Sleep Studies Suck

When I started this blog, I think the idea was just for me to start a new hobby: writing. I just felt like writing.  But, other than catharsis, I wasn’t really sure what the point of the writing would be.  I thought about what sorts of things I know a lot about or have a strong interest in, and I’m sort of all over the place, but I knew my blog was supposed to have some sort of cohesive theme. So, I picked a topic that dominates most of my life:

Morning Grouchiness.

Which is really All-Day Grouchiness, at least in intermittent episodes, but that doesn’t exactly have the same ring to it. So, A Morning Grouch was born – the expert in waking up feeling like shit every day. Being tired every day.  Being kinda grouchy because I’m feeling tired every day. Tired. Tired. Tired. Bitchy. Tired.  I’ve been feeling this way for about 20 years.

I wrote several posts about some of the issues, like my vivid dreams, my restless legs, and my paradoxical reaction to some sleep medications, but after I became pregnant with my first child the blog has largely veered from the original topic, and I’ve just written whatever comes to mind, without holding myself to expectations about the number of posts I publish, or the relevancy of topics I write about.  I refuse to allow this hobby of mine to become work.  I’m not tied to the blog in any way other than it just feels good to write sometimes, and to connect with some other people out there who get me.

But because of the blog, I’ve found myself exploring my sleep issues more and more and I have finally decided that it is not okay that I am feeling this way, and that I am going to do something about it.  After talking with my osteopath about some of my sleep issues he thought I was a for sure candidate for a sleep study. We both thought I probably had sleep apnea, to him my symptoms sounded like a no-brainer.

A lot of people have asked me what my symptoms are since they tell me they had no clue I had sleep issues (especially my grandma, who once she found out I went through a sleep study has been incessanty asking, “How have you been sleeping?” even though I’ve been sleeping the same way I have for the past two decades. Shitty, Grandma. Every night my sleep is shitty).

My sleep issue is such a big part of who I am, and it affects me significantly on a daily basis, yet I guess if you don’t talk about things enough, or in the right way, no one has a clue what’s going on inside of you.  I’m guessing they just thought I was a bitchy asshole for no reason.  But, see? I have a reason.  Maybe I’d be a nice person if I wasn’t so tired all of the time.

Here is a gist of my sleep crapola:

1.  I never wake up rested in the morning.  More often than not, I literally feel more tired in the morning than I did when I went to bed.

2.  I have crazy, vivid, indescribable dreams.  Every night. Every nap.  I dream before I’m asleep, and sometimes after I just wake up.  I’ve put a few of my most normal-sounding and describable ones here on the blog, but most are so bizarre that I can’t really explain them.  A lot of them are violent and a bit disturbing. The crazier and more vivid the dreams are, the more tired I am when I wake up.  I hate dreaming.

3.  I get super exhausted, almost every day.  Excessive daytime sleepiness. It’s a thing.  It sucks.  There are many times when it takes literally all my energy to keep my eyes open.  ALL OF IT.  No energy left to be very productive, no energy left to be nice.  I have to force myself to move, being idle and trying to stay awake is a horror.  I’m dizzy, I’m weak, I can’t focus. I have a horrible memory. Yea, I know. Everyone’s tired.

4.  I can fall asleep any time.  Any where.  I’m a huge fan of the power nap.  It’s not unusual for me to try to arrive a bit early to appoinments, so I can sleep for 10 minutes in the parking lot. I have never fallen asleep somewhere where I really knew it would be unacceptable, such as a work meeting.  Even though forcing myself to stay awake is often torturous, I can do it. But, given the opportunity, I can fall asleep at the drop of a hat. Falling asleep has never been my issue.

5.  I can not find a pattern, or a cause, related to my level of sleepiness and fatigue.  I’ve tried sleeping for different number of hours per night, I’ve tried no caffeine and even (gasp!) no alcohol.  I’ve tried diet changes and exercise and have seen zero differences (exception: running over 20 miles per week really helps with my restless legs. It also gives me a jolt of energy, perks me up and helps my mood).  Some nights I sleep through without waking up, sometimes I wake up every few hours and have significant insomnia .  Nothing. Matters.

6.  Once I had babies I realized it literally didn’t matter what time I get up, or how many times I get up in the middle of the night, or how long I’m awake – I’m always the same amount of tired. This was somewhat liberating, actually, since people often complain about how tired they are after having kids, but for me, it’s been almost exactly the same as it’s always been, except now I sometimes get up in the middle of the night to soothe a child, or to put away dishes, read, write a blog post, or work on my kid’s baby books.  I occasionally get up at 3.45am to go for a 4.00 jog, though even that seems crazy, even to me, when I do it, it works and I feel no difference to the rest of my day. Same amount of tired.

The biggest difference now that I have kids I feel like I should probably be a functional adult, where before I could sort of be a hot mess and it didn’t matter a whole lot.  It is very hard for me to sneak in my power naps when I’m at home and the days of being able to lounge all day louge binge-watching Netflix are soooo long gone.  If I really need a nap and I can’t get one I am RIDICULOUSLY tired and OUTRAGEOUSLY bitchy. One small thing can suddently set me off or can cause me to feel completely overwhelmed.  My husband knows this all too well.  This has been a large factor in prompting me to try to fix the problem.

My first sleep study was a typical polysomnograph.  They put me in a fake-ish looking hotel room where they spied on me with a camera all night long and were able to talk with me through a two-way speaker system. If I had to pee in the middle of the night all I had to do is say, “Jody, I have to pee” and Jody would come over straight away to unhook me so I could carry the cords with me to the (unvideotaped) potty.  They hooked me up to a million electrodes, including some on the chest and legs, and offered me the t.v. remote if you need to watch a bit before falling to sleep.

