Friday, February 24, 2017

My sleeping brain at play

I dreamed I was in England, helping out in Roger Daltrey's workshop where he builds strange motorcycles, scooters and engine-powered chariots. (If he doesn't actually do that when he's not performing, he should.) Somehow, I sliced my thumb—to the bone—in the spot shown in this photo.

It didn't hurt or bleed. It just tingled and weeped a bit of clear fluid. "Oh," I said, examining the cut carefully, "this is worse that I thought. I should probably get medical attention."

Roger and his assistants looked at the cut and winced. "Oooo, yeah, that's bad. We'll run you to the hospital." I kept my thumb bent to keep the cut closed.

After a V8-powered chariot ride to the hospital, a very nice lady doctor also winced. "Oooo, yeah, that's bad. We might need to do a thumb transplant. Your American insurance would cover that, right?"

"Well, you see," I replied, still holding my thumb bent to keep the cut closed, hoping it would heal itself like any other cut, "I've been living off the grid, with no insurance."

"That's a problem, because this could cost about two million dollars."

"Oh, wait, I have Medicare now."

Then I woke up.

For a few seconds my dreaming brain argued with my not-fully-conscious brain over whether my thumb was actually cut. My thumb was cramped because I'd been holding it bent in real life.

Once I determined everything was normal okay, I thought about the dream and what it would mean if something like that happened in real life. I know I exist out on the fringes, alone much of the time, walking a tightrope without much of a safety net. A major injury could be a serious problem. I'm kind of cavalier about it because what satisfactory and attainable alternatives do I have?

I went back to sleep and had another dream. Several of my real-life nomad friends and I had arrived at a new boondocking location. We each drove around looking for ideal spots. I followed a trail that snaked between trees, through pot holes and over boulders. I got to the type of terrain rock crawlers like. There was a narrow gap that led to a really nice spot.

"I can squeeze the Rolling Steel Tent through there," I told myself. "No problem."

Part way through, the trail dropped several feet and the van got high centered. And tipped to the side. And got wedged between the boulders. There was no way I would be driving out. They wouldn't be able to pull or winch me out either. It would take a crane to lift me—if a crane could even get close enough. I was screwed.

Then I woke up.

Clearly, my dream brain had a general theme going last night.

Okay, what would I do if the Rolling Steel Tent wrecked? Well, insurance would help cover the cost of replacement. And I could salvage a lot of stuff, or at least the basics. Maybe. Where would I live until I got a replacement? Who could I count on for help?

Before Lou and I headed in different directions earlier this month, he said, "If anything happens, call me. I'll come, no matter where you are." He's an excellent friend. I wonder if he knows anyone with a crane. Or a spare thumb.


  1. So do you have Medicare or are you self-insured (no insurance)? I spend a ton of money on an individualized plan and never go to the doctor. If I gave up my insurance, I'm confident that something terrible would happen to me, like needing a thumb transplant.

  2. Yes, I have Medicare now. I was without health insurance since 1999, except for one year, after which I realized I was paying over $7,000 a year so I could pay only $10 for a $550 annual checkup. So I'm used to flying uncovered.

  3. It's good to have a friend like Lou. I'm sure you would be that kind of friend for him too.

  4. I bet Roger Daltrey knows where to get a crane.

  5. You had to bring the thumb story up..Didn't you??..Way old memory..When I was a kid I thought it would be a swell idea to cut a piece of wire with a butcher knife...You see where this is going?..I had to ride my bike to the hospital and they wanted to know where my parents were..Another story..They put an intern at the U of Wa in charge..Don't know if we can save it he says...Screwed up his 2 tries.Then a real doc did the stitching for the 3rd time..Still said he didn't know if it would work...I do have my thumb today but I'll never forget...Use wire cutters....
    Lucky your's was only a dream...Another learning experience...

  6. 2008 No insurance. Had a terrible gut ache... Nice kindly Dr. says it's your appendix needs to come out...Like my old man always said "you win some you lose some." In fact his name is Lou named our second son after him...

  7. That was an entertaining read. Some of your posts are really good.