I’d be loaded if I got a dollar every time someone told me they don’t see a difference in me post surgery.
You have no idea how I’ve mastered pretending, hiding and compensating. It’s exhausting.
I like writing because I can spend as much time as I need to get my thoughts out.
My short-term memory is worse than my long-term memory.
I can no longer memorize anything.
Often, I have no idea what I just asked/said or what someone just told me.
I’ve gotten savvy at repeating a question myself or asking someone to repeat themselves so they don’t liken me to the village idiot.
In conversation, I try to think a few steps ahead so the topic is fresh and the words will be available. I’ll find myself knowing what I want to say, but the words simply can’t get out quickly enough.
I get really annoyed when people tell me to ‘spit it out’ or look at me irritated that it’s taking so long.
I’ve found myself trying to recall a name, having absolutely no association as to where to begin, finally figuring it out after two days.
I totally blank on what I’m thinking and talking about quite often which is always an immensely rewarding and fulfilling experience.
I’ve unexpectedly stuttered a few times, been mocked for it and felt mortified.
I drop and fumble things all the time and have become proficient at making excuses and covering it up.
I’m tired of saying that I don’t remember.
I know I am hard on myself. I recognize that we all do these things. But I also recognize that I do them at a significantly higher rate than I did before. Let’s be honest here… I never had any expectation that I’d be perfect after brain surgery.
I expected issues and I recognize my issues pale in comparison to the deficits so many other patients deal with. I’m thrilled with how I’m doing and thrilled that I am doing so well. But these are my deficits and I know how much harder things are now than they were before.
It’s been hard and challenging and selfishly, I’m ashamed to say that I don’t care that I am faring better than others. My new normal is not my old normal and that’s had an impact. Albeit, based on my success in pulling the paper bag over your heads, not an impact anyone has seemingly noticed. Damn, I’m good!
I don’t want sympathy or special treatment. I know I set myself up for feeling this way with all my pretending, excuses and overcompensation and now it’s catching up with me. So understand if I want to scream when you tell me ‘You’re fine’, ‘You can’t even tell’, ‘You’d never know’. I miss the mind I had before and how it worked and I can’t help but to see the glaring missing pieces and stumbling blocks. How can I not?
I am my own worst enemy. I can’t help it.