Tuesday, August 14, 2007

stupid is as stupid does

I had a transient ischemic attack about a month ago. The prognosis for something bigger hitting for me is termed "moderate." There are only three categories for future big ones as predicted by a TIA and its aftermath: Naw; Probably; and Brace Yourself. I'm in that middle one.

It is interesting to me to watch myself now. I am in a period of aftermath declination as I write. It comes and goes. Ordinarily, I am focused and ready for whatever life feels like kicking me with today. Then comes the wave. I feel it settle over me like a wool blanket. My typing just sucks - missed letters, slowly typed, reversing letters constantly. I am forever going back on the post and correcting stuff.

I also can't seem to type without speaking the words. That is really annoying. My physical movements right now are greatly slowed. My balance isn't good.

I think of the next thing that I want to type, and by the time I start, I remember only the first two or three words. Sometimes that is enough to spark the thought back to life. Other times, I have to bail.

What I observe most in these times is my inability to recall virtually anything. It is profound in its scope. If I want to remember something that happened this morning, yesterday, or, God forbid longer ago, I have to stop all of my physical activity and let pictures come. If I concentrate, I get nowhere. If I think around a memory, then a picture comes. I stare at the picture, and then a second more comes or that first one goes 3D for me. Then I get the time and place of the memory, but still, few specifics.

What I have learned is that when this hits, I need to just sit and push away as much stimuli as I can. I have been dealing with this - do you call it an episode? - for about two hours now. My daughter has a friend over and we were watching the Yankees. I couldn't handle the low level of conversation between them without getting frustrated. I had to block as best I could the announcers, too. What happens is I have to think to interpret the words, and that thinking precludes further listening, so I fall behind. I just got up several times to be alone, to blank my slate, then I was able to go back ... for a little bit!

I have to move my hands and arms slowly as I sit here. That was not so much a lesson, but merely a limitation. I can't seem to move them quickly, and something inside says that it would not be a good idea anyway.

It is all rather peculiar to me. It is much more fun watching myself like this, and following my brain around, than it wouldbbe to watch a loved one go through it. At least this way, I have a good measure of intellectual curiosity that I can satisfy. It is just no fun watching someone else when they can't tell you in any detail what is happening.

They termed it a TIA, but most of those resolve completely. Mine has not. This period I am having right now occurs a few times a week. It was two or three as often before, so maybe there is some measure of resolution occurring.

I am out of words.

1 comment:

  1. clyde....i miss your nastiness on CF. drop by and say hi. we're not talking about boobies anymore