Saturday, May 10, 2008

I feel lesion-tastic!

I am going in for my six month return MRI, to see how the little fellows are doing. It is funny, but I feel pretty darned good. I have noticed that I still have some memory problems -- I have just taken to writing every.thing.down. Everything. I have a little steno pad that I use at work now and I write down everything that I have to do and what I have done, because I will completely forget things otherwise.

The memory loss is funny, because it is like the information never, ever existed. I wonder if what is damaged is my ability to create a little hook for grabbing information. I had to write a court report the other day and thought that I was going to have to write it from scratch, rather than just update and amend. One is considerably more work and I was not looking forward to doing it. Imagine my pleasure when I found a very recent copy of the same report, dated not three weeks before! Whoo hoo!

And then I opened the report and found it only half written. And then I scrolled down and found my name at the bottom. I started this report and have absolutely no recollection of having done so. None.


Things that big don't happen very often, but when they do, it is just surprising. I have always had a really good memory, and even if I don't remember things right away, if I see something, it will jog the memory loose and I will remember it. Odd when it doesn't. I think, if I took a while to think about it, I might remember starting the report, but it is not worth the effort, I don't think.

I will just keep writing stuff down in the meantime.

Other than that, just some slight problems with articulation, the occasional weird cognitive thingy. My favorite recently was when I was driving on a well-known stretch of the freeway and had no idea where I was. I could tell you I was going east on I-10, because I knew the exits, but the part of my brain that knew it was not sure. I had no sense of recognition. I actually saw the sign that said I was on the 10 eastbound, and it still felt foreign. It was a little scary, because I felt like I was on the wrong freeway. Even though I knew I wasn't. Weird, no?

I wonder how many lesions I have now?

I have evaluated two different people who have said that they cannot work because they have lesions in their white matter. One had six and one had 12.

At 20 and counting. Down, I hope.

Pray for me in the coming month. Will keep you posted.


Wry Mouth said...

Think of it as a sort of "de ja vu;" that helps me. One learns to enjoy the novelty of re-discovering, after a few trials.

E.g., "Wow! This *is* the I-10! Cool!"

I don't think of my more congenital difficulties as lesion-based, neither as extreme as yours (perhaps it is due to all that oleander sap ingested in my youth!). But you know I can sympathize with a certain degree of accuracy.

I am never so happy as when I re-discover some humor or other interesting thought I'd written down and forgotten.

Of course, re-creating good lesson plans I have used and then mentally discarded is vexsome; I am beginning to suspect that possessing mid- and long-term memory may in fact serve as an evolutionary advantage.

But people like that -- meaning average folks -- appear to have superpowers, to one such as I.


Dr. Bob said...

well, I would try that feeling, but it is over-ridden by the anxious vertiginous feeling. Like when you expect to step up and your foot misses and you are jolted.

rowan said...

Just saw your post!Am keeping up the prayers, fer sure. So glad, in general, you feel "pretty darned good."

I don't suppose I have lesions, butI know the feeling of not knowing where I am, at times. I have had odd memory absences/episodes of sorts since childhood, in different ways. There were times as a child I would go back to school in the evening, as I'd been beset with a feeling that I'd absolutely no idea what time it was, not even roughly, or where in time and space I was supposed to be. It might have beem school, so I'd run there, at 7pm, thinking I was late.I'd no memory of finishing school and coming home.

Another occasion, about 20 years ago, I recall waiting for a football game on tv where my team, who I'd followed faithfully for five years, were playing a crucial live game. I sat down, ready to watch, and 'came to' sitting bolt upright in the same position, cross-legged on the floor, watching the closing credits roll. I don't know where I'd been. it was a little disconcerting.

In general, my memory has been pretty grim. I've always remembered things from very far back, and my early memories were extremely early However, now there is so much concentration involved in keeping up with life in general, that I often feel I'm picking my way through a field of rabbit holes. Whole sections of important data has slipped down those crevasses. When I taught, I discovered, quite by chance, a system of exercise-book swapping going on between one of my classes. "Whose got my jotter?" one fourteen-year-old called. "over here!" a girl on the other side of the room replied. Yeesh. They were so used to me going round the desks marking, then leaving the jotter on some other kid's desk, ad infin, that they'd developed a relay network to retrieve their work. I think they took it in their stride as evidence I was throwing myself into the teaching experience...

I still have occasional temporal glitches. I don't know where I am, and why. Now, I know, for some folks, it is a feature of Fibromyalgia.

I have become pretty aware of having lost the type of hooks you describe. Yesterday I was trying to remember the name of the handsome, hugely-famous blonde actor who used to star alongside Paul Newman, in "The Sting", and suchlike. I can see his face, sort of fuzzily, laughing from a wheelbarrow, or pushbike, to the backdrop of "Raindrops keep Falling on my head." But his name has tumbled down a bottomless crevasse. This makes me feel old, as if I had any functioning oestrogen left, I would not have been likely to have forgotten him.

Good for you, and your steno pad, working around the memory problems. You rock. I am in yer corner as evah. Keep me posted by return!

rowan said...

Bob - waaa - I mean that I am glad that you are feeling "pretty darned good" in general. What i actually wrote will have yer Lynn-Truss axon firing. It certainy did mine. Man...not the grammar. My figure, my memory, my blood-pressure, my eyesight...but not word-order and comma boo boos. (begins to coult bagwards in threes and jog on the spot.)

Wrymouth...I know what you mean about the normally-memoried seeming like superhumans.

rowan said...

Okaaay... can I claim "bagwards" as a typo? >-<

Wry Mouth said...

row: i think you get to count "bagwards" as a newly-minted and useful word!