Problems and / or dreams
AnonymousApril 15, 2007 at 3:47 pm
As most of you that have been around awhile, I’m heading up to my 3rd years post severe GBS.
While I have always been one to remember dreams, it’s getting worse. Back when I was in intensive care for the 19 days and the 28 days acute care, I was able to tell everyone EVERYTHING I had experienced both on the 5 days “over there” and then the sci fi stuff after the morphine started. Even though it was 30+ days with only blinking eyes, once I was able to talk I told them EVERYTHING that had gone on both in the morphine dream state as well as the pre morpine state of somewhere else.
It’s been almost 3 years and the dreams are still as vivid and it takes me hours to shake them daily, ( IF I’m able to shake them )
It’s not nightmares or horror, they are just MORE vivid then being awake.
I called my brother yeaterday and gave him a detail account of what I had been through the night before and it took almost 3 hours to tell even without details.
I wake up today and I sat here crying for 2 hours. Not because the dreams were all that bad, it’s just that I can’t keep this much information in my brain and I can’t hit a “delete” button to erase it.
When someone is in an automobile accident, time seems to slow down and you can remember every detail as you move slow motion through the 5 seconds of the accident. Thats how my dreams are. They don’t seem to be just ‘flashes”, it’s like I’m in slow motion through everything and can come up with HOURS of details from a very short nap. The long dreams don’t start and stop, it’s one verylong journy.
It takes me HOURS to wake from them and get my feet on the ground. I walk around like a zombie trying to decide what was dream and what was real.
I certainly understand that when I was in the hospital these things were happening because of the drugs but my doctors have checked my list of RX and they all agree this is not from the medications, at least not to this extent.
anyone else ?
AnonymousApril 15, 2007 at 4:25 pm
Hi ya Mike! have you tried writing your dreams down in a journal? it will help get all those thoughts out of your head and you’ll have enough for a book afterwards. i have my days and nights like you, i’m just getting started on my journal-puter type is easier for me even though i can only use 2 fingers at a time to type it out. it has helped me, i don’t have them every night anymore-just occassionally. at night i find if i write out my thoughts, no matter what the subject, i can turn off my mind and get at least 5 hours of sleep, thats good for me. or if you don’t feel like writing or typing, you can dictate it on a recorder or zen type ipod, if you have one. hope you are doing good, other then the memories. take care.
AnonymousApril 15, 2007 at 5:53 pm
The problem with that is that it would take me hours to write about it. Just making an outline of it would be too intensive.
If I could just be that intensive when I’m awake I would be the worlds smartest person. It’s like digesting 3 sets of encyclopedias in an hour and rememberin it all. It takes me an hour or so just to be able to shake the wide eyed alert mode just to function.
The wiring in my brain seems to be supercharged in that state.
If it was more educational than adventure I feel like I could learn EVERYTHING in the world in just a matter of years.
Sorta like the movie where John Travolta got struck by lightning.
Oh crap, that was a brain tumor.
I’m just so exhusted by the mental goings on while asleep that it’s getting harder andf harder to do anything in the real world.
I had these problems before GBS, but nowhere near this level.
AnonymousApril 15, 2007 at 5:55 pm
Hey Mike: I analyze dreams for a living. The intensity and vividness of your dreams can be a blessing not a curse, if you work with them. As Cheryl recommended, writing them in a dream journal is one way to start. If you can paint or draw you might take an image or two and play with them that way. The more intense the dream the more meaning it has and the more it is demanding your attention.
When I was in the midst of GBS acute stage I had vivid dreams, nightmares and waking visions and moved all over the hospital until the nurses tied me down. But the dreams and experiences I remembered from that time have helped me understand my GBS and my life since. I have to sleep a lot too and have very vivid dreams, but I enjoy them a great deal.
If you have the money a visit to a Jungian analyst or dream therapist might help. If not, write out a little bit of your dream, and take it piece by piece, thinking what it might mean, seeing if it makes you think of anything from your past, and just playing with the images. The feeling that you can’t keep them all in your head means you shouldn’t try-talk about them, write about them, and try to analyze them. If you need any more info feel free to send me a privat message. The main thing to remember is that dreams are information which you need to process. The Talmud said, “A dream uninterpreted is like a letter unopened.” Jeff
April 16, 2007 at 9:27 am
Sounds like you could be rich and famous if you were able to turn those dreams into screenplays of some sort. I feel for you and am sorry this is overwhelming you. Prayers!
AnonymousApril 16, 2007 at 10:29 am
I have to agree with Jeff and Cheryl on this one. You don’t need to write down every detail of a dream in order for a journal to be effective. The important thing about overly vivid dreams is to understand the emotional affectation of a dream and how you react to it or feel about it. Writing down how you feel about the dream will allow you to specifically identify the emotions of the dream and that will eventually insert itself into your future dreams. Your dreams are a way of your unconscious mind communicating with you. The dreams may continue until you deal with that unconsious issue.