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See the little camera they spy on you from on the ceiling? (top left)

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Lovely picture. And bathroom with no camera (hopefully)

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The weirdest thing about THIS is that this the room you meet with the nurses in, even during just an office visit. Sleep study.

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Holy hell. Yes, this is what I looked like all hooked up, ready to go to sleep for the night. The wires are surprisingly light and not nearly as cumbersome as they look. The nose thingey measures air you exhale OUT.

After my sleep study, I felt like I slept like I normally did and was fully expecting a sleep apnea diagnosis within the next 7 to 10 business days. When I got a phone call at work telling me that I did not, in fact, have sleep apnea, I almost burst into tears. I might have frightened my coworker with my emotions.

My husband acted confused, “You’re upset because you don’t have sleep apnea?”

“Yes!”

Sleep apnea you can fix. Fairly easily, with a CPAP machine.  Now, I felt hopeless.

The tech who gave me the test results over the phone told me that the doctor would like to meet to discuss some of the other symptoms I had expressed in the sleep questionnaire. Things like the excessive daytime sleepiness and also one symptom I had no idea was at all a real thing, or that had anything to do with sleeping difficulties, until I checked “yes” to it on the questionnaire.

7. Cataplexy (maybe. Or not).  Which I now know means episodes of sudden, involuntary, muscle weakness, typically triggered by strong emotions. Cataplexy can vary greatly, from hardly perceptible facial drooping and shoulder sagging, to complete muscle paralysis and collapsing on the floor. I have no idea if my feelings are what cataplexy is, but based on the description on the questionnaire, I felt my symptoms fit. I even have a sound that I hear in my head when I feel whatever this feeling is.

I had often wondered if that feeling of muscles suddenly draining was normal, or if other people felt it, but figured it was just me being overly-emotional and dramatic and didn’t over analyze it. After I learned that this was a thing, it made me wish I had paid more attention to it before.

Based on these other symptoms, and a few irregularities he saw from the data from my first sleep test, he wanted me to do another type of sleep study – a daytime sleep test called a Multiple Latency Sleep Test (MLST).  This measures sleep latency (how quickly you fall asleep) during the day, and what stage of sleep your brain slips into.  It’s a pretty cut and dry measure for Narcolepsy – you should not be entering REM sleep during the day after you’ve had a full night’s rest (they have you do another nighttime sleep study the night before, to ensure any daytime sleepiness isn’t due to you being out drinking all night the evening before).

MLST day

MLST daytime study – no hoses up the nose, thank goodness.

sleep study 2

sleep study 3

So, I took four naps, every hour and a half after I woke up.  The first nap I was so anxiety ridden that I had a hard time falling asleep.  I was worried about not being able to and I wanted the test to accurately reflect my typical ability to fall asleep at the drop of a hat.  It took 11 minutes.  The next three naps I fell asleep in 5 minutes, 4 minutes and 3 1/2 minutes.  Pretty short sleep latency times.  While I dreamt during all 4 naps, I never fell into REM sleep, so the result =  no narcolepsy.

Fucking fuck.

I seriously sobbed.

My husband asked, in typical jack-asshole fashion, “wait, you wanted to have narcolepsy?”

I wanted a fucking answer.

So, I got some bullshit diagnosis (severe idiopathic hypersomnia!) that basically means I’m really, really, really, tired all the time but they don’t know why.  Ironically the med treatment they suggested is the same as what they suggest for narcolepsy.

So.  Looking to find other answers now.

Dream #16: Death By Freshwater Mussel

I haven’t written a dream post in awhile.  I started this blog writing and analyzing my crazy dreams.  I’m not totally sure why.  It wasn’t until about a year ago that I posted what I consider to be my first few Pieces of Writing.  Actually, these were the first pieces of writing that I had written since… ever, really, other than assignments for classes.

A Bit of Gray Peeking Out

The Accidental Marathoner

Depression is Analogous to Treading Water

I can hardly fathom that, since writing is such a huge part of me, now.  I guess I just never had a place to put my writings, so I never wrote.  I can be strange like that.

Anyway, here we are, back to where this blog came from.  I don’t have as many crazy dreams as I used to, but this one was a weird one.  And this is also the first time I”ve ever had a dream about someone who I know almost exclusively from the blogging/Facebook page world, Liz, from Pounding Pavement.  She (justifiably) might be a little creeped out by that fact.

DREAM:

A few of us go to her parents cottage, which is on a lake, i the late fall or early winter.  It’s pretty cold outside but for some reason we think it’s a good idea to go swimming.  I’m i the water for only a few minutes before the bottoms of my feet are killing me.  Apparently while walking into the lake, wading deeper and deeper, I was stepping on some sort of bivalve.  A freshwater mussel perhaps?  The mussels are about 1 inch long, and I have around 20 or so packed into the bottom of my feet.

Liz has seen this type of mussel before and said to me, “We need to get them out, really fast!”  The problem is, these suckers clamp their little shells together and chomp at your skin, enough to make you bleed.  And they multiply.  They multiply faster once you take them out, so while you pull them out of your feet/body, you have to rip them apart to kill them.  If you pull them out and don’t kill them instantly, they could multiply fast enough to bite you to death with their teeny white shells.  They’re starting to bite our legs, so Liz and I are both pulling mussels out of my flesh and tearing them to shreds, so we don’t end up succumbing to death-by-mussel in the lake.

