When Maggie was small she spent a lot of time on the floor. She loved to get out of her chair and to wiggle around on the floor. She moved so much and she eventually figured out how to get to a specific thing that piqued her interest. It might take her 15 minutes to propel herself to the other end of the carpet, but she didn't care. Maggie was persistent in her attempts and was extremely joyful when she reached her goal - which was more often than not my open purse or a briefcase or something. She flung the contents every which way.
Maggie was never alone for more than about 30 seconds. There were too many dangers for her, even before she got the trach. She could flip over to her stomach and not be able to flip back causing breathing issues, she could get stuck against some furniture and be unable to move, she could catch her gastrostomy tube and she tried to move about. (whenever she caught the tube she made a specific face - kind of a combination of surprise and grimace. The boys quickly named that her "tube face." When they were little if they were watching her, I would hear "Hey mom, tube face" and I would know to come running to reposition her.)
Last night I had a vivid dream about those days. Maggie was out of her chair and moving about. I stepped out of the room for a minute and when I returned she wasn't there. I looked under the couch and under all the chairs and could not find her. Panic was rising even in my dream - I was getting increasingly frantic as I looked all around the room for her. Of course the room was full of strangers in my dream but no one could tell me where she had gone. I was insistent that she could not have gone far because it took her so long to get anywhere and I was gone less than a minute. No one could answer. Her chair was sitting there empty and I was freaking out. Slowly it dawned on me in my dream that she was gone. Somehow I had forgotten that she was gone and I was looking and looking for her. Panic was replaced by immense sadness.
Then I woke up.
note to my subconscious: Cut it out. Losing her was the hardest thing ever imaginable. I don't need to do it over and over again.