Mike, you have had more than your share of traumatic stress in the last three or four years. You have been displaced by hurricane Katrina, moved out of New Orleans and then moved back to devastation, and you have had GBS, and that is just the stuff I know about. That is more than a full plate for the strongest of people. Mike, I think you may find some relief and benefit from seeing a psychologist or a psychiatrist who specializes in post-traumatic stress.
Mike, please take care of yourself and treat yourself well.
AnonymousApril 16, 2007 at 8:49 pm
I second what Lee said. Your dreams are intruding on your life or, your reaction to them is intruding on your life.
I don’t know, but perhaps your dreams are your way of trying to come to terms with what has happened in your life.
When something traumatic happens, I run through it repeatedly in my head, and yes, every detail is sought for and considered. I don’t willingly choose to do this but I believe this is the mind’s way of becoming familiar with it, making it, hopefully, a little less scary, to the point where the mind can then accept it, deal with it and file it. Actually, I have read of this also.
This is going to sound silly and I don’t mean to make little of your dreams – what I’m trying to get at is how our heads seem to work: if you have a drink that’s a bit too hot, do you wait 5 minutes and then calmly drink it or, like me, would you blow on it, wait a moment or two and then tentatively try it again – knowing that it’s still going to be pretty hot – but you risk it, you try it, and the moment you can manage to take a sip, you do. As you’ve waited a little while you probably won’t get burnt, but it’s gonna hurt, yet we still do it. Isn’t that how people burn themselves eating the likes of microwaved apple pie?
Okay, that doesn’t work very well. But, just as I wouldn’t leave the hot cup of tea, you don’t leave your dreams – and they are far bigger than the cup of tea. It’s natural to try it, to push it, to want it to be right, to want to somehow make it right by sheer will, to be comfortable with it.
You yourself connected the dreams with GBS in your post. You mentioned that the dreams are like a long journey. Maybe it’s time to get a professional map-reader to give you guidance instead of trying to get there without knowing where ‘there’ is and without the said map.
Getting help doesn’t mean you will be given all the answers but it can give you the tools and the insight for you to discover the answers – or at least the questions.
I would suggest that the strongest people accept when they need help and go get it.
You said that you’ve always been one to remember dreams, so that is part of your make-up. That being so, I totally agree that seeing a psychologist or a psychiatrist who specializes in post-traumatic stress is a good idea.
The other thing I wondered about is that you said your docs agreed that your present medications would not be the cause, ‘to the extent it is happening’. Perhaps, as you always remembered dreams, if your medication CAN cause some sort of dream retention, it affects you more acutely?
Honestly Mike, please seek some knowledgeable help – that’s what it’s there for.
AnonymousApril 17, 2007 at 2:49 pm
Mike, It sounds like PTSD(post traumatic stress disorder). Go see you doctor. The group of meds called SSRI’s(ie Prozac, Zoloft) really help this. I had PTSD after a traumatic delivery and near death of my 1st child(I had to resusitate her myself). It is very treatable. Don’t suffer any longer. Go see you doctor. Dr. Shawn
AnonymousApril 17, 2007 at 5:50 pm
I feel for you, I do, as I experience some of the same problems with my dreams. Medication of any type does seem to enhance them for me. But it is my nature to be very curious about them and analyze them myself. I have all my life.
What I really wanted to share with you is that I was/am working through some family issues and they were reflected in my dreams. Finally, I had a night of ‘reward’ dreams!!! Its very embarassing… anyway this actor guy fell in love with me. 😮 But it really felt like a reward after all those hard dreams. And I felt released somewhat of the burdens of my family situation.
I also have dreams where I can never seem to run or move very much. [I](Edit: I can’t run in real life, but do move fairly well most of the time)[/I] I just pray these don’t come up too often – if they do, I know I need to rest more!
I too would get with a psychologist to help you analyze them so you can understand them – as Jeff does.
AnonymousApril 17, 2007 at 6:47 pm
I’ve been thinking and thinking about your problem.
My own dreams are extremely vivid, and often continue through the night as one long, sometimes convoluted narrative. I remember most of them in detail when I wake up. I can even wake myself during a dream, if I don’t like the outcome, or direction of the dream, and change it to be more to my liking. Sometimes I can make myself repeat a dream that I especially like, or continue a dream from one night to the next. I dont often have nightmares, but do sometimes have what I call “anxiety dreams” – dreams where I am in the midst of trouble of some kind, and must work my way out of it.
I have done this my entire life, although it does seem that my dreams are more difficult to “shake off” when I wake up, as I’ve gotten older. I don’t have difficulty distiguishing between my dreams and reality, however, I often feel as if I live an “alternate life” at night while sleeping.
I actually look forward to sleeping, because I wonder where I’ll go and what adventures I’ll have each night. I also very often solve real problems in my sleep, that I have been unable to solve during waking hours. I have very creative ideas in my dreams that I often use in real life.
Your reaction to your dreams is very different from mine. Please don’t take this question in the wrong way, but what is it about your dreams that you find troublesome? I’m genuinely curious to know what it is about this that is making you upset?
Whatever it is, I hope you are able to find peace.
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