Partner of a Pilot
The Candid Diary of an Airline Pilot’s Girlfriend

Pilot Reduced Nightmares


Last night, I went to bed restless. I am not sure why. I struggled to get to sleep, probably because I was up too late on my new MacBook pro.  Bf rang me, and we chatted at about 1am, he was just about to go out to dinner after a hard afternoon’s shopping.  He hired a car down route and drove off to some radio controlled model shop to buy cheap parts for one some of his models… One of the perks of the country he is in at the moment is cheaper goods than here in the UK.  The downfall is the time zone difference.  He was just about to go for a night out at a Jazz bar with the captain, the hosties had all piled off to somewhere that neither of them fancied going.

He told me that he’d buzz me when he got back, if it was okay with me, to say goodnight.  After that, it took me over an hour to get to sleep.  When I eventually did, I ended up having horrible nightmares.  One that I remember vividly, is clearly a reflection on my anxieties about death and health issues surrounding my loved ones at the moment, and probably as a direct result of a little rumination about the news that my family friend was just diagnosed with pancreatic cancer… So here’s how it went:

I went into hospital for routine checks on my heart, and gave in a blood sample, then I went to collect the results after some time had passed (the details between are hazy).  The nurse checks my name and seems hesitant… She suggests taking another blood sample, and I tell her I hate needles, can they please check again. She looks down, and then concerned whispers to another nurse.  She returns, and informs me that she is sorry to inform me, but I have ‘blood disease’.  “What does that mean?” I ask. She tells me that they need to run further tests, and I press her for more detailed information, but she is reluctant… So I start to push more specifically, is it related to leukemia? I ask… She asks me if I came alone… I tell her, no, I have my children with me, and point over to the play area.  A pained expression appears on her face, as she asks me whether there is anyone that can come to help me look after them.

At that moment, I start to panic, and ask her again if it might be cancer related.  She doesn’t answer, and I repeat my question again… She says something along the lines of needing to admit me for more tests and asks if there is anyone that I might call to come and help out with the kids.  I look her in the eyes directly and say, ‘look, I know you cannot tell me yet what this is, but is cancer something you suspect it might be.’ The answer is simply ‘yes, we are not able to rule that out.’

The dream felt so real… I remember looking at the kids and feeling sick… What would happen to them if I died?  How often would the boys see their sister?  Who would bring the boys up if I died?  …Please God not my awful Ex!  Then I started to think who I could ask to help me with them and support me today?  Bf was on a trip, I couldn’t possibly worry him with the information when he had to operate a flight home in less than 24 hours… I couldn’t tell my mum, she’d lose the plot and fall apart after everything she’s been through recently… Dad is terminally ill himself, so I can’t tell him, it would finish him off and send him to an early grave!  I suddenly felt very alone, and very sick, but focussed on how this would affect all of the people I love so much.

Then, Bf saved me… He rang me and woke me up! Never in my life have I been so glad to be woken from sleep at 6am!  I still felt so nauseated that I could cry. I know it was a dream, and that blood disease is a stupid term that I made up in my head, but the panic, fear, and sorrow was extremely real, and I had a hard time banishing them, even though they made no sense now I had woken.  I told Bf all about the dream, and he was very sweet about comforting me, despite the fact that I know him well enough to know that his pragmatic pilot mind was probably thinking I was just being emotionally irrational.

It was nice to have a little verbal hug from him just as I needed it the most.  Thankfully, I was able to quickly drift-off again into a nice un-memorable dream.  Any way, must go to bed now, and have some sweet dreams. I have downloaded some nice sleep meditations from iTunes especially!

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5 Responses to “Pilot Reduced Nightmares”

  1. Reminds me of the new movie “Inception”.
    Should check it out!

    Btw – great blog!

  2. This is something that I can certainly empathise with as I have had similar health anxities since I was quite young. It is understandable considering all that you’ve been through recently, but perhaps if it continues some form of conselling my help you. That way it is less likely to be something that troubles you long term, I hope you feel better and are managing to get a good night’s sleep 🙂

  3. could you recommend any sleep meditations? Or on pm if you prefer? 🙂

    • Zoppiclone seams to be the doctor’s favourite sleeping tablet of choice in the UK (probably because the of the NHS funding system). However it leaves a nasty taste in my mouth and I find that Ambien (or Zolpidem) work better for me.

  4. Sorry I meant meditations not medications, lol! That info may come in useful though, thank you!
    I asked at my doctors a counsellor at my uni about mindfulness, they said it’s quite a new practice but thought it would be really helpful to me! Doesn’t seem to be anything in the area though unfortunately!


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