Invest in ME Conference 12: First Class in Every Way
OverTheHills wraps up our series of articles on this year's 12th Invest in ME International Conference (IIMEC12) in London with some reflections on her experience as a patient attending the conference for the first time.
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Are You Disabled in Your Dreams?

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS Discussion' started by Arius, Mar 10, 2016.

  1. I've been sick for over 1.5 years now, but I've realized that I am always able-bodied in my dreams. Does anybody else have this?

    In my dreams I can run, bike, and do all the things I could do before.

    It's as if my subconscious is operating with an old idea of who I am. Like a passport that hasn't been updated, or a webpage that hasn't been refreshed since new things were posted.

    I am wondering if I will always be able-bodied in my dreams, or if eventually the disability will creep in.
    L'engle, rosie26, Mary and 2 others like this.
  2. NL93

    NL93 Senior Member

    The Netherlands
    I've been sick for almost 5 years now. Usually i am completely healthy in my dreams.
    I once had a nightmare where i was set on fire and felt like dying and everyone around me completely denied that xD. Probably had something to do with being disbelieved when you're so terribly ill. Oh well :D
  3. Battery Muncher

    Battery Muncher Senior Member

    Both. Usually I start off able-bodied, but often I'll suddenly remember that I can't do certain things due to ME. A bit like lucid dreaming
    Mary, justy, L'engle and 4 others like this.
  4. *GG*

    *GG* senior member

    Concord, NH
    No, I had a crazy dream last night that I was skiing off cliffs and land on ground on the other side! Maybe I've seen this in a video game or something? Thought about it some more and was thinking, this would not be part of a ski Mtn. Your knee bums out on you and you wipe out off the cliff, game over, so to speak! (you die and there goes your customer!). I'm actually a snowboarder as well, haven't skied in over 15 years or so!

    Was tired and went back to bed, had to go to bathroom, and the thought was still in my head!

    Good morning (really afternoon) world!

    Mary and rosie26 like this.
  5. worldbackwards

    worldbackwards Senior Member

    Mary likes this.
  6. Effi

    Effi Senior Member

    I have both. I love the dreams where I am healthy.
  7. Old Bones

    Old Bones Senior Member

    The content of my dreams certainly changed after ME/CFS in a number of ways. In the early years, I frequently had dreams of extreme downhill skiing -- even more accomplished than I ever was in real life. I'd awake feeling exhilarated, and so proud of my abilities, until the reality of my situation hit. These days, more than 25 year post-diagnosis, I never dream of my previous active sporting life.

    My most common dreams (again, more so in the early years) involve impediments to getting where I need to go. Strangely, these impediments almost always involve water (eg. having to swim across a choppy lake to get home, or trying to climb a set of wet steps, slipping backwards, over and over again, while the rest of society rushes past me to reach the top without difficulty). My dreams also involve trying to get places along a risky path where I have to jump or climb distances that are just beyond my reach. I don't have this type of dream as often these days, but they definitely increase in frequency when I'm pushing beyond my limits.

    Again during periods when I'm doing too much, people from my past are prominent in my dreams. I have no idea why.

    The concept of being "disabled" doesn't feature in my dreams. But, the realization of having extreme challenges that others don't have does.
    L'engle, Mary, rosie26 and 1 other person like this.
  8. Mrs Sowester

    Mrs Sowester Senior Member

    I'm usually healthy in my dreams.
    Usually I'm working through a problem, but getting there. I seem to spend a lot of my sleep counting kittens and making sure they're not getting lost - cute but stressful!
    I do have health anxiety dreams, the most recent I'd bitten my tongue off but no one was worried because I could still talk. Not nice.
    Just read your post @Old Bones, water used to feature in my early ME dreams too, I'd be swimming through lake after lake and quite proud at how well I'd be swimming, but every tiny hair on my body would be covered in dirt and I'd worry about the germs.
    The working through problems dreams have become the norm since getting ill, don't remember them before.
    L'engle, JaimeS, rosie26 and 2 others like this.
  9. BurnA

    BurnA Senior Member

    I am the same. I have many dreams where I am cycling with my friends. Wake up so disapppointed!
    Mary likes this.
  10. hellytheelephant

    hellytheelephant Senior Member

    S W England
    I feel I am really at the coal face of the grieving process and my dreams reflect this. I either dream that I am lost and trying to navigate my way in a foreign country OR that I am well in my dream and then there is a certain point in the dream where my body won't do what I am telling it to. I get very anxious explaining to people in this type of dream what I am unable to do and say stuff like: ' I know I look alright, but I really can't walk'.

