Sunday, March 1, 2015

Nightmare on Route 66

     Nightmares. 

      "Do I have them?", is a typical question from inquisitive minds.

     Truthfully, in the four years of my recovery, dreaming of the collision is not a frequent occurrence.  Recalling only a handful of night visions during this season of turmoil is frequent enough for myself.  Each session of my subconscious was emotionally exhausting, but oddly, only my first illusion was an authentic nightmare.

     Nearing three months of my husband and I slumbering in our living room, I introduced the idea of seeking out our bedroom.  Although we held hands between my hospital bed and the sofa, we had not slept beside each other since the collision.  He was beginning to ambulate in an odd fashion as the support from our old couch gave way.  

     Wheeling myself to his side of the bed, because that is the only place my chariot could fit, we quickly realized the bed was too high for my weakened arms to lift my delicate structure up efficiently.  Every action was slow and calculated because every action caused intense pain.  My body was seized into a chair pose, even in the hospital bed.  Positioning my legs to lie above the level of my heart was crucial and I had no tolerance to lie flat on my back.  Twenty-four hours a day, I pushed the buttons on the remote to position the mattress to conform to my tattered body.  Stacking pillows below my legs and upper body we finally lay beside each other.  I smiled back at my husband even though it felt as if I were laying on a stack of plywood.   He lay so close to me, almost as if he were afraid I would disappear if he did not.  After fidgeting with slipping pillows we fell asleep connected by intertwined fingers.  

     Promptly I was launched into a nightmare that reproduced itself unceasingly.  Never-ending it seemed.  The identical three seconds that is the root of my terror during the impact of our vehicles colliding, replayed incessantly in my imagination.  

       A  truck, popping over a small hill, rounding the corner, careening toward us.   I, watching as it's body leaned around the curve and it's tires tried desperately to grasp the pavement.   Crossing the center line, forcefully blocking our paths.  
 It was flying, literally flying!   Whipping back and forth across the yellow lines.  Back and forth, it was erratic.   Good Lord, it's not going to stop!  Panic was coursing through my entire body, creating violent tremors, my mind was screaming in hysteria !  This was happening so fast!   "No!" my mind roared, "No!"   It's too close, we're going to die.
 Enormous round lights, blinded my vision with complete whiteness.   They are in my face!    I screamed so loud my lungs burned,   "Oh My God!!!"

     Again, again, again, again and AGAIN!  Stop! 



      Fifty? Seventy-five times this horror cascaded itself upon me.  Waking in hysteria, my body had reacted as if I had just lived through the impact again.  Finding myself in my home, I felt droplets of sweat running down my skin as I released the sheets of my grip.  They were wet.  Reaching up to my stomach, my shirt was literally soaked with perspiration.  Beating like a war drum in my throat was my anguished heart.  My body was petrified in panic as I pried each one of my shoulders from the hardness  of the mattress.  Slowing my breath, afraid I was hyperventilating, I clutched at reality.

  I know where I am.  I know I am okay.  I know it was a dream.   Steadying my wild eyes to focus, I inhaled and exhaled deeply until twenty minutes later I felt myself drifting into a slumber.

    
A G A I N!!! 

     Immediately catapulted into another fifty episodes of the insanity of the same three seconds that had just molested me, my subconscious stole my sleep until morning light.  Having done nothing but lie in bed for seven hours, I was absolutely exhausted.  Physically and emotionally.  

     I only wanted for my pain to end.  Emotional pain.  My heart ached from it, my mind was consumed by it and my spirit fought diligently against it.  

     Although those same three seconds enter my mind often, that dream has never invaded my sleep since.  It is a horrible scene to translate, but it has taught me to not be afraid to live.  Now I have chosen to use it for a better purpose.
To intentionally inspire others to live each day 
as if it had just begun.