In the second week, during my sleep, I began to have nightmares of my daughter. They were awful and very graphic. No matter how many times I’d be awakened by the fearful pictures, the next time I’d fall asleep, the dream would repeat itself and worsen. Horrible things would happen to her… she was surrounded by fire or would fall into something as dreadful. I couldn’t help or get to her. It felt like doomsday.
I felt guilty for having those dreams, and the fear was traumatizing. After about six or seven dreams, I told the nurse that I wasn’t able to handle them anymore. She stared at me for a moment. It was as though she was asking herself, “and how am I supposed to change your dreams?!” Then, calmly, she explained that the epidural could have been causing the nightmares, and she would reduce the medication. Thankfully, the nightmares subsided after that.
Eventually, the epidural was removed, and oral painkillers replaced it. The skin on my torso still felt numb to the touch, and I couldn’t imagine what was going on inside where my stomach used to be. I don’t remember ever feeling pain following the surgery. My knee surgery – well, when they put me under anesthesia to force my leg straight and set a full-leg cast – three years earlier, was excruciating! I couldn’t receive enough painkillers once I woke up from anesthesia that time.
Despite the hardships we all face, keep hope that tomorrow will be better.