To Sleep, Perchance to Dream

I’ve always had a fascination with Morpheus from The Matrix films. So to finally have my bizarre childhood back scarring identified as “Morphea” was oddly fitting.

I knew Morpheus has a basis in mythology and from my search on this lovely dark browser, Wikipedia indicates that he is a “god associated with sleep and dreams.” I am trying to add the link but no guarantees as my thumbs are quite numb today.

As a person with high levels of anxiety, I have been plagued with nightmares since childhood. I have a history of insomnia allegedly stemming from bipolar disorder. Sleep and I are not always friends. I must be unaware of some off-again, on-again relationship I have with Morpheus.

Recurrent nightmares started about the age of 5. My mom and dad had a tapestry of a bullfighter hanging in the trailer hallway. After seeing Disney’s Peter Pan, I became terrified of Captain Hook. In my recurrent nightmare, the bullfighter came out of the tapestry in the form of Captain Hook, and slaughtered everyone at a party hosted by my parents with his hook hand.

If memory serves, we only saw Peter Pan because The Dark Crystal was sold out. Why I can remember these details from 1983 and not what I had for breakfast this morning remains a mystery.

Also in 1983, I saw Twilight Zone: The Movie. Spoiler alert:

there’s a green monster on an airplane wing in the concluding segment. That monster haunted my dreams for months. In my dream, my mother and I went to a hotel room. Everything in the room was very bright and white. There was a bench in the hotel closet, and a hole in the closet ceiling. I was compelled to sit on the bench EVERY TIME. And every time, that green monster popped out from the ceiling hole and grabbed me. And that’s when I woke up, after what my son would call the “jump scare.”

I will detail my experiences with sleep paralysis in a later entry. My eyes are tired and my thumbs are quite miffed at me.

I feel like many of my health problems also started around the age of five. Chicken pox brought on the Morphea. I missed my very first Valentine’s Day party in kindergarten because of the pox. That same year I started showing signs of obsessive-compulsive disorder.

I also had really short but incredibly intense migraines in the back of my head. I remember the first one clearly. I was standing on the little porch on our trailer looking at the red plastic chairs and our plastic table with a Mickey Mouse pattern all over it. The head pain was so sudden and severe that I started screaming. My mother rushed out to see what was wrong. These headaches persisted through high school and were usually a result of exerting myself (such as running on the playground).

Complicating sleep lately are my twisted spine and aching hip. And last night, severe neck pain. Physical therapist has a theory that I need some X-rays for my neck but after all the X-rays I’ve had done this year, I have a paranoid fear that I’ll become radioactive.

Maybe with the help one of the few medications I’m not having a bizarre reaction to, Morpheus and I can mend our relationship tonight.

I didn’t get a diagnosis from the dermatologist today but he thinks my primary doctor needs to send me to University of Utah or The Mayo Clinic. His theory is that they can present me at “grand rounds.” Being featured at these places was not on my bucket list.

But maybe if I get a diagnosis and treatment, I can go back to work. Both regular vocational rehabilitation and low vision vocational rehabilitation recently closed my cases because I am still too symptomatic to work. Without a diagnosis, treatment plan, or prognosis, I can’t work and I also can’t get help to get back to work.

I am currently managing care for myself and my son. I just want to feel better so I can at the very least have an improved quality of life. My goal is to be around a long time so I can help him more. And help my boyfriend more. And help my other family members more. I want to do so much.

Right now, the thought of recovery is a pipe dream. I can’t make it a reality without medical help.

Morpheus, hear my cry.

Sweet Dreams by Eurythmics, 1983

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