Welcome to the Misadventures of Widowhood blog!

In January of 2012 my soul mate of 42 years passed away after nearly 12 years of living with severe disabilities due to a stroke. I survived the first year after Don’s death doing what most widows do---trying to make sense of my world turned upside down. The pain and heartache of loss, my dark humor, my sweetest memories and, yes, even my pity parties are well documented in this blog.

Now that I’m a "seasoned widow" the focus of my writing has changed. I’m still a widow looking through that lens but I’m also a woman searching for contentment, friends and a voice in my restless world. Some people say I have a quirky sense of humor that shows up from time to time in this blog. Others say I make some keen observations about life and growing older. I say I just write about whatever passes through my days---the good, bad and the ugly. Comments welcome and encouraged. Let's get a dialogue going! Jean

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Nighttime Dreams, the Gathering Girls and my Poor Ear!



Every so often I’ll go through a streak when I’ll dream of my husband three-four nights in a row. It happened over the Labor Day weekend. I can’t put my finger on what triggers them. Loneliness? Disasters and tensions in the world? Hearing the lyrics of a song? Christina Perri’s, “You put your arms around me and I’m home” did haunt me for a couple of days. In most of the dreams I can see my husband but not talk to him. No surprise there. He’s dead in my daytime life, but not in my dreams. He’s walking around, doing things and I’m watching movie style. Last night was different. We were together in a pickup truck, riding around out in the boondocks when we came upon a place where an army of bulldozers were pushing dirt around, preparing a huge building site. For some reason we thought something secret and sinister was going on and we had to report it. We turned around to do that and suddenly we were being chased.

According to DreamMoods.com to dream of being chased “signifies that you are avoiding a situation that you do not think is conquerable. It is a metaphor for some form of insecurity…Alternatively, you may be running away from a primal urge or fear.” Okay, the ‘avoidance’ makes sense. I just finished updating my Emergency Care Plan book for myself and Levi and I still need to go through my Estate Planning book to update that. I can’t believe it’s been since 2013 when I last did it! The setting of my dream, which most dream books say isn’t the important part, also makes sense when I remembered what I’d been doing before I went to bed. I’d been reading a thread on a political debate site about building codes and land use in Texas, a discussion on whether or not people should be allowed to rebuild on flood plains---as if getting 52 inches of rain over a few short days wouldn’t turn any place into a flood plain. Jeez! But still, people do have a point when they say when federal money is helping to rebuild the same houses time and time again maybe it’s time for a better master plan. God, the world is a complicated place!

I also dreamed about my mother this past week and I hardly ever do that. We were riding around in a car trying to find a Mexican restaurant on a side of town I rarely ever go to. Since the action is the important part of the dream I looked up ‘searching’ and DreamMoods said, “To dream that you are searching for something signifies the need to find something that is missing or needed in your life. The dream may be analogous to your search for love, spiritual enlightenment, peace or even a solution to a problem.” But why was I searching with my mother? DreamMoods has an answer for that, too. (They have an answer for everything including why people dream about M&Ms. In case you’re wondering, M&Ms represent “life's small, but sweet rewards.” But I digress.) About seeing my mom in my dream, they said: “[it] represents the nurturing aspect of your own character. Mothers offer shelter, comfort, life, guidance and protection.” I’m not particularly gaga over Mexican food but the nearest I can figure out is that part of the dream is a reference to holding on to tradition and culture. Dream analysis might all be entertaining bull poop but its logical, entertaining bull poop.

Change of topic: My First Mondays Brunch with the Gathering Girls met on Tuesday this month because of the holiday. We went to Culver’s for a change of scenery and then to an Antique & Artisan Market near-by followed by another stop for dessert. 11:30 to 3:00 on a pleasant weather day. It doesn't get much better than that but we laughed so hard and often at lunch it’s a wonder we did leave seven little puddles of pee in our chairs when we left. We sure know how to play off each other’s senses of humor.

Second change of topic: I finally called the hearing doctor to make an appointment and was shocked that I have to wait 21 days to get in to see him. I should have called a couple of weeks ago but I honestly thought the paper-rattling sound and clicking in my ear would go away on its own but when my ear started kicking my hearing aid out to the point that I can’t wear it anymore I got concerned. I tried some allergy medication and that didn’t help thus the appointment was made. The clicking is happening less often as of a few days ago but only after I got an odd swishing sound in my ear and a sense of air rushing in. Did my ear drum break or do I have an over-active imagination? By the time I get into the doctor I’ll either be completely cured or I will have an inner ear infection and die on the living room floor because I can’t tell which way is up and which way is down and Levi doesn’t know how to dial the phone to call for help. Stupid dog! ©

26 comments:

  1. All of the dream interpretations are really interesting to me, it would be nice to have an answer sometimes when I wake up and wonder what the heck made me dream that? haha.

