When she finished, I started to calm down until I saw one of the residents looming over me with a pair of defibrilator pads. He said, "CLEAR" and hit me just as I began to ask, "Isn't it dangerous to use those on someone whose heart is still beating?" I flatlined, and I freaked out so much about flatlining that the next thing I knew I was standing by the table, looking at my body, and trying to convince my doctor that something had to be wrong.
"Of course you're not dead," she insisted. "If you were, I couldn't be talking to you now."
I pointed out the atonal drone of the EKG as though that were more convincing than my being able to point to my unoccupied body. We argued while nurses pounded brightly colored pegs into my body "to immobilize it" for the surgery. Soon, there was a Code called somewhere else in the ER, and the whole staff left to tend to the emergency.
I stood there in disbelief, and realizing that no one was coming back and that the dream couldn't possibly come to any positive conclusion, I forced myself to wake up.