is it?

Margo: I hate them, too. They are all I seem to have.

Scatterbrain: You'll know soon enough!

Scatterbrain: I'm a big fan on the snooze button, but that time I just wanted out of that dream.

Whiney Momma said...

Yikes, that was one scary dream. I have a whole list of freaky dreams too that revisit. Most of them involving creepy bridges and me falling off of them.

Badass Geek said...

Whiney Momma: I have the occaisional "falling" dream, too. I actually prefer those over the ones where I die from the possible brain tumor that I have.

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