wings and things


I had a dream last night that someone I knew (it wasn’t clear in the dream who exactly he was), took me to a holiday house somewhere near the sea. It was a really shabby old house and I felt a bit reluctant to go in but I did anyway because I didn’t want to hurt his feelings. Then, once I was inside, the door shut with a clang, and I knew immediately that I was doomed because a hanging rope was already in place for me and the someone-I-knew became a cackling stranger who was going to hurt me before killing me. The terror I felt within that dream woke me up, and I entered the day in a daze of perspiring relief that it was just a nightmare.

Have I read too many books, seen too many movies, thought too many thoughts, felt too many emotions? Yes, probably, but this was the most frightening nightmare I have ever had. Of course this nightmare is not hard to interpret at all I guess – a bunch of mixed emotions following trauma; ongoing anxiety for all those affected by trauma; shame, guilt and embarrassment over the stupid things I’ve said and done since the trauma; and a momentary wish that I would die.

The nightmare has made me see much better what it must be like for Anthony when he experiences the night terrors and and hallucinations of his PDD. If I can experience such a vivid nightmare whilst being physically healthy, and wake up with my face covered in the sweat of terror, then what is he going through?


Parkinson’s disease dementia and night terrors

I have just gotten off the phone with Anthony for the third time in the last half hour. He is terrified and this is happening more and more often at around the same time of night. Tonight he thinks several people are trying to tie him up, that his house is being rummaged and wrecked, and that I am part of a conspiracy to hurt him. Ming and I have both talked to him and I have also rung the nurse in charge to tell her how distressed he is and that he is confused. She said they had tried to put him to bed (sometimes it takes two or three people) but he fought them all off. I told her he didn’t know what was going on and that we were seeing the doctor tomorrow to get emergency medication for this kind of hallucinatory agitation.

Our farm is a half hour drive away and I feel like I should sell up and buy a unit near the nursing lodge so I can be closer for these night terrors because for him to be this frightened is unbearable for all of us. I know/hope that in the short time it has taken to write this post, he will most probably be in bed and nearly asleep because in the end Ming and I managed to calm him down a bit – very hard to do over the phone.

The prolonged emotional agony of this disease, for all three of us, is like treading water in a strange and unfamiliarly large pool of murky water, and can change within the space of an hour. Earlier, when I rang Ants, he was fine and lucid and gorgeous. His words don’t come out very well any more so I was shocked by tonight’s frantic eloquence and his absolute terror. My feelings of helplessness are like jagged jigsaw pieces accidentally placed in the wrong box – futilely useless.

I love him so much.