Sunday, March 2, 2008

Temporal Displacement and Vivid Dreaming

One of the joys of being an elder is the opportunity to try new medications. I managed for decades to avoid any prescriptions but finally my borderline hypertension needed some tweaking. After reading about what high blood pressure can do and seeing stroke effects in my own family, I was only too willing to join the rest of my pill popping generation. Thankfully I only need low dosages of Enalapril and Hydrochlorothiazide. Enalapril was developed by clever folks who found a way to utilize Brazilian viper toxin secrets.... that impressed me greatly.

Of course all medication has side effects and as an aficionado of Google I had a great time reading about all the possible side effects of these drugs. Buried deep in the list is something called "vivid dreaming". I missed this on the first pass, instead developing a psychosomatic "dry cough" which was totally self induced (and quickly dissipated). However my dreaming has taken on a more realistic presence. I'm begging to feel like Billy Pilgrim who became "Unstuck in Time" in Kurt Vonnegut's novel "Slaughterhouse Five". It's a weird sensation when dreams seem to blend into reality. Since dream time flow differs from waking time, there is a slight time shift. It seems to be a harmless phenomenom because I attempt to live a uneventful stress free life and have uneventful stress free dreams. Or pehaps I may be experiencing a placebo effect. I cannot imagine how either of these drugs can have psychotropic qualities. I like to know how things work.

In a recent episode of ABC's LOST, our hero Desmond has a few problems with temporal displacement. He had it really bad, and that's the kind of thing that happens to folks on that island. The show did capture the feeling of jumping into different times and it does give a sense of what vivid dreaming feels like, being here and there at the same "time".

Why this posting? It's one in a series of "musings" but perhaps a helpful reader can give me some insight about the biological mechanism. In the meantime I'm hoping to graduate to "Lucid Dreaming"... that would be even cooler!

Pleasant dreams
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