ANALYSIS:

BITING:  Dream Forth tells me that to dream of being bitten symbolizes a situation that has been frustrating me. I apparently feel helpless and am unsure how to overcome my hurdle.  This sounds pretty typical of every day.  This is why I like wine.

LAKE:  Dream Forth says that dreaming of a lake symbolizes my current emotional condition. A clear and calm lake represents inner peace and serenity. On the contrary, a disturbed lake signifies the presence of an emotional battle.  Not sure about this one, since the lake water was calm, and we were relatively calm, but the damn biting mollusks were not calm.  They were ferocious.  I’m getting bored with all of these analyses saying I have “an emotional condition”.  I think I’ve figured that out by now.  Emotional  (in)stability blah blah.

MUSSEL:  Inspired by Dreams informs me that mollusks are often closed so dreaming of these sea creatures can be a message about the need to open in order to claim the potential of the ‘inner depths.’ Associated with water, the message can relate to feelings or how letting go of past pain allows for greater fulfillment.  Issue with this analysis:  the mussels were NOT closed.  They were open-closed-open-closed-open-closed, very fast and bitey-like.  The only thing I can think of at all remotely related to this is the fact that I’ve been completely disgusted by shrimp since I’ve been pregnant.  I can’t look at it, smell it, eat it.  Write about it (GAG).  No matter how hungry I am.

Dream #14 : To Burn Or Not To Burn

DREAM:

My parents, sisters and husband are running through the city.  There are “bad guys” dressed in military style garb scattered all about – on street corners, in buildings, driving tanks.  It is noisy and chaotic, people are yelling and screaming.  We get captured and are taken to sit around an outdoor fire pit.  There is an enclosure around the benches we are sitting on and the fire keeps swelling, getting larger and larger.  We have been instructed to sit there and not move, but if we don’t move, we will all burn.  (Apparently this is what the bad guys want – for us to burn).  My gut instinct tells me to RUN! ESCAPE!

Somehow I know that if we stay put, we will not all burn at the same time, one of us would go first, then the next, etc… and the idea of being the only one burning while the rest watched or being the last one to burn and watching the rest burn before me are equally revolting.  If I went first, would I try to suppress a scream, to make it less torturous to the rest of my family?  Would that even be possible?  How could one just sit there, watching your own skin bubble up and blacken?  I think we should run.  My mom thinks we need to just stay and burn, because what awaits us if we escape, and are caught, is much worse than being scorched alive.

ANALYSIS:

FIRE:  Dream Forth tells me that to dream of being burned by fire suggests that I need to reign in my emotions. They tell me, and I quote, “Your temper is volatile”.  HA!  This is the most dead-on dream interpretation I’ve found yet.  Um, hello?  I’m Irish AND Italian.  Which basically means my innards are comprised primarily of volatile emotions. Volatile emotions sprinkled with a boatload of garlic and a healthy dollop of whiskey, and that’s about it.

Dream Moods counters with the argument that dreaming that I, or someone else, is being burned alive suggests that I am being consumed by my own ambition. I’m not even sure if being consumed by one’s own ambitions is a good or a bad thing.  On one hand, I have days where I am ambitiously (and sometimes manically) working on one of my several projects that I have going on, while at other times my greatest ambition is sitting my ass on the couch with my feet up,  consuming entire half-gallons of Chocolate Moose Tracks entirely independently.  Per usual, I’m an all-or-nothing kind of gal.  No real gray area with me.

ALTERNATIVE ANALYSIS:  Preggo me has turned into a raging inferno that is emitting absurd amounts of body heat – so much, in fact, that my own body-generated temperature may cause me to have a dream about being burnt to death.

FUN FACTS:

1)  My husband is a human furnace.  I occasionally call him “Furnaki” an English-Greek hybrid of a word that I made up in college, which means “cute little furnace”.   Since his internal thermostat is so high, and  his manly-Greek-pelt is so thick, he cranks up the air conditioning to blast-o-matic levels in order to cool himself down to a temperature that will not allow his brain to cook.

2)  The old me used to sleep in long pants, tank top and hooded sweatshirt, snuggled underneath two blankets or comforters.  Yes, even in the summer (see air-conditioning above).  I’ve always been a “cold hands, warm heart” kind of person.  But now?  Now, I sleep with my shirt pulled up to my boobs, a cold-pack resting on my side, with no blankets touching me whatsoever.  Since I am usually awake between the hours of 2.30a.m. – 4.30a.m. anyway, I swap out the warmed cold pack with a fresh one.  The cold hands are a thing of the past, and some would say maybe I didn’t really have a warm heart to begin with…so there probably hasn’t been much of a shift there.

3)  I guess we can add this to the ever-growing list of how pregnancy is turning me into my husband.  But no, in case you are wondering, he does NOT sleep with his shirt pushed up to his boobs.

My friend Rob tells me my blog is really “girly”. I imagine this post is no different.  Sorry, Rob!  Maybe there will be more bloodshed and porn in the next one.

Dream #13: Ear Tucks, Great-Grandfather Ed and Hair Made Out of Yarn

DREAM:

An Indian couple live in a different country (not sure which one) where they make 30,000/week.  They moved to this other country because women had full equality.  We watched a movie together at my great-grandfather’s house and the key role was played by a native girl who wasn’t very pretty.  At the end of this movie, the couple who touted equality and women’s rights were making fun of how the girl looked, and saying she needed to have her ears done (one was bigger than the other) an ear ..nip and tuck? The couple had recently moved and they wanted to know if Gramp had their new number.  I said I could look in his address/telephone book.

