I have incredibly lucid dreams. Often I can smell, see my hands, wake myself up, and even feel things that are happening in the dream. It's a wild ride on any given night. It used to be that all I had were nightmares. That's not the case (most of the time) now. I used to write horror stories based off of my dreams. In 2013, they stopped being so scary as I learned how to re-direct them. Occasionally, I still wake up screaming or crying. But, most nights, they are just intense and I think about them for days at a time.
Friday night, I had a dream I owned a lioness. She was large, and I was living in the house I grew up in. She was sweet, and soft, and smelled like laundry detergent. I named her Leah. She often circled me in the dream, showing off her golden fur and curling her tail around my legs. But, randomly, she would attack me. The first time Leah clasped her jaw around my shoulder, I was scared and I could feel her breath on my back and the weight of her body collapsing on me on the floor of our dining room. The second time Leah attacked me, I realized she just needed to be soothed. So, while the people in my household screamed, I relaxed and petted her, shushing her in a calm voice. She quickly let go and nuzzled her nose into my ear, purring and begging for attention. The third time she attacked, I immediately soothed her. She took a little longer to calm down, but eventually she did. It was then I noticed she was peeing a little bit before she attacked. My lioness, had a UTI. I'm not even sure lions can get UTI's. But, that's what was upsetting Leah. She was in pain and lashed out in the best way my domesticated lion could: she acted like a beast. I soon woke up, but I could still sense her breath, smelled her lavender laundry soap scent, I could feel her soft fur, and see the lovely oranges that made up her coloring.
I thought about it for most of the morning, and even googled some of the meanings. Some of them applied, but really, all I thought Leah reminded me of was diabetes.
I hate the word control when it comes to diabetes. Some times, no matter how hard I do everything right, I have no control. I can manage some times and that feels like a more accurate description. Just as I could never control a domesticated lion, I can learn to soothe and figure out what the problem is by breaking the beast apart. Some times, it is a scary and terrifying monstrosity. Some times it is a frustrating fiend. Some times, I have a "room" of people stipulating what I should be doing to get the situation handled. Occasionally, it takes me taking a deep breath and relaxing to relax my wild, feral, titan. Other times, I rely on my devices, the Diabetes Online Community, and my plethora of doctors to know how to wrestle the giant.
I hear a lot, "it could be worse." This may be the worst thing to say to someone with any kind of chronic disease. Not that I would take cancer: I have seen too often, lately, what cancer is capable of. But if someone told you they had cancer, would you say, "It could be worse?"
After all, unlike my time with Leah the Lion, I am never waking up from this dream.