Monday, October 26, 2009

Lost: One Mind

Not a good day today!

I think I went to sleep last night in a bad mood and woke up this morning in one that was even worse.

And I can't even blame it on PMS!

Today, I was pretty much just ticked off at everyone, everything -the whole damned world, perhaps?

I had a doctor's appointment this afternoon and I thought maybe by the time I showered, got dressed and drove over for that appointment that might give my system time to settle down, smooth the mind a bit but even that didn't work.

As I walked back to the examining room, my doctor happened to poke her head out into the hallway from the staff's break room (they were just finishing up their lunches) and I told her then, "You just better brace yourself!"

I told the nurse as she was taking my blood pressure and that stuff that I was in the foulest of foul moods but that I really couldn't pinpoint what was causing it. So when the doctor came in the room about five minutes later she asked what was going on that brought this on and I told her too that I really wasn't sure but I really wanted to shake it as soon as I could as I really don't like feeling all mean, angry and very, very irritable.

We talked a while -quite a while, as a matter of fact - and after a few teary episodes, I was able to make some comments -using good old sarcastic humor - that did help provide a little release. Just not enough though.

There are things that I don't usually talk about -even with my kids -but that bother me though.

One of these, I addressed a tiny bit Sunday morning after church with a lady from our parish. I was going to get myself a cup of coffee and instead of reaching for the lever on the side of the coffee urn to "pour" the beverage into the cup, I started to grab hold of the lid on the top of the coffee maker. WTF? (No, I didn't say that but I was thinking when that happened what the heck are you doing, you fool?

So this lady and I were joking a bit then about getting rattled, confused, being forgetful -and for me, I find it really scary when I do get rattled like that.

Most of my family as well as many of my friends are always making comments about how I can remember all kinds of stuff from way, way back in time. And, as a general rule, that has usually been the case. But lately, I find myself unable to bring words to mind when I go to say something and even getting words mixed up when I am reading too. It's like the light bulbs in my mind are going dim at times and at other times, just plain burning out and in need of replacement.

Boy, do I wish that were possible though -don't you? I was thinking how neat i would be if somehow you could use some kind of micro sd and could just simply plug it into your brain and transfer information to little chips, put them into files then for future usage when needed and pop them in then.

Presto magic! Memory restored!

That way, if something like that were possible, I could have smallish size cards to store information like appointments I have -a mini-calendar as it were -so that I would never again forget when I have to see this doctor, go to this place or that, remember meeting dates for various groups I belong to at church, lunch dates and such.

Or, I could have another one that would hold only memories of important events, things my kids did, things my grandchildren have done too -one chip for each child, for each grandchild too. Never have to worry then about ever forgetting all the sweet and silly, or even serious, things that happen all the time within a family and which we usually rely on photographs or videos to keep those memories somewhat intact.

Why am I this concerned though -really -about the mix-ups now and again, about getting so darned forgetful?

There is a reason for that and it's primarily because a goodly number of family members have, as they aged, become senile. Some only somewhat, a few, to the extent of being very confused, not even recognizing other family members and to be very honest, that is the aspect about aging that does scare the absolute living daylights out of me!

The spring when I was diagnosed with cancer -six years ago now -I was having sessions usually twice a month for about 2 hours where I would go and talk to the minister we had at that time about all kinds of things that were bothering me -from the treatments I was getting then for the cancer to all kinds of other stuff.

I remember one session in which he and I got to talking about longevity and I had told him I wasn't necessarily all that interested in living a long, long life. Sure, it would be fine if that happened but only provided that my mind was still intact too -like a lady from our church who lived to be 102 and her mind was sharp up to the very end. Now that, I had told him, was the only way I wanted to live if I were to be blessed with a whole lot more years. I explained that I didn't want to be around if I didn't know my kids, my grandchildren, didn't even know perhaps who I was under circumstances like that then.

His response to me was this: "But Jen, if that were to happen to your mind, you wouldn't know that it had happened, therefore, you would still be happy!"

I suppose his theory does hold water there -at least to some degree. But I still don't want it to be like that.

I still want to have a clue as to what's going on around me.

How about you? How do you feel about those aspects that could impact your life?


Maggie May said...

As I age and get forgetful & sometimes the words come out wrong & I type things regularly back to front, I do often worry........ is this the beginning of some kind of dementia?

I think we would be fools, Jeni, if we didn't worry about an illness that is so common that it affects a huge chunk of the population.
I also know that there is a time, when the patient DOES know what is happening, because I have a friend who has it and for several years she has known what is happening to her. Really scary.

We just have to hope and pray that scientists will come up with something to stop this dreaded disease.

In the meantime, there really is no use in worrying unnecessarily. If things are OK today, then enjoy today.
You might be run over by a bus tomorrow and then you'd have wasted your last few days. Sorry that I can't come up with anything better than that really.
We are all in it together.........

Nuts in May

wendyytb said...

Hi Jenn

Don't sweat these small moments of forgetfulness or confusion. It happens to the best of us, I'm afraid. and often means nothing. We carry such a heavy burden at times...being strong for our family and friends. Most often these episodes are merely a sign of overload.

Remember to laugh at yourself!

Linda said...

I'm with Maggie May, I seem to be suffering from some form of mental dyslexia lately as I say things backwards a lot and also type things totally backwards even though know I thought it the correct way. This has been getting really, really frustrating and goes hand-in-hand with the other things you were mentioning - like doing something that you've done a thousand times the wrong way and not even realizing it.

Granted, I might not know that my mind is gone when it's gone but for now I definitely know it's starting to slip away and I don't like it one bit. Not at all.

Berni said...

I have read that the number of times we have to divide out our attention contributes to memory loss. Not permanent or serious just our brain can't cope with information overload, especially as we age. I think with you living in close family surroundings with two young children with issues of their own would qualify as overload. I find myself constantly starting go to get something then can't remember what it was and I really don't have an excuse of overload. I rely heavily on notes now and don't try and remember everything.

Honoured that you shared your worries with us though.