Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Nocturnal Weirdness

Ever have a dream that makes you think about reality? I had one this morning before I woke up that was really strange.

I dreamed that I was working a shift in Goffstown and was called for a person who fell. Arrived on scene, found a female of unknown age lying flat on her back in her bedroom. On one side of her bed was an electric wheelchair and on the other side a Hoyer lift. Her caregiver was there with her.

Apparently the patient had slipped out of the sling on the lift and fell to the ground. No loss of consciousness or even of apparent injury. Patient was able to talk with us; she told us the caregiver guided her to the ground from a height of about two feet, give or take.

In the dream, the patient was a quadriplegic. And the question that I woke up with was whether or not this patient needed to be placed in full immobilization to protect her cervical spine.

In a situation where I was awake and something like this occurred, I’d take my chances with the ED doc laughing at me - I’d be cautious and probably would immobilize this patient. First, even though said patient is a quadriplegic (and in this dream she was paralyzed from the upper chest down with no sensation to her arms below the elbow) I would still want to protect her cervical spine from the potential of further insult. With someone this compromised, there is no way to know if other things have happened that could have brought on shifting of her vertebrae.

But dreams do funny things sometimes. One of the people I was with on the call is a Paramedic I know whose skills are pretty good but her judgment is sometimes questionable. In real life I honestly don’t think even she would do this, but in the dream she was urging us not to board and collar this patient; she insisted it wasn’t necessary.

And how would she know this? Does she have X-ray vision?

I’d like some commentary from you all on this one. I know what the right answer is, but what does the dream mean? Any takers?

1 comment:

Karen Brook Westhaver said...

Hard to keep this in the form of a "comment". In brief, dreams are always about us in one way or another. I could write a whole lot, but will try to keep this under control :) In our subconscious, dreams are a way of expressing something we're wary of dealing with in *real* life, or are something we're *working on* even subconsciously as our brain never sleeps. It would be hard to be this patient, helpless, other people making decisions, hopefully decisions similar to how you would make them rather than someone with lesser judgement. Also an element of it could be considered a stress dream...you're working TONS! Here you are asleep, and you're still working...sadly you won't be paid for this particular call :-)More offline if you'd like. Intriguing dream, though! With your blazing intellect, Walt, I'd expect nothing less :-) [Not to say brilliant, big thinkers don't also have humdrum or just fanciful dreams....we all have to play sometimes, even if it's just in our dreams].