The other night I had a dream. I was walking along one of the streets I lived on when I was child with a mule named Myles. Just to be clear, I was walking with Myles in my dream; Myles didn’t live with me. I can’t have you thinking that I was one of the cool kids on the block for having such a unique pet because, believe me, I was never one of the cool kids.
In my dream, Myles was a very respectable and well behaved mule. He plodded along, slow and steady like, listening intently to my stories about growing up on Wallace Street.
After we stopped and looked at the apartment where I lived with my parents for several years, we headed on over to the grand home that was beside us. It belonged to Mrs. Mills. While I don’t know who lives there now, in my dream it was Mrs. Mills’ daughter who was sitting on the sprawling Victorian porch watching Myles and me meander across her lawn to talk with her. She greeted us warmly.
MMD: Oh, little Linda, how lovely it is to see you!
Me: Thank you, but little Linda isn’t so little anymore. She’s put on a few pounds since you’ve seen her last.
MMD: Never mind that. You’re still the same to me. Come on up on the porch and join me for a cuppa tea, will you? Who is this you have with you?
Me: This is Myles. He is a very good mule. He won’t cause you any trouble.
MMD: Of course, dear. Any friend of yours is a friend of mine.
After getting settled on the porch, Myles stretched out on the floor before me, I began to tell Mrs. Mills’ daughter about the time I had taken some flowers from her mother’s beautiful gardens without asking. I had wanted to do something nice for my mother and thought she would be pleased to have a beautiful bouquet of flowers sitting on the kitchen table for her to admire.
Obviously, I didn’t consider the act of taking the flowers as stealing. As someone who was always terrified of getting in trouble, I must have thought that taking the flowers would be okay because they would be from Mrs. Mills’ garden and she would have understood the kindness behind my gesture. All right, I probably thought, who the heck was going to miss a few flowers anyway? Cut me some slack, will ya? I was only five years old when I engaged in my first criminal activity.
My mother was livid. My father had to stifle his laughter because he saw me as a chip of the old block which infuriated my mother even more. I don’t remember what Mrs. Mills’ reaction was because I was scared
shitless witless while apologizing to her for what I had done. My ears ring to this day from the tuning my mom gave me and rightly so. Even though my heart was in the right place, it was wrong what I had done.
Dreams are a funny thing. Why would I dream about this now and why was I walking with a mule names Myles? Be damned if I know but what I do know is that by affecting a wee change in the time I take one of medications, my dreams are now less violent and less threatening compared to the months of night terrors I had been experiencing. Myles is proof of that.
My night terrors were awful. While I don’t remember each one exactly, I do remember how all but one involved children being harmed in some way, usually in the form of being kidnapped or assaulted. These terrors were violent and I acted them out just as violently. Poor Sauerkraut was punched, kicked, nearly kneed in the crown jewels, and karate chopped across his neck. On one occasion, I almost pulled out a handful of hair from the back of his head. I have screamed out loud trying to save these children and I have cried openly for their loss. It has been a roller coaster of emotion trying to live through them.
There is one nightmare I remember clearly, though. Some harlot was hitting on Sauerkraut. Thankfully, I was facing outwards in bed because I woke myself up just as I threw one hell of a right hook and flattened that
bitch vile woman right into next Tuesday. No one is taking my man, let me tell you.
When my family doctor heard all of this, in between fits of laughter over imagining me taking down some
slut harlot from Quadeville, as I so eloquently put it, he ordered another sleep study test, my third in eight years. Since I had been diagnosed with sleep apnea after my first sleep study, he wanted to make sure that my CPAP machine was working properly as well as determine if anything else was going on.
When I told my neurologist about the upcoming sleep study and about the night terrors, he warned me to be prepared for the outcome. He is also a sleep study specialist and he suspected that I had more than one sleep disorder going on. I replied, “Jaysus H. Christopher, I have enough issues to deal with, I don’t need anymore.” It’s a good thing my neurologist knows me well (we’ve been marching through my MS symptoms together for over fifteen years now) because, in my futile attempt at swearing in a less swear-y manner, I forgot that his first name is Christopher. My bad.
Anyhooooo, Dr. Jaysus H. Christopher was right. I do have four different sleep disorders which were confirmed by a really nice sleep specialist (whom I will refer to as Dr. Sleepy O’Study because she had a lovely Irish accent) via video conferencing. There’s the sleep apnea thingie which is well controlled as long as I use the CPAP machine. I have some crazy thing called periodic limb movement as well as some other mumbo jumbo fancy assed name for acting out night terrors. As for the fourth disorder, well, I really can’t say because, by that time, I was overwhelmed and had completely zoned out.
In my defense, the room where the video conference was held was extremely warm and dark-ish. The sometimes delay in the video confused me and I couldn’t hear the doctor all that well. AND what I could hear was completely distracting because of, hell-oooooo, her lovely Irish accent. I mean, how was I expected to concentrate with that beautiful Irish lilt explaining things to me? And, and, did I mention that I was tired … like so friggin’ tired because I have four sleep disorders? It seemed like a lot to expect from someone like me on a good day let alone under these circumstances.
Here’s what Dr. Sleepy O’Study said versus what I heard her say:
- you have industrial strength snoring (you are so un-lady like, my gawd, it’s embarrassing).
- you have very severe leg movement (you left the sheets and blankets in such a twisted heap of a mess that we had to bring in a special hazmat team just to remake the bed).
- you act out your dreams (you are so lucky your husband doesn’t leave you for that
slutharlot in Quadeville because she would never ever beat him up).
- blah, blah, blah, blah, blah (if awards were given out for the worst sleeper EVER, you would win hands down. Hopefully, it’s a nice crystal trophy and not one of those big ugly cup thingamabobs).
Thankfully, I saw Dr. Jaysus H. Christopher shortly after that and he made a simple change to one of my medications. Instead of taking it at bedtime like I had been, I now take it between 5 and 6 p.m. The result has been amazing; I now dream of mules and childhood crimes instead of harlots trying to steal my man.
Dr. Sleepy O’Study and I decided to have my neurologist handle my sleep disorders in addition to my MS issues because of the whole ‘two birds, one stone’ type of common sense thingie. Once Dr. Jaysus H. Christopher receives copies of my study, we’ll explore treatment options for the other two disorders. Apparently, he doesn’t trust my interpretation of my sleep study test. Imagine.
Myles the mule: 1
Night terrors: 0
My something new: discovering that mules are totally nonjudgmental and really cool to hang out with.