10 March 2016

Hospitals, helicopters, and wheelchairs

I think my jet lag broke this morning. They say it takes one day of recovery time for every hour of time difference — that would be 6, in this case — to get over it.

For me, breaking jet lag is a lot like breaking a fever. All of a sudden, there's some kind of sleep catharsis as the demon décalage loses his grip on my mind and body. In this case I awoke about an hour later than usual, just as the most vivid dream involving helicopters, hospitals, wheelchairs, dizziness, and running like crazy through the streets of Paris all the way out to the airport at Roissy suddenly ended.



In the dream, I was on the way to a hospital by helicopter to have some kind of medical procedure performed on an emergency basis. Some nurse or doctor finally told me they were going to inject amniotic fluid into my body. A woman who was visiting my mother in her own hospital room (in Paris, not North Carolina) looked at me knowingly and told me that the treatment was meant to cure my dizziness.



Along the way, I found myself wandering through the Food Lion supermarket in North Carolina when a couple of serious-looking people, a man and his wife who sitting on folding chairs in one of the aisles, signaled me to stop and talk to them. They started speaking in French, telling me about the helicopter trip and saying I had only a few minutes to get ready. Pourquoi me dites-vous tout ça ?, I asked them. Il faut vous rendre à l'hôpital tout de suite, they said gravely. They told me just to call my cousin and give her the news, so that she could in turn tell my mother.



When I got somebody on the phone at my cousin's number, the person spoke French and there were several other French voices that I could hear in the background. It was CHM on the phone. Comment se fait-il que vous parlez français, I asked him. J'appelais ma cousine.Et bien, on est au bureau, comme tous les jours à cette heure-là, he said. Où es-tu, d'ailleurs ? I didn't have time to explain everything, so I just said I'd call back when I could and fill him in.



A nurse was then pushing me in wheelchair through the streets of Paris out to the airport at Roissy, north of the city. I told her that, unfortunately, I needed to pee. She told me to run find a toilet and to hurry back. The first public toilet I found, the door was locked. The second had a En Dérangement sign on the door. The third was flooded, with ankle-deep water on the floor. I ran frantically from one place to another around Les Halles in Paris — frantically not because I had to pee so bad but just because the nurse was going to wonder what had happened to me if I didn't return soon. I never did find a toilet.

I wonder what this woman sitting in a Paris laudromat was dreaming about.

The nurse had by then disappeared so I had to walk all the way to Roissy. Of course I got lost. The weather was beautiful, and I was walking on some kind of footpath lined with pretty trees and high stone walls. The farther I went, the surer I was that I had taken a wrong turn and was on the wrong path. Just when I was about to turn back, I arrived at a small hangar of some kind and there was the nurse waiting for me with the wheelchair. That's when I woke up.

Included in this post are a few photos of things and places that I might have seen in Paris... in my dreams.

31 comments:

LaPré DelaForge said...

Wow! That is one vivid dream!!
Your brain was really working overtime at the filing....
I like the idea of a BlaBla bar...
all talk, no muzak, no games machines going bing-bing...
and your next Bla-bla car will be waiting outside...
to take you to the airport at Roissy.
Welcome back to the Touraine!!

potty said...

Fancy remembering all that detail. I don't think the woman is dreaming - I think it's the mobile phone and texting that has her attention.

chm said...

What a dream! Our conversation on the phone earlier in the day may have, in part, been coming back to you.

While we are sleeping, the brain activity is something absolutely fantastic, because it connects events that have no obvious relationship in time, but were important to us to some extent when they happened, and makes these delirious dreams.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

i love that last pic just fantastic. and ha! i used to have stress dreams about being in the CDG airport. i hope you get much more restful sleep tonite.
:-)

ladybird said...

Vivid dream memories indeed! A couple of nights ago I dreamt of hamsters (yes, the little cute rodents). Anyone any idea of what that stands for? Freud would have been delighted, I guess. Same goes for your dream :) Martine

Seine Judeet (Judith) said...

Holy cow, that's one amazing dream. And, it's amazing that you remember it all so well. Yikes!

NotesFromAbroad said...

