I know I’ve lost a step cognitively. I’m easily overwhelmed, easily frustrated. I can’t do many of the things I used to do.
Now I’m the car other drivers honk and gesture at because I’m slow and overly cautious. I used to be the one who showed other people how to network their computers and peripherals, now I can’t do it for myself. I bought a nice camera, but had to return it because I couldn’t understand the instructions.
I don’t think this is a physical problem. I recently tried and failed to become a kidney donor, but I did pass all the medical tests. The problem was I couldn’t navigate the bureaucracy. Instead of helping me through it, they kicked me out of the program. I suppose that made their own lives a little easier.
So it goes.
I blame my decline on stress.
When my mother died a little over a year ago, I became my father’s caretaker. It’s been difficult. I loaned him a book I thought he would enjoy, and not only did he not like it, he marked the passages that particularly displeased him so he could read them to me. He listed for me all the songs Bobby Bare ruined by “not singing them properly.” He listed the National Parks he doesn’t want to go to, because they are likely to be too crowded. He does not like women who use cell phones, men who wear short pants, and anyone who is handicapped or obese. He used to watch the Texas Rangers, but he doesn’t anymore because the players are “too happy” when they win. The lawn crew did a half-assed job, they always do a half-assed job, he guesses they don’t even care. That’s just this week, and it’s not a complete list by any means.
The barrage of negativity becomes overwhelming. It’s a hard way to start the day.
But last night I played an old George Harrison record, and Mona danced with me in the kitchen, and for just a few minutes I felt like myself again.
Someday things will be different, but for now I have to hang on to those moments.
They keep me going.