    I see these dreams as my mind helping to accept what is happening.
  11. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

    For quite a few years after I got ill I stayed healthy in my dreams. Now I'm normally ill. Last week I had a dream where I was healthy and able to run about, and I commented on how unusual and fun that was.
    SDSue, justy, L'engle and 3 others like this.
  12. Apple

    Apple Senior Member

    I dream about all kinds of crazy stuff. But yes, my crappy health often makes it into my dreamworld. I also find that if i'm feeling something whilst sleeping (like nausea, pain etc) then that will find it's way in there too.

    The dreams in which I am healthy and active, always make me super exhausted and sweaty when I wake up. Anyone else find that?
    Mary and rosie26 like this.
  13. geraldt52

    geraldt52 Senior Member

    That is exactly my experience. I've been sick, to one degree or another, for over 30 years now, and for many years that was not the experience in my dreams. I don't recall when the change was, maybe 8-10 years ago, but all my limitations are now as clear in my dreams as they are in real life.
    SDSue, justy, taniaaust1 and 2 others like this.
  14. daisybell

    daisybell Senior Member

    New Zealand
    What a fascinating thread! I am usually my ME self in my dreams now - and I often dream about feeling really unwell and then wake to find its true - which I hate! Sometimes I can do physical things for a short while in my dreams but I pay for them even then...
    I don't have any dreams in which I'm able-energy any longer....
    Mary and BurnA like this.
  15. u&iraok

    u&iraok Senior Member

    I've been sick for 11 years and I can only remember one dream where I was sick in it. Otherwise in all my dreams I am in my 20's and healthy, and have long hair like I did then. I have always had a lot of dreams and a lot of interesting, good dreams so dreaming is like an escape for me. I love being healthy in my dreams.
    L'engle, Mary, *GG* and 1 other person like this.
  16. Mij

    Mij Senior Member

    Interesting thread. I've had M.E for 25yrs and I've had many dreams where I am aware that I have M.E but I don't experience any symptoms. It's the strangest thing. I've had dreams where I'm working at my old work place and I'm waiting to start feeling fatigued or the need to lie down but it never happens. Or I will be hiking on trip and I get panicked because I think I won't be able to make it back but I never get fatigued.
    Mary, rosie26 and hellytheelephant like this.
  17. Aurator

    Aurator Senior Member

    I've had paralysis in one of my arms for thirty years following an accident. I'm in my fourth year of ME.

    Before ME I was always able-bodied in dreams and would be doing things like playing rugby (as I used to before my accident) or otherwise using my two arms normally. Now I have ME I dream as if I'm both able-bodied and fully well, so I enjoy a double delusion.

    Healthy and able-bodied children dreaming of being astronauts or pop megastars probably experience less of a delusion than I do when I just dream of rowing a boat on our local lake, playing a rugby match, or competing in a running race. Where I (and probably most PwME) outdo the children is that they don't yearn to be astronauts etc. as much as I yearn just to be well again.
    Mary likes this.
  18. rosie26

    rosie26 Senior Member

    I don't dream much these days but when I did I was usually active in my dreams, running or going somewhere or dreaming something unusual.
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2016
    Mary likes this.
  19. rosie26

    rosie26 Senior Member

    I don't think I have ever dreamt about my situation as someone with ME. After all these years you would think so. Unless I can't remember that I have.
  20. Mary

    Mary Forum Support Assistant

    Southern California
    fascinating thread - I've been crashing for 17 years and am usually well aware of it in my dreams, it factors in dreams as to whether I can do something or not, always the fear of overdoing it and crashing.

    I used to have recurring dreams about overflowing clogged toilets - pretty disgusting! but I figured it had something to do with toxins in my body. I haven't dreamed that for a long time I just realized, and I have not had detox problems for close to a year ---

    One time I dreamed about a VW bug (I used to own one years ago) and it was thoroughly caked in mud after a storm, all you could see was a vague round shape, but I got enough mud off to get into the car and cleared the window and it started right up! It was such an encouraging dream, it seemed to say that beneath all the crud and crap my body was still sound .....
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2016
    u&iraok and L'engle like this.

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