Monday, November 14, 2011

I finally finished my Grandma's scarf

and promptly forgot to take a picture of it. It turned out very nice and is wonderfully soft and she loves that it is made from the same yarn as the super special secret project I made for my soon to be born niece.

I've been adjusting to my new role as a stay at home mom/homemaker/sick person with no job. It's been really good focusing on my family and the important things and being able to be there for my husband and kids. Between that and church I stay pretty busy. I've also started doing some odd job type things to make a little extra cash, but its a tad disheartening to see how long a writing project takes me now. All of this has made it easy for me to forget what's been happening with me cognitively; to pretend it maybe isn't as bad as I thought. Maybe people were right when they suggested it could be normal.

But it isn't. I was reminded this past week when I had a whole bunch of stuff going on and by Thursday was feeling it. It started with forgetting to press the button in the elevator. I was with my Grandma who can't see well and is also not a big fan of elevators and my forgetting to push the button caused her a bit of anxiety when she thought we were stuck. Later that day, as I took my husband's Grandma to the doctor I told her about this on my way in with her. And then forget to push the button AGAIN as we left. I joked with them both that it must be reassuring that I'm the one taking them places.

That same day I found myself in the grocery store, overwhelmed and confused as I tried to find things on a list from my husband. I was muddled and couldn't figure out why. I couldn't remember how to find things, how to look for them. And then I ran into someone I knew, except I didn't realize I knew him at first (despite actually knowing him quite well.) Thankfully when he talked to me my brain kicked in and my focusing on our conversation helped to sort of reset my brain.

This weekend I again I saw someone I knew very well a few years back. I haven't seen her in awhile, but its someone I would normally know right away and was very happy to see her. Except I couldn't figure out who she was. I used to try to pretend my way through these moments, but now I just come out with it and admit I am not sure who they are. If the opportunity presents itself I explain the whole disease thing.

The hardest part, I think, are my own reactions to these moments. There is this huge awareness that I'm doing something wrong and it absolutely unsettles me. I then get flustered and upset. Instead of trying to hide it I just acknowledge it. It seems worse when its someone I know well and I feel like its hurting their feelings when I can't figure out who they are.

At the moment I'm reading a book called Still Alice by Lisa Genova, about a women in her 50's who learns she has early-onset Alzheimers. I don't have Alzheimers, but I sure do have many of the same moments as the woman in the book and have found myself close to tears reading about a fictional character experiencing it. In a way its comforting to see what I feel written down.

The good news is that I'm learning how far I can push myself, and at what level of activity I should keep things, before I get too tired and befuddled. I'm also getting motivated to once again start the medical process rolling in the hopes of getting some sort of help. I seem to get stymied each time I try, but its better to keep trying than get complacent.