Apparently I’m stressed about something lately, because I keep having my current stress dream. The one that my brain defaults to now is this: I’m somehow called back to my former job as a hospitalist, taking care of sick kids in the hospital along with a team of residents and medical students. My dream brain somehow knows that I can’t do this job anymore, I don’t currently hold hospital privileges anywhere. As I maneuver through the complexities of the dream, I’m always slightly worried that someone will figure out that I can’t really be doing this anymore. But I’m never THAT worried because, hey, it’s their fault for putting me on the schedule!
In the dream I’m taking over a panel of patients that I know absolutely nothing about. Permutations of the dream involve my never having been to the hospital, not being able to log onto a computer, getting locked in the call room, falling asleep, or sitting down at 8 p.m. and realizing that I haven’t even begun to chart on any of the 32 patients on my service. Oh wait, that last one is an actual memory, never mind. Last night’s dream I added in an extra nuance of having to take care of one of my infant patients while working and someone misplacing the patient. You know, the usual. Occasionally I’ll have enough dreaming awareness and announce to everyone that I don’t actually work there anymore and walk away. Thank God for sentient dreaming.
The only other two worry dreams that I still have with any regularity are the “All the teeth have come loose in my jaw and I’m spitting them out like a character on Hee Haw” and “Back to High School.” The first one I can’t make sense of, but apparently I’m not the only one who has it. The second one always has a flavor of my subconscious reconciling the impossibility of that dream with the fact that it’s happening anyway. I have been sent back to high school because I’d registered for a class that I never bothered showing up for and never dropped, so my high school transcript is “incomplete” and this needs to be rectified. So I’m my 42 year old self, back in high school. I have the same locker, and of course most of the dream revolves around not remembering the combination or, if I do get into it, realizing that all of my school supplies aren’t there anymore. Shocking.
Last night I had a completely new worry dream, and I’m not sure what to make of it. I’m in a TV cooking show, and I’ve somehow progressed far beyond my abilities. This is more Top Chef than Worst Cooks in America. The other contestants are already plating and I haven’t even managed to locate a cutting board. So I woke up this morning with pressing need to do some relaxation. And organize the cupboards.