    I'm with you that something that reminds you of Don is triggering your dreams, could be as simple as just thinking of and missing him, I guess I had better not try to interpret dreams here I did just say that I can't figure out my own.

    Your times with The Gathering Girls is working out really well, I am happy to see this.

    It's a shame you can't get into the doctor for your ear any quicker than 21 days, like you said, by the time we get into the doc most times we are cured... maybe that's what they are hoping for. You are going to have to teach Levi to dial 911 just in case.

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    1. Levi's stubbornness about learning to dial 911 is why I wear an emergency dialer around my neck. LOL

      I used to record all my dreams in a notebook and how I interpreted them. It was a fun hobby until my dad, in his dementia years, couldn't tell the difference between his night dreams and reality and then it wasn't so much fun anymore. So I quit the dream recall technique of writing down my dream fragments before even getting out of bed. But I did it for so many years, I don't have to try anymore to remember, I just do.

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  2. The stories of your dreams is bittersweet to me. I can't fathom life without Rick. I read these stories and worry about when it's my time. I don't know how I would handle the dreams. I think I'd want to go back to sleep to be with him.

    I am glad your time with the Gathering Girls was so fun. Nothing better than belly laughs to cure what ails you. Okay maybe not the rattle paper sound but it made you forget it for a bit.

    Now to dog training.....

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    1. Trust me, there are many times when I try to will myself back to sleep to continue a dream. It doesn't work. I might fall back to sleep but then it will be a new dream, if any at all. But seeing Don in my dreams does make me feel better.

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  3. My sister used to have a dream book and was constantly looking up her crazy dreams. When I see the ones in my family who have passed, I always think how nice it was to see them.

    It sure is irritating having noise in your ear. My last episode sounded like a bug walking around on dry leaves. I don't remember what caused it, it just went away. I hope yours does too.

    It's not so much the where, it's the company. For your meeting with the girls, may I recommend Poise pads. ;-)

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    1. It is nice to see loved ones who've passed away if only in dreams.

      "bug walking around on dray leaves." I wish my hearing was good enough to hear that but I did think I had a bug in my ear. Even held a flashlight to my ear, trying to help it find its way out.

      It would be funny to hand out a Poise pad at the beginning of our next brunch. Not sure if everyone would appreciate my joke but it would be funny cartoon subject.

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  4. I used to get chronic ear and sinus infections at one time. Because of the fear of overprescribing antibiotics (and because these infections are so resistant to them), my doctor used to simply tell me to take Sudafed or any other OTC decongestant to help relieve the congestion. You may want to start that treatment, if only to relieve the pressure and fluids that may be causing any pressure, pain, and the resulting noises. AND KEEP THOSE Q-TIPS OUT OF THERE! ;-)

    So glad you had a fun Gathering! That can be its own Medicine.

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    1. I know about Q-Tips and I've never had a wax problem to be tempted to use them. I suppose it wouldn't hurt to keep taking taking my allergy pills until I see the doctor. They have decongestant in them and they are safe to use with my blood pressure medication. Thanks for your input!

      I laughed so hard on Tuesday with the GG girls I thought I'd pass out at one point. It felt so good to laugh.

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  5. I hope you aren't getting Tinnitus! A miserable ailment with no cure. You could put a couple of drops of Hydrogen Peroxide in your ear and wait for it to quit making noises (from the Peroxide) and then tip your head over to the other side and see what comes out. It would clean out any excess wax or infection.

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    1. I could be wrong but doesn't tinnitus effect both ears? The ear canal has to have some swelling in it, too, or the hearing aid would still fit. I hate mystery stuff going on in our bodies!

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  6. Your GG group is fantastic! I DO think you should hand out a Poise Pad!!! Ah ha ha ha ha! What a fun group you have. Laughing really IS the best medicine.

    UGH on waiting three weeks for an appt ... for ANYTHING. You may want to call back and ask to be on a waiting list if someone cancels. I get in frequently with doctor and dentist!

    Dream on!

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    1. Getting on a waiting list doesn't work for me because I usually get the call too close in time for me to make across town or where ever. I've never, ever had to wait that long, though, for an appointment for anything. Shocked me and there are four doctors in the office and I said I'd take any.

      We GG girls do have fun. I'm thinking of starting a "hug fest" with them now that we know each other better. Who couldn't use hugs and laughter a couple of times a month.

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  7. Wish you could find an ear doctor to take you in sooner. Specialists are like that. By the time you get to see them, you are either cured or gone. Let us know what happens.
    BTW, tinnitus can be in one or both. I have had it in my right for many years. I thought my left was joining the club but having my left ear cleaned by my primary doctor recently cleared that up. The cleaning also improved my hearing immensely.
    I bookmarked that dream site and will check it out. Thanks.

