Saturday, March 19, 2011
The Corners of My Mind
When my name was called a volunteer took me to a small room and conducted a memory test.
"I'm going to say three words and then I want you to remember them after I ask you a few other questions. Then I'm going to ask you more questions and then I'll ask you to remember the three words again."
No problem, I thought. I repeated the three words a couple of times and said, "OK, let's go." So on the questions came and in my mind I'm thinking, "What were those words?" and then the questions kept coming. Then she asked me for the words.... "uh.... uhhhh......" Finally, I remembered them and she gave me a hint on the third word.
On to more questions for a while.... then.... what were those three words again....I sat there and wracked my brain for a few seconds and then... bingo! There they were. Phew. Passed that test.
"Now I'm going to ask you to repeat five words, and we're going to do the same thing again."
WHAT??? Panic! Oh no, what if I can't remember them! I repeated them a couple of times and then off we went again. When it came time to remember the words I got one.... ONE! I'll never forget that blessed word... VELVET! It will stick with me forever. I couldn't get the others without prompting! I'm hopeless! On the fifth word I guessed - luckily it was the right one and the young woman never realized!
What frightened me about this test was that I was there for long term memory loss - NOT short term memory loss! I nervously laughed to Ed when I told him what happened back in the waiting room. I spent the whole afternoon there being tested and examined, poked and prodded, knocked on all my joints with a rubber hammer, walking, balancing... the whole shebang. The result is that I have to have more tests.
This all started after my surgery two years ago. I had attended the Leading Women conference in Toronto and when I returned home I found out I had to have the surgery. It was going to be the big one some women have to have. Yes, a hysterectomy. They took ALL my inside girlie parts. And surprise, they had a cancellation just in a week. It was now or never. OK. So on March 13th I went into the hospital and I've never been the same since.
The first time I experienced a lost memory was when I received an email a few weeks later. "Who was this person emailing me" I asked myself. I didn't recognize the name at all. I clicked on the email and the person was asking me for something I had promised to send. "They have the wrong person," I thought. So I replied and said as much. But apparently I not only knew this person, I had lunch with them at the conference and was supposed to send something to them and must have forgotten. Well, I had forgotten a lot of things.
People came up and talked to me that I should have known... now I just pretend I know them and hope they don't notice!
There were events I attended but had no recollection of... and apparently I enjoyed myself too!
It was very strange and disconcerting. However, at first the doctor put it down to a side effect of the anesthetic. OK, it would all come back, no problem. But then it didn't. Some things that happened before the surgery just disappeared into the recesses of somewhere... but not my mind. Oh well, I guess I could just live with that. Deal with it. Done.
But then I noticed as time went by other things went missing. After six months some things were just gone. Policy decisions at work... things I'd agreed to I couldn't remember... weird. So back to the doctor. It was then the referral was made to UBC and I was sent for a CT Scan. Now it's an EEG and an MRI and some blood tests. It could be just trauma from my surgery - and it was traumatic for me. Or it could be that blood flow was cut off temporarily during the surgery, which can happen... who knew? At least it doesn't appear to be progressive. I'm just praying that God will show them what's wrong so I can have some answers.
This is turning out to be more than I bargained for. I should have just gone on in blissful ignorance! Oh well, I guess I'll cope somehow. One good thing is I don't have to spend any money on books, I can just read all the ones I have over again!
One thing I'm thankful for... God is in control. Even if I were to lose all my memories, God will never forget me, never leave me nor forsake me. It makes going through life much easier and comforting to know this. It gives me peace. I can't imagine what it's like for Darwinists and atheists to go through life knowing there is no purpose to their life nor is there any point in anything. Whatever happens, I know God has a plan for me and for those who love me. I think perhaps I will never forget that.