Ah I know some with Parkinson's....

Dream on, Baby

@Wim Rozenberg Fotografie
Dream on, baby

What did you dream about last night? Who were you with? No matter what, I assume you were yourself? I’m always myself in my dreams. Which can be a bit of a pain, especially when I’ve been known to dream 3 dreams a night. Sometimes, I’m just a passive bystander watching from the sidelines, sometimes I play an active role. Some people, like my husband, solve real-life problems in their dreams. They wake up and… eureka! Problem solved. I’ve never really understood that. I dreamed in English within a month of living in England. Admittedly, I only dreamed half Japanese sentences when I lived in Tokyo, but then I didn’t really progress much beyond half sentences in real life. My dreams move with the times. They match my experiences. The houses in which I’ve lived also make routine appearances. As do my children. Except for the child that we lost. But then, maybe that’s because I constantly dream about her throughout my waking hours.

Whoooosh! I’m flying

Very occasionally, when everything’s ticking along nicely, I dream that I can fly. I take a running jump and whoooosh! Up I soar, with graceful breaststrokes, leaving all that chaos beneath me. Fantastic! It doesn’t happen all that often, mind. But when it does, I invariably fly forwards. Not backwards, and I never crash. I’m like a superhero. Although I only ever save myself, no-one else. I’d LOVE to be a superhero. I was talking to one of our daughters about that. The fact that you prefer to identify with the superhero, the Harry Potter or the James Bond. According to the daughter, it’s because identifying with the hapless victim would be pointless. You’d have only a fleeting role and your dream would be over in a matter of seconds.

It’s true. In films, books and dreams, I always identify with the good/strong/brave/smart/ survivor and not the extra with no lines.

Have I really got Parkinson’s?

I recently asked 4 people with Parkinson’s whether they have Parkinson’s in their dreams. Nope, not even a whiff of Parkinson’s. Me neither. So, 5 out of my 5 research subjects dream Parkinson’s-free. Even though you supposedly dream more prolifically and more vividly with Parkinson’s. In fact, all that night-time commotion occasionally gives your slumbering partner the occasional shock of their life. Parkinson’s is not all bad, you know. Just kidding. It’s obviously not funny at all.

When I read a book about someone with Parkinson’s, am I the reader or the fellow- sufferer-who’s-thankfully-not-got-it-quite-so-bad? When I see other people with Parkinson’s, or read about them, I tend to console myself with the thought that my case isn’t so bad. And never will be. I prefer to identify with the good/strong/brave/smart/survivor.

“Oooooh, so that’s how you perceive things?” you suddenly realise, dear reader. “If you’ve got Parkinson’s, then you can’t be all those exciting things anymore? You can’t be a Harry Potter or a James Bond? Great. Thanks for that. Your true colours are really showing.”

Of course I don’t have Parkinson’s!

Yep. Apparently, that’s how I see things. I never have Parkinson’s in my dreams. Because I don’t want it. Because that whole Parkinson’s business just doesn’t suit me…. because I yearn to be as I once was.

My dreams aren’t always a barrel of laughs. If only! But I never have Parkinson’s in them. Maybe I prefer to identify with who I am and will, incidentally, remain. Albeit with the occasional fantastical flight thrown in along the way.

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