Gramp was in the process of dying so he was sleeping a lot, for a day or two at a time.  But, when he got up he was super jolly, dancing, happy laughing and saying he was so glad to see us.  He was blind, so he kept his eyelids shut. And he was also so deaf he couldn’t really hear even when you screamed in his ear – he could just tell a noise was there.  On my birthday I didn’t think he’d wake up, but at 8pm he came out of his bedroom and said, “Happy birthday! Let’s celebrate!” and he drank a small can of beer, and clinked his beer with mine in a cheers.  After about 30 min, he said he was tired and he went back to sleep.  I tried to say something to him before he laid down but he couldn’t hear what I was saying and he didn’t have the energy.  He said, “We might have to save that for another day!” and fell, stiff as a board, face first into his bed.  I knew he didn’t have much time left and when my husband picked me up to leave, I cried as I told him about our exchange.

From Gramp’s, I go to a hair place and when the stylist is touching my hair and asking what I want done, I notice that the underside of my hair is made out of yellow YARN, dyed pink at the very bottom.  I asked her, “Is my hair made out of yarn??” and she replied, “Yes, that happens sometimes”.  “Shit” was all I could think to say in response.

ANALYSIS:

GRAMP:  This part of the dream was a nice reminder of his jolly, happy, laughing self.  And even as he neared the end of his life, he would go out of his way to celebrate with any of us.

HAIR MADE OF YELLOW AND PINK YARN: Way of Tao says that, “Since hair can represent ideas that grow and need to be groomed over time, to dream of visiting a hairdresser can symbolize how you are changing your outlook”. (Note they didn’t say this mattered if your hair was made of HAIR or made of YARN, so I’m going with it).   I certainly hope my outlook continues to change over time (less cynical, less judgmental, less selfish, less dwelling on the negative).  Each week at yoga, when we are asked to think of our intentions for the week, my mind usually comes up with working on patience, grace, or thinking of others before myself.  It can be a constant battle to pull myself out of my own funks and work on improving the positive energy I direct outward to others.  More often than not, my thoughts towards others are endearing, but my actions may not show my true feelings towards them, but instead may show the anxiety and tension that rises to the surface all too easily.   I need yoga and the balance and redirection that it offers.

Dream Moods adds that  “If the dream is a pleasant one, then the color yellow is symbolic of intellect, energy, agility, happiness, harmony, and wisdom” and that “Pink represents love, joy, sweetness, happiness, affection and kindness”.  In this case maybe it is my way of trying to take some of the lessons Gramp provided by example, and those cultivated by my yoga practice, and put them into place in my own life.  Easier said than done, but it is something I will continue to work towards.

Dream #12: Personified Cheesecake

DREAM:

Someone neatly slices a wedge out of a beautifully presented, shallow, plain cheesecake.  The Pac-Man shaped, almost whole, cheesecake (Big Cheesecake), and the smaller, pie shaped wedge (Little Cheesecake) are placed, together, in a large bowl of water, where they float on the surface.  Once in the water, it becomes evident that both pieces of cheesecake are alive, and have personalities.  Big Cheesecake moves itself, ever so slowly, closer to Little Cheesecake and bumps into the it.  This causes Little Cheesecake to get dunked underneath the water, and the edges of itself start to dissolve.  As every reaction has an equal and opposite reaction, Big Cheesecake ricochets off of Little Cheesecake and ends up on the opposite side of the bowl.  At a snail’s pace, Big Cheesecake again inches closer to Little Cheesecake, dunking him for the second time, and Little Cheesecake shrinks even further.  The cycle repeats, and as Little Cheesecake cannot defend himself, he just gets smaller and smaller, and smaller.  The water begins to turn milky.

ANALYSIS:

I really don’t know what to say about this one, other than it has been haunting me for a couple of weeks.  Let me know if you’ve got an analysis for me.

Dream #11: Kegger, Special Cookies, Cheap Dresses and Submerged Cars

DREAM:

We have some sort of teacher event at school in the morning and it is tradition to stay up all night and drink/eat/socialize the night before.  My parents host a kegger at their house for this reason, and about 40+ teachers show up.  I borrow a pair of my dad’s flip flops and leave for a few hours to run some errands.   When I return to the house and try to put the sandals back where they belong, I notice all of the shoe racks, cubbies, hooks and other organizational devices in the mud room are in different places.  They have rearranged in the last few hours.  I try to figure out where to put the sandals; it’s hard to tell where they should go.

From there we go to a diner and eat some breakfast – even though it is 1 or 2 in the morning.  We are fueling to stay up all night.  After the diner, we all attend to a party at a  coworker’s house.  She has a large wire cart full of dozens of different types of cookies, in fancy packages.  She explains that she stocks up so she always has the right kind of cookie for the right occasion.  They look so delicious, so I eat a few.  We play cards and socialize until it is time to move on to the next event.  I go to put my shoes on and notice that in the shoe pile there are 7 pairs of identical low cut tennis shoes, with neon green and yellow stripes.  My shoes are very similar, but not identical.  Mine are higher cut around the ankle and my stripes angle in a different way.

Our next excursion involves hiking up a large hill. I enjoy this part.

Our next stop is at a fancy place, where the men are wearing suits and the women are in gowns.  I forgot about this, so didn’t have a dress with me.  Another coworker whips out four dresses, in packaging that looks like pantyhose – flat, rectangular shape, each different in style, size small, marked with a price sticker of 7.50 each.  I try one on and it fits perfectly.  She tells me she got them at Meijer and offers to let me borrow one.  I let her know I will just head to Meijer and grab one (or two) of my own on the way.  I drive to Meijer and park out front in a 15 minute or less spot.

