Tuesday, April 13, 2010

My Nightmare

Yesterday morning, I was awakened at 3 AM by a nightmare I had. I've been thinking about it ever since. Aren't dreams supposed to you subconscious in action? I'm wondering what this says about me.

In the dream, I was at the hospital, in the OR, having Zachary. The surgical drape was in place, and I had been given my anesthetic. My lower body was numb, so I couldn't move. My doctor was starting the c-section when he got a call to a laboring woman in another area of L&D. And he left, telling me he would be back in a few minutes. The entire OR team followed him, leaving me alone, strapped to the table and unable to move. Whether from panic or anesthetic, I had an asthma attack. I thought I was going to die. I screamed for help and nobody came to my rescue. I didn't have an inhaler. Then I thought: epinephrine. We used to give epinephrine as an asthma drug, before they came up with safer options. And I knew that epinephrine is kept in the top drawer of our crash carts. There was a crash cart next to the anesthesiologist's area, right by my head, so I broke the little plastic lock on the cart and self-administered the epi. While I waited for it to work, I grabbed the Ambu bag from the anesthesiologist's cart. I knew it would be attached to oxygen and going, in preparation for it's emergent need. We always do that so it is ready should a patient crash on us. I held the mask loosely to my face, inhaling the oxygen, and praying someone would show up to help me.

I was there for what seemed like hours. The spinal wore off, and I could move my legs. I freed myself from the table, and felt around on my belly to see how far the doctor was into the surgery before he abandoned me. My belly was flayed open, and I had surgical retractors protruding from my abdomen. He got that far. My uterus was cut too, and you could see Zachary in the transparent balloon of amniotic fluid. I wailed as I tried to decide whether to leave him be or take him out. I knew I was trained in neonatal resuscitation, but did I know enough to save my own son? I am trusted with the loved ones of others, but do I trust myself with my own?

Finally, one of the night shift OB nurses showed up in the OR. I don't know why it was her. I'm not even that close with her. We are just acquaintances at work. But she told me there had been drama in L&D, that everyone was gone except for her, that they all got fired. I asked about my doctor, and she said he was gone, too. She told me one of his partners was on his way to finish me up. I asked her if anyone was on standby for the baby: "Is Children's on the way?" (When we have a baby that needs help beyond our abilities at my hospital, we call in a transport team from Children's Hospital. If we know before the delivery that there will be problems, we call so they are there and ready.)

She said yes, that I was only 31 weeks, so they are coming. And then I woke up.

I never have dreams that I can recall with such detail. Never.

So what does it mean???? First of all, my doctors are consummate professionals and would never do anything like this. To anyone. But is it because I am afraid of them not considering me? That just because I cannot dilate, they consider me to be second-class, coming behind women who do? And the details of work? J says I just need to go back, that I miss it even more than I realize. I think he's right.

1 comment:

  1. Wow- they say you have vivid dreams when you are pregnant - and I've had my share. Your nightmare definitely takes the cake. I am terrible at interpreting dreams, all I can think is that the dream might just be anxiety induced. Like I said, I am no dream expert. It sounds like your husband might be right on they money. I also had a weird dream today that I was going to post on my blog later. It was more like a sad nightmare.