Saturday, March 15, 2014

Fever dreams

Emerging out from night terrors, I would shiver and shake, not really fully awake. I'd jabber away deliriously. Fever dreams came and went. The last one in my late teens. One such episode resulted in quite a severe misunderstanding. It came early in my life.
    My folks did their best to comfort me as I writhed and squawked. A bear hug from my dad would usually do the trick. I could release into the hold, allow any tension to melt away, letting my head flop and any fear dissolve. Of course, there were moments when they may not have known what would ease the keyed up boy fresh out of oblique and abstracted nightmares. Our family doctor was Doctor Gordon. He was a kindly old man we loved dearly. He had a home practice and visiting him was never an ordeal of any type. When mom called though, he was away and another doctor took his calls. My mom in her broken English described her son as waking up shaking. Well, Doctor Y (His name sounds like "yeah sure'n") didn't know me but felt it was imperative to bring me right in and I, it turns out, was wrongly diagnosed with some form of epilepsy. I started taking medication. The visit to the hospital included many pointy wires stuck into my scalp as I laid on a table. Hooked up to machines. I took it in stride.
    When Doctor Gordon returned my mother filled him in regarding the news about my condition. He howled that there was nothing wrong with me and that I should stop the medication at once. He was livid, having followed me since birth.
I learned that I would have the occasional night terror, that my shakes were from fear and confusion and I could be calmed with a strong hold. I'd wake up numerous times in my youth, haunted by dreams so bizarre and rife with symbols they remain integral to my identity.