Tuesday 06 November, 2007 – 01:15
I really do not try to remember my nightmares. Quite apart from reliving the pain, thinking about these things might cause me to embellish the memories with false detail that later remembering will insist I remembered initially. How’s that for confusion?
I had life intervene after I started this, so it is now very late on Wednesday November 7th. Funny, but the things I recalled about the memory related in the post previous to this, "Nearly The End Of The Dreamer", led me to not only decide the memory was actually a well-constructed nightmare, but also to examine the possible other causes of my neural damage (some of which is recounted about the above-mentioned intervening event, "Posterior Waste Orifices").
Did It Really Happen?
My first indication that my memory wasn’t that of a real event came when I was tired of being in hospital and signed to my nurse that the endoscopy I had refused I would now agree to. In the weird hope it was what was keeping me trapped by uncaring and self-serving monsters. My nurse did not know about it at all (remember, I was actually a high-priority patient, and had the same four or five nurses over about 50 shifts caring for me – there were over 40 carers, mainly student nurses, in the ward, I calculated later – so she should have known about my case). I was puzzled by the lack of follow-up, but I was struggling to stay awake (a few days later I was struggling to return to sleep after being woken for a 1.00am bed-bath; how’s that for a change of pace).
My second indication that the examination memory was false actually came during my stay in the recovery ward. I was afraid of my shaving irritating the cuts made to my neck during that "remembered" examination, but all I could find on my neck were two old scars where tubes had been inserted on the left and right sides of my neck (the tube on the left was removed and replaced with a similar tube on my right while I was in the coma prior to being moved, so I was told the other day).
What put the icing on the cake happened while I was writing a letter to Chris Bowen, my local Federal MP, lastweekend. I recounted that memory in my letter, but when looking at it after I had sent it, realised it didn’t make sense. The key point was that faulty power point, a "fact" I remember distinctly. Sorry, but there was no way such a power point could have been in that room. In fact, it remnded me of a temporary power point I had repeatedly stubbed my toe on several decades earlier. With one key "fact" discounted, I thought it worthwhile to look at the rest of the memory.
Memory to Nightmare
I didn’t dwell on the memory, just examined it as I would a painting, looking for details that didn’t ring true. For exampe, I didn’t remember anything on the walls which in other rooms were literally plastered with hygiene notices. No doctor would have worked on my neck the way I had remembered, not in that location and so poorly equipped. Definitely no one would have used a towel to soak up blood from a neck vein! Regarding that neck exam, the video machine looked too much like the much-hated dialysis machine, too.
How could I have tried to sign consent forms when I couldn’t write (only recently has my signature become more than a scribble)? And why would anyone try that on me anyway? Too many other details were missing, as if I was manufacturing a memory that would convince me the staff were less than competent.
But where did the details come from? My nightmares were very real, too real for me to accept they were not reality, until I had evidence they were fabrications (like waking up after I had died…a situation I experienced too many times to recount). Elements of nightmares kept on reappearing in subsequent nightmares (like the straightjacket), until I had found a way of disposing of them permanently. But once again, I didn’t want to pay any attention to inconsistencies, because that meant thinking too much about what I felt had happened. Only when I was forced to come to terms with them (like realising I was still alive, or having to write that letter I mentioned) that I began to trace the inconsistencies (and discover things that the medical staff should have noticed at the tme).