A dream I remember

This was the Bloganuary prompt for 24th January.

I used to have a semi regular dream. It would never be identical but the same thing would be happening. I had it, probably several times a year, for as long as I can remember.

The dream would be that I’d be somewhere, doing something. That varied in each of the dreams. But I’d always be walking around doing whatever it was.

Then suddenly in the dream, I’d remember that I can’t walk. I’d them usually spend the rest of the dream crawling around in a panic looking for one wheelchair. Apart from once when I kept walking (I think this might have been when I was still a bit functional on my feet in the real world) but spent the rest of the dream in a panic that I’d fall before I either found my wheelchair or got where I was going as I knew I’d not get up if I did.

A few years ago I was talking to a friend and told her about the dream. She said “that’s a classic anxiety dream.” And I’ve never had that dream since.

A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes…

I’ve been doing a fair amount of writing (fiction) and the character I was writing about was thinking about the disney version of Cinderella. Specifically the song lyric “A dream is a wish your heart makes when you’re fast asleep.” And then I started thinking about it.

I frequently remember my dreams. They are very detailed and often borderline surreal. I can remember dreams I had months or years ago although not usually when I had them. I also have a recurring dream. I’ve not had it for absolutely ages but it was the one that came to mind. I think taking baclofen might have something to do with the way my dreams are – although even as a young child in my medicationless days I still remembered some of my dreams. But I think I read somewhere that baclofen can cause nightmares in young children? So it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to think it’s got something to do with the way my dreams are. (Side note I wrote half of this entry then came back to finish it a week later. During that time another CPer brought up the baclofen weird dreams thing so it seems I’m not the only one)

Anyway my recurring dream is that I’m out somewhere, it could be anywhere and usually is a different setting each time I dream it. And I’m not in my wheelchair. I’m walking around. Whatever’s going on in the dream is happening and all is good. But then in the dream I suddenly remember that I can’t walk. The dream is derailed (I think last time I was in a shopping centre and trying to find somewhere to buy a sandwich) and I spend the rest of it hunting around, crawling or more likely shuffling on my tummy (as thats what I actually have to do if I don’t have a mobility aid) in a bit of a panic looking for my wheelchair. This is always a dream and as yet has never taken the form of a nightmare but every few months I’ll have a variant of it.

So when a dream is a wish your heart makes when you’re fast asleep came to mind I started wondering what wish that dream could represent.

My first thought (and it was one I didn’t like) was whether it could be construed as a secret wish to be able to walk. I imagine that’s what a lot of people reading this would take it to be. Especially those who knew me back in the days when I was a long distance manual wheeler and short distance walker but who don’t see me often now.

I can stand. I can take a few steps when I transfer and very very very rarely if the stars align meaning I both need to and I’m having an amazing day at the same time I can walk a few metres with a walker (specifically, for the curious, I have a rollator). Yesterday and today were the first days that happened since the first week in January.

I’m really glad I have the level of mobility I do. I work hard with the help of my family to maintain that. But walking is exhausting, it’s painful and the risk of a fall and injury is always lurking unseen. Plus, I have no balance so I can’t do or carry anything when I’m on my feet. If I’m in my chair I have less pain, it takes less energy, my seating support means my balance is much less of an issue. I can do things and be independent in a way that I never could without my wheelchair.

In the past almost 13 years since I went to uni I’ve gone from using a walker inside and a manual outside through using a manual all the time to my current set up where I use my manual in the house and a couple of other places and use my powerchair if I’m out. There are small changes I’d like to make – I at times miss my mad wheeling skillz I had with my manual in my uni days – but walking isn’t one of them. For someone like me walking really is overrated.

No what I think the dream represents is a feeling of safety and independence. Because as well as giving me independence my chair makes me feel safe. I can move much quicker, safer and easier. I can react if I need too. When there was an argument outside my flat right a few days ago I delayed going to bed until it stopped. I felt I needed my mobility just in case.

And most of all it represents being whole. Because my wheelchairs are a part of my body. And a huge part of me. So maybe dreaming that I’ve lost it and panicking until I find it is about being accepted. By others and by myself.


