Dreamcatchers & Vigils

I’d be more eloquent but I’m in that in-between place where my mind is full, I’m tired, and I’m just… waiting.

Waiting for dawn to come, her to wake, and motion to begin.

I know there are things I can do. To help me sleep the night before her transfusion. And no I don’t mean medication. There are herbs, supplements, homeopathics, meditation techniques… I know many things that work.

But truth is, I’ve actually been sleeping fine. In fact, I was dead asleep having a fantastic dream until the toes of a small foot gripped onto my calf and flexed rapidly, in spasm, literally tickling me awake.

Have you ever been tickled awake? It was a first.

That happened at 2:39 am and I haven’t been back to sleep since.

It makes me wonder: Does she want me to be awake these nights?

It would seem fitting. To hold some sort of vigil on the night before transfusion.

It’s a mix of emotion that simply cannot be processed and purged. The expression of any one thought or feeling exludes the expression of the other, and its all simply too “packed” to express anything. I feel it all. I’d like to scream-laugh-cry-hit-smile.

I feel trust-dread-fear-peace-joy-gratitude-grief-longing-panic-rage-generosity.

I do wish I’d rested more fully, though, so I’d have more energy and clarity and for what’s ahead.

Last month, I used a numbing creme on her arm. I numbed a good 6 inch diameter circle of area where she typically gets the IV, in her inner elbow area. We had a new nurse; never seen her before. Of course, I was suspicious. Things rarely go well with new nurses. But I gave her a chance. And I kid you not — she “stuck” Adahlia outside the numb area. Practically half-way down the inside of her forearm. Said she felt a valve in her cubit (its not a valve, its scar tissue.) Adahlia screamed like bloody murder… and I had been promising her, the entire car ride there, that it wouldn’t hurt because it would be numb.

I was so damn pissed.

But, unsurprised.

(A string of muttered expletives would like to escape my fingers right now.)

Breathe in, blow out.

This same nurse, when Adahlia later fearfully whined, asking her not to draw so much of blood because she needs it (the amount of blood drawn for labs was actually routine, but I think Adahlia just no longer trusted this nurse), said, “Don’t worry honey, you make new blood all the time. You’re making new blood right now.”

I almost didn’t say anything. I’m just so sick of educating folks who should know better. But it was so blatantly… dumb.

“Um… actually, no,” I said. “She doesn’t make her own blood. She has Diamond-Blackfan Anemia. That’s why we are here.”


At any rate, because I can’t talk about how I’d like to do some sort of tribal grieving-wailing-ferocious dance right now, let’s talk about dream catchers.

There’s chinese medicine, actually, for children with night terrors. Isn’t that cool?

Such things were actually treated with concern back in the day… because clinicians actually cared about the psychological well-being of children, and genuinely wanted them to feel safe, and knew the importance of a holistic approach to health, because mental stress can affect physical health and vice versa.

(Sorry, I’ll try to filter better next time. <mutter doctors mutter mutter nurses>)

Anyway, sometimes I give the herbal medicine to her, and it does work. But she’s got so much going on in that body of hers, that more often than not, I don’t give it to her (she likes it though; she says it takes good.)

We went to Denver Art Museum for the first time this past Sunday. We had a wonderful time. And, while there, we bought a dream catcher for her. Why?

We were in the gift shop. She walked up to it, picked it up, touched its feathers, and asked me what it was. I explained. Her eyes widened. I knew what she was thinking — that it was perfect for her. She asked for it, said she needed it, and of course we bought it.

Guess what.

The darn thing works.

For me, too.

(I’d been having a run of intense dreams myself. The other night, I was in an airplane crash, was burned alive, drowned, and had maze of concrete tunnels collapse with me inside it, all in the same dream.)

Anyway, moral of the story is: for bad dreams, while of course I’ll tell you that you should consider a chinese herbal formula for settling the Spirit, there’s also the dreamcatcher.

We’ve had it for two nights now and I’ve grown quite fond of it. I really do feel like it zooms around at night, collecting dreams, and only the “good ones” know how to find their way through the web.

I think my “New Baby” gift ideas for friends now has a new item.

Well, I think that’s all I can write right now. Adahlia will get blood in about 5 hours, and will live an extra month, if all goes well.

I am grateful. Sad. And very tired.

There are things I can do for it — powerful meditations with Reiki to gather energy and clarity.

I know this. And I know the dawn will come.

It’s just been a long night. Staying awake; holding vigil.