For the past couple of weeks, I have been experiencing a major bout of vertigo. My head is spinning, my eyes are jumping around, and my feet keep slipping on my very stable floor. By day, I feel like I am walking on a small boat in a big wind. By night……
Oh, man, by night.
I have had the most amazing, alarming and dizzying dreams for the past two weeks. I guess it’s because even while I am sleeping peacefully, my inner ear is running amok. Every now and then I roll over and apparently my poor brain attempts to compensate for the spinning and twirling.
It is not fun.
For example, I recently had a dream that my class and I were on a ship, getting ready to attack several ghosts. (OK. I was sick, there was a “Ghost Hunters” marathon. What can I say?) We were walking up a circular staircase, taking us up to a very high deck on the ship. The kids were scared, and in my effort to calm them, I sat with my back to the downward slope, on an unstable plastic chair that was slipping, sliding and rocking back and forth in the wind and waves. Oh, man……
And one night I had a dream that I was sitting on the top of a curly slide, dropping baseballs to the kids below. I was sitting with my former MLB playing Uncle Lennie. My job was to drop the ball and watch as it swirled around the slide and into the hands of the waiting child. Uncle Lennie’s job was to laugh, and wave and generally have a wonderful time.
I had a dream that I was on a plane, plummeting out control into the ocean below.
Vertigo and sleep seem to be mutually exclusive experiences.
And the most distressing dream of all, for me, came only two nights ago.
I dreamed that I was heading for the doctor’s office, to find out why I’ve been feeling so sick for so long. I was getting into the car, with my two boys. Tim was a tiny baby, maybe six months old, and was wrapped in a snugli in my arms. Matt was about two, and I had to wake him up to go to the hospital. For some reason (perhaps because she is now older and more settled in her life?) Kate wasn’t with us.
In the dream, my little Matt was crying in his car seat, saying, “I want to go home! Mommy, I am home sick. I want to just go home.” I took his hand, in my dream, and held it in mine. And in that unreal state, I realized that the small, soft hand that I held so tenderly could not belong to my boy. “Matty,” I said in my dream state, “This isn’t real. This isn’t your hand.” I knew, in the way that we know things in our dreams, that my boy had grown up, and that his hand is now strong, and sure and rough to my touch. “You’re OK.” I kept saying in my dizzy, scary dream. I wanted to cry, because I wanted to hold that soft little hand in mine, just one more time.
But as the dream continued, I found myself in the hospital, signing in to see the doctor, with baby Tim in my arms. The receptionist, who truly has known us for all of my children’s lives, asked me in some alarm, “Where is Matt?”
The dream me panicked, and whirled around. I grabbed my baby boy, held him tight, and ran to the elevator. And in my dreamy bout of vertigo, the two of us stood in the elevator as it spun, and whirled and plummeted hundreds of floors to the parking garage below, where I found my little Matty, with his small and gentle hands reaching out to me. I grabbed him and held him in my arms, as my heart continued to pound.
“I’m here, I’m here”, I kept saying, holding his small body against me, knowing that this was only a dream, and that I’d never hold him that way again. I was guilty, and scared, and dizzy and confused.
Tonight, as I sit here contemplating the night ahead of me, I realize that I am truly afraid to dream.