>One of my new 101 in 1001 goals is to start a dream journal.  I’ll probably start an offline one either in a word document or in a notebook but I thought I would blog a little about three of the dreams I had last night.  I frequently remember my dreams which seem to be very detailed and often a little surreal.  I blame my medication for that, especially the baclofen.  Although that said even pre-baclofen I would remember them.

In the first dream I was at Center Parcs.  Specifically the Longleat one.  I can’t remember very much about what we were doing there or who I was with just that we were there and there was swimming involved.  And we were in the main plaza bit of the dome too. I don’t remember what we were doing in the plaza.

That dream makes sense because I was talking about the Longleat Center Parcs yesterday with a couple of people yesterday as one of them has just come back.

Then I dreamt that I was in hospital for something.  Maybe an operation? I was inpatient anyway, not out patient. It was the hospital I went to growing up but very different.  It was quite a fleeting dream.

I’ve had several similar and more detailed dreams about being at that hospital in the past few weeks. Including one where it had a full size shopping mall there with a swimming pool and I bumped into one of my friends from Stoke and we then chased round the hospital doing stuff and hiding from my physio because I wasn’t supposed to be there that day but had snuck up for a look around the new bits.

Interestingly the hospital I went to up until I was 16 really is very different now.  There’s a bit there that wasn’t before which houses all the disability type services (which is where I’ve been going for my treatment) and a lot of other new buildings as well as bits knocked down..  The main building which I always used to visit has changed very obviously from the outside and I’m told on the inside although I’ve not been over there in years. It intrigues me.  Oh and I did see a GP yesterday to get my Sertraline reauthorised (not my GP as she wasn’t available but as it was a paper exercise I figured it was OK. Which may have been a mistake) and we were talking about the treatment I’ve just had on my legs.  So again it’s obvious where bits of it come from but not all.

The final dream that I remember having last night took place I think at my parents old house.  I was wandering around completely naked (I often have dreams in which I’m naked or at least wandering around without a top on) and I think I was supposed to be getting ready for something but I wasn’t really doing anything just killing time.

Then a friend turned up as she wanted to show me the clothes she’d worn when she’d been in hospital in case they were any use to me for sailing (said friend has recently been in hospital but I doubt she even owns clothes like that let alone wore them in hospital).

I went into my bedroom to get dressed but again didn’t manage it.  The bedroom was my one up until I went to uni (when I changed to the smaller bedroom my sister had, my brother had my room and my sister moved into what was my brother’s room) but it was the yellow blue and red decoration it had for most of my childhood until I was 15 or so and not the more neutral colours it was from then until I went to uni.

Then I went back into the room with my friend, still naked.  She was hugging me really tight for ages as I’d done something that she wanted to thank me for. Some of her family turned up and I was embarrassed because we’ve not met and what if they thought something was going on? Then she was in the garden running around kicking a football (an amazing feat given she’s a wheelchair user in real life) and I was again supposed to be getting dressed.

Oh and sitting here typing this I’ve just remembered that I had a 4th dream which was something about a bomb and scuba diving and being away somewhere looking for treasure or dealing with a shipwreck we’d just discovered from long ago.  I don’t remember much of it.

The weirdest dream I’ve had lately was several weeks ago however.  I was in the bathroom in the house I grew up in (the same house as mentioned above) about to have a shower.  I was sitting in the shower in my powerchair when I suddenly realised what I was doing.  I figured it would probably be OK to shower sat in it but I had a bit of a question mark over what if something went wrong and realised that I’d have to call my mum round if showering in it did fuck up the electrics and she’d absolutely kill me.  The shower at that house was over the bath.  So I used the kerb-climber to get my chair over the side of the bath and onto the ground and then I somehow got myself back into the shower without using my bath board (because it didn’t exist in the dream for some reason).

The strange things here are in reality I would never even consider showering in either of my chairs but if I had to use one to do so I’d never use my powerchair because it would more than likely kill it off.  Plus I never even had a powerchair or had considered having one until I was 22 – years after I lived there.  And my kerbclimber won’t get me up a kerb more than an inch or two high, it’d never get me over the side of a bath let alone really easily and without mishap.

So there we have it. An interesting look into my psyche as revealed by my dreams.  I’ll understand if you now think I’m weird and never plan to return to my blog again. Hell, I think I’m weird after those dreams!