Every young person has done it at least once in his or her life: looked at someone who is getting older and thought “Haven’t you been communicating since your 3rd birthday? Just how hard is it to tell walk into the room and tell me you’re looking for TV remote?” Or your keys. Or flamethrower. I don’t know how you live your life.
But now, as karma is wont to do, I have been unquestionably castigated for my arrogant ways. My brain has been accelerated by about 20 years and I will never, ever laugh at somebody’s senior moment again so help me deity.
Regular readers (I love each and very one of you! You don’t know how important you are to me. On a scale of “I’d spit on you to put out a fire” and “I’d donate a kidney to you” you are so much closer to kidney than you’ll ever know). Anyway. You know I have some mobility issues that have increased considerably since Baby came home. My back and front finally formed a union and they have made sure everything goes on strike. A recent MRI showed enough significant damage to my lumbar region and a disc that I’m looking at one surgery this spring, if not two.If the one in back doesn’t solve the issue they’re going through the front to monkey around some more. As I’m sure you can imagine, this has made things like picking up a squirmy little bundle of cheeks and giggles more painful for me than I can really tolerate without help. I’m now on a prescription painkiller designed to be used for long term “management of moderate to severe pain.” So! Great news! My new specialist is trying to do right by me and relieve the pain that has been genuinely impeding every facet of my life. Now here’s the bad news.
One of this drug’s primary side effects is short term memory difficulty, particularly with words. Let me get rid of medical jargon and boil this down: I CANNOT FUCKING TALK. I’ll be in the middle of a story and I need a name, or the place, or the damned punchline but poof! It has vanished like a wisp of smoke.How does somebody who teaches and writes for a living forget the word “communication?” I looked right at Mac and told him I was having such terrible, uh, uh, AAAARRRRG. I made a motion where I pointed between the two of us really fast. He says “communicate?” YES DAMMIT. I’m having real troubling communicating with my doctor about this surgery. Lest you think I’m cherry picking a single time, here is a list of ways this has happened to me in the last week:
- I needed help feeding the baby. You know, with the’small shovel we put in his face.”
- I’m currently trying my hand at writing fiction for fun. This had been enjoyable until I had to press “Ctrl F” to use the search function to remember my main character’s first name. It simply would not get from my brain onto the keyboard.
- I was remembering the day a Jewish friend invited us for Shabbat dinner. She served delicious…delicious…Google “Noodle meal for Jewish people.”
- My son couldn’t find his– damn. Damn. Mac, where is the car with a big mouth to lift dirt? Right. The bulldozer.
- I forgot the name of a man my husband worked with for 8 years. “Head of the Department” came out as “the chief of professors.”
It’s mostly limited to words, but other great stuff happens too. I really need to take my pills. Oh good, here they are. Wait. Are they there because I knew I needed them now, or because I just took one on autopilot? Looking up “overdose of painkiller XXX” revealed we are super sure I don’t want to be guessing on that one. Pill box, stat. I wash clothes, put them in a basket and ask Mac to carry it upstairs. I forget to hang it up right away. Next day…good morning! I should do something that will be useful around here today. So I do the dishes, vacuum if my back will let me, and take the basket of our dirty stuff sitting in our room and promptly wash it. I bet I have underwear I have washed 3 times in a row. Mac has had to explain plots of TV shows we saw just last week.
Three days ago I needed some water to take one of pills. I needed water, then to get in bed, takes meds, and rest or I was going to be in very bad shape in the upcoming hours. This is a real picture, not staged, of how I handled that.
I don’t have a clue which glass of water I made first or why I went back into the kitchen then got another one. None. At all.
The funny thing is, I don’t think any of this is serious. Everybody in the Borden household is eating, we have tons of help with Baby, and I’m very aware of my med schedule to be there for him when he needs it. I’m not a Roy Lichtenstein incident. I’ve never said “Oh my God! I left the baby on the bus!” If you don’t know that painting you should. It’s wonderful. Although we don’t ride a bus.
So, in conclusion, I apologize to everyone I have ever mocked for not getting your brain in gear when it really should have been. I now know it’s a little wiring glitch, is all.
I owe you. I hope you don’t expect to be greeted by name.