A Dream

Today we celebrate Teresa’s 55th birthday. As I always used to take a day off from work to do something special with her, so I did this time. We usually went on a hike to the mountains. Today it came to my mind to write down a dream I had about one and a half years ago with Teresa playing the leading role. I should say that I am dreaming of her very rarely. In addition, after waking up I have either very fragmented memories of my dream or I even do not recall at all what I have dreamt. This is the dream I had in January 2016:

I dreamt of Teresa the other day. In my dream I visited her in hospital. She seemed to be doing quite well actually, and we spoke about going out for lunch. Then a nurse joined us and asked Teresa to follow her to a different room. She said it will only take a short while, but then both of them were gone for a longer time and I began to worry. Eventually, I decided to look for Teresa.

Soon after, I heard loud voices. When I finally found Teresa I realised the nurse was yelling at her. Hearing this, I rebuked her and told her she is not allowed to yell at my wife. However, the nurse reacted very aggressively, and so I tried to push down her hands. As she appeared to be very strong, she resisted and we struggled with each other for a while. The situation was very difficult, and Teresa took advantage of this short moment to pass by me and rescue herself. When I knew Teresa was safe, I let up on the nurse. After this undelightful experience, Teresa and I went to another hospital.

In the other hospital, Teresa had a very small room. At first, she had problems with unlocking the door with her key. She eventually managed to open the door so we could get in. Then we discussed our plans to meet for lunch frequently. I had to cry all the time and told her how happy I was because of her. However, Teresa replied it does not look like I am happy. If I were happy I would not cry without interruption. This answer caused me to feel even unhappier, and I had to cry even more.

Then I asked her about her lymph nodes. Teresa said everything was much better already, and the cancer was not so obvious any more. Of course, she continued, there is not much to be seen, since the cancer is hidden inside of the body. Anyway, after hearing this, I felt great hope that she would be able to recover at last. Together we searched for a place where we could have lunch, but at first we found nothing convenient. There were only shops for household goods and similar stuff, no restaurants.

At this point I woke up. What could be the meaning of this dream? I imagine the nurse represents the academic medicine Teresa deeply distrusted. She found a refuge from academic medicine at a small clinic south of Pirmasens in the Palatinate Forest. There she was given hope for recovery which hope however – as we all unfortunately know – eventually did not come true. On our wedding day, February 12, 2014, we went on a date for dinner for the last time. On a very winding road, we drove across the nearby border to France. I had to drive extremely carefully to not let Teresa feel sick. When we returned to the clinic, however, she felt very weak and eventually had to vomit. At that time I did not realise it, but it has been our last date, and she had been very valiant.

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