There are moments of forgetfulness. Where did I put my keys? Has anyone seen my phone? Right. We all have those. But there are different levels of this kind of stuff that I was not aware of. Let me back up to six months ago. While mid-sentence I got stuck on words. It’s not that I forgot what I wanted to say, it’s more like not being able to remember the words. It could be the name of a thing, a concept, a noun, or a verb. The word or name for whatever it is usually called is absent from my mind.
Where did the words go? Did they slip through one of them there so-called lesions on my brain? That day. The day the doc showed us some pictures of someone’s brain. It was like that commercial. Remember the one? This is your brain. This is your brain on drugs. And you could laugh cause it was nothing but a hot skillet with a couple of eggs frying on it. Yep. Just like that. All those words spewing from the doctor’s mouth could not possibly apply to me. Maybe she recognized that my husband was more interested in what she had to say than I was, but she never really made good eye contact with me. So, for sure, it was just a generic brain MRI power point to show us that it was a great photo shoot, she knows all her parts of the brain cause she studied hard in medical school, and all looks just swell.
Not since I was a kid have I been spoken of in the third-party at a medical appointment. What the hell was this woman saying to him? I glared over, and saw how my husband was hanging on her every word. Glad he was there. Somebody had to take note of whatever instructions she was rattling off. All I knew was that her personality left a lot to be desired and she was talking mumbo jumbo and I wish it would all just STOP. I saw one slide pass by real quick and I immediately spoke up. Big white spot. Big black spot. What was that a picture of? What, this is the part of my brain which is responsible for processing? Can’t be. Can be. What does processing mean? Is that why I can’t do math? Sort of. Would that be the reason for my loss of words, or why it’s impossible to recall some recent important conversations and decisions that I have apparently been apart of but again, have no recollection of? Maybe. Hard to say. Everyone’s different.
A week earlier I was at my nephew’s graduation celebration. I was standing in front of the coolers on the patio. Just staring. And staring. Smiling cause I’m at a party and I can’t let on that I don’t know why I’m standing there. Scroll through the alphabet. A, no, not looking for an apple. D, duh. F, fuck this is serious forgetfulness. There are drinks in the coolers. Maybe I thought I was thirsty before I got out here. Oh, right. S, my sister asked me to see if they had a very light beer. Got it and a San Pell for myself. I sat down and as I was peeling the label off of the lid of the can, it dawned on me that something really bad had just happened. Maybe I was having the stroke I had been fearing for the past six months every time I felt that warm creeping feeling along the side of my head. I knew something was causing it. It must be the phantom upcoming stroke which caused weird shooting hot pains from the top of my eye along the top of my scalp down to the back of my neck. The one that made me take an aspirin every night before bed because I was sure every night it would save my life while I was sleeping. Swallowing the aspirin had me visualizing those big sticky blood cells rounding the corners real fast and smooth rather than getting stuck somewhere and clogging up my brain.
Different levels of forgetfulness. Difficult to find the words to speak. Befuddled. Lost in conversation. Lost. Lost. Having the voice, the vision, ability to hear and feel and smell, but not having the words to describe any of it. Yep, a different level alright.