Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Interesting Dreams ...

So one of the side effects I heard about years ago regarding anti-malarials (and that's what Plaquenil is) is that they can cause very vivid nightmares.

Pretty much since I started Plaquenil this round, I've had what I'd describe as really vivid dreams, but I haven't really had a nightmare exactly. The dream I had this morning could easily have been a nightmare, but for some reason, I wasn't at all upset about it, either in my dream or when I woke up.

I suspect it was partially triggered by my paging through my senior year high school yearbook after I got a friend request on Facebook from a name I didn't recognize but someone who listed themselves as a 1985 graduate of Niles North High School in Skokie, IL., which was my graduating class.

Turns out there were three Dawns in my graduating class, and I'm still not sure which one this person is because she's apparently using her married name on Facebook and hasn't replied yet to my message asking for her maiden name.

Anyway, in my dream, I first found myself waiting naked in a long line at a mall store trying to return a formal dress that my mother had bought for me that was the wrong size. Nobody else was naked, just me, but it somehow didn't seem unusual or embarrassing. They accepted the dress back, but because I didn't have my mom's credit card with me, they couldn't process the return. Somehow, I left there without the dress but with the receipt that didn't show I'd returned the dress. I started to turn back to get the dress, but the store was so mobbed and I didn't feel like standing in line again, so I just left.

For some reason, I stopped by Niles North on my way home. Here, I was wearing a trench coat, but nothing underneath it. I found all my classmates standing in this long, long line that twisted throughout the school and when I asked what was going on, they told me they were practicing for the graduation ceremony. I stopped to chat briefly with a few old friends, but mostly kept repeating, "How could I have forgotten about graduation? Shouldn't they have told me about it?" A classmate (Mike Kaplan, who I haven't seen since 1985 I don't think!) told me that I was supposed to have filed a form applying for graduation (more of a college thing than a high school thing!) and that I better find Dr. Hosler, the principal, fast.

I finally found Dr. Hosler, but not until I'd run into Mr. Mitchell, who taught me flute in grade school and junior high and conducted for the school bands, and stopped to say hello to him. I haven't seen him since 1980 or '81and he definitely wasn't in my high school yearbook so I'm not sure what triggered a memory of him!

Anyway, Dr. Hosler told me that one of my teachers, Dr. Holstein (my absolute favorite college prof), had said there was a problem with either my coursework or my attendance in his class but that if I went to him and apologized, I could probably get everything straightened out.

So then I had to weave my way through my high school classmates, stopping here and there to chat with people I haven't seen since my actual high school graduation, and finally got to the auditorium where all the teachers were sitting alongside the stage and watching.

I found Dr. Holstein finally, after greeting some of my favorite high school teachers, who all wanted me to stop and chat like they hadn't seen me in years and years. (Which is true, but wouldn't have been if I was about to graduate ... )

I approached Dr. Holstein and told him that Dr. Hosler had told me I needed to talk to him and owed him an apology. "I'm not sure exactly what I've done wrong, but I'm really sorry if I neglected my classwork," I said. "I've been really sick lately -- the doctors think it might be lupus -- and my memory is really poor these days. Will you tell me what I did wrong?"

He told me I hadn't showed up to my final, and although I had an "A" going into the final, he couldn't pass me without the exam.

"But ... but ... No one told me about the final! It wasn't on the class syllabus! When was it? Can I make it up, even if it's just for half credit?"

Dr. Holstein allowed as to how we could work it out and that he would give his approval for me to participate in graduation but let me take the test afterwards.

In some ways, I'm not surprised Dr. Jay Holstein (a rabbi, but he used the Dr. title at school, if I'm recalling correctly) showed up in a dream because I recently got a newsletter from the University of Iowa saying that he had been named to a newly endowed chair in the School of Religion. (I was a double major in journalism and religion. The second degree came about mostly because I took one of Holstein's classes my first semester for general-ed requirement and liked him so much as a prof that I signed up for all his classes over the next couple years. By junior year, I realized that I only needed two religion classes outside of the ones Holstein taught to get a second major, so I went ahead and did so.) Anyway, I'd been hoping since then to find an email address for him so I could send him a note of congratulations, but haven't gotten around to it.

But overall, it was a really strange dream, combining several parts of common nightmares -- being naked in public, forgetting to show up for an exam, missing graduation because you forgot about it -- but through all of it, I was never panicky or upset. Although I did get frustrated with the store return experience, I was mostly excited to see all these faces of people I liked during high school but haven't seen since.

I wonder if that means I should actually try to make it to my 25th reunion in a few years. I've never attended one, but maybe this dream means I should try to get back for the next one.

Anyway, just wanted to share the one side effect of Plaquenil that I've actually been rather enjoying since normally I don't remember my dreams. (I had very vivid dreams during pregnancy too ... I wonder if it's a hormonal thing and Plaquenil is affecting one or some of the same hormones pregnancy does? It's probably just another weird coincidence though. :)


Shari said...

I have had a similar reaction in the past to this and other meds. (Mostly pain medication or muscle relaxers) I do tend to wake up and remember every little detail. The whole thing is abnormal considering that I usually never get enough sleep or sleep deep enough to even enter into a dreaming state.

Sherril said...

I hate those naked dreams!

I don't remember dreaming much at all, a side effect of my meds, and that kind of bothers me. Dreams are supposed to be good for us, allowing the subconscious to become conscious or something like that... I've definitely had some dreams that enlightened my life.

Anonymous said...

I've been having "intense" dreams since starting Plaquenil the 18th of May and always distressing. In this dream last night (or this morning, really) I was with my husband and some other people I knew professionally in the country. There seemed to be some sort of big event with a lot of people all of whom were strangers to me. I think we were going to eat someplace there - it was sort've primitive like a country fair. I never knew what the gathering was about, though. I somehow became separated from my husband and friends (some of whom are dead in real life) and had to use the restroom. I found something with regular plumbing and used it but when I went to get dressed I had bare feet, the cement floor was covered with water (fluid of some kind) and I realized there was human waste floating around. I was trying desperately not to step in it - it was very disturbing. It seemed like later I was trying to find some of those disposable little handi-wipes like you use to clean your hands to wipe my feet. Perhaps part of it was because Sun. aftn. I was walking through my back yard (real life) barefoot and accidentally stepped in something my dog had left behind.

Because I'm so afraid of drug reactions (I've had many bad ones) I chose to start it at 50 mgs once at night. It was prescribed for serro negative rheumatoid arthritis although my Lupus test was slightly high - not high enough to be Lupus though.