Running From the Monster

Yesterday was a hard day.

This doesn’t happen so much any more, but when I was a kid I used to have that type of dream where I was running away from something. I would have these dreams pretty frequently—at least once or twice a week that I can remember—and I would always wake up sweating and panicked afterwards.

The dreams were all basically the same scenario, although the settings and characters (including who I was) would change from time to time. In a nutshell, it was me running—or trying to run—with some monstrous thing hot on my tail. My heart would pound in my ears, and I could actually taste the salt from the perspiration that was flowing freely from my hair and forehead, down my cheeks and into my mouth. I was always screaming.

It sounds like your garden-variety dream, I know. The difference for me, though, was that I could never run fast enough in these dreams to get away. Not that the monsters were so fast, mind you. Rather, it was me that was so slow.

I knew how fast I could run. I was no speed demon in waking life, but I was fast enough to leave a big, lumbering monster in the dust. Yet for some reason, when I tried to make my legs go, they would suddenly feel like some strange conglomeration between rubber and concrete. I would try to pump them, but all I could manage was some slow motion kind of thing, where my legs would feel weaker and weaker with each plodding step. Eventually, I would simply collapse and not be able to get back up again.

It never took very long in these dreams. The monster always caught up with me. My mind was always kind enough to wake me up before the really horrible part, but not kind enough to spare me everything. Just before opening my eyes, I would feel it upon me, its teeth or claws or whatnot scratching or scraping or boring in to me. Every time, it felt like what I imagine it must feel like to be stabbed with a red-hot poker. My whole being would cry out, but it was helpless to do anything about it. I would simply lay there in agony and get devoured.

Then I would awaken.

Yesterday we went to Lynn’s doctor’s office on an urgent basis.

Turns out one of the incisions from her “chest thing” (I can never remember that they really called it…”pleuradesis?”) has gotten pretty infected, so they needed to pack it was some kind of gauze-like wick thing to draw junk out of it while it heals. I swear, when the nurse practitioner cleaned the thing out, it looked like a bullet hole. It was that deep—like a little cavern set in the back of her torso. And lucky me, I get to change her dressing and poke a new little wick inside there today sometime. If I can only keep from fainting..!

The infection, however, will heal. They got her on some pretty strong antibiotics, so that’s not really the problem.

The problem is chemotherapy. It looks like things are quickly going south. There have been some strange things occurring for her physically, which indicate her liver functionality is beginning to be somewhat impaired. She has, in fact, gotten a little spooked by it. So…she asked that they begin chemo as quickly as possible. At the moment (and depending on how well she recovers from the infection), it looks like it’s going to begin next week.

I know we will make it. I do. I can’t help but feeling, though, that the monster is once for on my tail. Only this time I am awake, and what will happen when it finally descends upon me? There will be no waking relief.

Sorry this post is such a downer. It’s just how I feel this morning. I took the day off, so I could be with Lynn and help her out today. And so I could clean the damned house. And so I could just rest and not worry about stuff today.

God, I am glad I am taking some time off.

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