You must have been exhausted when you woke up ! :)
An amazing dream, thankfully, I am not dreaming lately ... I can do without them for a while.
Have a dreamy day ~

Evelyn said...

Very nice dream with photos for us! I have vivid dreams around the equinoxes. Dreams are forever mysteries and links to who knows what- Freud tried to guess I suppose. Your hospital one has ties to your recent experience for sure- I think our dreams destress us somehow. Dream on...

The Beaver said...

An interesting dream which could be the basis of a prologue should you decide to write a novel, one day, which would include both NC and France ( may be during one of those winter months)

Ordinary J said...

Dreams don't make sense. I have weird dreams all the time. Recently I have a dream about Donald Trump asking me in Cantonese if I would like to work with him on solving America's illegal immigrant crisis. That was a very bizarre dream but not the most bizarre I've had.

Diogenes said...

The part about the public toilets is heysterical. It rings true.

"Blabla" is quite an interesting tongue in cheek name for a little bar.

NotesFromAbroad said...

Do you always remember your dreams so clearly ? My husband, upon me telling him yet another dream of mine, was shaking his head and saying he never remembered his dreams and never as clearly if he did.
This was pretty great .. Not quite too tense or scary but a little tension :) you told it well too.
the lady in the laundromat is planning what to make for dinner tomorrow night when friends come over. She is waiting for the wash to be finished so she can go home and relax and watch tv.

Ken Broadhurst said...

No, I don't always remember dreams. Usually I do only when I wake up with a start right at the end or in the middle of one. I just sat down and typed out what I remembered really fast yesterday morning without giving myself time to second-guess it.

Ken Broadhurst said...

The Donald speaking Cantonese. Now that was a dream!

Ken Broadhurst said...

Yes, it is true. Finding a toilet in Paris is always a challenge. Usually you have to go drink something in a café to earn the right to visit the facilities. But that kind of defeats the purpose, if you see what I mean. I liked the Blabla Blabla name too.

Ken Broadhurst said...

I wish I had the discipline and sense of organization that writing a novel would require. But I don't, so snippets are my game.

Ken Broadhurst said...

Yes, maybe the moon or sun had something to do with that dream, or the end of jet lag as I believe. Lots of realities, recent and older, are tied up in what I was dreaming about.

Ken Broadhurst said...

I wasn't exhausted at all. I was buzzing with energy. I feel tired today.

Ken Broadhurst said...

: ^ )

Ken Broadhurst said...

Yikes is right. I enjoy dreaming about Paris, though, no matter how bizarre the dream is.

Ken Broadhurst said...

Yes, our phone conversation was in the dream, I think, but transposed to 30 or more years ago when we worked together in D.C. It's rare for me to remember a dream so clearly.

Ken Broadhurst said...

You are probably right about the lady of the laundromat.

Ken Broadhurst said...

I posted about the Touraine today for the first time since my return. Settling in...

Ken Broadhurst said...

CDG airport doesn't especially stress me out, though I do experience a lot of stress around air travel. I guess that was showing through in the dream. I've never flown in a helicopter, however.

LaPré DelaForge said...

Ken, I read a sci-fi novel where every chapter was either one or two pages long...
with just a few that went to three or four... no more
everything linked and it read just fine...

C in California said...

Wonderful post Ken! Dreams are such fun, linking various parts of our psyche together. Glad that you are back at home, and in the correct time zone.

chrissoup said...

I cant think of a thing to say, but I sure enjoyed reading that! (And the comments too.)

Ellen said...

May I "take" your picture of St. Jean "des briques"? I just did a walking tour of Montmartre with my nephew on Wednesday, but the weather was so, so lousy -- cold and wet -- I didn't take many pictures. That would have meant taking off my gloves and my fingers were just too cold for that!

Ken Broadhurst said...

Of course you can take it. It was cold and windy when I was up at Montmartre on Feb. 15, but dry at least.

Ellen said...

Thanks, Ken.

Mary07 said...

Et bé, tu as de ces rêves. .. 😉 !!! Je suis d'accord avec M ou Mme Castor/The Beaver... ☺ Ecris-nous un bouquin 😊