Saturday, January 13, 2007

Living with memory loss (someone else's) Pt 1

Part of the reason for needing to re-balance my life is because Paul's health changed last year. I can't remember exactly what I posted, and I'm afraid I'm too lazy to trawl my archives - but in summary, Paul developed some temporary, but longish-term, neurological problems.

It had a dramatic start, but soon settled into a pattern of about 15 -20 abscence-type moments during the day (he will 'freeze' for about 5 seconds, then 'come to' with a slight jolt). This is accompanied by short term memory loss - he's fine on the day itself (as much as anyone is!) but only remembers about half of what has happened the day before (and this memory so far has remained lost). I should point out that this is the current situation and a definite improvement on when it all started in October -then he remembered little, if anything, of the day before and sometimes even lost memory from the same day.

I don't think that I'm unusual in that I've pretty much adjusted to this now. The absences obviously have a day to day effect in that he can't drive, but don't affect most of his general day to day ability to do things. The memory loss often doesn't feel too prominent - he doesn't know what he's forgotten, I don't realise he's forgotten it unless I ask or make reference to something and anyway, we've always been big on writing lists. The biggest effect is financial in that he's only on Statutory Sick Pay at work, and that he is likely to lose his job.

Yet despite this, I am often surprised by coming across evidence of what he remembers and what he doesn't. The other day I taught Paul to play cribbage. We did this in the knowledge that he finds it hard to take on new information, and that he might not remember any of it the next day. That same day, we received a belated Christmas card from a friend, with some beautiful magnetic pictures - we both admired them, and later that day he stuck them on the fridge.

The next day, Paul remembered enough about cribbage to beat me - thoughts about his memory loss moved to the back of my mind. In a break in playing, we made drinks and Paul went to get milk from the fridge.

"Those are lovely pictures on the fridge" he said "where have they come from?"


Ok, I had many many New Year Resolutions in my head. Usually I write them down, review them at the end of the year (if I can find them) and discover that I've achieved a few of them. This year, because it's now 13th and I've not yet written them down, I'm going to try a new approach. An approach shamelessly stolen from another blogger - oh well, not plagiarising was never on my list! This year, I'm going to have a word. The word is balance.

In particular I want to work on finding that elusive balance between being an individual and being a mother. And to find the necessary balance between work and home (I'd sorted that quite well, but now life has moved on and I need to re-find that balance). I want to find balance in my new job -between trying hard to be efficient, effective and achieving results, yet not straying into the territory of being a bossy know it all. And back to the purpose of this blog - I need to find the balance between this modern world's need to multi-task, and my need to take things 'one thing at a time'. Because let's face it - all of these pursuits without balance are far less rewarding than they could be.

Wish me luck.

Rattling with pills

Just when you thought I'd forgotten where the post button is, I'm back. I've no real reason for not posting for so long, just other things have taken priority. However, part of my reason for failing to post this last week is because I've been poorly.

My teeth- never the strongest part of me - started to hurt over new year. So, I ignored it. I thought of the £15 or £40 it would cost to go to the dentist, I thought of needing to take time off work when I was busy, I thought of how maybe it would just settle down by itself.

Of course it didn't.

So I ended up with an emergency dental appt on Monday. And a course of antibiotics to be taken 4 times a day on an empty stomach. Plus painkillers every 4 hours.

By Wednesday, more swelling, more pain. another emergency appt. Diagnosis of an abscess. More antibiotics - to be taken 3 times a day, with a meal.

Yes, that is 7 separate doses of antibiotics. Plus painkillers.

Is it any wonder my brain had no time to spare on remembering to blog?

Anyway, swelling is reduced (almost gone). Pain is much less. Only one more day of antibiotics then a course of dental treatment still to come.

Time to return to normal!