Eight Hours of Pain Relief

by NotDownOrOut

Many pharmaceutical companies offer eight hours of freedom from pain. Between Thursday evening and Friday morning I went eight hours without pain and took no medicine at all. It is the first time that I was without pain for that long since December 2nd.

It’s a medical miracle.

Well, maybe not a miracle–let’s call it a breakthrough.

I have grown accustomed to my bladder’s misery. I sometimes manage it in ways the medical community does not favor. My bladder does not respond well to hydration. Its pain is triggered by an hourly trip to the bathroom. Sometimes the pain is excrutiating. Think of fire blasting through already burned flesh. I now manage to cringe and wince instead of cry over it.

I go without fluids when teaching and manage to spread out that hour between blasts of pain long enough to get through most classes. Sometimes I get home at night and gulp down glasses of water to rectify the situation because my bladder does not like to start up after a dry spell either.

For eight hours I was able to sleep, wake, visit the bathroom, and go back to sleep without pain.

I had a dream. It’s a dream that I have had before. Do you have dreams that come again and again? When I was a kid I dreamed that I could fly over my home in Holland (I have never lived in Holland) by pedaling a contraption that resembled a recumbent bike. The faster I pedaled, the higher I flew over tall homes with glass faces and tulips in their gardens.

When I was an adult I rarely dreamed, but, when I did, I dreamed that I tripped on the stairs. I was on my way down the stairs when my left foot slipped off a step and down I went.

Now I dream that I am President of the United States and the Secret Service is telling me that my son, a veteran of the war in Iraq, is missing. The dream always begins with my asking if the agent knows the location of my son. The agent answers that he believes my son was deliberately infected with the virus that makes a man into a werewolf so that he could be an even more effective killing machine in an elite unit of the Army. The dream ends as I look at the agent and say, “Could you say that again?”

According to The Dreamer’s Dictionary by Lady Stearn Robinson and Tom Corbett, pages 159-160 (Warner Books 1974), when you dream that you are flying it represents ambition. Fly low or medium height and you are likely to achieve your ambitions. If you struggle to reach the heights, then your ambitions are beyond your reach and you are advised to change course. To dream of a foreign place is auspicious because what you seek is attainable if you persevere. That’s not a bad dream for a child to have.

To dream that you fell on the stairs is to be afraid of something, usually a lapse in judgment. To fall down stairs is a warning to be more careful in expressing your opinion. Id. at 146, 344. When I fall in life there generally is behind it a moment when I spoke out about something when others wish I had not.

The dream book has no clear interpretation of my latest dream. In general, to dream of power is to acknowledge the greatest of successes in areas that concern you. To dream of something white–The White House–for example, is a harbinger of success. Not surprisingly, the dream book does not disclose the significance of a werewolf or the Secret Service. A woman who dreams of soldiers is warned not to engage in casual love affairs; but to dream of someone in law enforcement is a good sign. It means that help will come from outside the dreamer’s power. To dream of a wolf is a sign of financial hardship. However, if the wolf has been lured away, then those struggles will result in the overcoming of obstacles. To dream of a child old enough to walk or older is another indication of success in what most concerns you. Id. at 87, 95, 292, 294, 377.

I think the new dream means that I will continue to get well. My efforts will bring some of that success, but some will come from outside of me. Those prayers that everyone has been saying on my behalf are like the men in white hats that will come to deliver me from pain. I think it is a good sign.

Up until this week, I interpreted my dream about the missing werewolf son of the President as a message that I should write a book about that scenario. I recently read Christopher Farnsworth’s series about Nathanial Cade, the President’s Vampire. I read Blood Oath and The President’s Vampire back-to-back with gusto. Now I am about to read Seth Grahame-Smith’s Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter. I thought these books might get me in the mood to write about the President’s werewolf son. When I finish reading the last of them I should perhaps return to my book of daily prayers and my books on fighting cancer. Prayer, no doubt about it, is the link to my most powerful ally in life.

Maybe the truth is that I will find the strength to fight my supernatural foe CANCER with the assistance of my superhero family and friends, whose tools of prayer, support, good humor, and advice can defeat any foe. A few months ago I called a priest because I thought I could die. Now I have managed eight hours without pain without medicine. Maybe this isn’t about medicine at all. Maybe it is about something else entirely. Maybe it is about faith.

All that I know for certain is that there are mysteries to be solved, and it is looking like the outcomes may be favorable. What did my fortune cookie say on the day that I started chemotherapy and radiation? It said: “You will pass a difficult test that will make you happier.”

I am feeling happier already.  My dreams are coming true. Thanks for helping me to get there.