Dream of the Month (March 1998)
Dr. Holloway's Comments:
When someone swallows an inanimate object in a dream, the implication is that they have taken in or absorbed something, such as a thought or feeling, that they cannot "digest" or make sense of in their ususal way. In the setting of visiting her sick friend, this dreamer seems to have taken in an idea, a flash of something, as represented by the flashlight, which doesn't serve her.
Many times dreams contain puns that carry symbolic meaning. The six cell batteries probably stand for "sick cells," and in fact the D cells may also stand for "death cells." This does not portend doom for friend, it merely shows how encounters with mortality, illness and suffering register on deep levels. Furthermore it is likely that what the dreamer "swallowed" and cannot stomach has to do with both her empathy for her friend's suffering, and the specter and intimidation that the idea of cancer wields.
The physician who keeps putting off giving her his full attention may represent her conscious reactions during and after her visit. It is natural to keep our reactions and feelings in check when we want to "be there" for someone else. The easy tendency then is to keep postponing our own need to process what we've been through. This dreamer needs to have a bit of support herself, to release some of the heaviness and help embrace the feelings she wants to keep from this experience.