Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Suddenly, out of nowhere, a dog fell onto the chair....

and found that his True Destiny was to nap on a red velvet pillow.

Tomorrow is the 4th. I was not off today, and I am not off Thursday or Friday. Tomorrow I will spend the day puttering. My big accomplishment will be to get the cheapo tables and the white tablecloths in place as nightstands. The crocheted toppers aren't done yet (one is about 20% done) and I'm already thinking that I will want to dye them a fresh lime green. Or maybe not. The tablecloths need ironing, so that means I may as well drag out the linen articles of clothing I hate to iron and do them too. TNT has thoughtfully provided a Law and Order marathon, so that is the perfect mindless background to minor chores. Did I charge the battery on the big camera? I did not. I will do it tomorrow, and I will also get a lot of bathroom stuff sorted, and clean a bunch of crap off the patio and put it at the curb. Tomorrow will be a moving forward with life day.

My new phone won't arrive until Thursday, but Girl's arrived today. Girl has gone with Verizon, and with an LG enV. It is sooo cool, sooo sexy, sooo fun-looking, I'm now jealous and regretting the Samsung Sync I chose as my new phone. I went with AT&T. I want me some Rollover Minutes. Some months I live with my phone to my ear, other months I don't even crack 450 minutes. I am not a big text messager at all, now and then is it for me, but damn, Girlchild's new toy is so cute I want to take up text messaging like a kid. And then I look at the screen and think, naaah, my eyes are too screwed up for this now.

I don't talk alot about the souvenirs of the brain aneurysm, because in the great scheme of things, my souvenirs are so petty. But my close-up vision, it's now like an 80 year old's. No, scratch that, my mother is 81 and hers is far, far better than mine. My distance vision is exactly as it was. Close up is much worse, and really annoying. Need new glasses ASAP.

And my short-term memory has this interesting quirk, that I have decided to adopt as a signature style. Imagine that an unseen hand has a remote that controls your brain. So now and then, randomly, your brain changes channels mid-thought - or more often, turns OFF mid thought, so you have to turn back on and remember what channel you were on before it happened. This happens quite a few times in the course of the day. It does not in any way impair doing things like driving a car or cooking dinner, or even doing my crazy job, it's a loss of a train of thought, not a blackout or a loss of control over what I'm doing. It's like, I think of something I want to do. It involves something in my purse. I pick up my purse, I reach my hand into my purse, I don't remember why, and I have to pause until I remember what I was doing. It's 10 seconds, tops, but it's there.

And here is the annoying thing about not being so visibly impaired that I am drooling or limping or otherwise obviously had something weird happen to my brain. When I "turn off" and have to wait to reboot my brain, I am casual about it, "Sorry, my channel changed, let me catch up," because I have learned that if I just stop and don't worry about it, my brain will reboot in a few seconds and I can take up where I left off in whatever complicated discussion I was having when it happened. And people make jokes like, "Oh, that happens to me too." And this is kind of annoying, because this isn't the kind of casual memory loss that we all have, that I had before the SAH. I had that, and this is different. And yet, I get up and go to work every day and function with it, so I'm not trying to sound like a sad, sad victim or that this is a big deal. It's really not that bad, my long-term memory is totally intact, this memory thing isn't like a total brain shutdown, I am not having a seizure, I have no visible signs of anything happening, I just lose my place more easily than I used to. I still remember all of my friends' cell phone numbers, and I could recite my late husband's social security number, but I can forget something someone said a minute ago, or not. I can remember every detail of every petty damn thing, or not. Overall, it has been a positive thing, because it has caused me to not take my memory for granted, and to move more slowly and "in the moment" and be deliberate about my actions at work instead of whiffing past things just assuming that my formerly phenomenal memory would be there for me. It takes breaks now. I don't notice it outside of work, except maybe in the supermarket, but don't we all forget things there? It's very random and minor, but like post-nasal drip, it's annoying to live with it. On the plus side, I used to hate working with Excel. When I came back to work the first time I opened up an Excel spreadsheet I had a moment of "Huh?" and almost had to learn Excel all over again, I had forgotten so much. But it came back, and things I didn't really know I knew came with it, and now, I like Excel. I have this strange urge to put my entire household budget into an Excel spreadsheet. So there, not all brain damage is a bad thing.


sallyjo said...

I'm curious as to how the brain thing did in your eyes. It's a mysterious thing, that pile of grey stuff. I'm glad you have patience.

Catherine said...

I have no idea, but post-surgery I had almost no vision in my left eye, I could see shapes and colors. It came back over the next few weeks, and after a month my distance vision was pretty much normal, meaning as bad as it was before. The close vision changed - I'm not saying that it was fine before, but it is noticably worse. It's like changes that probably would have happened over the next 10 years happened overnight, and I'm not complaining because for a while there I was worried that I'd be left with that "greasy smudge" vision. But after being out of work for two months without a paycheck, I have neither time nor money for the eye exam and new glasses until August.