My MS diagnosis is over sixteen years in the past, but it still plays a big part in my life. The last three parts of this series covered my life just before and just after that diagnosis. Part 4 has moved on in time. Not much, several weeks perhaps. The reality was beginning to dawn on me, which is when my subconscious kicked into gear…
It was a few weeks before I realised that my dreams were reoccurring. At first they just seemed like unpleasant dreams, which drifted away throughout the day and were forgotten by the following evening. Each day I would remember a little bit more for a bit longer, until I had at least partial recollection of all of my dreams, at least as much as anyone can recall things that our brains create during the night.
I say dreams, because there were three. Three that I can remember, anyway. Strangely, I can remember each of them even today, many years later. Anyone that knows me, knows that memory is not one of my strong suits, with many of my childhood memories feeling like parts of a dream from the previous night. Having my parents describe things I did in my childhood is like listening to a story about a person that I have never met. But, just like the conversations I had when I was diagnosed, I remember these dreams now. Sometimes they come to me during the day, sometimes during the night. They seem to return during times of difficulty, and anyone with MS will tell you that times of difficulty are never too far away.
I am not sure what order these dreams came in; I only know the order in which I remember them.
The first I can see now, like it was five minutes ago. It is not one that I revisit very often, but I still remember it as being the first.
In my dream, I am in a room with a table and two chairs. There are no other objects in the room, no other people, so the two chairs are a mystery to me, but I don’t think they speak to the purpose of the dream.
On the table, there is a gun; an old gun, the kind you might see in an old John Wayne western; a six-shooter, bright silver. Next to the gun is one single bullet it’s use obvious.
Somehow, I know what needs to be done. The bullet is suddenly in the gun, the gun in my hand. There are still no people in this dream telling me what to do, but I know that I have to spin the chamber. I place the gun to my head, somehow knowing that this is a one shot deal, pardon the pun. I have two choices: Pull the trigger, and hear the bang, but only briefly before it kills me, or pull the trigger, hear the dry-click of the empty barrel and be cured of MS.
Pretty good odds, but I do not pull the trigger. I have never pulled the trigger in all this time, and I have dreamt of this gun a lot. I’m not sure what that means, but I didn’t pull the trigger. It’s just a dream.
Next time: Dream number two. (Don’t worry – I’m still here sixteen years later!)
I know some of you have faced / are facing challenges of your own. Let me know in the comments how you are coping. It took me a long time to realise it, but I think we’re stronger together.