After buying the dresses I try to start my car to leave.  The weather is wet and cold.   My car won’t start.  I try to get it going, several times.  Finally, the car starts moving moving, but it doesn’t run very well.  The power steering doesn’t seem to be working.  As I start to leave the parking lot, the roads are getting slushier and slushier, and the water deeper and deeper.  I can’t tell if I am coasting on the slush or if the tires are connecting with the pavement.  I try to turn left and end up in the deepest water – the car is floating.

I am now driving my husband’s car, instead of my own, so of course I am even more worried than I normally would be.  He had just told me the other day how Jetta’s are more likely than other cars to be ruined when they are turned upside down and submerged in water.  I get out of the car and try to push my car towards drier land.  Current and gravity keep moving it towards deeper areas.  I’m clutching the car, trying to save it.  The front end gets pushed up and the car flips upside down. I can hear water entering the car, and I’m hoping the part that is so sensitive on Jettas isn’t getting ruined at this moment.  I see a woman coming out of Meijer and scream – help! Hoping she can help me pull the car to a safe spot.

ANALYSIS:

COOKIES: Dream Forth tells me that to dream I am eating cookies implies that I will allow my life to be disrupted by insignificant issues. Frivolous matters will consume your energy and time, and cause you unnecessary frustrations.  All of my issues seem pretty insignificant.  I’m not starving, I’m not living on the streets, I wasn’t abused as a child, I’m not mourning the loss of an immediate family member, I’m not on a fruitless job-search.  Everything else in life is pretty insignificant, right?  The everything else is definitely consuming my time and energy, while it does seem insignificant, it also seems exhausting.

SANDALS/SHOES:    Way of Tao tells me that shoes are a grounded representation of motivation or how I move forward. Searching for shoes (and I will imagine, searching for where to put shoes) is symbolic of finding the means to provide for yourself in an effort to know success. Way of Tao explains that shoes are an important symbol that you are exploring a type of success that better represents who you are.  Apparently I am not sure what it means for me to be successful, in a way that represents who I truly am.  I have had 4 different teaching jobs, all of which I have loved, at least in many aspects, and all of which I have ended up searching for a new job, and  continued to change roles.  Still doing that now after 9 years of teaching….hm.  Not sure what that means…totally.  I guess it might mean keep trying.

CAR SUBMERGED IN WATER:  According to Way of Tao, travel over water is indicative of emotions and how the ‘flow of events’ or ‘current’ is leading me, and may represent the internal drama of uncertainty. The water can be dark, calm or choppy in relation to how I feel about where I am currently going in life. It goes on to add that the car is a classic symbol of motivation, and the vehicle being out of control reflects that I am not feeling autonomous and I  may be questioning the choices I am making.  Clearly I am drowning in my indecisiveness.

DRESS: Dream Moods tells me that dressing up suggests I need to be more confident in my abilities and proud of my achievements.   It also tells me that being dressed in someone else’s clothes represents my admiration for this person and I am trying to incorporate aspects of that person into my own self.  I do admire the person whose dress I tried on.  Oddly enough the woman who gave me the dress in my dream is considering letting her teaching certificate lapse so she can be a house wife or get some other career….but then again she is also married to a doctor.  Damn.


Dream # 10: Greek Dancing on the Moon and Mononucleosis

DREAM:

The Greek Dance group is practicing at my house.  Apparently they decided to use my house since I have enough space, and I have many rooms in the shape of circles.  This is convenient, since most Greek dances are circular in nature.  It is a particularly important dance practice because the group has been invited to travel and dance ON THE MOON.  Exciting.  There is one girl in the dance group that everyone hates and who is constantly doing things contrary to the Greek Dance Group Code of Conduct.  She has already been kicked out of the group once.  She is late and so the dance group is discussing whether they should kick her out again.  In order to travel into space, to dance on the moon, there is a lot of teamwork and trust involved, and they are worried that she poses a safety threat.  People in the group are afraid of confrontation and don’t know if they will follow through on kicking her out, even though they know they should.  They ultimately decide they will indeed kick her out, but say they need one more person for the Kalamatiano (something about needing enough bodies and gravitational pull, since you don’t really need a certain number for this dance on Earth).  I offer to fill in, but I am worried that I am a little bit sick.  The girl everyone hates comes very late, after it has been decided that I will dance.  She says no one is stopping her from going to the moon.  The dance group calls a scientist/doctor who is an expert in traveling through space.  He confirms the idea that a team-based approach is needed and this girl won’t work.  He is concerned about our safety.  She continues to practice with us anyway.  He then turns to me and asks if I am experiencing a lot of tension, because he notices my foot and leg are constantly moving.  I tell him they are always moving, this is nothing new.  We then start talking about my illness and he looks in my throat, asks me some questions.  He says he is worried I might have mono.  I gasp, and tell him I’ve had mono in the past.  He nods solemnly, as to confirm this diagnosis, since mono can reemerge after lying dormant.

ANALYSIS: 

Ok, this is a dream with some attachment to reality!  My husband and his family have participated in traditional Greek dancing since they were young, and his cousins and sisters still perform.  I do know how to dance the kalamatiano.  I constantly move my leg/bounce my knee.  I have had mono (and it can come back).  And, there must be a kernel of truth to the idea that dancing on the moon’s cratered surface without the correct configuration/velocity/whatnot would result in people flinging off into the abyss.  I don’t know if I have ever had another dream with so many ties to my waking life.