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    1. Interesting about the tinnitus. I did not know that. I debated about calling my main doctor (actually an internist) or the ear doctor, but he's not the easiest guy to get into either. My husband had a terrible problem with ear wax and had to have his cleaned out several times a ear. Every time I see my audio specialist she tells me I have very clean ears. What I should have done is call my audiologist because if she finds anything inside, she gets you into the doctor within 15 minutes. I'd forgotten that's what she'd do with my husband.

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  8. I have a mild form of tinnitus. I call it mild because I hear it but it is more kind of like background noise and isn't driving me crazy...yet. (or crazier? LOL)

    I have been reading about Houston as well, and they definitely need to either stop allowing them to build in the flood plains, OR require buildings there to be built up on stilts with space below that allows for running water. Simply beyond stupid NOT to have those kind of laws in place!

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    1. The noise in my ear doesn't bother me as much as the sense that there is swelling inside. But I'll be glad when I can get into the doctor for an explanation. Good to know, though, that tinnitus doesn't necessarily have to drive you crazy as so much people describe it.

      While such wide-spread damage, it seems like a logical time to rethink zoning, doesn't it.

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    2. Throw 51.88 inches of rain -- or 40, or 42 or 37 -- into any neighborhood in this country over a short period of time, and you're going to have flooding. This was not a situation where some cranky old dude insisted on building on the riverbank sixteen times in a row. And much of what flooded has never been defined as a flood plain. When the river is 30 miles away, you are not in a flood plain.

      We are not stupid here. And where people are at risk from hurricane flooding or storm surge, the building codes already require that accomodation be made: e.g., minimum elevations and so on. If there are adjustments and accomodations that need to be made in specific neighborhoods, that no doubt will happen. On the other hand, perhaps you could just move everyone who ever has been hit by a hurricane to somewhere else, and not let them live where damage is possible. That would eliminate Houston, New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and the whole state of Florida, if Irma has her way. You could throw in the Eastern seaboard, too, and New Jersey. For that matter, you could get rid of St. Louis. The Missisippi floods there, too.

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    3. From what I'm seeing on the debate site there really are a lot of misconceptions about Texas regarding building codes. But there are enough people like you there, setting people straight. Few places on earth could handle that kind of rain without flooding and how do you foresee something that catastrophic happening if it's never happened before?

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  9. You really do have complex/entertaining dreams. I had a very vivid dream of my mother a few months after she died. In the dream, we weren't doing anything special, just visiting -- and having the kind of conversation we hadn't been able to have the last months of her life because her brain tumor interfered with her ability to communicate. I woke up feeling very happy at this unexpected gift of a last visit with my mother. -Jean

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    1. I really do like my dream life...well, 95% of it. Most dreams do have the power to make me feel good like your conversation with your other. "An unexpected gift"---lovely way to put it.

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  10. I dream more than I used to, and they're always quite vivid and interesting. And more and more often, while still in the dream, I tell myself, "I need to remember this when I wake up." Sometimes I will for just a minute or two, but then I'm back asleep, and the dream is gone. I'm never flying, or in flight, or frightened, or anything like that. It's more a working out or extension of something happening in the waking world.

    I hope what you have is simple to fix up. I had a problem of snap-crackle-pop in one ear for a week or two, and it was annoying beyond words. Eventually, after a consultation with Dr. Google and a few peroxide treatments, it went away. I still don't don't what caused it, but if it ever happens again, I might try and find out.

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    1. I consulted Dr. Google too and that's why I waited, probably too long, to call the doctor. I had a severe inner ear infection once and ended up in the hospital. In hindsight I did have an ear bothering me for a few weeks ahead so I'm not taking any chances this time.

      Many of my dreams are about searching and often in places like streets or hallways where there a lots of doors to open. Been dreaming and remembering my dreams for decades. If you really want to remember them in the morning you need a pen with a light and a pad of paper by the bed to jot down a few details before you drift back to sleep. (Can't turn a regular light on.) That transfers them from the subconscious to the conscious part of the brain.

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  11. I enjoy looking up interpretations for my dreams. Sometimes they make a lot of sense. I think we carry a lot of our daytime life into our dreams.

    I hope you find out what the ear problem is all about. Hopefully it is something that will go away soon.

    So happy to hear how much fun you have with your "gathering girls."

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    1. Your dreams are far more interesting than mine. I never dream about famous people.

      The Gathering Girls are a lot of fun. That seems to be the role we play in each other's lives...lots of laughs.

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  12. Im happy to read that the GC meet-ups are fun for all - good for all of you!!

    I enjoyed reading the comments and learnt from them too. ~ Libby



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    1. I love the people who comment here, you included. It doesn't matter what we're sharing with each other, it's all good.

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