We all know, or maybe not, the effects stress has on the body. I have been on the roller coaster for many months now and have been going with the flow. Survival mode is what "they" call it. What I have forgotten about stress is the effect on the brain. MY brain in particular! I realized last week, when I couldn't even remember Jessica's (my amazing associate at work) name. I almost introduced her as Jennifer and knowing I had it wrong, but unable to remember I stumbled over my own words. I am again blanking out on patients names, transposing my numbers has also been a side effect. It wasn't until we went to my sister in laws last week, that I realized how serious my "problem" has become and honestly, it scared the hell out of me. I was standing in front of a sliding glass door and tried pulling, then pushing, I kept standing there trying to figure out how to open it. I couldn't recognize the handle right in from of me. Zack finally, laughing, stood up and slid it to the right, teasing me the entire time about how you open doors. I, of course, joined them laughing, but inside was terrified. Why couldn't I figure out something so simple, am I following in my father's footsteps and getting Alzheimer's? Hey don't laugh, it hits people my age too! I don't share my fear with anyone until the other day. A patient walked in and during our conversation, I couldn't remember a certain word, it was a simple word but my mind went blank. I then shared that I have been having problems remembering simple things, she looked at me and said "stress!" "stress will get you every time." Of course!! Now I remember, Mom did the same thing, back when she was caring for Dad. She kept forgetting words or would remember them in Flemish (her native language). She was always afraid that she was getting Alzheimer's or had a brain tumor. (again, it seems dramatic, but when you all of a sudden has memory issues, you tend to go "there").
My point in all of this is Zack. I will share a conversation I had with Frank or Meme. Whomever I was talking to is irrelevant, what IS relevant is, Zack having to point out SEVERAL TIMES "Mom, I was THERE!" You were telling them and I was sitting next to you on the couch, or on the chair, or eating dinner, or in the car!!! He was laughing so hard! He said "I've been having to say this ALL week!!" What's going on? Again, finding the humor, I look at him and say "your'e just so easy to miss!" It is then that I explain that at times I have so much on my mind, I just make it through the day and hope the next day I will be more "awake." Frank will then make a joke and say "she's never fully awake, she is blond after all!" What's wonderful in all of this, is, our ability to laugh, make fun and move on. I remind Zack that he may have to pinch me when he is part of a conversation, just to remind me that he was there.
He has had a great couple of days. He is feeling well and is ready for his next Chemo treatment tomorrow. Wednesday he joined Drs. Steve and Nancy and I for lunch. Once finished, he and I went out and delivered posters around town. He drove his truck and I went from one place to the next, with him as my chauffeur. We had a great time together, unfortunately he lost my debit card and I was forced to cancel it, but if that's the worst thing that could happen, that's pretty good. We were protected and no harm was done.
Today, he came by the office for an adjustment, (actually a couple of times, he hurt his back raking) brought and picked up Sidi who had his hair cut, worked at one of Franks customers house's doing Spring clean up and in the afternoon, after getting permission from the School Board, put posters up at the High School. He talked with several art students and his art teacher and asked if they were interested in donating items for the silent auction. They all said they would be glad to donate their art. He spent the afternoon hanging out with Drake. His friends who are still in school are out for Spring break for a week, so he will have more time with them before entering the hospital the end of next week. Drake will be spending the night and go into the Cancer Center with us tomorrow, which will make it more fun for us all.
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