It doesn’t happen often now, but Adam managed to snore me out of bed this morning, despite my earplugs. He seems to go through phases of snoring, just as I go through phases of pain. It’s just a shame they don’t both happen at the same time, I wouldn’t mind so much then. No matter how much sleep I get, it remains the most precious substance that I know of. I know, because I have done it in the past, that I can cope for days, if not into weeks without out food. Ask me to lose just a couple of hours sleep these days, and it feels like the bottom of my world has dropped out. I lay there for nearly two hours, trying to sleep and just hoping that he would stop long enough that I could drift back into a deep sleep. No such luck. 6:30 arrived and he was still trying to bring down the walls. I gave up and made an early start to my day, with an hours sleep pencilled in for after he has gone to work.
I know that yesterday I had a list of topics that I wanted to write about and managed to write about none of them, but this morning, I can’t remember the list. Before anyone says you should have written it down, I did. I also decided to tidy up my pile of papers that sits beside me at my desk, guess what, I throw out? I have given up all hope of the connections that my PRMS have eaten apart my brain of ever finding a way to join themselves back together again. I find it odd that nerves can be clearly severed like they were when my hand died several years ago, and managed to repair themselves, yet those broken connections in our brains, never do. Surely, the possibility should be the same? Yet it has never happened to me, nor have I heard anyone else saying that their memory has repaired itself. I guess that it is one of those pipe dreams we all have, but never receive.
I know for a fact that over the last few days, it hasn’t just been my memory that has been getting to me, no it has gone into league with my concentration. I am all over the place lately. I even found myself reading recipes for granola. Why? No, I really mean WHY? A. It’s far easier to just buy it, B. I know how to make it and I definitely don’t need a recipe. C. What led me to be even looking at? D. I don’t remember searching or anything I was just there, how? That’s just one example, the last few days have been littered with them. Yesterday, I went into the kitchen to fetch something, no I don’t know what, but minutes later I found myself clearing out all the out of date cans and so on I found lurking in one of the cupboards. Give my mind the slightest opportunity and it makes a bid for freedom. Luckily, I haven’t exactly had anything outside my daily online contributions to make.
When my brain is like this I have to start playing games with it just to keep it in line. The first one is simple. Whatever screen I am working on at my PC, enlarge it to fill the screen. If I can see even just the edge of another screen or an icon, I will without fail, click on it and be off somewhere else, doing something I shouldn’t be. The other is to take my glass of coke with me when I leave my desk to do something that will require more than one trip. I take it with me for one simple reason, as due to my drugs, my mouth is always dry. I expect putting something in the oven is the best example. Once the oven is on, I leave my glass there in the kitchen. It doesn’t matter then if I wander off or get engrossed on the PC, due to my mouth. I will miss that glass within 10 minutes and then every 5 to 10 minutes after that, which means my lunch or whatever it is, never burns any longer. A lot of the things we blame on our short-term memory is really down to our lack of concentration. Like the glass, it is a case of finding something that will draw you back to where you are supposed to be. I used to find that my cigarettes were a good one, but then I decided to buy four smart lead crystal cigarette boxes. There are two in the living room and one in the kitchen, I kept telling myself I bought them just for their sleek look, I didn’t, I got fed up of walking around the house looking for my cigs. The fourth case, for those who are wondering, is in the bathroom, it doesn’t hold cigarettes, but all those silly little things I would otherwise lose in the bathroom, like tweezers and eyeliner pencils. Oh, and they do look really smart and special, why ever I bought them.
Just because you have a poor memory and little concentration, doesn’t mean there isn’t a way to make it work for you. Losing our memory isn’t the same as losing our brains, we just have to use it. Our intelligence is still intact, despite how it feels at times. Everything that we appear to be getting wrong just needs a rethink, we can’t expect our lives to just keep going as it always has and if every trick fails, use someone else’s brain to fix it. Just like I do now for taking my meds and being reminded to take a shower. I exhausted every other option, there are no other choices left, so Adam now makes sure that I do things at the right time. That feeling that you have become a waste of space, that you are nothing but a burden on others, is real, It is cruelly real, as it eats away at you and the more it grows the more we begin to believe it. That is the reason that I have put so much effort into finding tricks that work for me. There is such an amazing elation when you succeed in beating it at its own game, just going head to head with my own brain is slowly becoming an interesting pass time. Clearly there are days when it will win, times when I don’t stand a chance of outsmarting it as it has just closed down and provides nothing but a total blank. Those are the days where I have learned just to give in. It’s not always easy and yes I get wound up and frustrated, but I only feel that way for a day. The next day it’s back to working on how to keep control in the future.
Once I was sure that every battle that presented itself, whether it was physical or mental had to be fought there and then, or it had won. I was wrong. There is a fact I have learnt, nothing ever happens only once. There is also another, no matter how bad you think your memory or mind is, it’s never as bad as you believe. Working on those two principles alone, means that you can work slowly and steadily on fixing whatever the problem is. That way, you are ready for when it happens again. You might not remember your solution the next time it happens, but after you have beaten yourself up a few times for being so stupid, you slowly remember and eventually have a new tool in your armoury. I probably take the greater fun out of finding fixes to my life, than some might. I have always been a lover of problem-solving games and puzzles, even my last job was mainly just that, problem-solving and fire-fighting daily. There is also one other fact I have learned, learn to relax. The more you let you memory or the frustrating it causes get to you, the worse the whole situation becomes. I know some people say that if you find yourself in a room with no idea what you are doing there, that you either backtrack, or you stand there until you do remember. Neither work for me. I just do something else. To me, there is no point racking your brain and beating yourself up. Relax, tell yourself it doesn’t matter, as it probably doesn’t, after all we aren’t in charge of nuclear weapons or anything important. Just keeping calm can be enough for your brain to surrender and supply you with the missing information.
No matter what we do, there is no total substitute for our own once perfect, well almost, brains. We can’t get away from the simple fact that once damaged, it will always be damaged. I could come up with a million tricks, but tomorrow I could wake to find that not only have they gone, but so has another large chunk of my mind. PRMS is like that, it doesn’t care if it’s my body or my brain, it does whatever it wants and that is always going to be the overriding fact. As it does, all I can do is fire-fight and hope that what I put in place, is enough to compensate and then, I get on with the rest of my life.
Please read my blog from 2 years ago – 11/08/2013 – Truly symbiotic humans?
Sunday and another day to wonder why is Adam awake? It is the weekend but we are actually spending the day time hours of two days in a row, together? I am not complaining in any way, it is in fact really nice to see his sat on the settee with his laptop rather than drowning…..