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Scars run deep

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I had been having trouble with my bite for the past few weeks and it did not seem like it was going away anytime soon.  The symptoms all pointed to some variant of TMJ.  For something like this, your consulting options are your PCP, dentist or a TMJ specialist.  I decided to visit my PCP. I was able to get an appointment right away.  It was a fairly routine visit. We exchanged pleasantries. I then explained my problem. She examined my jaw, felt around for any glands, and found nothing amiss. Her suggested course of action for me was: cold presses as many times as possible during the day and potentially some over the counter medication to help with the inflammation.  She also thought it would be a good idea for me to visit my dentist too and get a second look. I thanked her and was on my way. I didn’t think much of it and filed it away as a very routine visit with the doctor.

I did the usual things for the remainder of the day, read before retiring for the night. In the middle of the night, I woke up, startled.  I just had a dream. The setting for the dream was a hospital. There were three people in a room. My wife lay on the bed, resting, and recovering from a fresh surgery.  Just out of earshot, I am having a conversation with her doctor. Although he has removed the tumor, he says another one has just grown. Just as he is describing this, I look towards my wife and I see even more tumors appear, spontaneously. She doesn’t know any of this yet. I start to dread what is in store for her, thinking about the painful surgeries to follow and the torturous recovery and follow ups she has to endure. I think this is just not fair. That’s when I woke up. A great relief came over me as soon as I realized that it was a dream and she would be spared the agony.

I don’t remember too many dreams since my wife’s passing that involve her. What was particularly striking about this dream was its proximity to my own hospital visit. I least expected it, but there it is, the subconscious processing the day’s events. As I reflected on it, it was a stark reminder of the stressful times we had been together, the intense pain and suffering she had endured, and I as a caregiver, had witnessed. It also reminded me why, at that time, I had made peace with the idea of letting her go.

The empathy for another’s suffering and the intensity of grief we feel for the loss of someone dear, is a uniquely human trait.  The scars of a traumatic event run very deep indeed.

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Written by asterix98

March 5, 2012 at 1:05 am

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