Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Every May....



I think I have Alzheimer's. I realized it two years ago at the library. We were all piling in the van, bags of books spilling into the back and in between the seats. It was a warm day, so I was uncomfortable and feeling rushed to get somewhere cool. I started the van and then heard my third child say, "Mom. You forgot Z; I'll go get him." No light bulb flashed over the top of my head; no "aha!" moment. I thought child number three was wrong, and I told him to stay in the car. "We're leaving" I said with authority. "Nope. I am going to get Z," he said with a voice that was so stubborn it should have sounded really familiar. I followed him inside with a frown the size of the Grand Canyon, and I marched up and down aisles with the confidence of someone who Is Right. I kept that confident march up until the very last aisle where we found Z in a comfy chair with a good book. "Oh, is it time to leave?" he asked in that sleepy, no idea what time it is voice. I guess we did bring him to the library.

The fact that I forgot Z was not the problem. I have enough other people in the van to keep the numbers straight. The problem was that I was convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that he was not in the library. I was SURE we had not brought him. It's a funny story now, but it scared me then.

So, I went to the doctor. He spent an hour with me, which in our current medical climate is a shockingly large amount of time, and he asked me a lot of questions. I thought maybe I was losing my mind. Maybe it was depression? I didn't know what depression was like, but I knew I was forgetting lots of stuff and I had very little energy. The doctor was patient, asked me questions like, "Do you ever drive down the road and forget where you are?" and "Do you ever hate your life so much that you just drive away and plan on never coming back?"

After our hour together, he was convinced I was not depressed and not losing my mind. BUT, it was obvious I had a lot of responsibilities and stress. No surprise there. He recommended walking as a great source of exercise, a time to relax and refresh myself and as a natural mood booster. He also suggested some vitamins, and I have found those to be very helpful. Even with those recommendations, though, I still find May to be Losing My Mind Month. This year I am remembering my library patrons, but I keep losing my keys. So, I took a proactive step today: I had three extra sets of keys made. The guy looked at me a little funny when I asked for three sets; I just muttered something about losing my mind and it being cheaper than hiring him to make a new key for the van when I couldn't find any.

Maybe my brain has family it needs to visit every spring, or a timeshare in Hawaii that is only available in May. Well, June is coming, and I hope my brain will be happy to be home again. I sure miss it when it is gone.

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