SPACE:  Dream Forth tells me that to see or dream that I am in space indicates that I am a very inquisitive person who enjoys seeking the truth and that I form my own opinions and beliefs rather than adopting those of others.  I would like to believe this is true, even if the only evidence I have is my disagreement with my husband about how often the bathroom needs to be cleaned (Truth:  Not as often as he thinks) or my own opinion about how often the lawn and bushes need to be manicured (Truth:  Never.  Lawns and shrubbery are not important).  I refuse to blindly adopt the believe of my husband snooty neighbors in this matter!  I’m such a obstinate wife truth-seeker.

DANCING:    Dream Moods informs me that dreaming about attending or going to a dance indicates a celebration and your attempts to achieve happiness.  Hooray!  Celebrations are good (unless they are fake celebrations, like the kind we have at the beginning of staff meetings).  Let’s celebrate scrapbooking! And samosas! And bacon!  And fuzzy kitties that snuggle!  And coffee – oh glorious coffee!  And yoga! And Girls Weekends! And wine!  Oh yes, lots and lots of cheers for wine!  All things I indulge in for the sake of sanity.  And all synonyms for happiness.

MONONUCLEOSIS:  Dream Forth says that to dream of an illness signifies despair, objectionable adjustment, and an emotional collapse. The illness may be a way out of my incompetence in coping with a situation.  In this case does that mean my incompetence in coping with the weak gravitational pull of the moon whilst kicking up my heels?  In reality does it mean constantly being crouched in the shadow of the black dog?  Wait, wait, wait. Celebrate happiness, remember?!  That merriment seemed incredibly short lived.  Hm.  Maybe my attempts are futile.  Ah, to hell with it.  Let’s still celebrate a crack at happiness with some wine, shall we?  Or, should we just drown our sorrows in it?  Either way, cheers.

 

This post is a part of Love Links – if you like what you read, vote for me on Thursday!

 

 

Dream #9: Little Boy and Burning Blimps

DREAM:

We are traveling and part of our caravan involves several blimps.  From where we are we can see out in front of us through a large domed window.  There is an accident – people are screaming and scared.  There is a little boy about 8 years old by himself, crying.  We can tell things are going from bad to worse.  The blimp in front of us explodes, fire and gases are hurl towards us, break the domed glass and sweep over us.  I grab the boy and cover him with myself, hoping we don’t get burned too badly.

ANALYSIS:

BLIMPS: Dream Moods informs me that riding in a blimp could indicate an inflated view of myself.  Alternatively, it could be a metaphor for my weight and issues about my physical appearance.  Hm.  Analysis Option A)  I have an over-inflated view of how much I am able to help my students.  Really, we can’t make that much of an impact, right?  Some days I think so, other days, not so much. 

Example: I teach my 4th hour some yoga breathing exercises to de-stress. One says he feels better, one writes a poem about breathing and de-stressing and one “macho” kid practices his breathing at home.

I made an impact! 

Counter Example:

Me:  You have 2 more class periods to finish this test.

X:  No I don’t.
Me:  You do.

X:  Why are you doing this to me?  You are so mean.  You’re dumb.

Puts test in random file cabinet

Me:  I’m not mean or dumb.  You know that.

X:  Your cat is ugly

Me:  Are you just saying that to be mean?

X:  Yes.  I don’t like you.
Me: That’s ok.  But that should also probably be an inside thought.

X:  PBBBBTTTT!  I can’t work 1st hour!

Me:  You have worked in here before in 1st hour?

X:  Well, I didn’t l…mumble mumble

X:   Opens my desk drawer, and pulls out 10 little laminated pictures of Norm from Cheers (long story).  X uses white out tape to cover Norm’s eyes (all 20 of them) and says “Look!  You can’t tell who he is now!  You can scrape that off, by the way”.

Me:  So, if you’re putting tape on those, you need to scrape it all off.

X:  I will.  YOU can do it too, you know.

Me:  I know.  But I don’t want to.  That’s why I didn’t put it on them.

X:  Scrapes all the white out tape off using a wooden popsicle stick, since it “didn’t feel right” on his fingers to scrape it off with his/her nail.

Me:  It’s 9.08

X:  You’re a 9:08!

X:  Dings bell with wooden popsicle stick.

Class ends.

Clearly, I make no impact.  

Analysis Option B) I’m going to my cousin’s wedding this weekend, where all of my family will be glammed up.  I’m not much for glamor, and anticipate looking somewhat like an awkward, hairy ungulate, clad in a black dress.  In a last ditch effort to not be both chubby AND utterly drab, I have purchased some new, sequined sling backs, and shiny baubles for my neck and ears.  Somehow we must convince my husband that these purchases were absolutely necessary

BURNING:  Dream moods suggest that burning means I need to take time off for myself, and relax, and maybe I am feeling “burned out”.  It adds that dreaming about being burned alive suggests that I am consumed by my own ambition. Ok, WHO doesn’t feel burned out?!  No, really.  I believe stress-free people are on par with unicorns and yetis and krakens.  Stop faking it, those of you who are pretending to be mythical beasts, you’re making the rest of us look bad.

LITTLE BOY: Dream Forth tells me that to dream that I see a boy, as a female dreamer, implies that I am in touch with the male traits of my personality.  Clearly.  This is why I am so good at growing a moustache and so bad at getting “glammed up” for family weddings.

Dream #8: Earthquakes, Dangerous Jewelry, Lots of Evil Villains

3 PART DREAM:

1)  There is a major earthquake and Earth’s tectonic places are moving.  But not millimeters at a time, they are starting to move hundreds of feet within seconds, and are moving from a horizontal position to vertical, so people are plunging to their deaths.  It is very theatrical looking and not at all scientifically accurate.  We might die.

