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Barbara V.

Was it all just a dream?
Was it all just a dream?


Was it all just a dream?

My clear dreams during hospitalization after a hemmorhagic stroke, perhaps while in a coma.

(I could see through walls and hear people outside, or maybe it was all just a dream.)

At 38 years of age, I had never imagined having a brain aneurysm burst.

I was mad at everyone and everything, but then again, look at the situation at work. A lot of nastiness was incubating in that microbiology laboratory. Work had left me awfully stressed. But why was I in a hospital bed? Perhaps, that day I fell on the parking lot ice and hit my head was more serious than I thought. Or did I accidently take a medicine that was contraindicated to my prescriptions? Maybe a genetic tendency toward hemorrhages existed in my family. After all, two years prior my mother had died from a brain aneurysm.

As can be imagined, it was a huge and blurry surprise to find myself in a hospital, upstairs from the very lab in which I worked. I remember that my vision was unclear the night before as I looked through the microscope. I had even gone home early. And I had a bad headache the next morning. But here I was in a Critical Care Unit awakening from a coma. Not able to think clearly, my brainwaves seemed to swim around in my skull, unable to stop and anchor for even a nanosecond. Oddly, it was under these very circumstances from which I recall these crystal-clear dreams. I call them my 'coma dreams' for lack of a better name. They still seem awfully real, even though I can't remember much else from those three weeks of hospitalization.

I flew once standing up. I flew to a hospital in the town of the university I once attended, some 20 years prior. I can't say that I was very mature in the 1970's and my life was in turmoil most of the time. So why would I drop into the local hospital for some treatment now? Once settled into a room, I could hear demons chanting from the floors above and below me. And was terrified! I kept very quiet, very still. What did they want with me?

I also went to a football game. The stadium was located directly behind my current hospital unit. A visiting friend was dressed in team colors and on her way to the football showdown. I heard the crowd outside cheering and wanted to join them. Pretty tricky from Intensive Care!

The nurse pushed my wheelchair to a psychiatrist's office for a talk. Obviously, I needed some counseling. I watched her push me through the door! Oops-that had to be a dream. Especially since I was never transferred into a wheelchair until I was moved to the rehab clinic.

And later, mysteriously, I was transported to a space station out in the cosmos. I saw a pie-shaped glass room with me resting on a hospital bed in the very center. We could see beautiful twinkling stars and planets, endlessly reaching out in every direction. My husband (of just 1 year) and his friend, who happens to be a physician, were quietly discussing something. I thought they were discussing my future, or more precisely, where I was to go from here. I didn't get the idea that it was going to be back to earth.

I suppose that a Freudian psychiatrist could interpret the meaning behind these dreams. They may determine that I had a fear of change, an underlying desire to see what my future had in store. That would be understandably true. An understatement. Yet I believe that it was more likely that those dreams were God and I having a conversation about my future prospects. I'm so glad that I went with his pick.


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