The pre-surgery nightmare.

4 Jun

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been a nervous person. Along with those nerves, I was also very scared, especially as a kid. Rather than using the word “fears,” I was simply told by my parents and my doctors that I had a “vivid imagination.”

Because of this vivid imagination, I remember one specific time when my parents waited a while before they told me about a specific scheduled surgery. I understand now that they didn’t want to alert me to it too far in advance because they knew I’d essentially be a nervous wreck right up until I had to go in for surgery. Though I can understand this now and I know it was a protective measure, I didn’t see it that way when it happened. I remember the night my parents sat me down to tell me about a surgery that would be occurring in about a month. I couldn’t exactly comprehend at first that my parents had waited to tell me, but once I did I immediately started to worry. Not long after that moment, the dreams I would always have leading up to a big operation started. The most common, of course, was the dream in which I woke up during surgery.

Due to my “vivid imagination,” my dreams were exceptionally vivid. In my dream, I was lying on the operating table. My eyes were open, and I was seeing everything. The doctors had the femur of my left leg in their hands, and they were twisting it to the left in order to straighten it out. Though I couldn’t feel any pain in the dream, I could imagine it, which was almost as bad. I looked at the doctor’s gloves, which were covered in blood, my blood. In a room as white as the operating room, the red seemed out of place. And yet, there it was. On the doctor’s hands was the blood that ran through my very veins. As I watched the doctors attempt to “fix” what was “not normal,” I tried to scream out. My mouth opened to make any kind of sound, but nothing happened. I tried to move. I focused so hard on trying to simply raise my right hand off the table, but it was too heavy. The doctors had to know I was awake. If they knew, they’d stop. If they knew, it would all be over. I just needed to do something to get their attention, but they were so focused on my legs. They didn’t even glance up towards my face, not even once, to see the fear and the anguish that was mirrored in my eyes. I wanted nothing more than to get as far away from that room as possible. I wanted to get away from the dead quiet that enveloped me like a blanket that was too heavy, practically suffocating me. The moment I closed my eyes to escape the horror I was seeing, I woke up.

When I woke up from this dream, I felt like I could barely breathe. Without even giving it a second thought, I yanked back the covers to look at my legs. I touched them to make sure they were still intact, still closed up tight. I looked on my legs, my hands, and my sheets for the blood. The blood that had been so incredibly red, so out of place in that white room. With my sweaty palms resting on my knees, my emotions took over. I cried out, knowing that tears couldn’t do this type of fear justice. I rocked back and forth, holding the stuffed teddy bear that was tucked into the bed beside me, and knowing as I started to shake that the tears were coming. When my body finally allowed me to cry, I curled up on my side, hugging the stuffed teddy bear to my chest like a shield, and let my tears speak for me. After the immediate emotion passed and I was curled up into the tightest ball I could form, I began to hum. I hummed the lullaby that my dad so often sung to me when he’d rock me in his mother’s rocking chair on the nights I couldn’t sleep. Eventually, sleep tugged at me again, and I opened my eyes for a pleading moment as I looked into the darkness, knowing the dream was waiting for me.


19 Responses to “The pre-surgery nightmare.”

  1. Arianna Merritt, M. Ed. June 5, 2013 at 1:05 am #

    Amelia, you are such a powerful writer and sharer of experience. I commend you for digging deep and truly speaking from your heart. It is so important to talk about the fear. The part of this post that really spoke to me was how your dad hummed you a lullaby. Perhaps that’s why music is such a healing aspect for you. You would have so much feedback for the hospitals and people going through the same experience. Thank you for this! ❤

    • ameliaclaire92 June 5, 2013 at 1:52 pm #

      Thank you so much, Arianna! Your continued support means so much.

  2. Staci June 5, 2013 at 1:12 am #

    Sending hugs. No one should have those types of dreams, child or adult.

  3. Grace @ Cultural Life June 5, 2013 at 3:00 am #

    Hey, I’ve missed your posts since April. Welcome back to blogging. 🙂 I hope you’re doing okay?

    • ameliaclaire92 June 5, 2013 at 1:53 pm #

      Thank you. I am happy to finally be back. I need a break from the emotion of digging up my own memories, but I think I’ve recovered enough to keep trudging on.

      • Grace @ Cultural Life June 7, 2013 at 5:51 pm #

        I haven’t been through anything like the struggles you have experienced and challenges that you continue to face. But I know that memories of traumatic things are difficult to look back on. Kudos to you for telling your story.

      • ameliaclaire92 June 7, 2013 at 5:59 pm #

        Thank you for the support.

  4. photosfromtheloonybin June 5, 2013 at 7:07 am #

    Wow! Your descriptive skills are incredible! I felt like I was right there in your dream with you. Isn’t it amazing how our brains can torture us during sleep? However, you have learned so much from your experiences, and you are facing your fears every time you write about them. It definitely makes you a stronger person, and I think you are helping more people than you know by opening up about everything you have gone through and are still going through. You’re awesome :).

    • ameliaclaire92 June 5, 2013 at 1:55 pm #

      Thank you so, so much. I have missed your comments. I’m glad that I am back in the blogging world so that I can receive your support again. 🙂 I hope all is well with you.

      • photosfromtheloonybin June 5, 2013 at 8:21 pm #

        I have missed you too and look forward to your wonderful blog once again :). Everything is fine here, other than the fact that we hit a deer with my car, and it is now in the body shop having $10,000 worth of repairs done. Yikes!! That really wakes you up and puts things into perspective I’ll tell you. Other than that, I haven’t been blogging as much either. I just wasn’t that inspired to get out with my camera during the cold winter months, and I have also been very, very addicted to reading lately. I just can’t get enough of diving into a good book :). I guess there are far worse addictions to have though right?

      • ameliaclaire92 June 6, 2013 at 8:46 pm #

        Sorry about the car. 😦 I too have been reading a lot, so I understand. There are DEFINITELY worse addictions, haha. Check out “Little Bee” by Chris Cleave. Amazing book!! 🙂

      • photosfromtheloonybin June 6, 2013 at 9:06 pm #

        Ooh, that looks awesome, so I downloaded it right away and will add it to my TBR pile which is growing bigger every day :). I have one for you too. It is hands down one of the most beautiful books I have ever read in my life. It’s called The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow by Rita Leganski, and I just know you will love it!!

      • ameliaclaire92 June 6, 2013 at 9:08 pm #

        Perfect! I’m always in need of book recommendations! 🙂

  5. yogikarenk June 5, 2013 at 8:55 am #

    Some people have reported being out of their bodies observing the surgery their bodies are undergoing. Perhaps that happened and you were only processing it through your dreams. That would be very scarey for a child. Sharing our stories is good. Love, Karen

    • ameliaclaire92 June 5, 2013 at 1:57 pm #

      That makes a lot of sense. I’ve heard about similar experiences when others have faced traumatic experiences. Strangely though, in the dream, I don’t feel like I’m necessarily out of my body. It’s clear that I am experiencing it all rather than watching it happen. Then again, you can never tell what our brains are truly capable of, and it’s most likely something I won’t ever be able to truly grasp.

  6. Cassie June 6, 2013 at 12:17 pm #

    Amelia, this is terrifying! It also reminded me with all of the “vivid imagination” references to my favorite childhood books, Amelia Bedilia. If you didn’t ever read them, check them out. Maybe you’re the inspiration. 🙂

  7. belasbrightideas June 8, 2013 at 1:29 am #

    I can’t say, “Like,” because it surely is a nightmare. So sorry you’ve had to go through everything you have in your young life 😦 And so glad that you’ve come to a place where you can share you experiences, positive as well as negative.

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