Dec 15, 2006

Champagne Wishes and Lariam Dreams

I started taking Lariam in preparation for our trip to India because it seems to be the only anti-malarial drug that's not contra-indicated in pregnancy. I was warned, however, that it's got some "neurological side effects." What? "Vivid" dreams, they told me. If you do a little internet research, you'll find stronger words than vivid and some people claim it makes them moody, anxious or depressed. Needless to say, I wasn't thrilled about launching into a world of self-induced mental instability, but this little part of me was curious about what kind of dreams I might have...

I took one pill so far - you're supposed to take them once a week, from a week or two in advance of your trip through four weeks following your return. Some people notice that they only have weird dreams the first night after they take it. I started my course on Wednesday morning. Here's an account of the dreams so far, and I'll try to post others if they happen!

Wednesday night: I dreamed about a completely ordinary subject, but it is interesting to note that I remembered my dream, which hasn't been happening a lot lately. This time, the dream was about travel - we were going somewhere, couldn't find our passport, were late for the flight, and all the usual hectic travel anxiety. The only memorable detail besides all that was that we boarded some type of large commercial plane, like an AirBus type. We entered through the cockpit, where a white shag rug was laid out on the floor, and walked back into the first room of the plane. In it, instead of regular plane seats, there were card tables and folding chairs set up. I made some comment that we should go farther back to get a real seat, since clearly the folding chairs were gonna fly all over the place. We went into a different room, and it was all the same - folding and plastic patio chairs. I had a bad feeling about that flight... FIN.

Thursday night: This one was better. I dreamed that I was in 30th Street Station, or at least it was supposed to be 30th St. but only somewhat resembled that particular Deco/Neoclassical train station. It's one of those cavernous spaces, like Grand Central's main waiting room. Anyway, someone had discovered old wallpaper under the existing wall finishes, and had begun stripping off the top layer to reveal the wallpaper underneath. It turned out to be not just any old wallpaper, but huge full-sized floor-to-ceiling images of -- of I don't know what, some kind of phantasmagorical people, giant heads and faces, I suppose of some historical characters. But it was really detailed and really impressive. All of a sudden, I wasn't really in the station anymore, but rather in some other place like a shopping mall, and this time I was very clearly inside some kind of adventure video game. It was called "World of Warcraft," but I know what WoW looks like and this was NOT THAT. It was very eerie, I was playing cards with someone who I knew was trying to kill me, so I reminded myself to "save the game" in case I got killed. There was a moment where I was flat on my stomach trying to shoot some coins across the floor and knock over some other coins - don't know why, but it had to do with saving my life. Something shifted and I was ballroom dancing with a person whose shadow alternated between blue and red - it was an indicator of his temper/temperament. Finally, I had a gun and it shot bits of light - I was firing it at others, trying to take them down even though they were all shooting at me. I knew I was a goner and would have to start the game over. As my character pooped out, Julia Toth from high school came out and accused me of trying to kill her baby. I remember thinking that was ironic, since I'm the one who's supposed to be protecting a baby.


Blogger Spungen opined...

I had to take Lariam when I went to South Africa. I wasn't aware there was a choice for people in the U.S., although some British co-travelers told us they had something else that didn't cause those side effects. (Sounded something like "Malerone," as I remember.)

I did not have any particularly bizarre dreams. Probably hard to tell when you're watching for it though. Are what you described any different than your normal dreams? I did feel the moodiness, though -- it felt a bit like the way I feel before my period.

2:16 AM  
Blogger Amanda opined...

Be sure to ask Zach about the statue seller one day. He was somewhere on the continent of Africa. I forget where, but dude had a row of statues. Carved wood. Woman with baby. Child with giraffe. they all had names, more or less descriptive. And Zach, as you can imagine, was grilling him about the names of the statues. So then he gets to the end and there is this four headed person with a snake wrapping around it and all kinds of nightmare scariness and Zach says "woah. What do you call this one?" and dude says "oh, this is called Lariam, this carving."

8:46 AM  
Blogger AEW opined...

I consistently had bizarre and memorable dreams when I was pregnant, so perhaps the presence of your little pea is contributing to the effects of the Larium. And maybe little pea is having crazy dreams, too. Feel any stirrings?

3:24 PM  
Anonymous Rev Dr Marla LaRue opined...

Dear Dreamer,
Yes, pregnancy can cause vivid non-sensical dreams.
When I was pregnant, I had dreams that amused me.
With Lariam enhancing your dreams, you sure have your mind full.
I am concerned because during pregnancy, the child's mind is open to impressions it receives from the mother and an infant's nerve system is developing at that time. So you want to stay calm and don't worry about your dreams.
The dreaming mind works over time when we sleep and sometimes the dreams we have are just our mind's way of 'cleaning house' - and getting rid of residual thought forms and resolving thought processes - not always, but sometimes.
Trust your intuition in knowing what your dreams mean.
A "woman with child" could have dreams with an entirely different meaning than that of a woman who is not pregnant.
I wish you pleasant sleep dear One.
many blessings,

5:00 AM  

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