Last night I had my most scary night ever.It all started pretty normally: I try to stay awake until at least ten, in an effort not to be awake in the early hours of the morning. I went to sleep, as usual saving the sleeping pill for the tir when I usually wake up- about 1 or 2am.

This time I must have had a prolonged, intense nightmare. i won’t bore you with the details, which I still remember with frightening clarity. Suffice it ended with me fighting for my life against villainous murderers, yelling without avail for help (no doubt emitting the sort of yelps Poppy does when chasing chickens in her dreams). I woke with sudden violence to find myself standing by the bed, trembling violently and sobbing. How did I get there? Did I fight off the murderers with both arms? Certainly my left arm and shoulder were numb – no pain, nothingness.

Fearing I had damaged my shoulder, I rang the bell. It was my favourite night nurse, Amandine, who had already rescued me one night when I needed to have a break from the thoraco. She assured me that I had not managed to move the thoraco in my struggles, so all should be OK. We walked along the corridor for ten minutes to help me recover from the tram, then she gave me some pills to calm – assuring me they were sourced from natural plants and not yet more chemicals. Amazingly I slept, though in the morning the nightmare was still hovering over me.

The doctor is going to review my medication, but all a bit mysterious as I have had no morphine for over two weeks, was assured the painkillers and anti inflammatories did not provoke nightmares, and I had not yet taken the sleeping pill.

Even during the night, this reminded me of Tish, our grandmother’s, experience when aged 80 recovering from a broken hip. Dad got a call from her in the early hours of the morning saying the BOSS (South African secret police – this was in the late sixties) were coming to get her, but she was going to escape by the window. Dad told her to hang on and he would help her escape, and then quickly rang the hospital to get them to rescue his mother in law!

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