Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Forgotten Art of Forgetting

Okay, so I'm 25: I realize that I will now be experiencing chronic back pain, as a result of years of heavy backpacks and hunched computer usage. I will accept the fact that my energy has seriously dwindled since the days of playing tag. I was unnerved, but not sad to see my appendix and wisdom teeth yanked from my body forever in bloody glory.

But I beg of you, whoever "you" are: father time, fate, Morgan Freeman...
Do not take my memory away.

At least not now, when I'm still old enough to be making memories. You have to admit I'm not yet so old that I should be going to bed by 10 (does 11pm count as early?), or visiting the doctor on a daily basis (I only wish that I could), or even having to keep multiple pills in the medicine cabinet for my many elderly ailments?

Actually, it did all start with my medication.

Last Thursday I had gotten to work late after trudging through a post-blizzard Brooklyn. Surprisingly, even after an hour of stop.go.stop.stand.stand-some-more.breath-in-noxious-subway-people-sick-fumes.go.stop-in-freezing-subway-station.go, I was feeling a-okay. That is until I ate, sat down to my computer, and started working.

All of a sudden, I thought I was going to be dizzy. Then I thought I was going to throw up. Then I wasn't sure if I needed to rest or if I had a fever coming on. I was hot, sweating, couldn't concentrate. I switched rooms, drank some water.

Then I got the chills, even though I was wearing two layers. I took a Dayquil, and sat on the toilet pondering my new disease - did I catch something from the guy who was squished up next to me on the train this morning? Was that warm cheese I ate past due?

All the symptoms seemed so very familiar....I just couldn't put my finger on it.

At 5pm, a little light bulb in my head sparked from Dim to Duh: Could it be that I was going through withdrawal as a result of missing my medication?
Ego: Oh, silly, you take it every night without fail!
Me: But what if I forgot?
Ego: Well, you'd have to forget for like two days or more.
Me: ..........
Ego: Well did you?
Me: ......Last night does seem fuzzy....I can't say for sure..
Ego: How can you not remember??? You do the same thing every night!
Me: I have no clue how I could have forgotten TWO days in a row....
Ego: YES EXACTLY. What the hell is wrong with you?! The answer is obviously that you suck at life and you are slowly losing your memory forever.
...And so on and so forth.

Seriously, there hasn't been that much going on in my life that I would allow myself to skip something so important; and also, so ROUTINE.
But, I decided it must have been fatigue, and tried to shrug off the ego to cut me some slack. It won't happen again.

Unfortunately, it has....only this time, in other forms:

The very next night, I went to sleep with my contacts in, and regardless of waking up with eyeballs nearly crusted over, and the ability to see my alarm clock without squinting for 30 seconds,  AND putting eye drops in 2 inches away from the mirror, I didn't realize it until I opened my lens case and saw that they were not in fact there.

At work, I have begun to forget what I was about to do or thinking of doing in any of the following scenarios: typing, walking, talking, eating, getting up to go to the bathroom, leaving the bathroom, and remembering data that is pertinent to me doing my job.

My inner-Thesauraus, which used to be as fast as a Google Search, is now the equivalent of an arthritic man with 3-inch thick spectacles trying to turn the pages of a cobwebbed book, upside-down.

And it's not just short-term folks - my mother mentioned this weekend how we had gone to look at a Philadelphia college during high school - not only had I liked the school, but I had also liked Philadelphia.
In my recent memory, I have NEVER liked Philadelphia.
In fact, I had no recollection of the trip whatsoever.

At this rate, I fear that in a year's time, at least half of my 25 year life will have disappeared from my memory. And as I already seem to be forgetting the present, that will probably increase exponentially until I have the mental capacity of a goldfish.
Or, my 90 year old great-aunt.
But even SHE still remembers to take her medication.

I'm hoping that the cure for this crippling condition is a vacation - a REAL vacation.
Where I can wipe the slate of my mind clean, fill it with the wonder and awe I used to have as a child, and hold on dearly to those precious memories, as I sink deeper into the depths of monotonous old age adulthood.

Now, what was I saying?

3 thoughts:

norawoah said...

Have you ever gone to acupuncture? It fixed my chronic back pain that I had suffered for two years in a month. FIXED. I can make an excellent recommendation.

Tara Rose Stromberg said...

ACTUALLY....I have. ^.^ But not for my back, for sciatica in my legs after my appendectomy.

And ues, it does work wonders. (Strange, I'm planning to write a post about that too - you read my mind!) I'm going back soon, so I should have them work on my shouldas.

Thanks for the reco!

Anonymous said...

I'm a student of chinese medicine and I strongly recommend that you attempt it for everything you've written about. and if the first person you see doesn't help you, find another. You can also check out community acupuncture clinics which are much cheaper or go to the clinics at one of the schools, Pacific College of Oriental Medicine or Tri-State.

Back pain, memory loss, all of it.

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