2)  I am swimming in a hotel swimming pool.  There are evil people after something, but I don’t know what they are after.  In order for them to find what they are looking for, they are searching for the person with a particular necklace – a thick, shiny, diamond encrusted cross – which I happen to have around my neck.  To wear this cross is dangerous.    My diamond wedding rings are also dangerous, though not AS dangerous as the necklace.  I can’t let on that I know these people are evil, and that they are looking for me, so I pretend make small talk with them and try to conceal my jewelry.  My mom is chatting with us and doesn’t realize what is going on.  Once the evil people walk away and are out of sight, I cut her off mid-sentence, take off the necklace and rings, give it to her and tell her to RUN!  I emphasize that she needs to leave that very moment, so we have a chance of escaping alive.

3)  Evil villains are holding us hostage – they might kill us unless we can give them what they want – and there is a time limit.  They are looking for one particular song on a CD.  We have to search a room that is holding millions of CDs.  The CDs are not arranged by artist or alphabetically, instead, 2-3 lines of lyrics from each song are hand-written, in blue ink, into journals.   The shelves are lined with journals and each one is at least 4 feet by 3 feet in size, a foot thick – lined with notebook paper.    The song gives the bad guys information about what they have to do next, so they are evil instructions, I guess.   I think to myself, there is no way on Earth we will ever be able to figure out what all of these songs are, and find the song they are looking for, in time.  If we can’t figure it out, we might die.

ANALYSIS (Other than, I think I might die?  WTF?):

EARTHQUAKE:  Dream Forth tells me that this dream signifies my uncertainty, anxieties, and feelings of being out of control. My nacho eating and wine drinking is definitely out of control.  Typically August is my month of sloth and gluttony, but then the school year starts, and I get back on track.  By now, I’m usually back in the routine of jogging a few days per week, doing yoga one or two times per week, and even the using the occasional workout video in my basement (can I get a whoot whoot for Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred?!)  This year, however, sloth and gluttony have consumed August, September and October, so far.  Is  my subconscious me trying to shake some sense into awake me?  Possibly.  But, if that is the case, apparently I don’t listen to myself all that well.  And, as a result, I have some anxiety about the toll this will take on my thighs.  Way of Tao tells me that the earthquake represents my tendency to block change – or a tendency to hold my ground.  I am certainly holding my ground in terms of the gluttony/slothness.  Way of Tao reinforces the fact that I am a prisoner of Newton’s First Law.  Damn you, inertia!

DIAMONDS: Dream Force gives me a multitude of explanations behind the diamonds.  Diamonds could suggest a completeness of my being. It could also signify my solid nature and dependability. Or, the dream could signify my narcissism and egotism. Another option is that I could be trying to pull away from others.  Dream Moods sheds some light,  indicating that dreaming of diamonds indicates financial hardships.  Too much thinking to try to decipher that one, so here is a random plug:  Onassis Jewelery, in California.  This is where my husband had my engagement ring made, and it turned out great.  Tip for all you single ladies – know what your actual ring size is, before you tell your boyfriend/fiance what you think it is.  Double check your facts.  That way, you won’t be like me and end up getting a ring almost 2 sizes too large.  But, also know, you can always just hold your fingers together with a death grip for weeks on end, because God knows you don’t want to take that sucker off to get it sized, once you’ve got it on.  Maybe my love for my engagement ring makes me a narcissist?  If so, mystery solved.

CUTTING OFF MOTHER IN MID-SENTENCE:  My grandmother is an incessent talker.  She could talk for hours without taking a breath, and does not require a response in return, to keep her going.  Yes, she will still ask you questions, but she will not listen to your response.  She definitely has ADHD, and probably could use some meds.  She says she doesn’t want to take one more medication, since she already has that “Days of the Week” pill box, stuffed to the brim, but really, once you are taking 32 pills a day, why not make it 33?  As a result of her nonstop verbage, sometimes she just needs to be cut off, and whoever does this runs the risk of appearing rude.  Luckily, my mother loves her so much that she isn’t afraid to be rude.  For the greater good.  I find it slightly amusing that in my dream I cut off my mom.  Question:  Do all family cycles repeat?

Dream #7: Blood Drawn, Bartending, Beheading, Blood Cell Cartoons

DREAM: 

I am at Meijer because I need to ship a package. My friend Krista is there and she is telling me about which boxes/envelopes are the best price and how she learned the hard way when she got the wrong one and her package got shipped to the U.P (7 dollars), then Alaska (20 dollars), then to Texas (5 dollars) then got returned (and she had to pay all of the above, added together). Within Meijer, I have to go and get blood drawn. For some reason, it hurts. The nurse is sort of nice but also a bit gruff. When I get up to leave I accidently drop a wrapper from one of my oatmeal bars on the chair. She notices and tells me that I should pick healthier snacks for while I am on the go.

