Saturday, March 18, 2006

When Scary Things Go Beyond Bump in the Night

Something terrifying happened to me the night before last. While sleeping I think I felt this incredible pain. I believe I might have been having another bad dream. The pain increased and I briefly awoke (half conscious really) to find myself practically biting off my dang tongue!

I am not sure if I even fully woke up or thought I was still dreaming. I vaguely recall the realization that the pain was caused by my teeth ferociously knawing at that big piece of tissue that helps us form speech. However, I did not get up at all. I just fell back to sleep or rather kept sleeping.

I had forgotten about it when I woke up. To my surprise when I looked in the mirror to inspect my eyes, I found dried blood on my lips! Confused and startled for a moment, I felt a little soreness on my tongue and just barely remembered the tongue incident. I opened my mouth to find some more blood and a definite sore/blood clot indicating my tongue had been bitten.

My first thought was shock that I even bit my tongue. Never before in my life have I ever injured myself in my sleep! My second thought was "What if I actually bit my tongue off? How long could the tissue survive in order to be attached? How much time would I have had? If that happened could my tongue be saved with no speech impediment consequences?"

I have to admit that I found the event rather horrifying and was afraid to go to sleep last night but ended up falling asleep on the couch while reading an ALDA (Association for Late Deafened Adults) article. Yesterday morning and afternoon I was in complete disbelief that this happened or the big question "WHY?". Are there other people who have done the same or is this just a rare occurance?

My first hypothesize was that maybe I was having a terrifying nightmare in which biting my tongue was involved. You on the show "24" or about some CIA operative being tortured. Maybe I was an operative or agent and was being tortured to the point that I bit my tongue. Or, maybe I got really hungry and subconsciously thought my tongue was some juicy morsel.

My worst fear that entered my mind during my morning commute is that maybe I had a seizure. How scary! I will never know the answer.

Of course being a deep person, I had to analyze the situation and configure a meaning behind it. Most deaf people (born deaf) do not speak. I, on the otherhand, can speak a great deal and over the past couple weeks I have felt the weight of conflict with my category of deafness. Perhaps allegorically, I felt that I should speak less and sign more to become more fluent. Thus, my subconscious was thinking I should hold my tongue while my body literally reacted in a dream state by trying to bite the darn thing off!