memories

I’ve had a rough couple of days but I wont bore you with the details! I haven’t really been up to much at all since my post on Wednesday. That was a long night as I slept for only 40 minutes in 24 hours. I had a choice of not sleeping due to pain or not having any pain and still not sleeping. I chose the latter.

The weather has been glorious here and I have managed to get outside in the garden for 30 minutes or so. I have to be really careful in the sun as I burn in around ten minutes and with the antibiotics I am on for the HS makes my skin uber sensitive to sun. I have been going around in long sleeved tops and long cotton trousers. I don’t want to break my own record and be sun burnt in April.

I have been having one of those weeks where memories have been popping into my head at the strangest of times. Some of it has been to do with the desert island disc post as since writing it I have played all the albums. On Friday my Gordon Lightfoot one turned up, I tried to get hubs interested but he didn’t get it. He’s quite surprised that I like this kind of music!

 As he is mainly into rap and heavy metal it was never going to be a meeting of minds on the music front. We do have some shared musical taste, we both love Frank, The Beatles, Steps, U2, The Verve, James, Erasure, Brittany Spears and Katy Perry. Hubs is a closet Steps fan, often stealing the CD and playing it in the car on his way to work! Everyone laughs their heads off when he raves about Steps as he is normally into Pearl Jam, AC/DC etc.

So back to the memories, they have been about all sorts. Some good and some bad. I seem to enjoy remembering things where I have made mistakes and then beat myself up over it. Now I take a more positive approach when these memories jump in. Instead of dwelling in the emotion that they caused me at the time or shortly after I try and look at them logically. I allow myself to have made that mistake and tell myself it didn’t matter. The memories can be ridiculously stupid like making a minor mistake at work, my mind seems hell bent on making go through the emotions again. I am a bit of a perfectionist and don’t take criticism too well. Now I cut the memory off as soon as it starts and think about something else. I don’t know why I feel the need to subconsciously torture myself.

There have been happy memories also that have come to mind. Mainly to do with my family and remembering things about when I was growing up. We had a pretty idyllic childhood my sister and I. Where we lived had a large wooded area behind it and we would spend hours building dens or setting up treasure hunts for the other kids to follow. We knew no fear then, I don’t know if I had a child if I would be so comfortable allowing them to play in the woods without an adult present. Life has seriously changed and with the media images we are bombarded with  now every adult is a potential abuser. Its sad that kids don’t get the freedom that my sister and I got as kids.

Memories are more important to me than ever these days especially now more short term memory has taken a bit of a bashing. I was always really pleased with my memory before as for anything written it was pretty much photographic. I could retain a lot of auditory information also and recount conversations word for word. Now I forget the most basic things, did I take my medication? What time is hubs working until today? What day is it? Why isn’t mum answering the phone? God I have forgotten another birthday. I try all the usual tricks to get myself to remember things. People say write it down, I write it down and forget to look at the calendar! I have alarmed pill boxes, alarms set on my phone for when I need to take meds. The alarms go off, I switch them off and forget to take the medication. My mind no longer seems to hold onto information. I can become confused and disorientated very quickly. Its a kind of panic that creeps over you. I think it would be less frightening if I didn’t know I had forgotten something, if I was blissfully unaware of the situation.

I now view people with dementia in a totally different light, because at some point in their illness they felt the same panic I do. Not knowing what was wrong but knowing something was very wrong anyway. My grandmother told me a few weeks ago about my grandfather as his health slowly declined. He was in hospital and he was having a dementia test where he had to convert one shape into another. Gran told me he knew what he had to do but his brain wouldn’t unlock the information to allow him to do it. The frustration and fear were written on his face and she said she felt a sense of despair as it didn’t matter what she did she knew she couldn’t unlock that information for him either.

That’s how my short term memory feels, some days it works other days the information gets locked in a filing cabinet and I promptly lose the key.

 My long term memory is what I have now and those events come back clearly and strongly. They remind me of the person I was and the person I am still am despite the disability.

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