The place turns into a science lab and I am working with the science department at the school I work at. We are eating lunch, and they tell me to be careful since there are so many chemicals around. The lab then turns into a bar and grill AND a lab combined. It is very dusty/dirty and cluttered. There are empty bottles and containers around. In areas where there should be whole sets of things, many items are missing. A science teacher asks if I can help him serve some drinks. I say sure, even though it has been awhile since I have bartended. There are hardly any bottles of booze at the bar – it seems like a dirty ghost-town bar where people don’t actually drink.  The bottles are mostly empty, and are covered in dust and cobwebs…but here we are, having to serve. A waitress comes in and orders a Manhattan, and Old Fashioned and a few other drinks. I am trying to remember how to make them – especially considering the very limited selection of booze. One of the ingredients in one of the drinks was “Garnier” (the hair product brand?). A waitress takes the drinks out through an automatic sliding door area into a pool area. It is a good thing the customers cannot see where their drinks are coming from. The waitress has a tattooed quote across the middle of her thighs. The words span across both legs, and a diagonal train track is tattooed is under quote. During a break she is writing, in sharpie, additional words underneath the current words already tattooed. Some of the words she writes in pen are “This passage allows me to understand passion” and “This passage allows me to understand geology” etc…

Five younger men come in. They are very obnoxious and sort of like guys from the TV show Jackass. They set up skateboarding ramps and obstacles and huge piles of trash in the streets, making it difficult for cars to get through. I have to take my car to go get ice (since these guys are having a large party at our bar that night) and I end up having to crash through the huge piles of trash to get where I need to. I go to pick up the ice for the evening shift, with a coworker and we spend an inordinate amount of time doing this. When we return with the massive amount of ice, we realize we do not have a cooler or refrigerator large enough to hold it all. There is no way around the fact that the ice for our drinks will end up melting. I am not too sad because these guys are crazy enough sober, let alone drunk.

Back at the lab, we realize that one of the obnoxious guys is missing. The other four guys claim to not know what happened to him. The mystery gets solved and we realize that the missing person has had his head chopped off. In my dream, there is a weird visual of a guy, head getting chopped off, big pool of blood. Then the blood fades and you can see an indented/stained part of the wood floor of the bar/lab and that is how you know what happened. In the middle of the stain/indent is a drain. It looks like a camera sort of goes down the drain so you can see down there and there is more evidence that the guy was murdered here. There are little cartoon versions of cells and particles (blood cells, mucus particles etc…) from the dead guy. They are living in the drain – complete with cartoon lamps and couches and pictures on the walls, etc… and they have little eyes and mouths. They are telling me “Get out of here!” and the cartoon mucus/blood cells tell me, “My wife will be SO MAD if you are in here!” His particles are angry pieces of dead guy.

 

ANALYSIS:

PACKAGES: Way of Tao explains that a box symbolizes what I store and protect, and so a wrapped package indicates there is something unexplored or unexpressed.  Does this mean I need to tell my husband to explore my box?  Snicker … see how I make a juvenile joke instead of exploring … my own box? Double snicker.  Apparently this is how I roll. Who cares what is in those wrapped packages?  Sidebar:  I hate going to the post office and mailing packages.  I once sent my god-daughter her birthday present about 5 months late and another time sent my friend’s birthday present almost an entire year late.  I just avoid going for some reason.  The only time I went to the post office in a timely manner was when I mailed a student a whole coconut.  Did you know you can do this?  The mail lady will likely give you a dirty look when you get to the counter and explain your intentions.  Don’t let that deter you.  Just an FYI that you have to shave off the hair first so you can write the address on it, and you also need to have a return address on there.  Could an alternate explanation be that I just wish the post office was located at Meijer?

BAR:  Dream Forth tells me that to dream about being in a bar represents your wish for deliverance from day-to-day anxiety and a need to move toward enjoyable activities. It also indicates that you are seeking approval for something.  Yes.  I would like to win the Mega Millions and just do fun things, everyday.  Like mail my friends coconuts.  Who wouldn’t want to do this?

BOTTLES: Dream Forth tells me that seeing a bottle indicates that I am repressing my emotions when I should be communicating them with others. It also tells me to pay attention to what is inside the bottle and that seeing an empty bottle implies that you feel emotionally fatigued and don’t possess enough mental energy.  I don’t have enough mental energy because these dreams keep me up all night.  Vicious cycle.  To conserve energy I suggest combining needed services, such as the purchasing of coconuts and the mail dispersal system.

ICE:  Dream Moods says that seeing ice in my dream suggests that I may be feeling emotionally paralyzed or rigid and that I need to let my feelings be known.  Apparently even I don’t know what my feelings are, since they were tightly wrapped and sent off in sealed packages.  I wonder who I shipped the boxes to?  Maybe they will send me a thank you card in another dream and I’ll find out what I sent them. 

BLOOD (X3: GETTING BLOOD DRAWN, BLOOD SOAKED INTO FLOOR BOARDS, AND CARTOON BLOOD CELLS IN THE DRAIN):   Way of Tao tells me that to see blood on something else (floor) reflects how I have disassociated from my feelings and I tend to explore emotions in an abstract way.  Dream Moods tells me that if I am dreaming of giving blood, then it suggests that I am feeling physically drained due to stress. Blah blah, emotions, emotions, fatigue, fatigue.  Booooring.   I couldn’t find cartoon blood or blood cells anywhere on the dream interpretation sites. 

TATTOO: Dream Forth:  To see tattoos on those around you is a warning. Someone in your waking life will soon become jealous of you and what you have achieved.  Right….according to this analysis I have achieved repression of emotions and fatigue.  Oh, joy.  Or, alternatively, maybe I have achieved the genius idea of creating a combined grocery store and post office.  Patent pending.

Ok, so not totally from my dream but I thought it was worth pointing out that Dream Moods tells me that if I am a tattoo artist, and I dream about being a tattoo artist, then the dream is just a reflection of who I am.  Seriously?  Even though the most crazy, convoluted dream resulted in two clear themes, I would still like to point out that these dream interpretations seem pretty weak, at times.