Before we begin, a bit of background on me for those of you that might not know. I'm a very accomplished lucid dreamer -- which basically means I'm aware when I'm dreaming and can easily change the direction or events of the dream. I do this on a regular basis for a variety of reasons. There are times when my dreams are just that - dreams - and there's no reason to change them; and there are also times when I'm not lucid dreaming and the dreams take me wherever they feel like it. I'm also a very strong believer in the concept that some dreams are meant to teach us something or bring something to light that we need to reflect on. This is what last night's dream was all about, and although I knew I was dreaming, I intentionally did nothing to change the dream as I know I needed to see where it was going.
With that, let me share the dream with you; as usual I have no idea how it started, it was just there in my head suddenly.
I slip into a state of semi-consciousness, in a strange bed and realize that for some reason my eyes just can't open - worse yet I can't move anything. Before I allow the panic to seep in, I assess what I can without being able to see. The room I'm in certainly doesn't smell like home - there's no undertone of Coppertone (aka the Sun and Sand candles I use at home), or anything else that smells familiar. In fact, there's little accentuating smell at all -- mostly just clean. Well, that doesn't help.
I mentally scan my body to see if anything is different... and realize there's a stinging in my right arm, my throat is killing me, my back feels like someone used it for fencing practice, and I can't shake the feeling that there's a bulldog sitting directly over my heart. Helpful, though not really making it easier for me to calm down.
It's when I truly listened to the sounds around me that I realized what was going on. At first, everything seems muted, like I had cotton stuffed in my ears, but the more "online" my brain got, the more clear everything started to sound. I heard a whisper soft, repetitive sound off to my right. Woooosh --- whooosh. The sound was very regular and never seemed to falter in it's strength or it's timing. I hear distant voices coming and going as if they are never actually standing still; unfortunately I can't understand what they are saying, even though I can tell they are speaking English. Other various mechanical sounds are around me, mostly what seems like behind or above me... more wooshing sounds though these one not as soft as the first one I noticed; something that sounds like it's spinning, and some kind of odd pumping noise. Then, when I recognized the last set of noises I knew exactly what was going on. Beep. Beep. Beep. Shit..that's the sound of a vitals monitor -- guess who landed herself in a hospital?
I tried to remember why I could have found myself here - hooked up to the machines. The vitals monitor means there's some kind of pulse sensor on me and probably EKG electrodes. Suddenly, a whirring noise starts and my arm gets tight -- ah yes, blood pressure. Too bad the machine doesn't talk, so I could know what the readouts are. It took me a few minutes to realize the other noises...that whispersoft noise, combined with the fact that my throat felt like it was on fire -- ventilator; that's not good news. I won't get into the other mechanics.. let's just say "life support" was full on.
The voices outside suddenly moved into my room and I recognize the voices talking: Doc (my Doctor), my Mom, my Sister, Sami , some very special friends of mine. Hell it was like a reunion in there -- oh crap. They only let that many people in when it's time to say good bye -- I am not OK with this. My mind starts to go off in a million different directions covering all the things I never got to do, the people I still want to spend time with, etc. etc.
"Here's the problem" Doc says in her most compassionate voice. "She's on life support - under normal circumstances, we can keep her there indefinitely since the machines are providing her with everything she needs. But, with the blackout; the generators have a limited amount of time they can actually keep the machines going -- I give it about 3 hours. If the electricity doesn't come on before then; there won't be anything we can do."
Panic. At least on my part. It's obvious the people in the room are upset, there's soft crying, sniffling and feet shuffling. But they are being strong (they know I'd kick their tails if they weren't ;) ) It's then I realize that my clock really is ticking. 3 hours... to make sure the people in my life remember the good I've tried to do. 3 hours to ensure they know I love them. 3 hours .. to lay here in a near-unconscious state and hope to wake up enough to give them the comfort that they need.
That's when I woke up .. straight up .. wide awake and more than a little bit panicked. It took me a while to calm down and realize what I was being told. DON'T wait until it's too late to live the life you need to live. Focus on the right things now -- so that if your end does come sooner than you're expecting; your legacy is already there. Tell the people that are important in your life how much you love them.
Don't hold a grudge.
Be at peace.
Set the right example.
Never let a moment go by that the most important people in your life wonder how you feel.
I know this was 'just a dream' but it's a dream that hits very close to home for me... since it's a reality I face on a regular basis. However, it can happen to anyone -- since I have no idea what, exactly, landed me in that hospital bed. So, just remember -- we all have a limited time here; make the most of it.
I love you.